Deck railing

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Old 09-06-10, 05:28 PM
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Deck railing

We are in the process of building a new deck on our house but I'm having some issues with the local codes concerning railing. I am a metal fabricator and will be building the railing from steel and having it powder coated. My builder is telling me that the rail needs to be built with balusters 4" on center, but it seems excessive to me. The house I grew up in had a deck 14' off the ground with only a 2x4 top rail and a 2x4 center rail on 8' 4x4 posts. Now I'll agree that that is sub par but I don't want to build it on 4" centers if I don't have to. What options do I have?
 
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Old 09-06-10, 05:59 PM
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I don't think you'll get the inspector to budge on the 4" issue. That's code pretty much everywhere. It has to do with the diameter of the average rugrat's head.
 
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Old 09-06-10, 06:22 PM
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It's not a 4" center....it is no space to exceed 4" between balusters. So if you have 3/4" steel balusters, you will have a lot of them.
 
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Old 09-07-10, 06:20 AM
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I thought that was just for pool surrounds? I had in mind four horizontal square bars with randomly placed vertical supports. Would end up being 30 x 9 openings
 
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Old 09-07-10, 09:24 AM
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If I'm not mistaken the baluster placement code applies to any railing where the deck, landing or stairs is above a certain height. I don't know the height specs but it's probably somewhere around 16-24"
 
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Old 09-07-10, 04:43 PM
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You are probably under the IRC 2006 Deck Code with most of the rest of the Country: http://www.lancova.com/deckinfo.pdf

Gary
 
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Old 09-07-10, 06:34 PM
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Our inspector takes his 4" ball and throws it around on the deck once he gets on it. It had better stay on the deck. The reference Gary mentions is spot on. Covers all aspects of the deck under those codes.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Our inspector takes his 4" ball and throws it around on the deck once he gets on it. It had better stay on the deck. The reference Gary mentions is spot on. Covers all aspects of the deck under those codes.
After all the discussion about PT posts in ground I was surprised to see fig 12. I'm not sure if the illustration showing a tie to the footer is a mistake. It would be kind of tough to get that attached 3' down in a 18" hole.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 11:36 AM
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Lol. Or footings within 5' of the basement..... bottom of an 8' hole..... did you notice fasteners into the rim joists through the decking?

Gary
 
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Old 09-08-10, 05:47 PM
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Yeah, Wayne, I have seen it done, but the copper naphthenate coating has to soak in, so the people doing that one stood the posts up in 5 gallon buckets of the stuff for a day or so.
C'mon Gary, you've got my interest piqued on the fastener thingy, and I couldn't find it. Which figure? I heard the 5' closeness to the house's footing was for heaving purposes. Man it must be cold there!
 
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Old 09-08-10, 06:48 PM
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pp.5: joists shall not be attached to opposite sides of same beam

pp8: secure decking to top of rim joist with #10x3 min. wood screws @ 6o.c., nails not permitted.

pp.14: free-standing decks-beam posts near house footings same elevation as house footings. Same with a basement.

pp.16: anchor hardware required for running-joists guard post. .

pp.19: Handrail shall return at each end.

That will keep us on our toes......

Gary
 
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Old 09-09-10, 04:49 AM
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5) Yeah, I want to change the nailing pattern of the decking by 4 or 5" to offset the hangers
8) You don't attach the decking to the rim joist anyway.....holes in flashing ring a bell?
14) Not sure on this unless it has to do with weakening the soil below the house's pad if you dig deep.
16) Like double 12" carriage bolts and lags into the building won't hold.
19) Handrail has to be "graspable". Many configurations. Returns won't stand up to weather IMO.

Thanks for the info, Gary. I'll keep my guard up.
 
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