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casper129 07-20-2011 09:32 PM

Stairway wall help.. (Code question)
We currently have a closed in staircase leading to our basement.. we are going to do this to it:

Does anyone here know what finished height the "half wall" (is that correct?) would have to be. I looked at some code guidelines, and could only come up with a railing or baulister height.. Would the height of my railing on the opposite side of the stairs be good enough? Thought? Insight?

AGWhitehouse 07-21-2011 08:16 AM

Check that code again and look for "Guardrail" height requirements. The handrail is a seperate animal. Residential codes usually only require 1 handrail and it can be placed on either side of the stair.

jrepp44 07-21-2011 10:00 AM

check photo #36 - guard height

casper129 07-21-2011 12:08 PM

jrepp44 - Thanks, that's kind of what I was going off of at first, but I didn't know if the half wall would be called a guard rail.. From what I understand from your image, the wall must be at least 36" high, but it can be higher if I wanted.. ( I think I have it drawn out with a finished height of 38" right now...)

AGWhitehouse 07-21-2011 12:11 PM

CT Guardrail Heights = 36" for residential, 42" for commercial

concretemasonry 07-21-2011 02:39 PM

casper -

Contact your local code people. Any model code (IBC. IRC, etc.) can be over ruled by a local requirement as long as the local requirement is more strict or well defined, since a model code is just a MINIMUM and not always what is the right way everywhere.

Wisconsin has always had a reputation for modifying or corrupting other codes, DLIHR is not as strong as it was, but localities still have an authority to impose other standards. - A prime example is the height of the open space on an egress window.


casper129 07-21-2011 04:24 PM

Alright guys, thanks for the replies.. I will go to my city hall today and see what they have to say...

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