Stair Design Guide 03 – Regulations

Stair Design Building Regulation Requirements (Private Dwellings) England


The following notes refer to the English Building Regulation Requirements for designing a stair in a private dwelling from Approved Document Part K. Please refer to Approved Document Part B for recommendations and guidance for Fire Safety in stair design.

Rise and Going:

01 Rise and Going
The rise of a stair must been between 150mm and 220mm, with any going between 220mm and 300mm and a maximum pitch of 42 degrees.
Rule of thumb:  twice the rise plus the going or/ 2R + G should be between 550mm and 700mm
Steps may have open risers if the treads have an overlap of minimum 16mm, a 100mm diameter sphere cannot pass through the open riser.


Minimum headroom should be provided according to image below.
Where there is reduced headroom for loft conversions – a reduced headroom can be provided according to the image below.

Width of Stairs

There are no specific requirements for the width of a stair to a private dwelling, however we recommend 900mm.

Length of flights of stairs

If a stair has more than 36 risers in a consecutive flight, a minimum of one change of direction between flight will be required. The change of direction must be a minimum of 30 degrees.


Landings must be level, and kept clear of all obstructions.
A landing must be provided at the top and bottom of every flight of stairs.
The landing distance in front of the top and bottom step must be longer than the width of the staircase.
A door may swing across a landing at the bottom of a flight of stairs but only as shown in the image below.

Tapered treads

If a stair consists of straight and tapered treads – ensure that  the going of the tapered treads is not less than the going of the straight treads.
Refer to the diagrams below.


The top of a handrail must be 900mm to 1100mm from the pitch line or floor.
If the stairs are 1000mm or wider, provide a handrail on both sides of the stair.

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All images courtesy of Building Regulations Approved Document Part K

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