The International Residential Code (IRC) specifies that the minimum height for deck railings on residential decks is 36 inches (91 cm) for decks that are up to 30 inches (76 cm) above the ground. For decks that are more than 30 inches above the ground, the railing height should be at least 42 inches.
However, it’s essential to note:
- Local Variations: Building codes can vary by state, county, and city. Always check with your local building department or authority to determine the specific requirements for your area.
- Openings in Railings: The IRC also specifies that openings in the railing should not allow a sphere of 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter to pass through. This is to prevent small children from getting their heads stuck or falling through the railing.
- Stairs: For stair railings or handrails, the code often requires a height of 34 inches to 38 inches, measured vertically from the nosing of the treads.
- Commercial Spaces: If you’re dealing with a commercial space or a multifamily dwelling, the International Building Code (IBC) might apply instead of the IRC, and the requirements could be different.
Always ensure that you’re compliant with the most recent version of the code and any local amendments or variations.
Metal Deck Railing Kits
Purchasing a metal deck railing kit is the easiest way to build you deck railing to code. Once you confirm your local building code requirements you can shop for a deck railing kit.