However, posts differ from spindles or balusters in that a post will always make contact with the base of the deck itself. Bolts should be vertically spaced no less than 5-1/8 inch apart. Measure the distance from the center of one corner post to the center of the next corner post. The deck railing style you chose for your new deck is the piece de resistance of the project. Terms of use. Post spacing over 4 feet is done at your own risk. Drill pilot holes in the balusters and secure them to the top and bottom rails with screws. Posts should be no further apart than 5.5 feet on stairs. of pressure from any direction at any single point on the post or railing. Deck Railing Code Ontario. Use the deck baluster spacing calculator to calculate how many total balusters you’ll need to be sure your deck railing adheres to code. Spacing between deck railing spindles type, when it down the distance from the same size to the past to help you types of deck for each baluster spacing using a wood framed deck page go to keep strong and installation guide information below. What is the Standard Railings Spacing? For example, for a deck with 12 joists, install a deck rail post to every third joist. U.S. building codes mandate that balusters have no more than a 4-inch gap between them. Deck guardrails (guards) should rise to at least 36 inches above the residential deck level. When spacing the interior posts, make sure to measure from the center of each corner post as opposed to the corner of the framing to achieve proper spacing. Here are some typical specs for deck railings that you should verify with the building codes in your area: railing height: 36" to 42" baluster spacing: 4" to 6" post-to-baluster spacing: 4" to 6" Sometimes local building codes will have more stringent regulations, so check your … While a spindle or baluster can touch the deck, they often have a bottom railing to hold them in place. If there’s a railing, people will lean on it expecting it to hold them. U.S. building codes mandate that balusters have no more than a 4-inch gap between them. For proper spacing, holes for the deck bolts should be placed in the center of the post at least 1.5 to 2 inches from the bottom and the top of the frame. This relatively tight amount of spacing still allows for visibility between spindles, but also stands as a safety measure to prevent small children from becoming stuck between spindles or from slipping through the balusters. Lastly, don’t forget to account for the stairs. The process is a bit different for posts that are set on the interior deck. HomeAdvisor's DIY Deck Railing & Floor Board Installation Guide provides instructions for laying and staggering decking boards and adding a railing, railing posts, spindles, caps, anchors and bausters to your existing deck. Building codes require guardrails on stairs and decks that are over 24 to 36 inches off the ground, depending on the municipality. To make sure your baluster spacing is up to code, follow the best practice to include three balusters for every foot of railing. To prevent the bolts from coming into contact with each other, you’ll need to offset the bolt holes by 1/2-inch. Bottom Railing. Vertically space the bolts no less than 5 and 1/8 inches apart. For accuracy, use a space – in this case, one that's 3.5 inches. Remember, for thicker, 6’x6’ posts, you can increase the spacing to 7 feet. A perfect spacing formula. On the flipside, a post will touch the deck every time it’s used, providing a steady support system. Our helpful baluster spacing calculator will determine the exact range between the first post in your level railing section and each individual spindle. As you determine the location of each post, mark the placement on the deck frame. Deck Railing Spacing Ideas, Few homeowners get that in the same way as you’re planning the design and construction of a deck and patio, the deck railings are just as important as the Deck Railing Spacing itself.The railings provide the deed be adjacent to and overarching style of the basic decking platform. Sometimes local building codes will have more stringent regulations, so check your local building department for post spacing requirements. Depending on the length of these sections, it will also determine how far apart your spindles should be placed from the center point. Spacing off my decks and gap leaves a call at onehalf of a deck patio or balusters are tested to accurately space between end spacings on the spacing off the balustrade and. One area of safety that should not be overlooked is proper baluster spacing on your deck’s railing. The lengths of each side of a deck often vary. If the spacing between a baluster and post isn't equal, you can adjust the baluster placement slightly. If you have deck sides that are not even numbers, you’ll need to spend a bit more time calculating. To achieve an aesthetically pleasing result, you need to space the posts uniformly. If you’re building a new deck, making sure your structure is compliant with local building codes is important when securing your building permit. The requirement is 9 runs of cable. As with any construction project, make sure to check with your local building code before beginning deck railing post installation to make sure you are adhering to proper guidelines. Eugene has been a DIY enthusiast for most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity in others. By clicking GO!, you acknowledge that you have read Trex's Privacy Policy. Unless your deck dimensions are evenly divisible by six, you’ll end up with odd and rather unappealing deck rail post spacing. Deck railing height standards can vary from state to state but typically require a 36″ or 42″ railing. In this case, you would need three posts, which would be one at every 5 feet 9 inches. Wood railing could be in different styles such as Victorian, Chippendale railing and others. To achieve even spacing, make sure a uniform number of joists separate each post. above the ground. As most decks are attached to a home, you’ll need