Currently the 2012 and 2015 IRC are the model codes most frequently adopted into law by most jurisdictions. Always check with your building safety department for local modifications. 


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2015 Visual Interpretations of IRC Stair Codes DIGITAL (FREE for Members)


Digital Download
Understanding technical stairbuilding concepts and important standards can sometimes be difficult without visual representations. For this reason, the SMA has published expertly designed graphic illustrations of a variety of stairway codes and regulations. In addition to other SMA stair code books, the visual interpretations manuals have provided outstanding utility to industry professionals, covering code requirements relating to categories like headroom, handrails, guards, measurements, and more. These guides are great to have on hand as vocational resources that can be referenced as needed. These visual publications are updated regularly so that stairbuilders and lay people alike can stay up to date on the latest codes and better understand industry requirements.
Drawings and Photos explain the technical terms and many significant changes in the stair building codes since 2000.
  • Headroom
  • Walkline location
  • Measuring carpeted stairs
  • The definition of “flight”
  • Measuring winder treads
  • Handrail height
  • Guard height determination

For digital download only.

NOTE:  The Stairbuilders and Manufacturers Association’s Visual Interpretation to the Stair Building Code of the International Residential Code is a FREE digital publication for SMA MEMBERS ONLY.  By downloading this VI, you agree that you will not distribute this document to persons outside of your immediate company or organization.  This is proprietary information, please treat it as such.  Thank you for protecting this SMA member benefit.