Everything You Need To Know About Staircases and UK Building Regulations

It’s important that building regulations are implemented in the UK simply so everyone has a standard to follow in the interest of the public’s health and safety and it’s important they are followed. If you do not carry out building regulations whilst carrying out work, then in future your probability is going to need to make some changes, as they will be enforced by a surveyor later down the line.

Like everything else there are rules and regulations when it comes to stairs and staircases and in this short blog we’re going to take a look, should you have any doubt about current or future projects you must consult a specialist.

Staircase Pitch and Rise

The most important regulation when building stairs is ensuring that each step is the same. The rise of the step is the vertical dimension from thread to thread and the going of the step is the edge to edge of the noise; this is the bit you place your foot onto going down the stairs.

UK stairs regulations for the rise and going are:

  • Rise: minimum 150 mm and maximum 220mm
  • Going: minimum 223mm and maximum 320mm


Although the pitch of the stairs is not supposed to exceed 42 degrees in steepness there may be special circumstances, usually at the discretion of the building regulations inspector.

Staircase Width Regulations

Although there are no regulations set out in stone for commercial staircases it’s usually considered a main staircase leading to a first floor with multiple rooms should be no less than 800mm. Loft conversion staircases are recommended to be 700-750mm. The width of the staircase case generally tends to depend on whatever suits your property but a handrail is still required and must be 2000mm to ensure safety of anyone coming and going. Keep in mind that there are some rules that apply when it comes to fire escapes and disabled access.

Staircase Headroom Regulations

Looking into headroom requirements there is only one regulation that must be followed by construction workers. This is simply that two meters about all areas of the stairs must be allowed including stairs and landings and this measurement must be taken from the pitch line of the stairs. If you’re carrying out work in spaces that have already been adapted then the building control officer may be a little less strict but this must be checked before any work is underway.

Staircase Handrail Regulations

All building regulations in the UK state that a handrail must be installed on any staircase simply because it’s a matter of health and safety and also help people with accessibility issues. If your stairs are less than one meter wide then a handrail must be installed on one side but stairs more than one meter wide must have a handrail installed on each side. The height of the handrail needs to be 900mm and 1000mm from the pitch line to the top of the hand rail.(the rail is not required for the bottom two steps of the staircase). The gap between spindles should be small enough so that a 100mm sphere cannot fit through this to prevent smaller children’s heads becoming stuck.

Staircase Landing Regulations

Landings are one of the most important features of any property and it’s important to bear in mind that regulations must be followed to keep up with standards. Regulations state that the width and length of any landing must be equal at least to the smallest width of the narrowest flight of the staircase. The area in which a door is opened in front of stairs and staircase must be 400mm when it’s open meaning when the door swings on its hinges it should be 400mm at its most open.

Regulations For Kind Winders

If your property or project features a kite winder staircase (a staircase with a bend in it) then there are regulations you must keep in mind. A kite winder staircase is usually made up of straight and winder threads, the winder threads must be equal or larger than the straight treads this ensures the curve is safe and the winder box should contain at least four steps ensuring the transfer is smooth.