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UK Staircase Regulations

Please find some notes from Approved Document K of the Building Regulations :

Stairs, Ramps and Guards gives provisions for stairways in the design and building of stairways which form part of the structure and guidance on the aspects of geometry and guarding of stairs.

Staircase regulations for England revised part k for 2013 STAIRCASE REGULATIONS FOR ENGLAND AND WALES 2010 EDITION REF PART K
New Updated 2013 Bulding Regulations Document K for England Building Regulations Document K 2010 Revision for England and Wales - Still Relevent for Wales
Building Regulations Park K for staircases 1998 edition Regulations for scotland section s
Building Regulations Document K for England and Wales 1998 Section S 1999 Staircase Building Standards for Scotland


Useful Reference Documents

BS585 Part 1 1989: Woodstairs 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 covers the design of straight stairs.
BS6180 1982: Code of practice for protective barriers in and about buildings.


Private stairs intended to be used for only one dwelling with a maximum rise of 220mm and a minimum going of 220mm. A maximum pitch of 42° is stipulated for domestic stairs.

Institutional and assembly stairs serving a place where a substantial number of people will gather, with a maximum rise of 150mm and a minimum going of 280mm.

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 the angle between the pitch line (notional line connecting nosings) and the horizontal. The maximum pitch for domestic stairs is 42°, semi-public stairs, eg factories, offices and common stairs serving more than one dwelling, 38° and public stairs, eg places of public assembly, 33°.

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.
The new Staircase regulations for England that have now come into effect from April 2013 makes the definitions for handrail heights much clearer - It clearly states that for Domestic Staircases (Single family dwellings ) the handrail height to the edges if internal floors needs to be at least 900mm.

It is also 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 Stairplan take no responsability for any staircases manufactured by any other staircase manufacturer or joiner.
For more detailed information on the current UK Building regulations on staircases use the link at the bottom of the page.

Here is a guide to pages out of The Building Regulations Document K.

Page 4 .This is a short introduction to Document K.
Page 5. This page is titled Guidance and covers topics titled Performance, Intoduction and Definitions.
Page 6. This page covers the Steepness of the Staircase with information on the Rise and Going, this page also notes on the construction of the steps in relation to the 100mm sphere rules.
Page 7. This page covers Headroom, Stair Widths and the total length a flight of stairs can go to.
Page 8 .This page refers to the areas required to be left when a doorway is near the staircase, and also provides information on the layout of Winder staircases.
Page 9. This page covers the Space Saver staircases otherwise known as Alternating Tread Staircases. Fixed ladders. also Handrails to staircases.
Page 10. This covers Ramps.
Page 11. K2 and K3 Health and Safety in repect of Guarding.
Page 12. Guarding to different areas.(handrail heights)
Page 13. 100mm Sphere Rule.

Official Website for the UK Building Regulations

Please note we cannot guarentee these to be the latest publication.

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