Fannie Mae’s requirement for appraisers to begin measuring single-family properties with the ANSI Z765 standard was launched several weeks ago, but many appraisers still have questions about the standard. One of the most common questions is about managing stairs with ANSI.
Stairs are nothing to worry about, and in most cases, they do not require any special consideration or separate measures. Under ANSI Z765, stairs are handled logically. Stairs are counted as part of the level from which they descend, and the area under the stairs is counted as part of the lower level, regardless of ceiling height or finish. If the stairs are the same size (or larger than) the stair opening, you don’t even need to bother measuring the stairs. You will also need to get in touch with nationwide property and appraisal services to get the job done.
Examples: How to handle stairs with ANSI
Let’s take an example. A one-story house with a basement has a basement stair opening that is 3 feet by 10 feet, and the stair is the same size as the stair opening. In this situation, the stairs are counted as part of the square footage of the first floor (i.e. as part of the stage from which the stairs come from). This is true whether the basement is finished or not; stairs descending into an unfinished basement are included in the finished area above ground level. The area under the stairs in the basement is counted as part of the square footage below ground level (basement), even though part of that area under the stairs would have low ceilings. A commercial real estate appraiser would not subtract the area under the stairs from the square footage below grade.
As another example, let’s look at a traditional two-story house with a basement. The stairs between the first and second floors are considered as part of another floor in this house. Stairs between the first floor and the basement are counted as part of the first floor. The area under the stairs in the basement is counted as the basement area. Again, as long as the stairs are the same size as the stair opening, no special calculations are needed – no addition or subtraction is needed for the stairs.
When do stairs need special attention?
The only time stairs become a problem requiring special attention is when the stair opening is larger than the stairs themselves. For example, if a stair opening between the first and second floors is 10 feet by 10 feet, and the stair (which fills part of that opening) is 3 feet by 8 feet, the assessor would subtract the opening (100 square feet) and add in stairs (24 square feet) to second floor level.
McKissock Learning currently offers live classes and a self-paced online course in Property Measurement and ANSI Z765. We are still in the process of receiving state approvals for the self-paced course; new approvals arrive almost daily. You can visit us to see if the course has been accepted in your state.
McKissock Learning currently offers live classes and a self-paced online course in Property Measurement and ANSI Z765. We are still in the process of receiving state approvals for the self-paced course; new approvals arrive almost daily.