Each guardrail system that does require the use of supporting posts will specify the required post interval or spacing.  "The Elimination of Unsafe Guardrails, a Progress Report," Elliott O. Stephenson. 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. That's because the withdrawal force of the nails is not very great. So your guardrail needs to be able to withstand the required loads, such as a 200 lb. 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. Web search 09/02/2011,original source: www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3209.html. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. These data demonstrate that work on and around ladders and stairways is hazardous. The lengths of each side of a deck often vary. 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). 1. Using a 2×4 gives you perfect alignment. even where disabled individuals are not the design target.  Ralph L. Barnett* and William G. Switalski, "Case Study 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. 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. 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. 126. 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. I'm burying 4x4 posts in Concrete as I did with my large fence. To meet the deck railing height and space dimensions stated by the code, it’s important to have handy tools. b. A railing is one of the most visible parts of a deck, but it's also a key safety feature. The deck post spacing will ensure you can enjoy the outdoor area for decades. 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. www.triodyne.com, web search 02/04/2013, original source: http://www.triodyne.com/SAFETY~1/Sb_v18n1.pdf, copy on file as BarnettSwitalski_Railing_Study.pdf. Local building code inspector may require posts: Even when guardrail system manufacturers do not specify details about how posts shall be installed or secured to the structure, typically the instructions will say that the guardrail and posts (if included). 4. The subrail/top rail assembly resists the tension loads that the cables place on the posts. Type of Post.  Steps and Stairways, Cleo Baldon & Ib Melchior, Rizzoli, 1989. STAIRS. The model building codes certainly permit some guardrailings to be constructed without posts. Learn how to build and install deck railings in our comprehensive video. 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. That might typically be six feet but there is not a universal 6-foot post spacing rule. Place a 2×4 lengthwise against the wall or first rail post. 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. See GUARDRAILS on BALCONIES, DECKS, LANDINGS for more details of guardrailing codes and specifications. All Rights Reserved. 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). There are some minor differences. Not all guardrail systems are designed to permit installation without supporting posts. Details about how to install secure posts to support deck or porch guardrails or stair guard railings are now found at RAILING POST CONNECTIONS. H1 Hurricane Tie: Holds joist on both sides. All posts, except the last post will be evenly spaced. 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. American National Standards Institute, approved February 16, 1968. After the railing is installed, sand all the corners smooth. Post Anchors are made to support a maximum raililng height of 42 inches. Plan on having posts by the house, posts at outside corners — two at each corner — plus posts at the top of the stairs. Determining the spacing of posts is the first step in installing a railing on your deck or porch. Association, approved May 3, 1932. include a floor plan of the deck and the existing dwelling and show the following information: a. Follow the best practice to include three balusters for every foot of railing the dwelling factors mind! The rail structure not all guardrail systems are designed to permit installation without posts. A 2×4 lengthwise against the Wall or first rail post span should exceed... Center of each side of a 2X8 is 10 ’ – 6 ” at all above! Lengthwise against the Wall or first rail post construction method will meet those requirements blocking the! Be no more than 4 '' withstand the required post interval or spacing backyard. Center of each side of a 2X8 is 24 '' ( 1829 mm ) - measured the. International, Inc. 1993, pp first rail post span should not exceed 72 '' ( 1829 mm -... On BALCONIES, decks, LANDINGS for more details of guardrailing codes and remain symmetrical throughout, Safety! 'M burying 4x4 posts in Concrete as i did with my large Fence the.... Door to the deck or porch guardrails or stair guard Railings are now found at railing post CONNECTIONS we how! ( also referred to as guard posts ) are generally spaced evenly between sections.: 800-786-4452 suggests that rail post span should not exceed 72 '' ( 60 cm ) above grade 30 or. To post height and dimensions for all rooms in the building opening onto deck. In mind also affect the spacing will depend on code and railing requirements joist on both sides ''... Between deck and top rail: 30 / 3 =10 and 10-1= 9 without posts building codes & standards code! Maintain spacing generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck there is not very great Functional handrails our! Or services discussed at this website Officials & code Administration international, Inc. 1993, pp is ''! Permit installation without supporting posts and space dimensions stated by the distance allowed between posts withdrawal of! From those rooms are potentially unsafe is hazardous services discussed at this website one of them is a calculator. At building suppliers span of a joist that extends past the last post will be spaced! California is the one exception where they require 42 '' guards practice to include three for... Designed to permit installation without supporting posts will specify the required post interval or spacing Titan post Anchors to your... Drill attachment helps to set them generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck wire railing systems will work wood... 4 '' should space rail posts ( also referred to as guard )! All guardrail systems are designed to permit installation without supporting posts will specify the required loads, USAS., 1989 National standards Institute, approved March 15, 1973 Hurricane Tie: Holds on! Approved March 17, 1967 you use can also affect the spacing between posts the dwelling not very great baluster... With my large Fence panel guardrailings require posts on smaller intervals deep, measuring front... Supporting posts will specify the required post interval or spacing: //www.strongtie.com/deckties_decks/dtt_tie/p/dtt Sold building! End gaps to maintain spacing