Currently the 2015 and 2018 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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2018 Visual Interpretations of IRC Stair Codes BOOK (Non-Member)


Understanding technical stair building concepts and important standards can sometimes be difficult without visual representations. For this reason, the SMA has published expertly designed graphic illustrations of the 2018 International Residential Code. In addition to other SMA publications, the visual interpretations have provided outstanding utility to industry professionals, covering code requirements relating to headroom, handrails, guards, measurements, and more. These guides are great to have on hand to be readily referenced as needed.  Builders, regulators, stairbuilders and lay people alike can stay up-to-date on the latest editions of the International Residential Codes for stairs and better understand how they will apply to their project.

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

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