When adding a new staircase to a property, it’s extremely important you adhere to UK commercial and residential building regulations. Not doing so could result in your staircase being unsafe to use, which in turn can lead to expensive alterations or even legal trouble.
If you’re not sure on any of the regulations, it's always a good idea to consult a professional first.
For an overview of the regulations you need to follow, read on.
UK Building Regulations
- The maximum pitch for the staircase should be 42 degrees.
- If the staircase is over one metre wide, it must be fitted with a handrail on both sides. If it is under one metre wide, it must be fitted with a handrail on at least one side.
- There should be a minimum of 2000 mm of headroom throughout the staircase.
- Handrails and banisters must have a minimum height of 900 mm.
- Handrails should not have too large a space between them – a 100 mm sphere should not be able to pass through the gaps.
- Each flight of stairs should feature a landing at the top and bottom.
- If there are doors near the staircase, there needs to be a landing space of 400 mm separating the staircase from the opening arc of the door.
Each domestic stair should have a height of between 165 – 220 mm. The same height needs to be maintained throughout the staircase.
If there is a landing built into the staircase, the step leading to the landing can have a different depth to the others; however, it must still fall within the 220 – 300 mm range.
The run of each step (which is the section you step on) should be at least 220 mm deep.
For domestic staircases, there are no regulations for how long or short the flight of stairs should be. However, this should still be carefully considered in order to ensure a safe build.
According to Buildsafe, the average rise of a staircase is 2600 mm.
Designing Your Staircase
Although we’ve covered the key domestic regulations above, there are plenty more to consider. These include the regulations for public staircases – you can get a more in-depth explanation by reading through Approved Document K, which covers protection from falling, collision, and impact.
Legal requirements also change frequently, so it’s important to research current laws to make sure you’re up to date.
At Stairway Joinery, we have over 40 years’ experience in building staircases across Hampshire, Dorset, and Somerset – and we're always happy to help.