View Full Version : Another handrail question

Eric Shuman
04-28-2007, 12:37 PM
Here is another scenario. I know that the handrails are required at flights, but what about this landing. As you can see in the photo, the landing is stepped. As it is stepped, would this be consisered a continuous flight from top to bottom or two landings between flights, or two winders. Any ideas?


Jerry Peck
04-28-2007, 01:39 PM
Excellent question ( ... meaning I had to look it up and figure it out because I did not know the answer in my head ... :) ).

From the IRC. (underlining and bold are mine)
- R311.5.6 Handrails.Handrails shall be provided on at least

one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four
or more risers.

A flight of stairs is a continuous run of treads and risers, so that's a bit of redundancy there.

Thus, if there is a flight of stairs which has four or more risers, which could be three treads and two landings (one landing at each end of the flight) as that makes four risers, there needs to be a handrail.

Your photo shows three flights of stairs, the lower flight, the upper flight and the center flight (one stair) between the two intermediate landings.

The lower flight has more than 4 risers, so it needs a handrail.

The upper flight has more than 4 risers, so it needs a handrail.

The center flight has 2 risers, so it does not need a handrail.

Now, if those two landings were winders instead of landings, then there would be one continuous flight of stairs, and the handrail would need to be continuous from top to bottom.

Again, though, those brackets, and that fancy spamancy plate around the support brackets are not acceptable.

How much overhang is there on the cap on that center wall? More than 4-1/2"?

Weird base treatment at those landings.

The space between the upper handrail and the wall looks correct, the space between the lower handrail and the wall looks like it makes the handrail project out too far from the wall (more than 4-1/2").

Jerry McCarthy
04-28-2007, 04:27 PM
FWIW the west coast Jerry concurs with the east coast Jerry, however, I went to my Oxford American Dictionary for the definition of "spamacy" with no luck, so JP, what mean?

Jerry Peck
04-28-2007, 07:24 PM
I went to my Oxford American Dictionary for the definition of "spamacy" with no luck, so JP, what mean?

I probly spelt it rung.

Try "fancy spancy".

Richard Rushing
04-28-2007, 08:09 PM
That's how the folks at Kilo-Bravo build'em.


Tim Moreira
04-28-2007, 09:25 PM
Jerry M,

Try "fancy spancy".

Try *smancy*

It's a Florida thing ;)

Eric Shuman
04-29-2007, 07:59 AM
Both Jerrys,

Thanks for the input and the concurrence!

I think the reasoning behind the reply is very sound.


We say fancy-smancy here too. At least that's the way I always hear it. The builder will probaly understand perfectly when I write "Those fancy-smancy plates behind your support brackets at the stairway ain't gonna cut the mustard." in my report. :)


Jerry Peck
04-29-2007, 03:27 PM
I guess the version I grew up with was a combination of "smancy" and "spancy", i.e., "spamancy" (or 'spamncy'?).

Anyway, I'm not married to it, so whatever you guys go with is fine with me, 'caus Iys ain't no fancy-smancy-whatever typ peeple'.