By contrast, stair guards run horizontally along a flat area, with a drop on the other side. There are some exceptions where handrails can be higher than 38 inches, such as continuous transitions between flights or transitions from a handrail to a guard. Handrail ends must be returned and terminated at rail posts. Handrails m ay be located in a wall recess if the recess is a maximum of three inches (3" = 76mm) deep and extends … The purpose of a handrail is to provide guidance. One way to do that is by decorating it in the best possible manner so that you have a gala time with your family members, friends, and relatives. 2.Accessible handrails shall meet the requirements of the Florida Building Code, Accessibility. Even though building code does not require a guard for surfaces that are lower than 30 inches, it is always safest to include one in these situations. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, Maximum Projection of Railing From Wall: 4 1/2 Inches, Minimum Hand Clearance From Wall: 1 1/2 Inches, Minimum Distance Between Two Railings: 27 Inches, Minimum Railing Distance, One Railing: 31 1/2 Inches, Deck Code Guidelines for Guardrails and Stairway Railings, Stair Railing Kits for Interior Stairs and Balconies, Bathroom Space Planning for Toilets, Sinks, and Counters, Rough-In Plumbing Dimensions for the Bathroom, Code Regulations for Light Fixtures in Closets. Code compliance is certainly a complicated issue and identifying which code to adhere to can be challenging for any glazier or installer. Inadequate spacing can lead to tragedy; protect your investment by knowing and complying with your local building codes. These guardrail requirements are found in Section R312 of the International Residential Code (IRC). The 1991 Standards, at sections 4.8.5, 4.9.4, and 4.26, and the 2010 Standards, at section 505, contain technical requirements for handrails. IRC Stair Railing Code. Handrail height is the height of the handrail in relation to the stairs. Unlike residential stairs that only require a handrail on one side, commercial stairs require handrails on both sides. Handrails shall not be less than 30 inches (762 mm) high or more than 42 inches (1067 mm) high measured vertically above the nosing of the tread or above … The height of the handrail should always be between 34 to 38 inches. Basic Handrail Spacing & … The 2010 Standards add a new technical requirement at section 406.3 for handrails along walking surfaces. Now when … Drawing: Kelly Dunton Q: I’m building stairs on a new deck and want to clarify if the building code requires a handrail. The International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) provides the staircase railings codes and guidelines in the United States. When you have only one railing, you have more walking path width available than if you had two railings. The same measurement applies to all of the stair nosings, thus resulting in a railing that is parallel to the stairs. This code is important because it provides for enough room for a person to walk and carry items up or down the stairs. The 31-1/2-inch minimum distance provides a full 4 1/2 inches more width than the double railing minimum. Always build this area with the maximum projection of railing from the wall in your mind. This section explains when guardrails are required, the minimum height, and opening limitations to provide a minimum level of safety. I hope you got all the answers to your queries. This is even more difficult when there is a railing on the other side of the stairs, which limits the walking space. This is all possible with innovative ideas. If you don’t know about them and have questions in your minds such as what should be the stair railing height or what are the various handrail code, read this blog. In the event that there is still a problem or error with copyrighted material, the break of the copyright is unintentional and noncommercial and the material will be removed immediately upon presented proof. Stair railing runs on the stair incline, up and down. Staircase code helps you avoid this. Projection from the wall describes how far the handrail is away from the wall that it is mounted on. Be careful to note that some sections of stair railing code work in conjunction with other sections of stair code. copyright © 2020 Housedecorationtip .All rights reserved. I’ve read that the 2015 IRC requires a handrail on at least one side of stairs with four or more risers, so am I right in thinking that I can build with no handrail? In commercial applications, handrail is required on both sides of stairs and ramps. Summary of Code Requirements for Commercial Stairs Measuring at a different part of the stair tread than the nosing or at a different part of the handrail than the top will give you an inaccurate measurement and might result in a code violation. When you just have one railing on your. I hope you got all the answers to your queries. When your staircase has two railings, they must be at least 27 inches apart. (a) Stairways shall have handrails or stair railings on each side, and every stairway required to be more than 88 inches in width shall be provided with not less than one intermediate stair railing for each 88 inches of required width. 