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Baluster spacing regulation

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smiffy

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What is the maximum baluster spacing on a landing in the UK?

On the web it ranges from 100mm to 250mm but I cannot find the info for the UK specs.

Thanks.

Raymond.
 

houtslager

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IIRC Generally it is smaller then a Childs Head = 100 mm :? sorry but my Building Regs book is packed away in a container in Amsterdam , so cannot get to the relevent page. :?
 

Shadowfax

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Raymond
The spacing should be arranged so that you cannot get a 100mm sphere between the balusters at any point.
That is quite close but the regulation is intended to ensure that a child cannot get its head stuck in there.
Cheers.

Pete

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smiffy

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I am making mine 115mm so I hope it is not breaking any law.

I measured my 2.5 year old sons head and even pushed his head in at all angles to try and force it through but it was OK...only kidding of course :wink:, but isn't 100mm very small for a childs head?
Far be it for me to contradict a law. :?
 

frank

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smiiffy give your lad a bit of time and he will find a way to put his head through . :roll: :roll: :wink:
 

Keith Smith

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Raymond this is a concise version of baluster and handrail regs;

1. The handrail should be between 900mm and 1m high. This measurement is taken from a line running along the stair nosings (pitch line).
2. A handrail should be provided at least on one side and on both sides if the staircase is wider than one metre.
3. There is no requirement for handrails beside the bottom two steps of the stairway
4. The balustrade protecting the landing should be at least 900mm high.
5. The gap between the spindles, and the spindles and newel posts, must not be so wide as to allow a 100mm ball to pass through.
6. The balustrade should be designed so a child cannot climb over it.
7. There is a further requirement that the guarding should be able to resist a horizontal force of 0.36kN for each metre of length. This equates to very approximately 40kg per metre.

Be aware that you normally have to fit the spindles closer to the newel posts than to each other to comply with #5.

Hope this helps

Keith
 

smiffy

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That is perfect Keith, thankyou for your effort.

It seems that I have been lucky (I already had the balustrade made up) conforming to all of these regs except for the spacing between the balusters at 115mm.
I notice that some countries say that the maximum is 125mm (I was mistaken saying 250mm). If someone checked out my stairs, would they be condemmed because of my spacing mistake?
 

Keith Smith

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Raymond these are current building regs, in the past (I think pre 1992), regulations were less strict. I have seen plenty of stairs with no handrail at all and as long as it was done before 1992 then there is nothing building control can do.

If you need to get the BCO in to certify the stairs then you have a problem because if you have a 115mm gap they will fail.

In which case you have 2 options, redo the job, no too onerous normally as the fillets and spindles are normally easy enough to remove (once you get the first one out). Or add an extra piece to the spindles or an additional finer spindle or wire in the gap.

I have heard that some people put extra pieces in, get the BCO to inspect the stairs, then remove them once he has gone. :shock:

This would only become a problem if the house is sold and the buyers use a particularly diligent surveyor. Or a child with a 112mm head gets it stuck in the rails.

Keith
 

smiffy

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I suppose it was my own fault for forgetting that staircases need to conform very stringently to regulations.

I like the wire rod idea and should be easy to implement so at least the job is not a complete disaster.

Thanks everyone for your help.

Raymond.
 
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