* The Uniform Building Code requires that a staircase in a residential home be at least 36" wide with headroom clearance of at least 6'6".
* You don't want a staircase that has too many or too few steps. Each step consists of a rise and run. In a residential home, the rise (distance from one step up to the next) should be at eight inches. The run (the surface area that you step on) should be nine inches. Most importantly, these measurements should be consistent from the top of the staircase to the bottom of the staircase.
* If your banister runs only halfway up the stairs, there must be a handrail on the wall adjacent to the stairs. This handrail must run the entire length of the staircase.
* Spindles on the banister must be less than four inches apart. The distance from the stair run to the top of the handrail on a banister should be between 34" and 38". This is to ensure no one falls over the banister.
* And here's an important tip! Make sure the space underneath the staircase is clean before it is closed in with sheetrock. Construction crews often stash their lunch trash below the staircase. Needless-to-say, you don't want food and other perishables rotting in a sealed cavern under your stairs!
Follow these easy steps and your staircase will provide safe and comfortable access from one floor to the next!