2x6 Handrail System

Deck Railing Specifications

Always check local building codes for specs on deck railings.

Usually deck railings are required for any deck higher than 30 inches above the ground, and for stairs with five or more steps. Local building codes are quite specific about this so check the code in your area for the specification. The height of a deck railing is usually between 30 and 40 inches, but again this can be subject to various restrictions.

Here are some typical specs for deck railings so you know what to expect.  Be sure to verify with the building codes in your area:

  • railing height: 36″ to 42″
  • baluster spacing: 3 1/2″ to 4″ – the inspector will check with a ball
  • post-to-baluster spacing: 3 1/2″ to 4″
  • deck-to-bottom rail spacing: 2″ to 4″
  • no footholds – kids should not be able to climb over them
  • They need to meet certain strength ratings, typically,if a 300-lb man were to fall against the deck railing, it should not move more than 1″
  • pool deck railings can be different in every area and must be verified
  • You may be surprised to find that there is no appeal process in place. You might consider submitting drawings for approval ahead of time when you plan on doing something different than the norm

Home Owner’s associations is different again.Do not be surprised to see “No building whatsoever without approval by the association.”

There are historic districts in most cities and a committee rules these.  These areas are far better looking than the norm, because the architects are challenged to do their best work.

Ipe Handrail Example

  • ABS Wood has various handrail systems.  You can mix and match to get the style or look you desire.
  • You can use all wood or use wood handrail atop Fortress Railing products.
  • Just call and talk to any customer service representative for more information.