When Are Railings Required On Exterior Stairs?

Answer:

Minimum Deck Heights Exterior stair railing code maintains that if your deck’s stairs have fewer than two risers, a rail is not mandatory. On a related note, your deck must have guardrails or similar if it exceeds a height of 30 inches from the ground.

Answer:

A railing is needed for any steps that rise above 1 metre in height from the bottom of the stairway. In some cases, railing may be required for all steps. Is a handrail required for 3 steps? A stairway of three steps may or may not need a handrail.


Railings and the 2018 IRC


how to measure stairs for a railing


AC 021 – Stair ADA and IBC requirements


Frequently Asked Questions

How many steps until you need a railing?

Do I need stair railing? If your home has three or fewer steps, there's no need to install a handrail. However, homes having four or more stairs must have a rail mounted on at least one side if the stairway is less than 44 inches wide. If one edge of the stairwell is open, that's where the handrail must be.

How many steps can you have without a handrail?

Building Codes 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.

How tall does a deck have to be to have a railing?

Exterior stair railing code maintains that if your deck's stairs have fewer than two risers, a rail is not mandatory. On a related note, your deck must have guardrails or similar if it exceeds a height of 30 inches from the ground.

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