Stair construction building codes

There are many different building codes for stair construction, but they all have some things in common. These regulations mainly refer to safety, so it’s best to conform to them.

Treads, risers and nosing codes

The treads are the boards that you step on.

The risers are the support for the treads and they give the height of the stairs. The risers can be absent in case of suspended staircases. The nose is the edge of the step that overhangs the risers. This is called a back-slope, for a stir without a rise.

So the codes are meant to maintain a slope of no more than 35 degrees; the risers must all have the same height; the stair’s width must be of at least 44 inches if there are more than 50 people living in the building; for less than 50 people, the stairs can measure 36 inches in width; the depth of all treads must be of minimum 11 inches; the overhang must not be longer than 1 1/2 inches.

Handrails and guardrails codes

These are the barriers that prevent you from falling from the stairs. They are required in all commercial or public buildings, on both sides of the stair. The height of the rails needs to be of 34 to 38 inches. In commercial buildings, there must be multiple guardrails between the stairs and the main handrail. Also the space between the guardrails must not exceed 4 inches.


There are specifications for landings also. In commercial or public buildings, the length of the landing must be of at least 44 inches and it cannot be smaller than the width of the stairway. In small houses, than landing must be of at least 36 inches long. Another regulation concerns doors that open into the landing. They must not cover more than half of the landing in opening.

Having these regulations in mind you can keep your family members safe.

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