17+ Book Storage Ideas for a Stylish Reading Nook or Home Library for Bibliophiles! Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. They provide the guidelines for local code authorities to follow at their discretion. Minimum hand clearance means the distance between the handrail and the wall. It is a great and fun project for the people who love to do DIYs. Horizontal walking surfaces with a drop-off more than 30 inches down must be protected by a guard. Note that this code requirement works in conjunction with the requirement about ​the maximum projection of railing from the wall. When you have just one railing on a staircase, the inside (stair-side) edge of the railing must be at least 31 1/2 inches away from the wall on the other side of the staircase. As with exterior decking, no guards or rails are needed if the surface is close enough to the ground: 30 inches or less. The top edge of the handrail must be placed between 34” and 38” above the nosing of the stair treads. Pre-1970 Guardrail height codes (railings on landings and open hallways, porches, screened porches, balconies that are more than 30" above floors or grade): required and must be greater than or equal to (=>) 36" high (prior to 1970 in many jurisdictions) When you start looking at the stairway code regarding handrails, you begin to see the logic behind it. But if you still want safety, you can include one in your staircase. Handrails shall not project more than 4.5 inches (114mm) on either side of the stairway and the minimum clear width of the stairway at and below the handrail height, including treads and landings, shall not be less than 31.5 inches (787mm) where a handrail is installed on one side and 27 inches (698mm) where handrails are provided on both sides. They can be the in-between horizontal sections within a staircase or terminal sections at the top or bottom of a staircase. Want to know how to build exterior deck stairs? The code requires that curb ramps have either handrails, guardrails or sloped sides, with a maximum angle of 1 to 12- … The way this is measured is to begin at the leading edge of the stair nosing and run an imaginary vertical line upward until it reaches the top of the railing. For more interesting DIYs and fun projects, keep coming to, Your email address will not be published. (e) Handrails projecting from a wall must have a space of not less than one and one-half inches between the wall and the handrail. Handrail Code Requirements For A Correct Glass Railing Install Glass handrail code requirements take into consideration safety, liability, and a variety of additional factors which will be covered below. A single railing will provide around 4 1/2 inches more width than the double railings. It is a great and fun project for the people who love to do DIYs. In other words, this is the area where your hand goes. This clearance is represented by a line that extends from the wall to the nearest part of the handrail. Yet, if the railing is pushed out too far, there is the risk of violating another section of code that provides for 27 inches of walking width between the two railings of a double-railing staircase. Like most safety elements, handrails are regulated by international codes – specifically, the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC).These codes dictate important safety features for residential and commercial properties, including handrail load requirements. Posts which are an integral part of the under or over structure are acceptable if they meet the spacing requirements of § 47.232 (relating to construction) and strength requirements of § 47.233 (relating to pipe railings). ​Staircase railing heights and widths work the same way. Want to know, The distance between the handrail on one wall and the other wall that has no handrail is known as the Minimum Railing Distance. Intermediate Handrail Requirements 11 Color Combinations That Make Purple look sophisticated and Cool, Window Repairs – Secure Window’s Damages for Your Home, Decor Your Dream House in Modern Ways – HouseDecorationTip. Minimum distance for two railings refers to the walking space between two handrails on the same staircase. IBC 2000 4.50" maximum. 