Handrail Extensions / Gang Chen



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    Daria Piekos

    2018 IBC section 1014.6 states that "Where handrails are not continuous between flights, the handrails shall extend horizontally not less than 12 inches beyond the top riser and continue to slope for the depth of one tread beyond the bottom riser." I believe that the 1997 IAC used to state that handrails should extend a depth of tread + 12", but that is not the case anymore in IAC 2018 (not sure if you may still have those restrictions in your states accessibility code or not). As far as I know based on the IBC your extension would never be the depth of tread + 12" and would always continue to slope for the depth of one tread beyond bottom riser.

    Anyone who knows otherwise please let us know! :)

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    David Kaplan


    The additional 12" extension at the bottom of the stair flight used to be in all building codes, but they have since taken it out.  It is now only required that the handrail extend the depth of one tread at the bottom and that's it.  It is very likely that study guides and/or other reference have just not gotten around to updating this item in their guides, so as a result, they are referencing old code requirements.

    Trust what the IBC says and you can't go wrong!  Hope that helps.

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    Agustina Rodriguez

    David and Daria, thank you!

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