When Does a Deck Need a Railing?


A railing enhances safety and adds a little privacy. It also provides a surface where you can put things down while barbecuing meals or relaxing. Nonetheless, you may want to know if it’s really necessary for your deck to have this feature.

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Building Codes

The most important consideration is the height of a deck’s floor. Generally, American building codes don’t require railings when it stands fewer than 30 inches above grade. On the other hand, Canadians usually need them if the height exceeds two feet.

There’s an important aspect of the above-mentioned safety rule that some people overlook. You must walk three feet away from the floor’s edge before measuring this distance, according to Deck Magazine. Consequently, you may still need a railing if the lawn drops off into a steep valley.

Keep in mind that city and state governments have the ability to develop their own building codes. Contact a local code officer if you’re not sure. In addition to rules about the surface height, post size and spacing requirements may vary depending on where you live.

Other Reasons

Some homeowners still install railings when building codes don’t demand them. You might do this to enhance the deck’s appearance or protect people from potentially dangerous objects. For example, there might be thorny bushes or large stones near the edge.

This feature even contributes to safety on a very low deck surrounded by grass. It gives people something that they can grasp to avoid falls. This may prevent injuries if precipitation or a spill causes the surface to become slippery.

Are you planning to construct a new deck or add railings? If so, please contact our helpful staff for expert assistance. We take the time to build safe, attractive structures with long-lasting materials. You’ll appreciate our competitive rates as well.





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