Staircase regulations

BS585 Part 1 1989: Wood stairs covers specifications for stairs with closed risers for domestic use, including straight and winder flights and quarter or half landings. Appendix A of this standard also details the recommendations for the site fixing of stairs. BS5395 Part 1 1977: Stairs, Ladders and Walkways cover’s the design of straight stairs. BS6180 1982: Code of practice for protective barriers in and about buildings.


Rise and going

For private stairs intended to be used for only one dwelling the staircase must have a maximum rise of 220mm and a minimum going of 220mm. Institutional and assembly stairs serving a place where a substantial number of people will gather, a maximum rise of 150mm and a minimum going of 280mm is stipulated.


Other stairs covers all other types of buildings, with a maximum rise of 190mm and a minimum going of 250mm.


The normal relationship between the dimensions of the rise and going can be expressed as detailed in Approved Document K, which states that twice the rise plus the going (2R+G) should be between 550mm and 700mm.


Pitch line

The maximum pitch for domestic stairs is 42°. For semi-public stairs, factories, offices and common stairs serving more than one dwelling the maximum pitch is 38°. For public stairs or places of public assembly, the maximum pitch is 33°.


Handrail Height

Height of handrails Approved Document K states that flights should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than one metre wide and on both sides if they are wider than one metre. There is no need for handrails beside the bottom two steps of a stairway. Minimum domestic handrail heights of 900mm for both stairs and landings, public handrail heights should be a minimum of 900mm on stairs and 1100mm on landings.


Spacing of spindles

It is a Building Regulations requirement that no openings in any balustrading should allow the passage of a 100mm sphere.


Please note this is not a full representation of the building regulations on staircases and H Brettell & Sons Ltd accepts no responsibility for any staircases manufactured by any other staircase manufacturer or joiner.