What you will notice from this checklist is that there is not really a specific deck building code per se. Rather, there are sections of the Residential CodeThat Apply to building standards related to structures such as railings, stairs, stringers, treads, footings, framin and ledger boards . We've tried to summarize them and put them all together for you.
1st deck RAILINGS
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- 36 "minimum height when surface is 30" + above grade
- 200 lb concentrated load
- 50 lb concentrated load over 1 sqft or balusters
- 50 lbf vertical and horizontal load along top rail
- 4 "maximum gap between deck and underside of bottom rail
- 4 "maximum gap between balusters
- 34 "minimum stair rail height from nosing to top of rail
MORE BUILDING code topics
HEIGHT DIAGRAMS: US and Canada. Thirty-six inches is the most common residential height, but some jurisdictions vary.
USA RAIL HEIGHT FOR RESIDENCES
- Guardrails are required once the deck is 30 ″ or more above grade.
- A 36 ”rail measured from the top of rail to the deck surface is required.
- California is the one exception where they Require 42 "guards.
CANADA RESIDENTIAL RAIL HEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS
- Guards are required when then deck is 24 "(60 cm) above grade.
- The minimum height of the railing varies based on the height of the deck.
- Decks 24 "to 5-10" (180 cm) need 36 "guards and anything above 5-10" requires a 42 "high railing.
Different guardrail heights at different elevations above grade for Canadians.
Joist connected posts
Did you know there are at least nineteen different possible ways of securing posts into the framing.
Design and safety factors
USA, CA, UK, AUS. Understand what design loads and safety factors for testing are.
Find out exactly how many balusters or pickets you need with a single click.
Chat about every esoteric railing topic under the sun.
RESPECT MINIMUM HEIGHT REQUIREMENTS
Safety is important and something that should always supersede style.
Now that you know how high you have to build your railings, follow up by reading these other more detailed discussions on style and design ideas.