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  1. #1
    Joan Stobie's Avatar
    Joan Stobie Guest

    Default stairs and handrail codes

    We just bought a home in WV and are remodeling it., I'm unsure of codes for WV regarding stairs and hand rails. When I try to google it it keeps bringing me to Virginia codes and regulations. Here's my problem. We opened up the wall from the living room to the staircase to thedinign/ kitchen area., The stairway was only closed on the living room side. It only had one hand rail which you can see in the pic., I'd like to get rid of it all together....We like the open flow. If we do have to put one up we want to put up the least obtrusive visually. I don't know what the codes are. I appreciate anyones help and suggetions in this area.
    I posted

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    5,847

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan Stobie View Post
    We just bought a home in WV and are remodeling it., I'm unsure of codes for WV regarding stairs and hand rails. When I try to google it it keeps bringing me to Virginia codes and regulations. Here's my problem. We opened up the wall from the living room to the staircase to thedinign/ kitchen area., The stairway was only closed on the living room side. It only had one hand rail which you can see in the pic., I'd like to get rid of it all together....We like the open flow. If we do have to put one up we want to put up the least obtrusive visually. I don't know what the codes are. I appreciate anyones help and suggetions in this area.
    I posted
    It should have a continuous handrail from top to bottom. You will also need a guardrail with balusters that are properly sized (no more than 4" between them) along both sides of the open section of the stairs. This is pretty standard across the country as a minimal safety requirement.

    As far a your local codes go you need to contact your local building codes department if you have one.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Joan Stobie's Avatar
    Joan Stobie Guest

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    I was hoping IF we were required to have a hand rain that we could maybe just have a modern metal one....I really don't want balusters or spindels. It's only the last 4 steps.....do we really need balusters or could we put up a contemporary metal one that just runs like the current hand rail and continues and takes an rounded right angle dive down to the last step...Do you know what I mean? If I can't just do just one run of metal, could I do parellel running metal ....not sure how to describe it.,..I've seen it more on outdoor ralings for decks....Do you know what I mean? I don't know how far apart those would have to be spaced. It's only the last 4 steps... I'm trying to find out the local codes but we live in a small town and haven't found out much yet.


  4. #4
    Joan Stobie's Avatar
    Joan Stobie Guest

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    A horizontal tube stair rail system....I guess that's what I mean...but I don't know how far apart the horizontal rails would have to be.
    Or maybe a cable system. I've never seen one of those used indoors or know if they can be.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    It should have a continuous handrail from top to bottom. You will also need a guardrail with balusters that are properly sized (no more than 4" between them) along both sides of the open section of the stairs. This is pretty standard across the country as a minimal safety requirement.

    As far a your local codes go you need to contact your local building codes department if you have one.
    Had to correct my canned comments the other day regarding distance between balusters. It's 4 3/8" for the rails on the stairs and 4" for the rail at a landing or "walking surface". Personally, I wish it was all the same dimensions regardless where the rail is located.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    You definitely need a hand rail on one side of the steps. If that's below 30" to where the wall starts, you may not need any balusters. At least, that's the way I'm reading the stair codes.

    They seem pretty steep anyhow. Are they even in compliance with the current max height?

    This PDF has some good information that should help.

    http://www.precisionstairsystems.com...copy_1__1_.pdf

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    Very tall steps. Is it just you and the wife or is there kids or elderly? The reason I ask is that the height or rise to each step looks a lot greater than any step one normally sees or it could just be the photo.

    As far as code goes it has to be built to code for your inspection. Even if it is just temporary that looks permanent. No, I did not just say that. Basically it is your home. Build it to specs and do what ever later and no, I did not just say that.

    It is a safety thing, even if it is just you and no elderly or children

    Personally I like these stairs but Mr building inspectors does not

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  8. #8
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: stairs and handrail codes

    Or these

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