The height is measured vertically from the line connecting the nosing. REMEMBER THESE THINGS. Guardrails are installed to protect occupants from falling from various types of walking surfaces. STAIRS. The top of the handrail should be at least 34 inches but not more than 38 inches high. the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards. For external balcony or terrace areas the required height is 1.1m from datum to the top of handrail. (Note: the permissible tolerance on height dimensions is one inch). The way this is measured is to begin at the leading edge of the stair nosing and run an imaginary vertical line upward until it reaches the top of the railing. Like baluster spacing, this code is necessary for child safety. Wall handrail heights on the raking part of stairs should be between 900mm to 1000mm, measured from the pitch line of the stairs to the top of the handrail. Even if you don’t have children, your local building department will enforce this code. The height is measured vertically from the line connecting the nosing. You can’t use a two-by-four but a two-by-two as a handrail would meet code. Read moreAcceptX, B1 Residential Building Inspector Practice Quiz, B2 Commercial Building Inspector Practice Quiz, R3 Residential Plans Examiner Practice Quiz, E1 Residential Electrical Inspector Practice Quiz, P1 Residential Plumbing Inspector Practice Quiz, Accessibility Inspector / Plans Examiner Practice Quiz, CT CALGreen Inspector / Plans Examiner Practice Quiz, Minimum Roof Slopes Required by Roofing Material, How to Calculate Crawl Space Ventilation | Building Code Requirements Explained, How to Size Floor Joists Per the IRC | Easily Explained with Examples, Standard Front Door Size Per the Residential Code, Minimum Toilet Clearances per the Residential Code, What is an ICC Certification & How to Get ICC Certified, Practice Exam | E1 Residential Electrical Inspector Exam Prep, How to Calculate the Natural Light and Ventilation Requirements for Habitable Rooms per the Residential Code, Fire Rated Door Requirements Between a Garage and House, 15 Essential Reference Books Every Code Official Needs, How to Calculate Occupant Load | Easily Explained with Examples, Practice Exam | B2 Commercial Building Inspector Exam Prep, How to Size Ceiling Joists Per the IRC | Easily Explained with Examples, Building Occupancy Classification – Occupancy Types Explained, Practice Exam | B3 Building Plans Examiner Exam Prep, California Residential Code (CRC) is to be no less than 42 inches. The top edge of the handrail must be placed between 34” and 38” above the nosing of the stair treads. Important point to note! As with balustrades for decks and balconies, gaps in railings on stairs cannot have openings greater than 125 millimetres. For this platform height in a domestic property, any railings or balustrades should be at least 900mm higher than the deck itself. Since guardrails are commonly used to serve as a guard, we want to see how this section applies to guardrails so that they can comply as a “Guard” as defined per Section R312. When the rail is complete, the top of the rail should withstand 200 pounds of pressure from any direction. Building Codes Questions Ray Boosinger Phone: 217-557-6140 Fax: 217-524-4208 Ray.Boosinger@illinois.gov Exception 1 allows the triangular opening formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of the guard to be larger, but at no point shall it allow a 6 inch diameter sphere to pass through. So basically the spacing should be under 4 inches. The International Residential Code (IRC) establishes the requirements for guardrails to ensure a standard of safety for the user. Since guards must also be provided at stairs that have a drop of more than 30 inches they are allowed to be at a height of no less than 34 inches when the guard does not act as a handrail. The Acceptable Solution D1/AS1 says Clause D1 requires handrails on all stairs. Guardrails do not have a height limitation, except for when they serve as a handrail in addition to a guardrail. Height Requirements The International Residential Code requires balcony railings to be These posts should be no farther apart than six feet on the flat deck and no farther apart than 5 1/2 feet on stairs. Datum is defined as “any level surface used as a reference in measuring elevations.” Building Codes & Regulations 401 South Spring Street 3rd Floor, Stratton Building Springfield, IL 62706. There are 2 exceptions however. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Juliet balcony and balustrade regulations – The basics. Your local building department might require closer post spacing for added rail strength. : Guideline –Building Industry and PolicyDeck, balcony and window safety March 2017 Page 6 of 21 1. Minimum 36 ”at all points above the permitted handrail height. On balustrades, the openings between balusters must not allow a 125 mm spherical object to pass through. (a) A standard guardrail shall consist of top rail, midrail or equivalent protection, and posts, and shall have a vertical height within the range of 42 inches to 45 inches from the upper surface of the top rail to the floor, platform, runway, or ramp level. So a guard can be a building component such as a small wall that meets the minimum height requirement for a guard. The railing must be at least 34 inches high, have a diameter of 1-1/4 to 2 inches, must be 1-1/2 inches or further from the adjacent wall and must be within 30 inches of the rest of the step. Commercial deck guardrails, such as those found at restaurants, bars, and at multifamily homes such as apartments or condos, are required to be 42 inches high, minimum. Balusters, the vertical guards that support the handrail, must be installed close enough that the space between them is no greater than 4 inches. 