How Many Exterior Steps Can You Have Without A Handrail?


The building code does not refer to the number of “steps” but it does require a handrail when there are two or more “risers”. For clarification, a “riser” is the vertical portion of a stair. The “tread” is the top of a step. A two riser minimum would translate to two steps.


The maximum number of steps that can exist without a handrail is two. This is defined in building code as two risers, or two steps. However, if you are building a staircase for someone who may need some additional support, you might want to be extra cautious and install a handrail for safety, regardless of how many steps.

EASY GARAGE STAIRS HANDRAIL DIY: How to Build and Install Handrail to CODE!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many exterior steps require a handrail in Australia?

The Building Code of Australia states that stairs must have at least one handrail, unless there is a fixed structure (such as a solid wall) within 100mm of the stairway. If the stairs are wider than 1 metre, there must be a handrail or fixed structure on both sides. How many exterior steps require a handrail?

Why are there no handrails on my Stairs?

This stair is missing both handrailings and a stair rail or stair guard along the stair open side. To make it possible to move large furniture or other objects between floors someone has removed the handrail and balusters that were originally installed on the open side of this stairway.

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