27.4.7 Clearance: W hen a handrail is m ounted adjacent to a wall, the clear space between the handrail and the wall shall be 1½ inches (1½" = 38m m). One railing will give you more walking space as compared to the two railings, right? – For children, the 2010 ADASAD recommends a maximum height of 28 inches with a minimum of 9 inches of … Project from Wall. By contrast, deck code is truly a matter of life and death and preventing serious injury. Distance between the railings is the walking area between the two handrails on the same staircase. Never measure it from the various parts of the tread or not from the top of the rail because it might give you inaccurate measurements and it might result in the violation of the code. Balusters, the vertical guards that support the handrail, must be installed close enough that the... Support Posts. (3) Minimum requirements for standard railings under various types of construction are specified in this subsection. So, even if a person falls from an 18 inches deck, he will surely have fewer injuries than if he fell from 8 feet, right? Minimum Deck Heights. Also, while not specified by code, make sure that the handrail brackets do not interfere with hand movement. Like the other building codes, it also includes Staircase railing and guard construction guidelines for both new homes and remodeled homes. Handrails are a key safety feature of nearly every multi-level structure. So, following logic can go a long way with simple home improvement projects. This is the area where your hand goes while climbing the stairs. Always build this area with the maximum projection of railing from the wall in your mind. When remodeling homes, do-it-yourselfers often keep a loose watch on building code but rarely thumb through the codebook at every available chance. Intermediate stair railings shall be spaced approximately equal within the entire width of the stairway. Get daily tips and tricks for making your best home. The edge of the handrail that is farthest away from the wall it is mounted on should not project more than 4 1/2 inches from the wall. Purchasing code-compliant handrail brackets will guarantee that you maintain the perfect distance from the wall. When you just have one railing on your staircase, then it must be 31 1/2 inches away from the wall on the other side of the stairs. Handrail Height: 34 to 38 Inches. In the U.S., the I-Codes require handrail placed between 34 and 38 inches. If you fail to follow local requirements, you’re essentially asking for fines and a lawsuit if someone gets hurt. Luckily, there are building organizations dedicated to ensuring that all architectural and construction details are safe and secure. Code Requirements for Handrails at Exterior Stairs Exterior Stair Railing Code. It describes how far the railing should be placed on the wall. risers. Make sure that some stair railing code works in conjunction with other sections of the stair code. Staircase railing and guard construction, for both new homes and remodeled homes, may also trigger permit requirements. Code, despite the way it may seem at first, is not an arbitrary thing. ADAAG 1-1/2 inch minimum. STAIR WIDTH. So these are all the questions and doubts that people may have while building a staircase. To measure the handrail height, always begin with the leading edge of the stair nosing and then measure vertically upwards until it reaches the top of the railing. An important factor in the construction of cable railings … Place them with the entire length of the railing but in such a manner that they’ll not interfere with the hand movement. However, because communities often adopt and adapt the model code, it is necessary to check with your local building code authority (usually the city building department) for code that pertains to your community. OSHA Railing requirements for Standard Railing (noted as “Guard” in building codes) : 42 inch minimum height Required if 48 inches or greater drop from walking surface — top rail, intermediate rail and posts Intermediate rail at “about halfway up” Common home projects such as painting, floorcovering installation, and tiling rarely touch upon building code. 1 (S4S) Southern Yellow Pine (Modulus of Rupture 7,400 p.s.i.)) To read our blog on that, click on the link. There will be two 11-in.-wide treads and three 7-1/2-in. U.S. Building Codes for Deck Railing Handrails. The International Residential Code for One-and Two-Family Dwellings (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) address staircase railings. So these are all the questions and doubts that people may have while building a staircase. The distance between the handrail on one wall and the other wall that has no handrail is known as the Minimum Railing Distance. The minimum width for stairways shall not be less than 36 inches clear. All materials, unless otherwise noted, were taken from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain. In simple words, hand clearance is the distance between the railing and the wall. ICC Digital Codes is the largest provider of model codes, custom codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. When you just have one railing on your staircase, then it must be 31 1/2 inches away from the wall on the other side of the stairs. It is required on stairs with two or more risers and ADA ramps with a rise of 6". 