When is a handrail required?
A continuous handrail is required on both sides of stairs except a single family dwelling unit with three or more risers is required at least on one side. Handrails are required so that all portions of the required width of stairs are within 30” of a handrail.

The clear space between handrail and the adjacent wall or surface shall not be less than 1½”.

All stairway handrails shall have a circular cross section with an outside diameter of at least 1 ¼” and not greater than 2”.

All handrails should return back to support posts or a wall to avoid snagging clothing.

1) Any other shape with a perimeter dimension of at least 4” but not greater than 6¼” with the largest cross-sectional dimension not exceeding 2¼”
2) Approved rails of equivalent grasp ability. In one and two-family dwellings handrail should have a minimum and maximum heights between 34” and 38”, respectively, in all other uses, 36”. Handrail heights should be measured vertically above the nosing of the treads or above the finished floor of the landing or walking surfaces. In residential use, if a handrail is used also as a guardrail, it should be a minimum of 34” measured vertically above the nosing. Except for stairways within a dwelling unit, handrails shall extend at least 12” beyond the top riser and at least 12” plus depth of one tread beyond the bottom riser. At the top the handrail shall be parallel to the walking surface, at the bottom the handrail shall continue to slope for a distance of the depth of one tread from the bottom riser, with the remainder parallel to the walking surface.

Residential Use: If handrail is used as guardrail, no opposite guardrail used as handrail minimum 36".

Show All Answers

1. When is a Building Permit required?
2. What codes are in effect in the Town of Kennebunk?
3. How long is a permit valid?
4. Do I need a permit to put a shed on my property?
5. Do I need a permit for replacement windows and doors?
6. When is a handrail required?
7. What size does a bedroom egress window have to be?
8. What are the stair riser and tread requirements?
9. When is a guardrail required?
10. How much frost protection should I have?
11. What R-Values should I insulate to?
12. What are the ventilation requirements for a crawl space?
13. When is safety glazing required?