Stair Handrail ?

Old 01-27-05, 10:35 AM
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Stair Handrail ?

I need to know if a handrail is required for the following conditions:

An exterior detached deck with a stairway leading down from a flagstone patio (6 steps) basically just above grade (within 12"). This is in my back yard on a sloping site. The deck itself is 12" above grade at the uphill side and 72" above grade at the downhill side. Code compliant guardrails have been installed everyplace where the ground is more than 30" below the deck surface.

It seems to me that the stairway is essentially "on grade" and would be code exempt. IOW this is a walkway with steps. This is a single family home and the deck is totally separate from the house.
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Old 01-27-05, 04:14 PM
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Any stairs anywhere (inside/outside) need to have a hand rail period. I cant even get away here when there's only 1 step from deck surface to sidewalk, our inspectors want railing and handrail even though most general codes say you dont need a railing if less than 30" above grade and they usually go by the greatest distance when measuring.

If I'm understanding you correctly the stairs in question have 6 runners? PITA it may be/and eyesorish, even if only used once over the life of the deck, should somebody trip/fall it could save a life or serious injury. There's places to skimp, but this is not one of them.
Old 01-27-05, 05:18 PM
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Go to the Architechure and Codes forum and read what Doug posted. THAT is what 99% of the inspectors are going to require. It's the number of risers. 2 or more require a handrail.

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