Is It A Law To Have A Railing For Basement Stairs? - Carpentry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Carpentry


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-26-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

is it a law to have a railing for basement stairs?

i am purchasing a home and there is a stair going o the basement. there's a wall on the left and no railing on the right, it's open. asise from safety reasons, is a handrail required by new york state law?


suzannefoxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,661
Rewards Points: 2,212

Call the building inspector office and ask.


mae-ling is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to mae-ling For This Useful Post:
cutncrown (07-26-2012)
Old 07-26-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
the Musigician
DangerMouse's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: I'm right here!
Posts: 10,404
Rewards Points: 2,000

I believe a handrail would be required regardless of what state you're in.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Click here to see some of my original magic tricks and trick boxes!
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
Mold!! Let's kill it!
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,849
Rewards Points: 2,012

It would depend on whether it was "code required" at the time of construction.
Maintenance 6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
Bill Kearney
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 2,003
Rewards Points: 1,174

Law? No law is going to require you have one. The building code would likely stipulate you'd have to install one during the construction. It's possible rental laws might have something to say about it, but only if it was being rented out. But as far as selling or buying it, that's up to you as whether you want a railing there.

You could certainly ask that one being installed as a condition for purchase. Just as they'd be free to tell you no and sell it to someone else.

That said, it's usually a good idea to have one for safety's sake.
wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 452
Rewards Points: 250

RCNYS section R315 requires stairways having two or more risers to have at least one handrail, at a
height of between 34 and 38 inches above the nosing. There must be a clearance of at least 1 inches
behind wall mounted handrails. Handrails must be continuous from a point above the top riser to a point
above the lowest riser of each flight of stairs. This would allow a newel post to be attached to the face of
the bottom riser, with half of its base resting on the bottom tread. Exceptions to R315.1 involving newel
posts are contained in the original ICC version of the code and have been issued as a clarification to the
RCNYS and are effective as follows: My google works better then yours...
CopperClad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
Bill Kearney
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 2,003
Rewards Points: 1,174

Right, code says you've got to have one as part of a construction plan involving it. It doesn't say you have to keep one there. Nor does it say you can't sell a house without one. But as a buyer that's concerned about safety it's certainly something to consider.

That and the buyer should contact the local permitting office to see what's been issued for the site. But this is true for any home purchase. If it's clear there's been work done and there are no permits issued then that, too, should give pause to think more about the purchase. Permits aren't a guarantee the work was done properly, of course.


wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Questions about building stairs. cvriv.charles Building & Construction 7 12-19-2012 04:04 PM
Deck Stairs width & Railing ryanh Building & Construction 3 11-17-2010 03:46 AM
Strengthening stairs with less support HitLines Remodeling 1 10-29-2009 11:45 PM
How to fix broken step railing? robertr4836 Carpentry 2 04-18-2008 11:19 AM
Railing on Stairs Melanie337 Carpentry 6 10-04-2006 09:39 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1