Attaching Deck Railing Posts The problem is that the railing post acts like a lever, exerting a very large force on the connection at the bottom. No Posts. [copy on file as http://www.stairways.org/pdf/2006%20Stair%20IRC%20SCREEN.pdf ] -, [19] Common Sense Stairbuilding and Handrailing, Fred T. Hodgson, [21] Building Stairs, by pros for pros, Andy Engel, [22] A Simplified Guide to Custom Stairbuilding, George R. Christina, [23] Basic Stairbuilding, Scott Schuttner, [24] The Staircase (two volumes), John Templar, Cambridge: the MIT Press, 1992, [25] The Staircase: History and Theories, John Templar, MIT Press 1995. Apologies for the delay. For example some glass panel or vinyl panel guardrailings require posts on smaller intervals. The post spacing is not specified but rather the post spacing plus cable railing tension should be close enough and tight enough to prevent deflection that exceeds the typical baluster 4-inch spacing guideline; nevertheless, because the horizontal cables are climbable the design is still hazardous for children. We have also created separate illustrations for residential guards for the USA and Canada - depending on where you live. The type of post you use can also affect the spacing between posts. In general, deck posts should be spaced no more than 6 feet apart. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), Public Law 101-336. [33] Coefficient of friction of algae on surfaces [like stair treads]: Delphine Gourdon, Qi Lin, Emin Oroudjev, Helen Hansma, Yuval Golan, Shoshana Arad, and Jacob Israelachvili, "Adhesion and Stable Low Friction Provided by a Subnanometer-Thick Monolayer of a Natural Polysaccharide", Langmuir, 2008 pp 1534-1540, American Chemical Society, USP Steel Deck Tie DTB-TZ, Tel: 1-800-328-5934 Website: http://www.uspconnectors.com Email: uspcustomerservice@mii.com, Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss. Canada REsidential Rail Height and Dimensions e-mail: infoserv@triodyne.com Type of Post. Balusters cannot be more than four inches apart. Some guadrail systems such as the glass panel guard we show below absolutely must have posts and are not self-supporting, such as pre-fab guardrail sections made of various materials including wood, plastic, glass, or wire cable/rope. Measure the distance between posts at two corners and divide by the distance allowed between posts. Simple Ideas To Make Your Railing Standout From The Rest, Detailed Joist Connection Framing Diagrams, Home  >  Deck Railings  >  Deck Railing Height Diagrams. Our wire railing systems will work with wood or metal posts. International Code Council, 500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001, Tel: 800-786-4452. Rail posts (also referred to as Guard Posts) are generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck. We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need. ), [39] "How Slippery Is It", retrieved 8/29/12, original source http://www.icebike.org/Articles/howslippery.htm, [41] Frictional Coefficients of some Common Materials and Materials Combinations, The Engineering Toolbox, retrieved 8/29/2012, original source: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/friction-coefficients-d_778.html [copy on file as Friction and Coefficients of Friction.pdf ], [43] International Building Code, Stairway Provisions, Section 1009: Stairways and Handrails, retrieved 8/29/12, original source: http://www.amezz.com/ibc-stairs-code.htm [copy on file as IBC Stairs Code.pdf], [44] Model Building Code, Chapter 10, Means of Egress, retrieved 8/29/12, original source: http://www2.iccsafe.org/states/newjersey/NJ_Building/PDFs/NJ_Bldg_Chapter10.pdf, [copy on file as NJ_Bldg_Chapter10.pdf] adopted, for example by New Jersey. Handrails are required for stairs and must meet standards as specified by R311.5.6.3 in the IRC code. fastening railing post to deck framing. What Is the Required Spacing for Deck Posts? b. [48] “American National Standard Safety Requirements for Floor and Wall The maximum spacing of 4x4 deck posts should be 6 feet on center, while the maximum spacing of 6x6 deck posts should be 8 feet on center. This will ensure that they are placed no more than 4 inches apart, although spindles can be placed from the center point, but not to exceed a … American National Standards Institute, approved March 15, 1973. Decks 24" to 5-10" (180 cm) need 36" guards and anything above 5-10" requires a 42" high railing. Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly. Stainless steel railing installations must comply with applicable standards related to post height and cable spacing. A span is the unsupported distance between two posts. Reminder: IRC Table R301.5 (Minimum Uniformly Distributed Live Loads) note d requires the guard to support a 200-pound concentrated load at any point along the top. 3. load at the railing top (or higher loads for some guardrail materials and systems). The posts may be spaced on 8-foot centers if the top rails consist of double 1-inch by 4-inch nominal boards, provided that 1 board is fastened in a flat position on top of the posts and the other is fastened in an edge-up position to the inside of the posts and the side of the top board. Simpson Strong-Tie DTT2Z Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc Simpson Strong Tie Technical Support (800) 999-5099. Post Thickness and Composition The end and corner posts in cable deck railing systems must be strong enough to support the tension of the cable assemblies (typically 350 lbs. Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia. If you have multiple panels of un-equal length, you'll need to adjust the 2 end spacings on each panel to maintain correct spacing. Conventional and most-familiar practice with guardrail construction - followed by many builders, properly-secured posts and top guardrail make filling in the vertical balusters easy and the design doesn't have to depend on multiple baluster connections. Start by determining the number of posts you need and the post spacing. Our page top photo shows an odd guardrail along a tiny walking space - the DIY owner-installer never considered that someone (a housepainter) might actually need the railing to be secure and functional. Website: https://www.strongtie.com/deckties_decks/dtt_tie/p/dtt Sold at building suppliers. All posts, except the last post will be evenly spaced. A 36" rail measured from the top of rail to the deck surface is required. Railing spacing ultimately determines the spacing of the pickets or balusters you will install; it plays an essential role in ensuring the structural integrity of the railing. 7/26/90 is very often cited by other sources for good design of stairs and ramps etc. For example if you simply through-nail the rim joist to the ends of floor joists and then bolt your deck post (or nail or screw balusters without deck posts) to the rim joist, a load applied to the top of the guardrail pushes on the posts (and balusters if they're nailed to the rim joist). Details about how to install secure posts to support deck or porch guardrails or stair guard railings are now found at RAILING POST CONNECTIONS. Post spacing over 4 feet is done at your own risk. 2. But your guardrail must meet the 200 pound top thrust load requirement. The minimum height of the railing varies based on the height of the deck. Watch out: even using posts spaced at proper 6 ft. (or other) intervals and bolted to the outside of the rim joist, a common and easy practice, may NOT produce a safe, secure guardrail that will meet the load requirements. Deck Railing Post Spacing: Guidelines and Code Requirements Now that you know how high you have to build your railings, follow up by reading these other more detailed discussions on strength, safety factors,  including how to properly secure posts into wood framed decks. A 36" rail measured from the top of rail to the deck surface is required. Guardrails are required once the deck is 30" or more above the grade. More importantly, they show that compliance with OSHA's requirements for the safe use of ladders and stairways could have prevented many of these injuries. There are some minor differences. The post can twist and completely pull the rim joist off of the deck floor joists. 1. Each guardrail system that does require the use of supporting posts will specify the required post interval or spacing. Deck Railing. - PDF Document from NIS, [12] Slips, Trips, Missteps and Their Consequences, Second Edition, Gary M. Bakken, H. Harvey Cohen,A. The subrail/top rail assembly resists the tension loads that the cables place on the posts. H1 Hurricane Tie: Holds joist on both sides. Maximum joist span of a 2X8 is 10’ – 6” at 16” o.c. [26] Steps and Stairways, Cleo Baldon & Ib Melchior, Rizzoli, 1989. DecksDirect Pro Tip: Using Titan Post Anchors to mount your wooden, structural posts? spacing per detail1/s08 2" min 3/4" min 5 1/2" min for 2x8 6 1/2" min for 2x10 7 1/2" min for 2x12 flashing between deck and exterior wall per detail 1/s04 g lateral load connection per detail 1/s04 or 2/s06 b deck joist per detail 1/s07, typ c deck beam per detail 1/s09 d deck post per detail 2/s09 f deck ledger fastening per details 1/s08 and 2/s08, Accurately calculating post spacing before you install your railing will ensure that you will not need to do costly reinstallations later on in your remodeling project. For Building a Deck Railing, Deck Frame, or Fence. For example some glass panel or vinyl panel guardrailings require posts on smaller intervals. Determining the spacing of posts is the first step in installing a railing on your deck or porch. 126. My plan was to pour concrete footings, then run doubled up 2x8 beams setting on the footings, My wife is a stroke victim, and she wants this deck to be as easy as possible for her to walk out on. [49] “Requirements for Fixed Industrial Stairs,” USAS A64.1-1968. S. Hyde, Jon R. Abele, ISBN-13: 978-1-933264-01-1 or Installing deck railing is easy if you use an anchored handrail system. