No Stairs

by Chuck

Our insurance company has canceled our insurance because
a second floor outside door has no stairs.

We had originally dead bolted the door so it is locked on both sides but that did not satisfy the insurance company.
We are looking to do something inexpensive that will also be adequate when we sell it.

My ideas are as follows:

1) Remove door, plywood exterior, drywall inside, paint inside, find some type of exterior decorative siding design that would go with the old white aluminum siding.

Pros - Would probably look the cleanest if the siding blends.
Cons - Probably fairly expensive.

2) Remove door and install a window in it's place.

Pros - Might look pretty neat.
Cons - Might not meet code and may scare of potential renters/buyers, and could be expensive.

3)Put bars on exterior side of door.

Pros - Could be done inexpensively.
Cons - Insurance company may not accept it.

4) Do nothing and find another insurance company.

Pros - No cost.
Cons - Doesn't help when I try to sell it. Another insurance may see the same issue if they survey the house.

Any other ideas?


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Insurance Canceled
by: Joe the Rehabber

Why your Insurance canceled your policy is because the condition of the property is unsafe.

3 Ways to Fix a Door with No Stairs.

What was the door originally intended for?

Would a staircase with or a small deck / balcony fit the design?

My goal is to add value with repairs and to be careful not to make projects look like patch work.

1) I have replaced 2nd floor doors with windows, finished to match the siding outside and the interior decor.
This is my 1st choice but the most expensive.

2) Bars could be made attractive and would be the least expensive because it's a quick "add to" bolt on material without changing the wall inside or out.
Getting that to pass code would have to be checked first.

The decision maker:

You mentioned, "when you sell it".

If your going to sell this house instead of rent it, I would choose option 1 so the project ads value.

If you're going to rent it for a few years - Plug and patch... Fastest, easiest, and cheapest.
...Take out the door like you said, a piece of plywood, studs, insulate, drywall.

Siding the entire exterior wall to match the rest of the house could get expensive. Weaving new siding into the old siding to cover the door opening probably won't look appealing...
...That could wait until it's time to sell.

Leaving the door frame in won't disturb the exterior siding and the plywood could be covered with a matching color of siding and trim.

Insurance Canceled?
Please the Insurance Company!

If one insurance company won't cover it, chances are the next won't; or you'll pay a higher premium to be in the "substandard pool of insurance."

What I do; call the insurance company's underwriter to get specific suggestions that would satisfy the deficiency.

Option 3

Maybe they'd accept a new door slab.
A replacement door with a window,
without door knobs and hinges,
sealed and fastened shut.
That would be - the easiest, fastest, and cheapest.

Call the insurance underwriter, they may accept option 3.

To the visitors: Do you have a solution to this problem? Click on the link below, your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Door with No Stairs
by: Anonymous

I would go with ask your insurance co what they will accept.
Bars on the outside would be the cheapest.
The other way to do it is install the staircase that was never there.


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