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Alaska Residential Building Code Requirements for Stair Handrail

Adam Yeomans

Alaska is well known for its majestic views, bountiful wildlife and cold temperatures. One major similarity between Alaska and the continental United States is that construction and remodeling is constantly happening. Code requirements still need to be adhered to and enforced.

Exterior stairs along a brick wall.

Stair handrails are just one of these items.

Handrail Height

The handrail height must be 34 to 38 inches to conform with the requirements for Alaskan handrails.

Handrail Support

The handrails must also act as a guardrail, supporting at least 200 lbs of lateral pressure to prevent a person from falling off the edge of the stairs. This requires posts that are bolted into the stair framing and connecting with baluster runs and spindles no less than every 4 inches.


All landings that are more than 30 inches off the ground require a handrail. The handrails must be consistent with the handrails on the stairway and tie into the stair handrails for proper support and lateral strength.