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handrail code

Check These Handrail Code Of 2020 Before Building A Staircase 

Are you thinking of remodeling your old staircase? It is a great and fun project for the people who love to do DIYs. But do you know that you have to follow specific building rules while building a stair or house? 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. Today we’re answering the fundamental questions regarding the guidelines of the handrail and staircase. 

Stair Railing Guidelines

The International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) provides the staircase railings codes and guidelines in the United States. They provide the guidelines for local code authorities to follow at their discretion. It is necessary to check the local building code while constructing anything. 

Like the other building codes, it also includes Staircase railing and guard construction guidelines for both new homes and remodeled homes. Make sure that some stair railing code works in conjunction with other sections of the stair code. 

 handrail code

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1. How much should be the Stair Handrail Height?

Handrail height is the distance between handrails and the stairs. The height of the handrail should always be between 34 to 38 inches. 

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. 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.

handrail code

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2. What Should be the Maximum Projection of Railing From the Wall?

The next thing after the height of the railing is the projection of the railing from the wall. It describes how far the railing should be placed on the wall. 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.

Railings that have higher estimates than this will create a blocked path and also crowd the walkway. This is even more difficult when there is a railing on the other side of the stairs, which limits the walking space.

handrail code

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3. What should be the Minimum Hand Clearance from the wall?

In simple words, hand clearance is the distance between the railing and the wall. This is the area where your hand goes while climbing the stairs. You should provide at least 1 1/2 inch clearance between the railing and the wall.

To do this, you can purchase the code-compliant handrail brackets. It will help you to get the perfect distance of the rail from the wall. Place them with the entire length of the railing but in such a manner that they’ll not interfere with the hand movement.

 stair railing height

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4. What should be the Minimum Distance between the two railings?

Distance between the railings is the walking area between the two handrails on the same staircase. When your staircase has two railings, they must be at least 27 inches apart. To measure this distance, use the inside surfaces of both handrails. 

This area provides a person enough space for walking or carrying items up or down the stairs. Always build this area with the maximum projection of railing from the wall in your mind. Because it requires both things. Want to know how to build exterior deck stairs? To read our blog on that, click on the link.

 stair railing height

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5. What is the Minimum Railing Distance?

The distance between the handrail on one wall and the other wall that has no handrail is known as the Minimum Railing Distance. 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. 

One railing will give you more walking space as compared to the two railings, right? A single railing will provide around 4 1/2 inches more width than the double railings.

handrail code

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6. What should be the Height of the Guard Railing?

Guards are the rails that are used to protect people from falling off from the high areas. They can be the in-between horizontal sections within a staircase or terminal sections at the top or bottom of a staircase.

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.

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. 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? But if you still want safety, you can include one in your staircase. 

So these are all the questions and doubts that people may have while building a staircase. I hope you got all the answers to your queries. For more interesting DIYs and fun projects, keep coming to Housedecorationtip