Stairways Requiring Only One Hand Rail

Most building code books require a handrail on each side, with the exception of the items listed below. It is my general understanding that all stairs will need at least one handrail.

1. Total overall stairway width is 44 inches or less.

2. Stairs serve an individual dwelling.

3. Private stairs are less than 30 inches in overall height.

In the picture above, the entry stairway has more than four risers, the stair landing is lower than 30 inches from the ground, serves an individual dwelling and the total stairway width doesn't exceed 44 inches and only requires one handrail.

The building codes do not specify which side of the stairway to place the individual handrail. That's a choice that you get to make on your own.

Attention: Don't forget to check with your local building department to verify any building codes on this website. This information could be incorrect or outdated.

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