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McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes

What are the requirements for a mobile/manufactured home stairs?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

HUD requires stairs at each exit door from a mobile home, including sliding glass doors. But the minimum code requirements for the construction details of the stairs fall under the jurisdiction of the local building department. 

Minimum Specs For Building Mobile/Manufactured Home “Code Stairs”

    Each local code is slightly different, but here are some of the generally accepted standards for manufactured/mobile home stairs, per the International Residential Code (IRC):

  • Minimum three feet wide. If door is wider, the landing must be at least the width of door.
  • Landing at top of stairs minimum three feet deep.
  • There should be a railing on both sides of the stairs that is a minimum of 34” high, with pickets not more than 4” apart—a spacing that does not allow a small child’s head to get stuck between them.
  • There must be a handgrip on at least one side of the stairs. The handgrip must be small enough to easily wrap your hand around. If it is separate from the railing, then the ends must return back to the railing cap, wall, or end post so that it is not possible to snag a handbag or sleeve on the end and tumble down. Handgrips must be between 34” and 38” above the nosing (front edge) of the treads.
  • Minimum 10-inch tread (horizontal step surface)
  • Riser (vertical surface between treads) should not exceed seven and and three-quarters inches high, with not more than a quarter inch variation in height between risers. The first and last risers are where we typically see any change in riser height.

    Here’s an example of a local building department’s minimum requirements from Alachua County, Florida:

  1. Stairs are to be provided at all doorways.
  2. Stairs will have landings at least the width of the opening and 36” deep.
  3. Guard rails will be minimum 36” on all landings over 30” above grade.
  4. Balusters shall be spaced less than 4” apart.
  5. Hand rails will be between 34 and 38” in height measured from the leading edge of the treads. Hand rails will be graspable, nomore than 2” diameter, and stand off at least 1-1/2” from their support. Hand rails shall extend one tread depth past the bottom step. They shall return back to a post or terminate in a newel post.
  6. Minimum tread width is 36”.
  7. Minimum tread depth shall be 10” maximum riser height is 7-3/4”.
  8. Vertical openings between treads shall be less than 4”.

    Also, the stair structure should be freestanding and not bear on the mobile home or otherwise use it for support in any way. For more details, go to our blog post Do I need stairs at all exit doors from a mobile home?

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Want to learn more about inspecting
manufactured/mobile homes? 
Get our  Handbook for 
Manufactured Home Inspectors 
at for $19.95

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

 What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

When were the first double-wide mobile homes manufactured?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

Can you put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

How can I remove water under my mobile home?

What's the differences between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home? 

What is a D-sticker mobile home? 

What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?

How fireproof is a mobile home?  

How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

       Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES  page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

Stair design drawing - City of Core d’Alene, Idaho.

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