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Old 02-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


HI, I'm hoping someody here may have an idea for a deck "rail" that will meet my peculular needs. Here is the situation, I'm building a large ( 550 sf+/-, 55' long)) deck to cover most of the back of my new construction (ranch) house. The deck will need to meet the house at threshhold levels since i have a handicapped son in a wheelcahir. The house also has 58" windows that start only 16" above floor height. (i.e. The deck surface will be only 16" below window height.) The entire deck will be approx 20" off the ground once grading is finished so code says i don't need a full 30" rail system. . What i'd like to do is use some sort of a low barrier/rail that will keep my son from driving off the edge, yet not block out the view of all those nice big windows. Any ideas, links etc greatly appreciated. appreciated.
Thanks for your help!
Dave A

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Old 02-10-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


Well.. ultimately you're going to be asking what height the rail needs to be. If you're under half the height of the big wheels, there's a chance he could roll over the rail, and if you're under the full height it's possible he could roll backwards into the rail then flip backwards over the rail. Either of which would require movement at a high rate of speed, might not happen at a slow roll, but I guess it's a matter of how far you need to go to prevent it.

Now, there are probably guidelines about railings from some sort of disabilities society you could look for if you haven't tried looking there. That could be another idea.

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Old 02-10-2012, 02:53 PM   #3
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


You mean there's no requirement for a 36" rail, not 30".
I'm in a wheelchair, and had just a 2x8 curb around my ramp, which stops my little front wheels just fine.
But one day, my dog was glad to see me come home, jumped up on me, and flipped me over backwards.
I went down about 3 feet over the edge.
By all rights, I should have broke my neck because I landed on the back of my head.
As I was falling, I realized I was more scared then the times I went skydiving.
And in that short time (it seemed like forever, though. It was like slow motion), I had time to realize that my life was going to change yet again, this time because of my stupidity, trying to save a buck and do w/o a railing.
IMO, no view is worth it, considering what's at stake. Just build a railing; one high enough that a person in a wheelchair can't flip over backwards.
And since it's hard to comfortably lean on a short railing, you might as well build it full height.
Also, a short one might look kinda funny.
I'm just looking at it from an informed perspective,
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


You could look at some of these figures from ADA guidelines, I don't think there's exactly what you're after, but these are railings for ramps and fishing piers.

http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/ht...res/fig17.html
http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/ht...res/fig62.html
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


Thanks Gents, good input. need to continue to do some thinking on this end.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


There's lots of ways to have a railing but not have it blocking the viex much.
There's acrilic panels, Stantions with Stainless steel cables to name a few.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:53 AM   #7
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


You could always build a railings for areas not in front of the windows and then use built in bench seats for areas in which you want unrestricted views.

This would allow for the safety of your son while providing a somewhat unrestricted view from the windows.

Mark
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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Need help with design for special req deck rail .


Titan is dead right (thankfully, not literally) about going full height.

And Joe gave you the perfect way to build.

Several churches I've attended have clear plastic balcony railings so the people up there can have an unobstructed view of the stage area below.

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Last edited by Willie T; 02-11-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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