Millwork and Stair Design – Vancouver Case Study

John and Matthew look at how a project by Battersby Howat effectively combines a staircase with millwork storage.

Today’s Slides:

  • Steve in Van

    For a slight variation on this beautiful stair theme, see BH’s Schwartz residence at (the system’s not allowing me to upload an 83K jpg here).  Both have this minimalist guardrail — very graceful, but does it meet code? 

    FYI, the jealous guys at BUILD LLC have posted their ‘Ridiculous Stair Awards’ (  A comment there says stairs that don’t meet code may be allowed (as sculpture!) if there’s another code-compliant stair to the same level.  Any insight?

    Thanks again for another great month!  The focus on stairs and their detailing has been very helpful.

  • Steve in Van

    I seem to have input the links incorrectly.  The first is (1 ‘t’), and the second is the Jan.27 post at  They’re worth a look.  :)

  • Dave

    Steve, typically these stairs are not code compliant due to the guard that is missing. BCBC
    Guards are not required, though, for interior stairs which has 2 risers or less. BCBC
    I am not aware of being able to build non-code conforming stairs, even if you have another set in the house that is conforming. What architects usually do (I have asked them) is that they put a temporary guard in to pass final inspection and then remove it or they do not have a final inspection as all.