to account for the corners of the deck that attach to the deck ledger. Measure the distance between the posts at the head and foot of the stairs then evenly space the posts, making sure they are no further than the building code standard of 5.5 feet apart. Spacing. These vary from state to state and even among municipalities, but typically are as follows: • Baluster spacing -The opening between balusters should … Most city inspectors carry a 4-inch ball with them to test the spacing. Your railing can’t be less than 3 feet (90 cm) from the surface of the deck. With the two posts in such close proximity to each other, it’s possible for one set of bolts to block the other. In addition to providing safety, you also want your deck railing to enhance as opposed to detracting from the aesthetics of your deck. Uneven spacing can look sloppy and unattractive. Using stainless steel screws I toe nail the fasteners through the mahogany railings to secure the railing to the newel posts. Another option is to design your deck by simply extending the footings another 36” so they also serve as the deck railing posts. You have a couple of options for the corners of externally-mounted posts. The basics of the codes are similar, with minor changes from area to area. 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. Standard 4×4-foot deck posts must be spaced no more than 6 feet apart to provide adequate strength. The total space between each baluster is 3.5 inches. Building Code Deck Railing Post Spacing Requirements. This spacing also makes it easy to clear off the porch deck of snow. Proper spacing of bolts ensures that the deck railing is securely attached to the deck. For a composite railing system, slide the post sleeve over the wood post, then the post sleeve skirt over the post sleeve; both should rest on the decking. You’ve completed your deck’s framing and it’s time to add the railing. Current building code standards require deck railing posts to be attached using bolts. In this article, we’ll review how to space your deck posts, so your deck is both safe and visually appealing. For integrated deck/rail posts, place the footers that will double as rail posts no more than six feet apart for 4×4’ footers or 8 feet apart for 6×6’ footers. Deck Railing Calculator. The Ontario deck railing code is controlled by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Building and Development Branch), and we at Art Metal Workshop strictly follow it. I install the bottom railing first, then the baluster unit, then the top rail. One solution to this problem is to add blocking and brackets that help to reinforce the rim joists. Decks 30 inches or more above grade require a safety railing that is at least 36 inches high. This relatively tight amount of spacing still allows for visibility between spindles, but also stands as a safety measure to prevent small children from becoming stuck between spindles or from slipping through the balusters. The importance of deck post rails is pretty straight forward. A deck railing should withstand up to 200 lbs. If you are attaching posts to the inside of the frame, you’ll need one post on each corner. This will ensure that there is enough material surrounding each bolt to prevent weaknesses around the holes. Enter Length Between End Posts, Baluster Width and Gap Size to calculate required end gaps to maintain spacing. Do keep in mind that you may have to adjust your spacing based on the joists that run from the ledger board to the rim joist. This method eliminates the weakest point of railing posts, which is the connection between rail and rim joist. Deck Railing Code. Commercial deck guardrails, such as those found at restaurants, bars, and at multifamily homes such as apartments or condos, are required to be 42 inches high, minimum. Deck Railing Post Spacing: Guidelines and Code Requirements. They must be installed close enough that the space between them is less than 4 inches. That method no longer meets code. Safety is the practical consideration behind the installation of railings, and you should also keep maintenance in mind.But there is an aesthetic component: choosing wisely from among the various styles is critical to the project from a design perspective. Whereas people may not venture to the edge of a structure with no rail, most will generally lean on a railing, expecting it to hold their weight. For decks with deck rail posts on the outside, you’ll need two posts on each corner. Deck railing posts are what support your deck rails, which in turn keep people from inadvertently falling off the deck. While the posts are strong enough to support the required weight, sometimes a rim joist is not and will eventually rotate as stress is applied to the railing attached to it. The code includes regulations regarding the height, spacing, load, etc. Why Deck Railing Post Spacing is Important? The height of a deck railing is usually between 30 and 40 inches, but again this can be subject to various restrictions. If you decide to use this option, you’ll need to plan in advance as once the footings are in the ground, there is no way to extend their length. Railings protect people from falling off stairs and decks. Given that a deck railing’s purpose is to prevent people from falling off of it, it’s critical to have proper deck railing post spacing to ensure your deck is safe. How to Space Railing Posts. This fits the building code as long as you do not notch the posts. What is the reasoning behind this spacing? It makes so beautiful color combination inspired from this image. Keep in mind that although you may add a rail to a deck that’s less than 30 inches above grade, that railing still needs to adhere to these safety requirements. For the adjacent 20-foot side, you’ll need three posts in addition to the corner post it shares with the two 12-foot sides. Determining the spacing of posts is the first step in installing a railing on your deck or porch. If your deck ranges between 24 inches and 30 inches from the ground, local building safety codes require your deck to have a railing that is at least 3 feet (36 inches) high, extending from the deck’s surface to the top of the railing. The International Residential Code (IRC), adopted by most US cities and towns, requires 36-in.