Stair & Staircase Regulations

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The most important dimension you need to provide to Pear Stairs prior to designing your staircase is the finished floor to finished floor measurement, we will then provide you with all the drawings you need once you have agreed to purchase your new staircase. Pear Stairs will check your stair and staircase building regulations ensuring  you don’t fall foul of any regulations. To assist you with your design ideas, budget calculation and any regulations, why not use our simple step-by-step 3D Stair Creator tool, our team of designers will provide accurate drawings and costings, and of course advice upon receipt of your concept design.

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If you want to be involved in the building regulations then read on:

Building Regulations Steepness of Stairs

ALL steps must have the same rise. You cannot have, for example, 200mm for the first three risers and 205mm for the remainder.

Steps Explained (Staircase Building Regualtions)

However if there is a flat landing between a staircase it can be interpreted that you can have a different rise and going on the bottom flight to the top. Pear Stairs do not recommend this practice. It is not considered excellent practice.

Categories under the Staircase Building Regulations

The staircase building regulations consider three categories.

Private Staircase- for a domestic property.

Utility - are for serving a place where a substantial number of people will gather.(Public Staircase).

General Access- are defined as offices, disabled, factories and common stairsserving morethan one dwelling. (Semi Public Staircase).

The Rise And Going

The most important regulation regarding domestic staircases is that:

1. Maximum rise of staircase 220mm.
    Minimum going of staircase 220mm.

Staircase Going (Staircase Building Regualtions)

Private Staircase (Domestic) Max Rise = 220mm, min going 220mm.

Utility (Public)  Max Rise = 190mm, min going 250mm.

General Access (Semi Public) Max Rise =170mm, min going 250mm.

2. The maximum pitch of a domestic property is 42°

Private Staircase(Domestic) = 42° Maximum.

Utility  (Public) = 33° Maximum.

General Access (Semi Public) = 38° Maximum.


3. Please Note - that your stair tread cannot be too long or the riser too short because building regulations also state:

Twice the rise plus the going (2R+G) should be between 550mm and 700mm. 

Construction of Steps

Building regulations stipulate that staircase steps should be level. Nosings should be at least 16mm.

Nosing (Staircase Building Regulations)

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Open Risers

All stairs which have open risers should be constructed so that a 100mm sphere cannot pass through.

Open Risers distance (Staircase Building Regulations)

This regulation has been stipulated by the government in order that children’s heads cannot get stuck in any opening. 

Head Room

A headroom of 2m is required at all points on and off a staircase and as you pass down a staircase.

Pitch Line (Staircase Building Regulations)

Headroom for Loft Conversions

For loft conversions the headroom will pass the building regulations if the centre of the stair width is 1.9m reducing to 1.8m at the side of the stair.

Headroom (Staircase Building Regulations)

Please Note - Where there are real difficulties in the height some building control officers will allow you to build a newel out from the wall to meet the regulations. This does make the staircase narrower but this may be the only option.

Headroom2 (Staircase Building Regulations)

Minimum Width of Staircase

There are no recommendations as to the width of a staircase - Yes Really!

There are rules for direct fire escapes and disabled access and you will have to consult Part M of the building regulations Building Regulations Part M and talk to your building control officer who can interpret these rules differently.

However Pear Stairs recommend: To make a staircase visually pleasing and comfortable we would recommend that you don’t try to have a staircase narrower than 860mm overall string.

String to String Explained (Staircase Building Regulations)

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Maximum Width of Staircase

The maximum width of a public staircase is 1800mm. However this is easily overcome by putting an additional handrail, newel and spindles in the staircase.

Staircase Width (Staircase Building Regulations)


1. Landings must be provided at the top and bottom of every stairs.
2. The landing distance in front of the top and bottom step must be wider than the width of the staircase.
3. No door should swing closer than 400mm on to the front of any step.
4. All landings should be level other than the ground floor level which can have a gradient but not exceeding 1:20.

Landings 1 (Staircase Building Regulations)

Landings Next To Doors

Landings 2 (Staircase Building Regulations)

Length of Staircase

For domestic properties there are no restrictions as to the length of a flight up to 36 risers.

For public buildings such as a shop for assembly purposes then the number of risers are restricted to 16. Above 36 risers there should be a change of direction of at least 30°. 

Stairs That Turn Direction

Winder Staircase (Staircase Building Regulations)

Winder Box

Staircase Winder 2 (Staircase Building Regulations)

For most staircases the building regulations require the centre of the staircase dimension “A” above must be equal length and also be the same or bigger than the dimension asthe going on the straight flight of the staircase “B”. If the staircase is wider than 1000mm then seek Pear Stairs help. 

Space Saver Staircases (Alternating tread stairs)

These are staircases that break the rule of “a maximum pitch of 42°”

Space Saver Section (Staircase Building Regulations)

The use of these staircases are quite often interpreted differently by different building Inspectors, they do not like their use. The building regulation rules state that they can be used to a single room only if there is no other alternative.

Space Saver Staircases (Staircase Building Regulations)

The maximum rise is 220mm and minimum going is 220mm. 

Handrails for staircases

Stairs should have a handrail on at least one side if they are less than 1m wide. They should have a handrail on both sides if they are wider. You do not need a handrail on the first two steps up.

Staircase Handrails 1 (Staircase Building Regulations)

In all the buildings handrail height should be between 900mm and 1000mm measured to the top of the handrail to the pitch line.

Staircase Handrails 2 (Staircase Building Regulations)

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A 100mm sphere cannot pass through any openings.

Staircase Building Regulations are covered by further regulations parts M1 and M2.

Building inspectors are now asking for no nosings on staircases for offices or with disabled access. (Pear Stairs have been making more of these this last year).

Further Staircase Building Regulations (Staircase Building Regulations)

They are also asking for no open risers for offices.

The rise should be between 150mm and 170mm and going between 250mm and 450mm. Some building inspectors are avoiding any steps into a building and are insisting on ramps. Please check with building inspector.

Pears Stairs are able to assist you with any staircase regulation questions you have, please don't hesitate to contact us we are a very friendly company. Phone Pear Stairs on 01938 553311.

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