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How can I avoid using handrails?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by thomo5949, 14 Oct 2015.

  1. thomo5949

    thomo5949

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    About to start a self build property that has an open plan ground floor with a sunken living room and 900mm high dividing wall with dining room The floor level in the living room drops 450mm and the steps have 3 rises of 150mm. The architect has specified that a handrail is needed on both sides of the steps (Over 1000mm wide stairs) but this will totally ruin the look / feel of the room as part of the dividing wall is a 3 sided fire that will have an ugly handrail running along side it. Is there any way I can avoid having to put in both or one handrail?
    GF plan copy.jpg
     
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  3. big-all

    big-all

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    it could be in glass providing a sphere 100mm canot pass through any gap it will pass the regs
    you could have the handrail at the correct 900mm down to say 825with a glass panel finnishing below at say730mm
     
  4. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    The regs are not helpful here and contradict each other, but I would argue that you don't need any handrails at all unless the total rise is higher than 600mm. But there is scope for dispensations with respect to the regs but let's suppose a stickler of an inspector insisted on handrails, I would be fitting the least cheapest of handrails and would be removing them and making good following sign off so hardly the end of the world.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2015
  5. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    big-all the regs contradict themselves here, nevertheless they suggest handrails not ballustrades so the sphere blurb has no relevance here.
     
  6. noseall

    noseall

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    Why the sunken living room? Surely this introduces sub-DPC tanking issues as well as that awkward set of steps?
    Can we have a peek at the A __ A section drawing please?
     
  7. mfarrow

    mfarrow

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    I assume the land slopes front-back given the three steps up to the back door.
     
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  9. tony1851

    tony1851

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    That 600mm 'exemption' is unfortunately not in the latest incarnation of Approved Doc. K.

    I fell foul of this one when not including a handrail for 2 risers (ie < 600 difference) up to a bedroom side extension off a quarter landing.

    Stupid inspector insisted on one. (but LABC - I might have known!).
     
  10. angelboy

    angelboy

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    I'd second that!
     
  11. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Am I looking at the wrong document tony? Or am I interpreting it wrong? http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_AD_K_2013.pdf

    For buildings other than dwellings and for common access areas for buildings that contain flats
    1.40
    Provide guarding at the sides of flights and landings when there are two or more risers.
    In dwellings
    1.41
    Provide guarding at the sides of flights and landings when there is a drop of more than 600mm.


    However it could be the following that could catch the OP here:

    Handrails for stairs
    For all buildings
    1.34
    Provide handrails in accordance with all of the following.
    a. Position the top of the handrail 900mm to 1000mm from the pitch line or floor.
    b. The handrail may form the top of a guarding if you can match the heights.
    c. If the stairs are 1000mm or wider: provide a handrail on both sides.
     
  12. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    I agree with fmt. I doubt that there's a BCO in the land that would insist on a handrail here (and both sides is frankly bonkers) - knowing full well that you'll just remove it once they've gone. I would be more concerned about the proximity of the WC pan to the return wall, and the (apparent) lack of fire compartmentalisation - although, a BCO may suggest that this can be addressed with alarms and/or suppression.
     
    Last edited: 15 Oct 2015
  13. thomo5949

    thomo5949

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    The step down to the living room is for 2 reasons.. A) to follow the site slope B) to create some more interest in the house layout
     

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  14. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Thanks, you're welcome!
     
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