So, you are planning to build deck railing for your holiday house and this is the first time for you handling the deck railing DIY. But you cannot just build the deck railing because you need to follow the code for deck railing.
The deck code such as deck railing height code, is important to ensure safety and adequacy according to certain construction aspects. The codes itself are derived from International Residential Code that sometimes are added with the local building regulations. The codes covers several things as following.
Code For Deck Railing
Code for Handrails
When it comes to the deck railing’s handrails, the railings should be installed at least 30 inches above the surface and it has to be on one stairway side at least leading to deck. About the deck railing spacing, its handrail’s top on the other hand must be 34 inches above the surface but it cannot exceed 38 inches high.
The overall handrail has to be easy to grip and it should have 2 ¼ inches for maximum diameter and 1 ¼ inches for minimum diameter. The code allows installation of large decorative handrails but it should always allow secure grasping.
Code for Support Post
Posts are important parts as it becomes the one affecting the structural railing’s integrity. About deck railing post spacing, all the posts cannot be more than 6 ft apart on flat deck or 5 ½ ft apart on stairs. Sometimes, closer post spacing is required by the local building department for added rail strength.
And, the code may also sometime dictate the attaching method like the types of screws or bolts. Suppose you have completed the rail, the rail’s top must be able to withstand more than 100 kilograms of pressure coming from any directions.
Code for Baluster Spacing
There is also code for baluster spacing. As the name suggest, balusters refer to vertical guards responsible for supporting handrail. It should be installed pretty close because the space between the baluster cannot exceed 4 inches.
You will have the city inspectors inspecting the baluster using 4-inch ball. And the balusters must be able to withstand up to 50 lbs of pressure over one square foot area.
Code for Bottom Rail
Another code regulates the bottom rail. According to the code, the bottom rail cannot sit more than 4 inches above surface of the deck. It is necessary to ensure child safety. Although you do not have kids, this code is still a must to follow so you cannot miss this code.