Guidance on Stairways, Handrails & Guardrails?

RAILING, STEPS, AND LANDING REQUIREMENTS FOR 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLINGS AND COMMERCIAL PER 780 CMR 9TH EDITION.

780 CMR R 312 - Guardrails 

Guardrails are required for anything over 30 inches high. 

Guardrails need to be at least 36 inches high 

Spacing between balusters - Cannot allow an object 4 inches or more in diameter to pass through. (780 CMR R 312.1.3) 

Handrail Grip Size - Cross section with outside diameter of at least 1 1/4 inches and not more than 2 inches. (780 CMR R 311.7.8.3) 

STAIRWAYS/STEPS FOR 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLING

Stairways shall not be less than 36 inches in clear width. (780 CMR R 311.7.1) 

780 CMR R 311.7.5.1 & R 311.7.5.2: 

Maximum riser height shall be 8 1/4 inches. 

Minimum tread depth shall be 9 inches 

 

780 CMR R 311.3: 

Landings - Interior Landing – 36 inches x 36 inches 

Exterior Landings – 36 inches wide by 42 inches deep 

 

The floor area or landing shall not be more than 1 1/2 inches lower than the top of the threshold on the interior side nor more than 8 1/4 inches lower than the threshold on the exterior side. 

STAIRS FOR OTHER THAN 1 & 2 FAMILY DWELLINGS IN A THREE OR MORE DWELLING UNIT AND COMMERCIAL STAIRS (EXCLUDING FIRE ESCAPES) 

Maximum riser height shall be 7 inches – Minimum 4 inches 

Minimum Tread depth shall be 11 inches 

STAIRS: See 780 CMR 1011

GUARDRAILS: See 780 CMR 1015

HANDRAILS: See 780 CMR 1014

Show All Answers

1. What are the zoning setbacks for a pool (above ground pool, shed, etc.)? Do I need a fence around the pool?
2. Do I need a permit for a fence? What requirements apply?
3. What is a plot plan? Where can I get a plot plan? Where is the Registry of Deeds?
4. If my property is listed in the Ballardvale Historic District or on the Mass Historic Register, how does that affect my Building Permit application?
5. Can you tell me if this lot is "buildable"? What is a “hundred-percent-upland” rule?
6. Can I do my own electrical work as the homeowner?
7. Do I need to get a permit for small jobs?
8. Do I need an electrical permit for an above-ground pool?
9. Why can’t I do plumbing and gas fitting work as the homeowner?
10. Why do I need permits?
11. Guidance on Stairways, Handrails & Guardrails?
12. How to determine the maxium number of occupants?
13. What are the swimming pool barrier & enclosure requirements?
14. How to close out permits?