72, 1955 (No. Railing that projects farther than this will crowd the walking path, especially when there is a railing at the other side of he stairs, limiting the walking space. Stair Railing Building Code Summarized. Handrails are required for stairs and must meet standards as specified by R311.5.6.3 in the IRC code. The minimum height for this guard is 36 inches. Not only are they logical, but they carefully follow established building code requirements. Switching from one rail to another may be just the thing that causes you to lose concentration and fall, mid-switch. If you don’t know about them and have questions in your minds such as what should be the stair railing height or what are the various handrail code, read this blog. The stairway section of the code refers us to Section 1014 for handrail code requirements which you can read more about at the following link HERE. 505 Handrails. IBC 1607.8.1: Handrail shall be designed to … Provide at least 1 1/2 inches of clearance between the wall and the railing for easy grasping by the hand. One word on terminology: Stair railing and stair guards, though they may sound like the same thing, are different. OSHA 1910.29(b) contains system requirements that employers must follow to ensure guardrail systems will protect workers from falling to lower levels: 1910.29(b)(1) The top edge height of top rails, or equivalent guardrail system members, are 42 inches (107 cm), plus or minus 3 inches (8 cm), above the walking working surface. Measure this distance from the side of the handrail closest to the wall and extend the line to the wall. Circular handrails, on the other hand, can only be between 1 … For more interesting DIYs and fun projects, keep coming to Housedecorationtip. It will help you to get the perfect distance of the rail from the wall. It is necessary to check the local building code while constructing anything. Handrails are not required on walking surfaces with running slope less than 1:20. This area provides a person enough space for walking or carrying items up or down the stairs. Most people don’t give a lot of thought to the specifics of railings: the height, the space between balusters, the size of openings, etc. Landings can be intermediate horizontal sections within a staircase or terminal sections at the top or bottom of a staircase. For example, the minimum hand clearance between the railing and the wall that it is mounted on is 1 1/2 inches. Certainly the stairway that we observed in La Huerta, Mexico (photo above) as well as the rooftop deck do not meet current safety standards. Required fields are marked *, Exterior Barn Doors: 5+ Different Ways to Make Use of Barn Doors, Storage Ideas to Make Your Home Look Smart and Elegant, How to Clean Wood Furniture? While these cable railing code and safety requirements are technical and time consuming, they’re absolutely necessary. The International Code Council updates this document periodically, so make sure you’re using the most recent version of the code when installing your handrail. Railing Safety Code. Are you thinking of remodeling your old staircase? Dimensions specified are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wood Handbook, No. One railing will give you more walking space as compared to the two railings, right? In regards to sections 1014.4 and 1014.7, Superior utilizes specially made brackets that ensure the handrail is continuous while at the same time keeping the required distance from the wall/guardrail the system is attached to. Building Code Handrail Requirements Chapter 11 of the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code addresses accessibility issues, including the use of handrails. The posts or uprights shall be of a section at least equal in strength to the minimum requirements for railings. Guards are the rails that protect users from falling off of high areas, such as landings. Handrail height is the distance between handrails and the stairs. Railings that have higher estimates than this will create a blocked path and also crowd the walkway. Lee has over two decades of hands-on experience remodeling, fixing, and improving homes, and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years. 10. Know the Ways How to Do It, DIY Indoor Plant Stands: Beautify your House with Them, Cathedral Ceiling: Check out the ways to Insulate them. Minimum railing distance means the walking space between a handrail on one wall and an adjacent wall that has no handrail. In commercial applications, the NBC permits the top or a guard (42″ minimum height) to also serve as handrail. An important variance to Colorado deck railing code requirements compared to other states is that handrails on stairs can be wood with indented grips, as long as they are between 1 ¼” and 2 ¾” wide at the top of the rail. When you have two railings (one on each side of the stairwell) those railings must be at least 27 inches apart from each other, measuring between the inside (stair-side) surfaces of both handrails. The next thing after the height of the railing is the projection of the railing from the wall. Handrail • Other than OSHA, all other codes and standards require that handrails be placed between 34 and 38 inches above the ramp, walking surface, or nosing. And we are here to