How Can You Tell Whether or Not a Stairway Meets Local Building Codes?

This is a difficult question to answer and to find it, you will need to do a little research. The first thing you should do is go to the stair building code section of this website and then check out the questions, in the question and answer section.

As a general rule of thumb, if the stairway looks relatively safe and is easy to walk up and down, without any general safety issues, then you shouldn't have a problem. Obviously this is the easy way out, but simply by applying a little common sense it should make sense.

Here are a few general building codes that are easy to check, however and I stress this point immensely, building codes vary from city to city and from county to county, so these might not be applicable in your area.

1. Private stairways shouldn't exceed 8 inches in individual stair riser height.

2. There is a minimum stair tread width that shouldn't be less than 9 inches.

3. Stairways should be protected by a guard rail no less than 42 inches in overall height, measuring from the tip of the stair tread nosing.

As a general rule of thumb for safety, stair parts should be firmly in place and if they are loose, then they should be repaired as soon as possible.

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