Learn about important regulations regarding building a balcony, balustrades, and staircases in your home in the UK. We interpret complex regulations and ready to help you meet those requirements in order to build the house of your dream.

Balustrade Building Regulations – What Are the Key Factors to Consider?

Glass balustrades feature staircases, balconies, balconies floors. Contemporary interior and exterior designs often include balustrades since they look exceptionally stylish. Glass balustrades look especially pretty since they allow light to travel through rooms. Glass adds value to the property, makes it look contemporary. Unlikely, glass will ever come out of fashion. So, if you want to choose the material that would stay trendy, choose glass.

Balustrades made of glass and steel can be found not only in residential projects but in modern commercial projects. The obvious good reasons why architects use glass are:

  • Glass is strong, durable and lasting if chosen and installed correctly
  • It doesn’t get broken or scratched easily
  • The material doesn’t change the shape or color
  • Glass suits all interior and exterior designs
  • It’s easy in maintenance

Glass gets perfectly matches with steel, wood, brick, and concrete, therefore, glass balustrades will look perfect in any commercial or residential building. A combination of glass and steel creates a stunning balustrade. In the UK, stainless steel balustrade regulations

are more strict than anywhere in the world. Even though such construction is beautiful and stylish but it has to be built in compliance with all requirements. You must be sure that the staircase and balustrade that you have in your house or office is safe.

If you are considering to install glass balustrades in your house, there are several things that should be considered. There are quite a lot of regulations that you have to consider and follow when installing balustrades in your property. However, reading these regulations can be complex. This is why we would like to list them and interpret them in words that are clear for the majority of people.

  • A handrail should be installed at both sides of a stair flight
  • For buildings with children ( 5 years of old and younger), staircase design regulations UK recommends excluding gaps in balustrades. The rule permits a gap of not less than 100mm
  • One of the staircase design building regulations for buildings with children, the second handrail has to be at 600mm above Finished Floor Level
  • Balustrade glass regulations UK state that a balustrade guarding shouldn’t allow children from climbing it
  • The centerline of all handrails should be between 900mm and 975mm above the stair
  • For balustrades guarding landing areas and balconies, the barrier should be a minimum of 1100mm above Finished Floor Level
  • Glass balustrade standards state that handrails should extend a minimum of 300mm beyond the top and bottom riser of a flight
  • The handrail can be returned around a corner if needed
  • A permitted gap between the handrail and the wall should be between 50mm and 75mm
  • All handrails should be supported with fixings
  • A circular handrail should be of minimum 40 mm but not exceed 50 mm
  • Handrails have to be turned towards the floor to prevent catching and tearing clothes

Building Regulations

Staircase building regulations require all staircase steps to be level. A nosing has to be a minimum of 16mm in private buildings. Nosings must be provided in the public buildings too. Such nosings eliminate the trip hazard which is one of the key staircase building regulations. The rise of each step should be from 150mm to 170mm.

Another regulation regarding building a staircase in your home includes rules for direct fire escapes and disabled access. To make a staircase convenient for walking up or going down, it’s recommended to not make it narrower than 860mm. It’s also important that no door should swing closer than 400mm onto the front of any step.

Building a balcony UK requires permission. Even when permission is obtained, you are obliged to follow the requirements to provide a sufficient level of safety. Your planned balcony should not have a negative impact on neighbors: a balcony should preserve their privacy. It’s even recommended to discuss the design of your balcony with your neighbors in advance to avoid discussions later.

Balcony building regulations require to approve the design of the project to ensure that it’s safe and can take the planned load. Any construction that has a fall or drop over 60mm should be protected by a railing that is at least 1100mm high. The bars of the railing and the bottom rail must be no more than 99mm apart; an object of 100mm diameter should not be able to pass through. Glass balcony floor has to be 15mm and made of toughened glass.

Handrail Height

Building height regulations of handrails include the following rule: regardless of the building type, the height of rail should be between 900mm and 1000mm. Building regulations balustrade spacing states that a 100mm sphere can’t pass through any openings between spindles or any other gaps in the handrail. The right height of handrail should provide the right support to people going up and down the stairs, as well as your kids. Therefore, it’s important to take into account the height of adults and children. Also, it’s very important that your staircase has at least one handrail.


It’s important to check with a building inspector for your individual requirements when building a staircase in your house. GlassStructuresLimited company will be happy to help you understand the requirements and apply them with implementing a dream project into a reality.

We hope that by providing a summary of the most important points of balustrade regulations UK, you will be able to consider whether you are willing to install a balustrade in your house or not. GlassStructuresLimited will be happy to share regulations and explain them in detail to you so you are aware of what is necessary for building a balustrade that you are dreaming of in your house. In case you are ready to meet all the regulations, we will help you to choose a suitable solution for your unique house.