Can I remove handrail on stairs/have 'open' staircase?

20 Aug 2005
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

My stairs go from the kitchen to a landing. At the moment there are newell posts with 3 long planks connecting them going the length of the staircase and again along the lannding.
I would like to box in the planks on the landing to create a 'wall' and decorate as per the rest of the stairs/landing.
The questionable bit...
I want to cut down the newels and remove the planks on the stairs and have an 'open' staircase on one side. Obviously there would be a handrail on the wall, but the other side of the stairs would be open.
The strings would obviously remain, and as the landing is alongside the staircase, there would only be about the bottom 4/5 steps that you could fall off.
I have seen this done in many other houses, but upon reading the building regs part K I'm unsure whether I can have stairs without 'guarding' as it says.
Any view or advice please? I dont want to cut them off and have to replace them.


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ask yourself this..

how happy would you be if your child / nephew / neice / visiting friends child ( etc.. ) fell from the highest step that they could onto the floor below because you wanted an open stair???

or put it another way,... how many times have you stumbled home from the pub and fallen against the thing?
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Thanks fellas,

Looks like I'm to be fitting a nice new bannister in the coming months...

Much appreciated.


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