*Answer:*

Under all editions of the International Residential Code (IRC), **only one handrail on one side is ever required**, regardless of the width of the stairs. In comparison, the International Building Code (IBC) — which regulates public buildings — requires handrails on both sides of any stairway.

*Answer:*

That means you’ll **need** the **handrails** **on** **both** **sides** in most cases. An exception might be when there is a wall on the other side. For example, if you place **stairs** on the porch next to the house’s **exterior** wall, it might be the only option to place the **handrail** on the opposite side. Which side should the **handrail** be on the **stairs**?

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## Frequently Asked Questions

### Why do we need handrails in outdoor spaces?

When mounted to a wall or forming part of a balustrade, they prevent people from falling and injuring themselves from a height or on stairs. According to statistics, without a handrail the likelihood of falling on a flight of stairs is doubled! Handrails are vital to the safe navigation of outdoor spaces.

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