Railings and Benches

I am building a deck and some of it is more than three feet off of the ground. I would like to put a bench around the outside edge of it and was wondering if those bench brackets meet the code for a railing or are they only good for lower decks?

Comments for Railings and Benches

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Apr 29, 2008
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How Strong are Bench Railing Brackets
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

The bench railing brackets you refer to are made of a plastic and probably contain some fiberglass mixture. Bench railings can be very strong and more then strong enough to withstand well over 200 lbs of horizontal force at the top rail.

However, the strength can vary depending on the construction method. So it is very hard to answer your question with limited information.

If the top rail of the bench runs continuously around the perimeter your bench railing will be stronger. The code applies once your railing is 30" or higher (24" or 60cm in Canada). The bench back would have to be at least 36" high.

Also if you are in Canada and your deck is about 5'-10" (1.80m) or more that number increase to 42" high.

To be safe I would say a very short section of bench that is not integrally tied into the railing may not be strong enough. On the other hand if it is, then those brackets may well do the job.

You may find the product information says not to use them beyond a certain height. If so this suggests that it is not intended to act as a true guard rail above 30" from the ground.

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