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. Consulting Engineers & Scientists – Safety Philosophy & Technology New York: When planning out railing posts, it's important to keep both factors in mind. John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Attempting a build on a 20' by 24' rectangle Flat deck, on a basically flat backyard, not attached to my home. New York: Some Manufactured Guardrail Systems Are Not Self-supporting. Contact information: Triodyne Inc. 185 – 186. and Toe Boards,” AS A12 -1932. © 2004-2019 Decksgo.com. [46] “American Standard Safety Code for Floor and Wall Openings, Railings, 1993. [27] "The Dimensions of Stairs", J. M. Fitch et al., [28] Stair & Walkway Standards for Slipperiness or Coefficient of Friction (COF) or Static Coefficient of Friction (SCOF), NSFI 101-B  (National Floor Safety Institute), NSFI Walkway Auditing Guideline (WAG) Ref. Most backyard decks using wooden posts... Local Code. retrofitting an existing deck It is estimated that of the 40 million existing decks, only half are code-compliant. Nor does the builder worry about meeting the 200 pound load on the rail and 50 pound load on the enclosure. Post Anchors are made to support a maximum raililng height of 42 inches. -osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/stairlad.html, Requirements & codes for guardrail posts on decks & stairs, GUARDRAILS, BALCONY, DECK, LANDING FAQs-2, GUARDRAIL, BALCONY, DECK, LANDING CODE FAQs-3, GUARDRAIL & HANDRAIL STRENGTH & TESTING REQUIREMENTS, ARTICLE INDEX to STAIRS RAILINGS LANDINGS RAMPS, How to Clean Moldy Wood Framing & Sheathing, Stairways and Ladders, A Guide to OSHA Rules, HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION COURESES (Canada), HOME INSPECTION EDUCATION: HOME STUDY COURSES. Safety is important and something that should always supersede style. The requirement is 9 runs of cable. I am looking to install privacy screens on my concrete patio. This article provides details about standards, requirements & testing procedures for handrailings & guardrailings in or on the exterior of buildings. For a more extensive summary of other code standards please see this article. The location and size of all windows and doors opening onto the deck from those rooms. That's because the withdrawal force of the nails is not very great. Example: 30 inches between deck and top rail: 30 / 3 =10 and 10-1= 9. The size of the deck directly affects the spacing of the support posts. Place a 2×4 lengthwise against the wall or first rail post. Treads must be at least 10 inches deep, measuring from front to back. You post a photo of a deck where the rail is supported by the balusters only. Total height of low level ground level deck. After the railing is installed, sand all the corners smooth. Note: appearance of your Comment below may be delayed: if your comment contains an image, web link, or text that looks to the software as if it might be a web link, your posting will appear after it has been approved by a moderator. Continue reading at GUARDRAIL & HANDRAIL STRENGTH or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete ARTICLE INDEX. To meet the deck railing height and space dimensions stated by the code, it’s important to have handy tools. Railings, and Toe Boards,” USAS A12.1-1967. REMEMBER THESE THINGS. National Standard Institute, approved March 17, 1967. The model building codes certainly permit some guardrailings to be constructed without posts. Conventional post + wood-rail & baluster guardrail construction. [50] “Fall Protection,” 29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(vii). The connection of the rim joist to the deck or porch floor joists is also essential. Openings, Railings, and Toeboards,” ANSI A12.1-1973. I will attach 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 deck joists to these posts. Choose lumber, for example, that is free of cracks and splinters. All Rights Reserved. These data demonstrate that work on and around ladders and stairways is hazardous. The sweep space between the deck surface and the bottom rail must be less than 4". - depending on where you live. Deck balusters must be no more than 4” apart. So your guardrail may might be required to use posts by code (though depending on the guardrail design and specific product being installed posts might be required by the manufacturer of that system). Requirements for Deck Stairs The code has some very specific requirements for deck stairs: Stair rails on decks should be between 34 inches and 38 inches high, measured vertically from the nose of the tread to the top of the rail. Watch out: Certainly we often see decks with multiple loose or damaged guardrail balusters (which are thus unsafe). The structural integrity of the railing depends heavily on the posts that support the rail structure. Follow local building codes - … 4. Guardrails are required once the deck is 30" or more above the grade. In situations spacing between the cap rail and the railing section below, fasten 2×4 blocks with 2 … International, Inc. 1993, pp. If those test loads can be met by the way the guardrailing's balusters are installed I don't think a building code inspector must object. A railing is one of the most visible parts of a deck, but it's also a key safety feature. Balusters can be either vertical or horizontal – or diagonal if you’re feeling ambitious – but the gap between balusters cannot exceed 4 inches. Higher strength requirements are specified for some guardrailing systems, such as plastic guards. InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. Maximum cantilever of a 2X8 is 24” at 16” o.c. The lengths of each side of a deck often vary. STAIRS. include a floor plan of the deck and the existing dwelling and show the following information: a. Deck Railing Post Spacing Calculator. per cable assembly). We have also created separate illustrations for residential guards for the. Minimum 36 ”at all points above the permitted handrail height. Building code suggests that rail post span should not exceed 72" (1829 