Pocket door at top of basement steps

I saw an interior pocket door at the top of the basement staircase. There was no landing on the other side. I know that a landing is needed if the door opens toward the steps, but a pocket door?

It does not seem safe to me. This is a new construction inspection.

IMO, the floor you are standing on is the “landing”.

The reason for a landing if the door swings over the stairs is in case someone is on the other side of the door, they won’t be pushed down the stairs. Since that is impossible with a ‘pocket door’, there is no issue.

Whenever trying to decide if something may be an issue, remember one word… “intent”. What is the “intent” of the code governing something. Once you fully understand the “why” something is, the easier it will be to recognize real concerns.


I understand the “intent” is also to prevent someone to from falling down the steps if they are not paying attention to the fact that there is a step down on the other side of the door. I almost lost a friend because of this. She was not paying attention to what she was doing.

I would just be concern if light switch is located behind the door and you have to make the step before you turn the light on.

Does the pocket door swing over the steps? No!

What would be the difference if a door to the basement steps swings into the room (the majority of them do)? Would you call it out for having no landing? No!

Think about it. If you called out everything that might be a safety concern because someone might not be “paying attention”, you might as well just tell all your clients to just go hide in a padded room.

“Dear client, it was noted during the inspection that a shower stall was present. Recommend removal because many slip/fall injuries have been documented due to inattention.”

PS - Recommend installing hand rails in the stairwell for safety.