winding stair continuous handrail IRC311.5.6.2

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winding stair continuous handrail IRC311.5.6.2

Postby inspector senior" » Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:47 pm

I have a Question? on a winding stair can the handrail located on the inside radious be interrupted by newel posts located on the winding tread(s) or should the handrail be continuous the full length of the stairs.

IRC 311.5.6.2 exception #1 allows interruptions at turns. I understand this to mean that at a (landing) in which the stairs changes in direction a handrail could terminate at the newel post and start again at the next flight of stairs.

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Re: winding stair continuous handrail IRC311.5.6.2

Postby s thorp » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:27 pm

Long time, senior and you thought that burr under your saddle was gone!
I do not feel the handrail has to be continuous for the full length of winder stairs and feel that the exemption you quote is specifically geared toward winders.
My understanding on a winding stair (since MN 2003), which is basically always turning, that the handrail can terminate anywhere a newel post is placed. If installed to code, a set of winder stairs really don't have a specific turn, but a continuous turn as all of the treads would be the same within a 3/8" at the 12" walk line. Therefore, if I had newel posts on each tread...
My question to you: In your understanding is a flight of stairs broken by a landing? A continuous run of treads (a flight?) is stopped/started by a floor or a landing? Can I have 5 treads with 4" risers, a landing, then 5 treads with 7" risers, a landing, then 5 treads with 6" risers and so on up to the next floor or are all the treads part of the flight of stairs? So, if a landing is not part of a flight of stairs but creates a flight, winder stairs have a turn.
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