Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association Visual Interpretation.


The Visual Interpretation of the Stairbuilding Code simplifies the complex code stairbuilding language with clear illustrations.

Visual Interpretation to the Stair Building Code.

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2021 - VI to the International Residential Code

2021 IRC Updates Include:

  1. Handrail extensions at landings: Further clarification was added regarding handrail extensions at landings, ensuring continuity and safety throughout the stairway.
  2. Details on handrail fittings: Specific details and guidelines on handrail fittings were added to ensure compliance with safety standards.
  3. Non-rectangular tread shapes: Guidelines were updated to address non-rectangular tread shapes, providing specifics on allowable shapes while maintaining safety standards.
2018 - VI to the International Residential Code

2018 IRC Updates Include:

  1. Clarifications on handrail shapes: Emphasis was placed on the graspability of handrails, specifying various shapes and dimensions to ensure they are easily gripped.
  2. Requirements for intermediate landings: Clarity was provided regarding intermediate landings and their necessity in longer stair runs to enhance safety and usability.
2015 - VI to the International Residential Code

2015 IRC Updates Include:

  1. Handrail extensions: The requirement for handrail extensions beyond the top and bottom risers was reinforced for additional safety, extending horizontally at the top and bottom of stairs.
  2. Guards for open sides: Clarifications were made regarding guards (protective barriers) for open sides of stairs, ensuring proper safety measures.
  3. Handrail graspability: Changes were made to the shape and graspability of handrails, emphasizing the need for ease of gripping.
2012 - VI to the International Residential Code

2012 IRC Updates Include:

  1. Handrail height: Required handrails on stairs were mandated to be installed at a minimum height of 34 inches to a maximum height of 38 inches measured vertically from the nose of the stair treads.
  2. Maximum riser height and minimum tread depth: The maximum riser height allowed was 7 3/4 inches, while the minimum tread depth was set at 10 inches, ensuring safer and more comfortable stair design.
  3. Handrail continuity: Handrails were required to be continuous for the full length of the flight of stairs, including landings.
  4. Nosing projection: The IRC regulated the projection of stair tread nosings to not exceed 1 1/4 inches past the tread below.