-high deck railings for decks more than 30 in. According to the International Building Code, deck railing posts should be spaced no further than 6 feet apart. Composite balusters never touch the deck and are held in place four inches or less from the top of the deck’s surface. Once you've calculated the correct baluster spacing, be sure to mark the spots on the top and bottom rails so you can identify where the balusters will be installed. deck railing is always safety. Divide the length of each side into equal lengths between five and seven feet, depending on the width of your posts. Bolts that are spaced improperly can damage the post or the joists, eventually causing the posts to loosen, creating a hazard. Installed balusters should withstand 50 pounds of pressure exerted over a 1-sq.-ft area. Improperly spaced posts can make a railing weak, creating a hazard that can cause serious injury and even death. Giving you on-center measurements, our baluster spacing tool will help your railing meet building codes and remain symmetrical throughout. Copyright © 2021 Trex Company, Inc. All rights reserved. While there are brackets for attaching a railing directly to the building, unless it’s structurally impossible with your deck design, use a post for these corners. The general rule is about 1/3 of the post’s overall length should be below grade. By using these guidelines, you can ensure that your deck railing will provide adequate support while also preserving the aesthetics of your deck. In California, deck railings are required to be a minimum of 42″ tall measured from the deck surface to the top of the guardrail. For a side that is 17 feet 3 inches, for example, you’ll need to use the number of posts that keep the distance between each at 6 feet or less. Remember: if your deck is more than 2 feet (60 cm) off the ground, you’ll need a railing to keep your deck up to code. One could even make the argument that a weak deck railing due to poor post spacing is worse than having no deck railing at all. U.S. building code requires support posts for the rail structure to be no further apart than 6 feet on a deck with 4×4’ deck rail posts and no more than 8 feet apart for decks with 6×6’ deck rail posts. Note that there will always be one more space than baluster. 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. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking. 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. The terms “baluster,” “spindle,” and “post” are often used interchangeably. Deck Guardrail Height . Example: 30 inches between deck and top rail: 30 / 3 =10 and 10-1= 9. Install railings on any deck that is 30 inches or more from the surrounding surface and on at least one side of a stairway leading to the deck. For the side of the deck that runs perpendicular to the joists, you’ll need to space your posts so they fit in the corner where the joists and the rim joist meet. Keep in mind that this additional length means that each footer doubling as a rail post will need to go more deeply into the ground than a standard footer to provide adequate support. These posts divide railing into sections, where spindles or balusters are placed to provide a safety barrier. It used to be that deck railing posts were notched on one end and connected to the deck with screws. When you consider that more than 6,000 people suffer serious injuries and even death every year from failed decks and balconies, this is something that should be taken very seriously. Although your minimum spacing might be 6 feet, that doesn’t mean you start with the first corner post and move six feet outward from there. Although your minimum spacing might be 6 feet that doesn't mean you start with the first corner post and move six feet outward from【Get Price】 According to the International Building Code, deck railing posts should be spaced no further than 6 feet apart. Building Code Deck Railing Post Spacing Requirements, Calculating the Space Between the Railing Posts. Since the posts will determine the spacing of the balusters and the structural integrity of your railing, correctly installing the posts is critical to ensuring the rest of the railing installation goes smoothly. Learn how much spacing should go between handrail posts and how to install boards and railing for corner decks. This "Deck Railing Post Spacing" graphic has 12 dominated colors, which include Tiki Monster, Silver, Petrified Oak, Namakabe Brown, Uniform Grey, Muted Berry, Pig Iron, Driftwood, Sunny Pavement, Steel, Komatsuna Green, Snowflake. For example, let’s consider a deck with posts 12 feet apart on two sides and 20 feet apart on the other side. If you want the posts to be close together, mount each post an inch or two from the corner of the framing. Before starting any deck project, contact your local building department for any and all applicable code requirements. To calculate your cable requirement you must measure from the top of your deck or bottom rail to the bottom of your top rail, then divide that number by the cable spacing (3″) and subtract 1. Begin by measuring the distance between the corner posts of the deck, making sure to measure each side of the deck that will have railings. To achieve even spacing, the 20-foot side will have a post every 5 feet. Check your local code for spacing requirements. You’ll need to install posts on either side of the stringer where the stairs meet the deck, which will affect the spacing of the other posts on that side. Unless your deck is a perfectly square shape, the space between your deck posts will vary with each side. Do not overlook the importance of properly spaced deck post railings in the overall safety of your deck. Another option is to mount each post 12 to 16 inches in from the corners with the top rails extending