Graphical Construction Glossary >> stairs. >> >> Stair Head Height

Stair Head Height
In stair building regulations the clear height above the stair. In most jurisdictions not less than 2000 measured from the nosing line.
Stair Bulkhead
A sloping section of ceiling over a stair at the pitch of the stair.
Stair Nosing Line
A line along the nosings of a stair from which head height and handrail heights are measured.

the nosing line

The head height for a staircase is measured vertically from the nosing line. The nosing line is the line of the actual nosings on site. That is a line that would be formed if a string line or a straight-edge was stretched or laid on the finished steps. It takes into account and varies with the amount of rounding on the edge of the treads and the amount of toe space.

stair head height

In Australia the minimum head height is currently 2000. (2010) but previously it has been 2030 which is just 10mm less than a standard door height. Always err on the side of generosity with this dimension as low head heights are very unsettling for taller people.

Finding the position of minimum head height depends on accurately drawing a section of the stair and floors with the flooring members and finishes clearly detailed.

a stair bulkhead

When room is at a premium on the floor above it is sometimes possible to build a bulkhead which in effect creates a sloping section in the room above. Quite often these rooms are referred to as "box rooms" because the sloping section is boxed in.

If you have trouble finding a rule that states what your own regulations require in the way of head height over stairs, try looking in the section that covers ceiling heights in general. (That's where our's is tucked away, nowhere near the stair section.)

If you didn't find exactly what you are looking for try this search tool that will search the site and the web.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
You must check your own local conditions.
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