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Old 10-21-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
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Deck staircase rail height


Just built rails on my deck that are 4 feet high. I need to put staircase rails on and I'm not sure what height to put them at. The city code is minimum 3 feet. Aesthetically 4 feet staircase rails are the nicest but they seem a tad high and awkward? 3 feet seems to be a comfortable height but looks awkward.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:16 AM   #2
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Deck staircase rail height


Here its 34" - 38" measured from the nose of the tread.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:31 AM   #3
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Deck staircase rail height


If you want the guardrail at 4’ then go for it and install a handrail to it. 34-38” on the handrail here too. I’ve never heard of a max. height on a guardrail.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
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Deck staircase rail height


Big difference in GUARDRAIL and HANDRAIL, guardrail prevents falling and is usually min 36" with no maximum, however the taller the rail the more leverage applied so taller may actually be weaker. Handrail is a graspable rail on stairs that is continuous from beyond nosing of both top and bottom treads at 34-38 above the nosing.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Deck staircase rail height


Newbie question - which part is the nosing? Top of the stringer?
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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Deck staircase rail height


Here is a nice cheat sheet for handrails. It is for where I live but pretty much applicable to everywhere. http://www.cityofseattle.net/dclu/Pu...cam/cam319.pdf
It shows the answer to your last question
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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Deck staircase rail height


i dont know what the american code is for handrail, but the canadian code states that hand rail must be a minimum of 36" above the nosing of the stair tread when the stair is less than 6' in overall height. once the stair and platform are at 6' off of grade the handrail must now be 42" above the nosing
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Deck staircase rail height


Quote:
Originally Posted by wooworkbykirk View Post
i dont know what the american code is for handrail, but the canadian code states that hand rail must be a minimum of 36" above the nosing of the stair tread when the stair is less than 6' in overall height. once the stair and platform are at 6' off of grade the handrail must now be 42" above the nosing
Feel free to correct me but doesn't this convert to 31.5'' to 38''? Are you confusing guard rail height? Or am I confused?
I do see on #3 that on landings 42'' is the max allowed.

National Building Code of Canada

Section 9.8

Stairs, Ramps and Handrails

9.8.7.4. Height of Handrails

1) Height of handrails on stairs and ramps shall be measured vertically from a line drawn
a) through the outside edges of the stair nosing, or
b) from the surface of the ramp, floor or landing below the handrail.
2) Except as provided in Sentences (3) and (4), the height of handrails on stairs and ramps shall be
a) not less than 800 mm, and
b) not more than 965 mm.
3) Where guards are required, handrails on landings are permitted to be not more than 1 070 mm in height.
4) Handrails not meeting the requirements of Sentences (2) and (3) are permitted provided they are installed in addition to the required handrails.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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Deck staircase rail height


the code goes for landings, and guard rails both interior and exterior. it also depends on what version of the code you are checking. 4 years ago i did a vinyl handrail install and we werent sure if we bought the correct height. so we checked with one of the inspectors we know. he clearly stated 36" for stairs and platforms that are under 6' high and 42" for anything exceeding 6' high. been doing that ever since and none of the inspectors have made us change anything
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