When is a railing required at stairs?
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Although most people think of stairs as a long run of steps for getting from one floor of a home to another, the International Residential Code (IRC) and the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC) define a stair as “a change in elevation consisting of one or more risers.” A riser is the vertical surface of a stair and a tread is the horizontal surface, so one step up or down is considered a stair. But the requirement for a railing at stairs does not kick in until the stair has four or more risers.
The installation of a railing, and the secondary standards for the details of its construction, are usually done correctly inside a house. But they are often ignored at short exterior stairs that have four or more risers. The example shown below at a front porch has a basic railing, but not the required handgrip and pickets. See our blog post What do home inspectors check when inspecting stairs? to learn more.
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about STAIRS:
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