A tailor made staircase is the structural masterpiece of a property or commercial space. The perfect design solution should incorporate all the elements of style, practicality and safety. A staircase design should not only look aesthetically pleasing but also be safe to use – that’s why it’s imperative your staircase complies with current building regulations.
Designing and building a unique staircase can be tough and the current UK building regulations can make this task even more challenging. Whether you’re replacing an existing staircase or incorporating an entirely new design into a property, it’s important to consider the following regulations.
Staircase regulations are generally covered by one or more of the following documents:
- Access to and use of buildings: Approved Document M https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-and-use-of-buildings-approved-document-m
- Protection from falling, collision and impact: Approved Document K: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-from-falling-collision-and-impact-approved-document-k
- Code of practice for the design of stairs for limited access: BS5395 Part 2. Code of practice for the design of helical and spiral stairs: https://landingpage.bsigroup.com/LandingPage/Series?UPI=BS%205395v
No matter what staircase design you prefer, you must ensure they comply with the current building regulations outlined in the government publications highlighted above. Given the safety implications of a new structure it’s important to follow these regulations as a legal requirement.
- Firstly, you need to start by measuring the total rise (to help determine what size your staircase needs to be) these are measurements from the finished floor below to the finished floor level above.
When thinking about your staircase design solution you need to be aware of the following:
- The rise needs to fall between 150mm and 220mm (domestic) or 150mm and 170mm (commercial)
- The maximum angle of a domestic stair should be no more than 42° and commercial stairs no than 34°
- The going between nosing to nosing must fall between 220mm and 300mm (domestic) or 250mm and 400mm (commercial) Spiral and helical stairs differ from these values
- Handrails on stairs and landings should have a minimum height of 900mm
- A minimum of 2,000mm of clear headroom is required vertical above the pitch line
Maximum width & length of staircases
- There is no maximum width of commercial staircases but they must be split into sections no wider than 2000mm, including adding an extra handrail, newel and spindles to divide up the staircase
- For residential properties there are no restrictions for the length of a flight; however anything above 36 risers needs to have a 30° change of direction. Spiral and helical staircases are limited to 22 risers, but 16 is recommended.
*Please note that England, Wales & Ireland share the same legislation and Scotland has its very own guidelines.
These are just some of the minimum requirements highlighted by Government Approved Documents for building regulations, for more detailed information on staircase regulations please contact the technical sales team or call 0115 986 6321.
We’re proud of our engineering capabilities at Canal Architectural. All of our staircases and architectural work is manufactured to the highest quality technical standards. Our dedicated team are extremely knowledgeable in all health and safety requirements, we work closely with you to ensure all our elegantly designed staircases are both safe and functional.