One of the most important design aspects when working on staircase projects is its sizing. Whether you’re building a new property, renovating your home or replacing existing stairs, understanding the restrictions involved is a must if you want to set expectations and make the most out of your space.

Here’s everything you need to know about the minimum width of a staircase.

Why staircase sizing matters

The size of your staircase and its individual elements (such as handrails and treads) plays an important role in its functionality and appearance. For example, many people want to construct a space-saving staircase or put stairs in an awkwardly shaped area. You should also consider how the staircase size affects your project budget.

Staircase designs must work for all the family while remaining safe and practical. The health and safety elements of the build are essential, and there are many rules and restrictions outlined by building regulation legislation to inform your choices.

What’s the minimum width of stairs?

If you’re hoping to construct a staircase in a narrow space, it’s a good idea to understand more about the rules regarding staircase sizing. UK building regulations have outlined much of the guidance in Approved Document K. The required width of a flight of stairs will depend on whether it will be based in a dwelling or other type of building.

For buildings other than dwellings, the minimum width between walls or a string should be 1200mm (1000mm between handrails). Surprisingly, there are no rules stipulated for domestic properties about minimum stair widths. However, for severely sloping plots where a stepped change of level in the entrance storey is needed, a minimum stair width of 900mm is advised.

All staircases should be safe and practical to use, and an experienced staircase designer will be able to talk you through the advised widths for domestic designs, taking into account all the elements you’d like to include.

What about loft conversion staircases?

Loft conversion staircases don’t have specific rules about their widths, but there are many other aspects to consider when building this type of stairs. This includes fire safety, space-saving designs and the replacement support required when cutting away some of the existing ceiling joints for the opening. Retractable stairs aren’t advised, and loft conversion staircases are often narrower than other designs as they can’t use as much space.

Work closely with a staircase specialist to learn more about the possibilities available when taking on a home renovation project.

Get expert advice from a staircase design team

Are you designing a new staircase? If you’d like to start your project, get in touch with DDC London for a free consultation about your needs. We offer our professional staircase services across the South East of England, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and London.

For expert advice about staircase sizing or any other queries, please get in touch.