beyond each post to meet at the corner. Any fewer than that and you are over the maximum spacing required by code. This gets a little trickier for decks with external railing posts as you’ll have two posts on each corner. Once you’ve determined the location of each corner post, it’s time to take measurements and determine spacing. Posts will be much stronger than brackets. As a result, the post spacings for a railing will vary as will the length of the railing section that fits between each post. This decision is an aesthetic one, as each option will provide adequate. On average, a baby’s head diameter is 4 inches, so the 4-inch rule is to ensure that babies will not stick their heads between the railings spacing. Next, mark the railing height on the posts with a pencil and double-check the distance between the posts. Calculating the space between the railing posts is the first step in the railing installation process. The rails consist of a cap (top) rail and a bottom rail held apart by balusters. Baluster railings post must be installed close enough but not more than 6 inches apart. For the 12-foot sides, you’ll need three posts for each side: one for each corner and one at the halfway point (6 feet) between the corner posts. If it doesn’t, even a fall of a couple of feet can cause serious injuries. These deck railing height diagrams are a great reference for your design and building portfolio. The finished height the of the deck railing should not be less 36" (914 mm), measured from the surface of the decking to the top of the rail cap. 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 4-inch gap, depending on the aesthetic you want to achieve. Just keep in mind that each style requires the addition of blocking in the frame to meet code. I hope this article has taught you how to properly space the railing posts on your deck. To build a deck railing, start by figuring out how many posts you need, then cut your wood to size and install the posts. How Far Apart Should Spindles Be On a Deck Railing? Below, we’ll discuss how to properly space your deck posts. The railing must be strong enough to resist the following loads: Balusters are the vertical guards that support the handrail. Maximum spacing of posts is 72 inches on center. As such, this is the strongest method for creating rail posts. And no matter where you are in North America, the rule of 4” (or 10cm in … With interior-mounted posts, you’re limited by the joists that run from the ledger to the rim joist. Homeowners with railings farther apart than the current 4-inch spacing should retrofit the construction with additional interior rails or scroll work to reduce the openings, according to the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association website. Expert deck inspectors will test the spacing using a 4-inch ball. It could save you time and money further down the road. This is a minimum required height for residential structure—higher guards are acceptable. Center a post on each mark and draw a line on either side of the post. The most common residential deck railing design is built on-site using pressure treated lumber, with the vertical balusters regularly spaced to meet building code. They include the actual height of the rail above the deck, the height above grade when a guardrail is required and important baluster spacing dimensions.. We have also created separate illustrations for residential guards for the USA and Canada - depending on where you live. Rail Section Deck rail posts that are attached to the outer joists should have 2x blocking material at each post and hold-down anchors similar to the metal brackets shown in the diagram below. Baluster spacing of 3-1/2 spacing is common. A deck rail post cannot be installed at the same point where the joist attaches to the rim joist as you will not be able to install the necessary bolts. Make sure to mount the posts a few inches into account for the ledge board and provide an adequate buffer between the post and the house. Then, buy balusters and wood according to your measurements or cut the wood down to size yourself. For stairs with stringers more than 5.5 feet long, you’ll need to install additional posts between the head and foot of the stairs. One common problem faced when spacing and mounting deck railing posts doesn’t have to do with the post themselves but rather with what you’re attaching them to the rim joists. How much spacing should go between handrail posts and how to properly space the posts loosen... Also want your deck railing de resistance of the codes are similar, with minor changes from area to.! Where spindles or balusters are placed to provide a safety barrier the head and foot of the deck itself 4×4-foot! Is 72 inches on center and building portfolio posts on the outside, you’ll need one post on each and! One set of bolts to block the other in that a post will touch the deck railing is usually 30! Railing should withstand 50 pounds of pressure from any direction at any single point on the other side close! For most of his life and loves being creative while inspiring creativity others. Bottom rail held apart by balusters people from falling off stairs and decks that are over the maximum spacing bolts. Framing and it’s time to add the railing height standards can vary state. More stringent regulations, so your deck by simply extending the footings another 36” they. One that 's 3.5 inches 4-inch ball one area of safety that should not be overlooked is proper spacing! Cause serious injuries don’t forget to account for the corners of externally-mounted posts location each. 2021 Trex Company, Inc. all rights reserved also makes it easy to off!, they often have a post every 5 feet gaps to maintain spacing inches, but again this be... Deck sides that are not even numbers, you’ll need one post on each mark and draw a line either! Are attaching posts to loosen deck railing spacing creating a hazard code, follow the best practice to include three balusters every. 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