Latest News and Articles From the A & T Carpentry BlogUk Staircase Building Regulations
Every new staircase renovation and installation within a property has to adhere to the UK current building and safety regulations. Not doing so is very likely to end with changes being enforced alongside any associated costs. If you have any questions or doubts about the regulations you must always consult with a qualified building inspector. These are contactable through you local council.
In this months post we will outline the building regulations that apply to staircases.
UK Building Regulations in Domestic Homes
We will delve into staircase dimensions and steepness, the required headroom space, stair winder restrictions, landing regulations, handrail specifications, and staircase pitch. To ensure your staircase complies with the governments Building Regulations (Part K: Protection from falling, collision and impact), all projects have to be designed, constructed and installed safely. The regulations state that all staircase steps should be level. In addition, other than in domestic properties, you should use solid risers, not open risers, as they remove the possibility of a ‘foot or walking aid being caught beneath a tread.’
The Construction of the Steps
Steps must be level and in a domestic property, nosing overlaps must be at least 16mm. All steps must have the same rise. However, if there is a flat landing between flights theses staircases can have different rises and goings. A & T Carpentry don’t design their staircases this way as it can pose a risk of tripping or falling. A minimum rise or maximum going are not specified within the regulations, however they do state that the rise multiplied by 2, plus the going should be between 550mm and 700mm (Rise x 2 + Going = 550-700mm).
Staircase Steepness or Pitch Regulations
The maximum pitch or steepness of a staircase is 42 degrees.
Minimum Staircase Width
There are no recommendations as to the minimum width of a staircase, but we would recommend no narrower than 860mm. The maximum width of a staircase is 1800mm. To overcome this you should add an extra handrail, newel and spindles to divide it. If stairs are more than 1000mm wide it must have handrails on either side.
The Length of A Staircase
For residential properties the lenghth of the staircase has no restrictions as long as it does not exceed 36 risers. Above 36 risers there must be a change of direction of at least 30 degrees.
Staircase Landing Regulations
- Landings must be provided at the top and bottom of every flight of stairs.
- The landing distance in front of the top and bottom step must be longer than the width of the staircase.
- No door should swing closer than 400mm onto the front of any step.
- All landings should be level other than the ground floor level which can have a gradient but not exceeding 1:20/2.86°/5%.
Staircase Winder Regulations
For the greater majority of staircases the building regs state that the centre of the winder tread depth (A in the diagram) must be equal to or larger than the depth of the going on the straight flight (B in the diagram).
Handrail and Balustrade Regulations
If staircasses are less than 1 metre wide they must have at least one handrail. If wider than this they must have 2. THe bottom 2 steps do not need to have a handrail. The height of the rail should be between 900mm and 1000mm and is measured from the top of the handrail to the pitch line.
Spindle Spacing for Stairs and Landings
The regulations say that a 100mm sphere should not be able to pass through any openenings between spindles or gaps in the handrails or glass panels. This is to prevent young children from getting their head stuck in any holes.
Headroom Building Requirements
Headroom of at least 2m is needed at all points on and off the staircase as you travel up and down it.
Due to the nature of staircases being such a large structure safety is paramount. If you have any questions about the safety of your existing staircase or queries about the UK building regulations in relation to stairs then please contact A & T Carpentry. They will be only to happy to advise on your own project.
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A & T Carpentry would love to hear about your project. Why not tell them about your new staircase installation or renovation plans. They are always on hand to offer free friendly advice and a competitive quotation.