×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Step Terminology

Step Terminology

Step Terminology

(OP)
I'm having a project done at my house. If you are standing on the porch, you step down to an intermediate height, and then step down to the patio. I say that we have added one "step" (noun). The contractor says that we have two "steps" (verb I think). We are having the devil's own time communicating. He says in construction the number of "steps" is the number of times that a person takes a step. I say it is the number of stair treads that are added between starting height and finish height. Does anyone have a feel for the "right" answer?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

Consider that it's the risers that are the useful part of a stair, I'd count them.

A stair with no risers is just a floor.

RE: Step Terminology

You may have added one step but it takes two steps to get onto the porch from the ground. So, what if in one step you could go from ground to porch? Does that make it a zero step stair? If you are giving instructions to a blind person, would you tell him there are one or two steps? For all practical communications, I agree with your contractor.

RE: Step Terminology

Wikipedia agrees. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stairs

Quote (Wikipedia)

A stairway, staircase, stairwell, flight of stairs, or simply stairs is a construction designed to bridge a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps.

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
See, I read that Wiki definition as one "step". I would tell a blind person "take two steps down". But if someone told me to build "2 steps" I would insert 2 treads and 3 risers.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

It seems that by adding one run (tread) we actually make a two-step stair.

RE: Step Terminology

How would you talk about it if you only had to make 1 step down?

NX 7.5.5.4 with Teamcenter 8 on win7 64
Intel Xeon @3.2GHz
8GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro 2000

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
That is exactly the question that I cannot answer. The project has a "step" from the patio to a walkway without a bridging surface. No treads. One "riser". I called it a "curb" and the contractor said I was cheating. Contractor called it one step. I asked where the step kit that he was using on the other steps was. He changed the subject.

This seems trivial, but I drew up the project, we talked about it, spend a couple of weeks on the initial construction, then a half hour before I had to leave for the airport for a month in Oz he said "The main walkway is 4 steps" I had drawn the main walkway as 3 steps (by my definition). I was stressed and yelled for him to do it the way I drew it and left for the airport. While I've been gone, the progress all looks right, but I just keep being curious about how we could have better communicated. We were obviously saying the same thing because it got built the way I drew it.

To make this all worse my wife finds his definition perfectly reasonable and mine kind of silly.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

One small step for man...

They used a ladder. We can presume to avoid these kinds of problems. Rungs are easy to count. NASA is clever like that.

RE: Step Terminology

Somewhere I read ""Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data."poke

RE: Step Terminology

I'm glad it's not just me. I fret a little bit about this every time I come across a flight of steps and go to add it to Open Street Map (feel free to offer an online opinion of my mental state).

I'm least unhappy with the approach your contractor took. Going straight from your patio to the porch would be a step up by itself. Putting stuff in the way adds an extra step (making two).

A.

RE: Step Terminology

The contractor only had to build one step (add one tread). The fact that doing so creates the need for people to take two steps to ascend or descend is irrelevant.

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
CBL,
That is the way I see it too. He uses something called a "step kit" to make a step. Step kits cost about the same as the regular caps, but have to be ordered (they are caps without a lip on the back and it is slightly less expensive to buy them than to pay a worker to chip the lip off a regular cap). From the porch to the patio he used one step kit. From the patio to the walk he used zero step kits. For the main stairway he used 3 step kits. He calls that 2, 1, and 4 steps respectively.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

Did he incrementally charge you for the '1 step' installation?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Step Terminology

Had to recalibrate when I lived in USA. First floor is the one above ground floor in my frozen mind. Pressing #1 to go nowhere in a lift was just embarrassing.

- Steve

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
It is a time and materials job so he probably charged me more for the time we spent arguing semantics than the damn step cost.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

You mean the 'step' that was never actually installed, eh?

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
At this point I wish I knew what I meant. The more I try to make sense out of the terminology the more confused I get.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

BTW David,
The plural of anecdote is not 'data' indeed;- is twoecdotes.

RE: Step Terminology

You have two steps. A step is an increment of height, generally speaking, the top step is the upper floor level.

In my opinion, of course.

RE: Step Terminology

Quote:

f you are standing on the porch, you step down to an intermediate height, and then step down to the patio. I say that we have added one "step" (noun). The contractor says that we have two "steps" (verb I think). We are having the devil's own time communicating. He says in construction the number of "steps" is the number of times that a person takes a step. I say it is the number of stair treads that are added between starting height and finish height.
Forget the definition of step for the moment, and look at the which of the phrases above refers to a change and which refers to a final state:
You said:
*we have added one "step"
*it is the number of stair treads that are added between starting height and finish height.
Both refer to the change in steps associated with the project

He said:
*we have two "steps"
* in construction the number of "steps" is the number of times that a person takes a step.
Both refer to the final state after completion of the project

It is possible the difference described in the initial post is whether we're talking about a change or a final state? Just a thought. I may have totally missed the point (I didn't read the entire thread closely, and I agree there are a lot of subtleties in the term step itself).

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Step Terminology

I would say change vs final state isn't the only factor but perhaps a contributor along with other factors.

Quote:

. I say that we have added one "step" (noun). The contractor says that we have two "steps"
I read these as the same thing. You started with one, added one, and ended with two. Of course that relies on my interpretation that you started with one step, not a curb...I can see there is room for interpretation either way

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
The end result was that he built exactly what I wanted built, so terminology became less of a problem when I left the country and allowed him to get on with his work. I guess it just doesn't matter if you count stair treads or knee flexures as long as you get what you want.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

In architectural jargon, we never used the word 'step.' It was number of risers, i.e. 9 risers @ 7-1/2". The run is dimensioned not including the nosing and there is one fewer tread than there are risers.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: Step Terminology

Glad you got what you wanted.

A.

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
Cass,
By that terminology would you say that the case where you step from the patio to the walkway without an intermediate tread has a riser or not? That seems to be the essence of the communication difficulty.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

zdas04, yes, it is a level change and is considered a riser. I'm not sure graphically if I would call out 1 R @ 7-1/2" or whatever. I'd probably just show a change in level mark and indicate elevations of each.

Also, the higher 'platform', I guess the patio in your case, would also still have to have a nosing as if it were a stair tread.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: Step Terminology

(OP)
Thanks that seems clearer, and yes, the patio does have a nosing at the point it is a virtual tread.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.
The plural of anecdote is not "data"

RE: Step Terminology

I propose we eliminate "step" from such work. Based on the discussion above, it's an ambiguous term. Ignoring the "virtual tread" at the top landing, if I install one "tread," I have made a staircase of two "elevation changes." Or, as David so wonderfully pointed out, "knee flexures."

For some reason, I now have the song Stairway to Heaven stuck in my head. Thanks, all. It's a great song, but I'm going to be humming it all the way until bed time and I'm going to be mighty sick of it.

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Step Terminology

The porch itself constitutes a step. Two steps David. Go have a drink...

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: Step Terminology

DRWeig, your song is better than the on I now have stuck in my head, One step over the line by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I HATE that song.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: Step Terminology

Gee no wonder we nerds need tbis forum so badly. It only goes to prove that regardles of rungs or steps that we never really sent men to the moon -- How could that be possible with our obvious limited skills of commumiction -- it was all done in Hollywood. But then where did they get Tang?

Design for RELIABILITY, manufacturability, and maintainability

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close