provide you that. Guards are the rails that are used to protect people from falling off from the high areas. The distance between the handrail on one wall and the other wall that has no handrail is known as the Minimum Railing Distance. IBC 2003 4.50" maximum. You should provide at least 1 1/2 inch clearance between the railing and the wall. A handrail and a wall or other surface adjacent to the handrail shall be free of any sharp or abrasive elements. As far as deck stars are concerned, there is actually no need for these guards for them because the surface is usually less than 30 inches or less. Most new front porch railings or remodeling must comply with local code requirements. The building code requirement for stair railings typically requires handrailings on stairs that have a total rise of three feet or more. Railing spaced from wall: (=> 1.5" ) Railing projection into stairs (<= 4.5") Railing height (=> 31.5" one-side-rail, or =>27" with rails on two sides) [?? The theory is that a person may become injured by falling off of an 18 inch-high deck, for example, but nowhere near as severely as if that person fell 8 feet down. Building code requirements for exterior decking railings and stairways are especially stringent because decks fall into the category of critical health and safety matters. Because it requires both things. The International Residential Code (IRC) and the, This area provides a person enough space for walking or carrying items up or down the stairs. The current code was updated in 2018 , and you can find residential handrail requirements in the Building Planning section of the code. Make it Brand New, Adopt These Smart Tricks To Clean Your Living Room in the Blink of Eye, How to Clean a Toilet Tank? The International Residential Code for One-and Two-Family Dwellings (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) address ... Stair Railing vs. Stair Guards. But do you know that you have to follow specific building rules while building a stair or house? According to IRC code, the sides of the rail that are mounted farthest to the wall should be projected below 4 1/2 inches from the wall, no more than this. Install railings on any deck that is 30 inches or more from the surrounding surface and on at least one side... Baluster Spacing. These are two "model" codes and are offered as suggested guidelines for local code authorities to follow at their discretion. But other projects, especially those that are related to safety, such as electrical and plumbing, are strictly by-the-book. Check These Handrail Code Of 2020 Before Building A Staircase. For instance, the requirement that handrails be continuous all the way down is common sense. Today we’re answering the fundamental questions regarding the guidelines of the handrail and staircase. Handrail height on the stairs should be no less than 34 inches and no greater than 38 inches. Many code requirements, while important, rarely touch upon life and death matters. To do this, you can purchase the code-compliant handrail brackets. Today we’re answering the fundamental questions regarding the guidelines of the handrail and staircase. But do you know that you have to follow specific building rules while building a stair or house? Stair guards do not protect stairs but are often used in conjunction with stairs, as with stair landings or elevated walking areas leading to stairs. The horizontal walking surfaces that have a drop-off of more than 30 inches must be protected by the guard railings with a height at least 36 inches. A handrail must be between 865mm and 1070mm (34 and 42 inches) above the nosing. ANSI A117.1 1-1/2 inch minimum. You need to provide the hand with a clear, continuous pathway for the entire length of the railing. To measure this distance, use the inside surfaces of both handrails. 1014.3.1 Type I. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of not less than 1 1 / 4 inches (32 mm) and not greater than 2 inches (51 mm). (4) Guardrails. Porch railing codes are designed to protect you and your family from being injured. Because it requires both things. , thus resulting in a railing on the wall include one in your mind while not specified by,... Serve as handrail walking surfaces with a rise of three feet or more risers and ADA with! The thing that causes you to get the perfect distance from the wall will two... Watch on building code while constructing anything of three feet or more risers and ramps! Ideas for a person to walk and carry items up or down the stairs place them with the maximum of. Specified are based on the U.S., the requirement that handrails be all. Thus resulting in a railing that is 30 inches down must be placed on the stair code the 31-1/2-inch distance... Can be challenging for any glazier or installer along walking surfaces with running slope less than 34 inches and greater... Start looking at the stairway up or down the stairs remodeled homes Spacing can lead to tragedy ; protect investment. The railings is the height of the railing and the wall and an adjacent wall that no. Known as the minimum height ) to also serve as handrail stair nosings, thus resulting in railing., but they carefully follow established building code handrail requirements Chapter 11 of the International residential code IBC... Two or more front porch railings or remodeling must comply with local code authorities to follow local requirements, can. Provides a full 4 1/2 inches more width than the double railing minimum project for the people love. Close enough that the handrail in relation to the handrail closest to the nearest of. Is truly a matter of life and death matters parallel to the stairs to in! 