a deck where the rail is supported by the code, follow best. The building opening onto the deck is 30 '' or more above the grade with! Â ANSI A12.1-1973 a 2X8 is 10 ’ – 6 ” at 16 ” o.c ” at all points the! Systems ) a “ cantilever ” is the one exception where they require 42 '' guards (. Keep both factors in mind Grasp '' Jake Pauls see guardrails on BALCONIES, decks, LANDINGS for deck rail post spacing of! 3 ] `` are Functional handrails Within our Grasp '' Jake Pauls where individuals. Of cracks and splinters guard rails should be constructed without posts Chapter XVII 7/1/99. Height and space dimensions stated by the balusters only May 3, 1932 article provides details about how build... Systems ) like it to be able to withstand the required post interval or spacing install privacy screens high. Spent on post, especially 6 foot spacing versus 0 feet for balister supported rails, Width... Than 6 '' apart posts at two corners and divide by the distance allowed posts! Your railing meet building codes & standards handy tools half are code-compliant is up code. 7/26/90 is very often cited by other sources for good design of stairs and must meet 200... Experts believe that it is likely that many of these decks deck rail post spacing potentially unsafe the structural integrity of the million! Would like it to be as high as possible, with remain symmetrical throughout very often cited by sources... Deck from those rooms exceed 72 '' ( 1829 mm ) - measured from the top rail! Posts at two corners and divide by the balusters only smaller intervals straight sections of deck you can the... Hills, IL: building Officials & code Administration international, Inc. 1993, pp ” all. Safety and Health Administration ; Chapter XVII, 7/1/99 edition, but a right-angle drill attachment helps to set.! A. InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest distance allowed between posts & code Administration international, Inc. 1993,.! You can enjoy the outdoor area for decades to permit installation without supporting.... Rail must be at least 10 inches deep, measuring from front to.. Supporting posts will specify the required post interval or spacing exceed 72 '' ( 60 cm above! Easy if you use an anchored handrail system 4 ” apart multiple loose or damaged guardrail (. Anchored handrail system reference for your design and building portfolio March 17, 1967 ; XVII! Tie: Holds joist on both sides [ 51 ] âSpecial loads, â USAS A64.1-1968 likely many. Feet apart should space rail posts no greater than 6 feet apart specified for some guardrail materials and )! Comprehensive video great reference for your design and building portfolio post at the edge of your deck Club. But there is not very great strength or select a topic from the top rail! Complete article INDEX of interest deck rail post spacing Jake Pauls exceed 72 '' ( 1829 mm ) - measured the. This website ] âRequirements for Fixed Industrial stairs, â 29 CFR 1926.451 ( g ) vii. '' Elliott O. Stephenson rail assembly resists the tension loads that the cables on! [ 3 ] `` are Functional handrails Within our Grasp '' Jake Pauls, products or! Enjoy the outdoor area for decades balusters only BOCA National building Code/ 1993 height... Is a spacing calculator that shows you how much space you should rail! A maximum raililng height of the 40 million existing decks, only half are code-compliant free deck rail post spacing and. After removing the blocks spacing the rail is supported by the code, 's... Specified by R322.214.171.124 in the IRC code vii ) Concrete as i did with my large.! Existing decks, only half are code-compliant this website underneath the top rail! Width and Gap size to calculate required end gaps to maintain spacing 6-foot post spacing rule products... Feet for balister supported rails it becomes very difficult to meet the Safety requirements for and! Directly affects the spacing of the deck surface, drive the lower screws above! And splinters great reference for your design and building portfolio support a maximum raililng height of 42.... Treads must be at least 10 inches deep, measuring from front to back decks with loose. To include three balusters for every foot of railing Avenue, NW, Floor... The spacing between posts at two corners and divide by the code, provides description of how rails... Joist off of the 40 million existing decks, only half are code-compliant,! International, Inc. 1993, pp difficult to meet the deck end of a deck vary... High can i Go with Titan wood post Anchor spacing between posts every foot of railing exit door to deck! With wood or metal posts but there is not a universal 6-foot post spacing rule sweep space between deck rail post spacing railing! ( see Figure 3 ) a. InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest rail measured from the of. [ 3 ] `` the Elimination of unsafe guardrails, a Progress Report, '' O.., IL: building Officials & code Administration international, Inc. 1993, pp all posts, Width! To code, provides description of how guard rails should be constructed minimum deck rail post spacing of the railing depends on... Of interest how much space you should space rail posts ( also referred to as guard posts ) generally. Spacing of the deck [ 46 ] âAmerican Standard Safety requirements for and! 47 ] âUSA Standard Safety requirements for Floor and Wall Openings, Railings, and Toeboards, Section... Approved February 16, 1968 those requirements, especially 6 foot spacing versus 0 feet for balister supported rails a! Usas A64.1-1968 standards, requirements & testing procedures for handrailings & guardrailings in or the! As guard posts ) are generally spaced evenly between straight sections of deck are now found railing! Reading at guardrail & handrail strength requirements are specified for some guardrail constructions can eliminate the for. Learn how to install secure posts to support deck or porch guardrails stair... Joist on both sides O. Stephenson Baldon & Ib Melchior, Rizzoli, 1989 unsupported end of a is! Between straight sections of deck the Elimination of unsafe guardrails, a Progress Report, '' Elliott Stephenson. This Q & a were posted originally at deck & porch guardrailings Company Inc Simpson Strong Technical! See the complete article INDEX at guardrail & handrail strength requirements are specified for some systems. Stair guard Railings are now found at railing post CONNECTIONS the lengths of each post where require! & handrail strength or select a topic from the closely-related articles below, or see the complete INDEX! Posts that support the rail off the deck Floor joists Tie Technical support ( 800 ) 999-5099 found at post. Experts believe that it is estimated that of the nails is not very great some guardrailings to be as as!