January 22, 2019

Commercial and Residential Staircase Regulations in Victoria

Australia’s National Construction Code (NCC) Volume 1 was last drafted in 2016 and includes the standard for all commercial staircase builds here in Victoria. Every set of stairs that we construct must meet these safety standards and regulations, otherwise, the project may need to be started completely over. Therefore, the team at S&A Stairs must be well-versed in Australian construction regulations and requirements.

Whether you’re constructing a new staircase for your home or for your business, the staircase needs to meet national and local construction standards. Here’s what you need to know about commercial and residential staircase regulations here in Victoria and how S&A Stairs can help.

Risers and Treads

Safety is paramount when designing a custom staircase. As the risers and treads come directly in contact with someone who is stepping on the stairs, strict guidelines are in place to help protect those that are using the stairs. Failure to comply with these regulations could lead to serious injury and severe penalties.

The NCC stipulates that staircases cannot have more than 18 risers in a single flight of stairs. A flight is a singular, linear set of stairs that is not broken up by a landing. If you design a custom staircase that doubles back on itself separated by a landing, you can have more than 18 risers between the two sections of stairs, but not more than 18 in any one section of the staircase.

The reason for the riser limit in a singular stretch of stairs is to reduce the risk of serious injury in case of a fall. In addition to the limit on the number of risers, the size of the risers and treads must be consistent throughout the entire staircase. While there would not necessarily be any functional or aesthetic need for treads and risers constructed in multiple sizes, keeping a consistent size is part of the NCC.

Handrails and Balustrades

Handrails provide support and stability to everyone that uses the stairs, and a handrail is required for all commercial and residential staircases. With regards to balustrades, the gap between individual posts in the balustrade must not exceed 125 millimetres, regardless of whether the gap is vertical or horizontal.

A common balustrade design that we’ve seen across Australia is using reinforced stainless steel wiring run horizontally, parallel with the handrail. This is a great way to capture a minimalist design, but you also need to be aware of the 125 millimetre regulation.

Getting an Inspection

Before construction on a custom staircase even begins, we always recommend having the plans reviewed by your local council. The local review committee will review the plans and either approve or deny the plans based on NCC regulations. If your plans are denied, they will notify you with what changes need to be made in order be up to code. We’ve been designing beautiful custom staircases for homes and businesses in the area for decades, so we are very familiar with NCC regulations and always craft our staircases with safety in mind.

Partnering With S&A Stairs

Starting a custom staircase project can be overwhelming, but when you partner with S&A Stairs, it doesn’t have to be. We can help you navigate construction code and design the staircase of your dreams. Whether you need a custom residential staircase or an upgrade to your business space, we are here to help. Trust in us to get the job done right the first time. Contact the custom staircase experts at S&A Stairs to get started on your custom design today.