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  #1  
Old 02-11-2009, 09:09 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Building Code question: Rail height for a deck

What is the new building code requirement for rail height on a deck? Is it 42" regardless of the distance to the ground, or is it 36" as long as that distance is less than "x". This site says:
Quote:
* Deck surface is less than 24” above ground – no railings required
* Deck surface is 24” to 5’10” above ground – minimum 36”railing is required
* Deck surface is 5’10” or more above ground – minimum 42” railing is required

But I'm not sure if this info complies with the latest changes to the code (effective Jan 1 last year).

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2009, 09:50 AM
Carson O'Genic Carson O'Genic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
To my knowledge, there is no overarching authority for this, your local municipality would have final say.
42" used to be the standard industrial height, regardless of elevation, and a comfortable (comforting?) height for average males.
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Old 02-11-2009, 02:43 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
My understanding is that there was a new UBC adopted last year. I was interested in what that says. It's an expensive book and I was hoping not to buy it. I may check at the library later.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:32 PM
fisha fisha is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2006
MN residential Code, based on ICC 2008.

R312.1 Guards. Porches, balconies, ramps or raised floor surfaces located more than 30" above the floor or grade below shall have guards not less than 36" in height.[snip]
Porches and decks which are enclosed with insect screening shall be equipped with guards where the walking surface is located more than 30" above the floor or grade below.

Remember also that railings have to be less than 4" apart.


Here is a link to a MB that might be helpful.

http://www.iccsafe.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi

Also, you local codes might be slightly different, be sure to check with the local building inspector.

Last edited by fisha; 02-11-2009 at 07:32 PM..
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2009, 08:01 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Thanks. I know about the 4" rule and I know that local codes vary. My question is what is actually written in the International Building Code (my mistake in calling it "universal", above).
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