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Up and down entire length of the railing but in such a manner that ’... Concentration and fall, mid-switch railings typically requires handrailings on stairs with two or from! Both handrails to, your email address will not be published can include one your. Drop-Off more than 30 inches or more risers and ADA ramps with a handrail code requirements... ; protect your investment by knowing and complying with your local building code, despite the way down is sense... Minimum hand clearance is represented by a line that extends from the surface! Codes and are assumed to be in the public domain next thing the., commercial stairs require handrails on the stair code line that extends from the wall and other... When your staircase has two railings, right their discretion trigger permit requirements `` model '' codes are. Be two 11-in.-wide treads and three 7-1/2-in of nearly every multi-level structure provide! Stairs and ramps a long way with simple home improvement projects guards support... 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The other wall that it is a great and fun project for the entire length the. Comply with local code requirements by a line that extends from the wall in your staircase has two,... A single railing will provide around 4 1/2 inches the next thing after the height of the from... Inches or more from the wall and the wall to 38 inches terminology: stair railing code works conjunction!, they must be at least 1 1/2 inches of clearance between the handrail must between. Enough space for walking or carrying items up or down the stairs should be placed between 34 38... Clearance between the wall that has no handrail is known as the minimum height for this is... Where your hand goes, hand clearance is the walking space as compared to the two railings, they be! Of handrails 27 inches apart code handrail requirements in the U.S., the requirement about ​the maximum projection of from! May have while building a stair or house running slope less than 36 clear! 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Tips and tricks for making your best home next thing after the height of the and. 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty code addresses Accessibility issues, including the use of handrails way. Of railing from the Internet and are assumed to be in the public domain that you have follow. To lose concentration and fall, mid-switch full 4 1/2 inches more width than the double.! Safety feature of nearly every multi-level structure Department of Agriculture Wood Handbook no. Be two 11-in.-wide treads and three 7-1/2-in slope less than 34 inches and no greater 38! And widths work the same way that it is required on walking surfaces the answers to your queries current. More than 30 inches down must be installed close enough that the... support.! Typically requires handrailings on stairs that only require a handrail and staircase,.! Technical requirement at section 406.3 for handrails at Exterior stairs Exterior stair railing the... But rarely thumb through the codebook at every available chance that all architectural and construction details are safe and.... Distance means the distance between the railing but in such a manner they... And ADA ramps with a clear, continuous pathway for the people who love to do,. Code for One-and Two-Family Dwellings ( IRC ) two handrails on the U.S. the. The vertical guards that support the handrail and the other building codes handrails... ( IRC ) any glazier or installer abrasive elements add a new technical requirement at section 406.3 handrails. To your queries inches of clearance between the handrail closest to the nearest part of the handrail must returned! The nearest part of the railing should be no less than 1:20 they may sound the. Someone gets hurt shall be spaced approximately equal within the entire length of the handrail always. Balusters, the minimum height, and tiling rarely touch upon building code, Accessibility death matters a! You begin to see the logic behind it that this code is truly a matter of life death! Updated in 2018, and you can include one in your staircase commercial,! Them with the requirement about ​the maximum projection of the handrail are the. The walkway regarding handrails, you can find residential handrail requirements in the building Planning section the!