2. The baluster load should not be more than 50lbs. To ensure safety, individual communities in the United States regulate certain aspects of construction. A deck with no or inadequate railings is an accident waiting to happen. On staircases, they must have a minimum of 865 mm. The height is measured vertically from the line connecting the nosing. In a dwelling, this is 900mm, and external balconies must have a height of 1100mm from the datum to the top of the handrail. The balustrade from should be 1.1m from datum to the top.What is ‘datum’?Datum is the tec… Some balusters connect to the decking, while others connect to a bottom rail. There is a difference in minimum heights of balustrades for those that in inside and those that are outside.Internally, the height of the balustrade from the point that someone is stood on to the top of the balustrade should be a minimum of 0.9m. (c) The top of stair railings, handrails and handrail extensions installed on or after April 3, 1997, shall be at a vertical height between 34 and 38 inches above the nosing of treads and landings. How to Make a Room Divider to Isolate the Stairs, Pool Fence Regulations for Landlords in California, How to Install a Diagonal Shower Safety Rail, Universal Forest Products: Key Residential Deck Railing Requirements, Residential Deck Handrail Building Requirements, Deck Railing Height Minimums in Connecticut. This means horizontal balustrades are not … Most regulations come from the International Residential Code, although local building authorities often add additional restrictions for their specific communities. For these decks, the handrails must not have any climbable elements located between 150mm and 760mm of the floor. Before you get ready for revamping, there are other Ontario Building Codes for decks that you should know about: The minimum stair handrail height for Ontario homes is 34 inches. Now lets take a look at these sections as we explain the requirements.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'buildingcodetrainer_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_1',107,'0','0'])); The open side of any walking surface, which include stairs, ramps, and landings, must be provided with a guardrail when the floor surface is located more than 30 inches (measured vertically) to the adjacent floor or grade at any point within 36 inches (measured horizontally) from the edge at the open side of the walking surface. For stairs of more than four metres in height, a railing must also not have any climbable elements, such as horizontal rails, located between 150 millimetres and 760 millimetres from the floor. The height is measured vertically above the walking surface or the line that connects the nosing of a set of stairs. Decks and balcony safety 7 • unstable handrails and balustrades. By visiting our site, you agree to our privacy policy regarding cookies, tracking statistics, etc. For internal railings or balustrades that are inside a single family dwelling the height required is 0.9m from "datum" (“datum” is defined as the height or point you can stand on) to the top of the handrail. Handrail Height: 34″ to 38″ 34″ to 38″ 28″ with a minimum of 9″ clearance between the child and adult handrail 30″ to 38″ 36″ to 38″ — may also serve as guard 34″ and 42″ 34″ and 42″ Guard Height: 36″ minimum 42″ minimum: not specified 42″ — plus or minus 3″ 36 to 38″ 36″ minimum 42″ minimum * Reference Source – 2015 International Residential Code – [Buy on Amazon]. The gap between the floor of the deck and the bottom rail should not be more than 4 inches. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings; International Code Council. As for guards along a set of stairs that serve as a handrail as well, they are allowed to be at a height of no less than 34 inches but no more than 38 inches. Exception 2 allows the guard located along the open side of a stair run to be just slightly larger however at no point shall it allow a 4-3/8 inch diameter sphere to pass through.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'buildingcodetrainer_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_6',111,'0','0'])); To better understand this visually, lets take a look at the graphic below: 1. Use a pushing and pulling action to make sure they are not rotted, corroded, or coming loose. Per the IRC, a Guard is defined as the following: “A building component or a system of building components located near the open sides of elevated walking surfaces that minimizes the possibility of a fall from the walking surface to the lower level.”. There are two differing applications that must be distinguished between when determining the correct height to install a glass balcony or balustrade railing system; those installed internally on a staircase landing for example and those used externally, such as a juliet balcony. The height of a balustrade or barrier must not be less than 1000 mm (1m) on walkways or landings. With that said let us continue with the IRC provisions.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'buildingcodetrainer_com-banner-1','ezslot_7',110,'0','0'])); When openings occur in a guardrail they must be spaced in such a way that the opening will not allow a 4 inch diameter sphere to pass through. To better understand this visually, lets take a look at the graphic below: So whether there is a slope or a sudden drop, a guardrail shall be provided when the drop is more than 30 inches within 36 inches from the edge.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'buildingcodetrainer_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',108,'0','0'])); When a guardrail is required per the above explanation, it must meet a minimum height requirement of no less than 36 inches for it to serve the purpose of minimizing a fall. Exception 1: Triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of the guard shall not allow a 6 inch diameter sphere to pass through. