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Old 05-01-2014, 06:28 PM   #1
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


Does anyone know the code for stair railings in NJ?

My deck is 22" above grade and has 2 steps going down (steps are 10' wide) . Looking at the deck, a hand railing may look odd because of how steep it will have to be to make the right angle. I don't even think it will feel functional at that angle.

I thought I read somewhere that railings were only required if the deck was greater than 30" above the ground and if there were 3 or more steps.

Can anyone confirm this?

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Old 05-01-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


I do not know the code for your area, years ago, A railing was required if your deck was over 36" from grade. 30" sounds reasonable to me also.
But your 22" I do not think would be required from code.

Although, it would make it more convenient for some, to assist them walking up the 2 steps.
If you have a existing rail around the deck that a hand rail could butt into, I would install it.
I do not think the angle would look drastically funny, would be a great help for seniors or disabled persons to climb up.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


I'm a senior and I don't want to gain 22 inches in elevation going up or loose 22" in two steps going down. Make it 3 steps and my right knee might be able to handle it and the rail won't look strange.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


The rise is only 7.5" - 3 steps would be really shallow. My father has bad knee problems and he didn't seem to have trouble going up and down them.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:37 PM   #5
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


Not a bad riser height...but can the op confirm that the steps are ten FEET wide? If so, it is more like a cole of platforms as opposed to a set of stairs! That said, where I am 22" does not require a handrail regardless of widths. Ron
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:34 PM   #6
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


Yes, the stairs are 10 feet wide (centered on the 14 foot wide front end of the deck).

1 step down from the deck, followed by another step and then onto the ground.

I have 36" railings all around the deck but didn't know if I was required to actually go down the steps. I can always add it later, but for now if I'm not required by code, I didn't want to do it at this time.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #7
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


NJ is probably under the Residential Deck Code; http://www.reedconstructiondata.com/...es/new-jersey/

http://www.awc.org/Publications/DCA/DCA6/DCA6-09.pdf

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Old 05-04-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


In my area and most, from what I have read, a deck below 24" does not require a railing. Having said that, the need may be there. If there are people who require assistance or support, put the railing on. It is just for the sake of safety and convenience. Some people are in need of a little extra when climbing stairs.
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Old 05-04-2014, 11:20 AM   #9
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


Quote:
Originally Posted by adgjqetuo View Post
The rise is only 7.5" - 3 steps would be really shallow
7 1/2" rises exceeds maximum in most places
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:52 PM   #10
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How many deck steps before a handrail is required?


Max of 7 3/4", min of 4" is the standard around here. Ron

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