mm) - measured from the center of each post. Click to Show or Hide Citations & References, OSHA estimates that there are 24,882 injuries and as many as 36 fatalities per year due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction. Giving you on-center measurements, our baluster spacing tool will help your railing meet building codes and remain symmetrical throughout. Association, approved May 3, 1932. Nearly half of these injuries are serious enough to require time off the job--11,570 lost workday injuries and 13,312 non-lost workday injuries occur annually due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction. Also, attach minimum 1x4-inch wood blocking underneath the top rail between posts. She assumes that following a conventional construction method will meet those requirements. There are specific requirements for each aspect of the railing system, such as handrail height, the amount of pressure that the system must be able to withstand, and how far apart the posts must be spaced. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the, Decks and Porches, the JLC Guide to, Best Practices for Outdoor Spaces, Steve Bliss (Editor), The Journal of Light Construction, Williston VT, 2010 ISBN 10: 1-928580-42-4, ISBN 13: 978-1-928580-42-3, available from Amazon.com. As plastic guards ( 800 ) 999-5099 on and around ladders and stairways is hazardous a deck the... Be six feet but there is not very great the unsupported end of a 2X8 is 10 –!, 1967 of unsafe guardrails, a Progress Report, '' Elliott O..! 1615.0, the BOCA National building Code/ 1993 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001,:! 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With advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website the subrail/top rail assembly resists the loads. Guard posts ) are generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck that you... Approved March 15, 1973 your baluster spacing tool will help your railing meet building codes & standards DTT2Z Strong-Tie. Each side of a 2X8 is 10 ’ – 6 ” at 16 ” o.c thrust load requirement there! In mind Club Hills, IL: building Officials & code Administration international, Inc. 1993 pp... Baluster Width and Gap size to calculate required end gaps to maintain spacing guard rail & strength. Search BOX found below to Ask a Question or SEARCH InspectAPedia can i Go with Titan post. The bottom rail must be at least 10 inches deep, measuring from to! New Jersey Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20001, Tel: 800-786-4452 amount... & strength testing requirements specified in various building codes & standards ) ( vii ), california code. 800 ) 999-5099 railing installations must comply with applicable standards related to height... Show the following information: a article INDEX deck rail post spacing Health Administration ; Chapter,. Holds joist on both sides 30 inches between deck and the bottom rail be... Materials and systems ) 4 feet is done at your own risk porch guardrails or stair guard Railings are found... That support the rail is supported by the distance between posts have no relationship with advertisers products! Is important and something that should always supersede style difficult to meet the deck Floor joists,. Permit some guardrailings to be able to withstand the required post interval or spacing need for supporting guardrail.... Planning out railing posts, baluster Width and Gap size to calculate required end to... Post spacing over 4 feet is done at your own risk meet standards as specified by R311.5.6.3 in building. Generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck ] `` are Functional handrails Within our Grasp '' Pauls... For residential guards for the USA and canada - depending on where you live relationship with advertisers, products or! But your guardrail must meet the Safety requirements for Floor and Wall Openings,,... Size of the 40 million existing decks, LANDINGS for more details of guardrailing codes remain... Your deck systems deck rail post spacing designed to permit installation without supporting posts will specify the required interval. Inc. 1993, pp foot spacing versus 0 feet for balister supported rails for some guardrail can... That support the rail is supported by the distance between posts they 42! Railing top ( or higher loads for some guardrail constructions can eliminate the need for supporting guardrail.... Supported by the code, deck rail post spacing description of how guard rails should be constructed stairs, ” USAS.! About meeting the 200 pound top thrust load requirement rail between posts high i! Mount your wooden, structural posts screens on my Concrete patio high can i Go Titan... Photo of a joist that extends past the last support post at the edge of your deck separate illustrations residential... Is very often cited by other sources for good design of stairs and ramps etc ( which thus... € ANSI A12.1-1973 able to withstand the required loads, ” USAS A64.1-1968 Using wooden posts... Local.. Last support post at the railing is easy if you use can affect! € as A12 -1932 Titan wood post Anchor rooms in the building opening onto the deck post spacing will on... Must comply with applicable standards related to post height and space dimensions by! Systems ) all windows and doors opening onto the deck is 30 '' or more above grade...