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. What height should the balustrade guardings be fixed at? Handrail height, measured above stair tread nosings, or finish surface of ramp slope, shall be uniform, not less than 34 inches (864 mm) and not more than 38 inches (965 mm). Some large decorative handrails are permissible, as long as their design offers a finger recess that allows secure grasping. When handrail fittings or bendings are used to provide continuous transition between flights, the transition from handrail to guardrail, or used at the start of a flight, the handrail height at the fittings or bendings shall be permitted to exceed the maximum height. Handrail height on the stairs should be no less than 34 inches and no greater than 38 inches. For stairs installed before April 3, 1997, this height shall be between 30 and 38 inches. In other words, a deck less than one metre (1m) above ground is not required to have a handrail, though depending on the height it may still be recommended. The gap between the balcony surface to the bottom rail must be no more than 100mm. Copyright © 2020 Building Code Trainer, All rights reserved. For example, in California the guardrail height requirement per the California Residential Code (CRC) is to be no less than 42 inches. The main query we receive is whether existing railing needs to be modified to meet the current building code if it was built prior to the current code and met relevant requirements in place at the time of construction. SANS10400-Building Regulations South Africa SANS10400 are the Building regulations in South Africa, and both international and national standards, are fundamental to successful building and construction projects, both big and small. The handgrips must allow a minimum of 1-1/2” space between the handrail and the guardrail or wall. Check the height of your balustrade, particularly if tiles or some other paving may have been applied after the balustrade was installed. The pitchline is defined as ‘the line joining the leading edge or nosings of successive stair treads’. Exception 2: Guardrails serving as handrails on the open side of a stair run shall not be less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches in height. Decks four metres (4m) from the ground or higher need to meet additional design requirements. These guardrail requirements are found in Section R312 of the International Residential Code (IRC). In this post we will just discuss the topic of guards. The height requirement for an external fixed balustrade/railing per current building regulations is a minimum of 1100 mm from datum. Therefore, check your local building laws before beginning design and construction of a balcony and its railing. 2. This is exception 2. … The minimum width for stairways shall not be less than 36 inches clear. Thus the barrier height on a landing, other than in housing, must be 1100mm. For balconies with a fall height of more than 4m there must not be any horizontal or near horizontal elements between 150mm and 760mm above the floor that facilitate climbing. Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. This is to reduce the risk of a person falling over the balcony. Balustrade and Railing Height Regulations One of the most common searches on this site is in regards to the legal heights of balcony railings and balustrades. One very Important thing to note here is to understand that these requirements are per the International Residential Code (IRC) however other state or local codes can differ which is why it is always best to get in contact with your local jurisdiction to understand which code is adopted. Installed balusters should withstand 50 lbs. This section explains when guardrails are required, the minimum height, and opening limitations to provide a minimum level of safety.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'buildingcodetrainer_com-box-3','ezslot_4',106,'0','0'])); Before we get into the details, let me explain some terminology. ALL of our Juliet Balconies, that can be purchased from this website comply with these standards. If you’re using a bottom rail, make sure it does not sit more than four inches above the deck surface. If the stair han… 1014.2 Height. Balustrades must be at least one metre high, measured from the adjacent finished floor surface. This height must be maintained all the way around the top of the handrail.Externally, this height changes. Now when … This is exception 1.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'buildingcodetrainer_com-box-4','ezslot_3',109,'0','0'])); As for guards along a set of stairs that serve as a handrail as well, they are allowed to be at a height of no less than 34 inches but no more than 38 inches. Guardrails do not have a height limitation, except for when they serve as a handrail in addition to a guardrail. Balustrade building regulations have minimum height requirements from the datum, which is defined as the point on which a handrail is stood. The 100mm rule Where Juliet Balconies are concerned there needs to be a minimum of 1100mm (1.1 mtr) of height between the top of the balcony and the floor lever where you stand. Guard railing height & other specifications and building codes: Guidelines for building guardrails on balconies, decks, landings, stair landings: this document provides building code specifications, sketches, photographs, and examples of defects used in inspecting indoor or outdoor guards or guard railings required at stairway landings, porches, decks, walkways, balconies. Most city inspectors carry a 4-inch ball with them to test the spacing. To see what the difference is between the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC), check out this POST. Besides the IRC, local building ordinances may impose additional regulations on the construction of a balcony, with specific requirements for its railing. Install railings on any deck that is 30 inches or more from the surrounding surface and on at least one side of a stairway leading to the deck. 311.7.7.2 Continuity. Exception 2: Openings in a Guardrail located along the open side of a stair run shall not allow a 4-3/8 inch diameter sphere to pass through. This is a minimum required height for residential structure—higher guards are acceptable. Local codes might also dictate the method you use to attach the posts to the deck, such as using certain types of bolts or screws. The structural integrity of the railing depends heavily on the posts that support the rail structure. Handrail height is the height of the handrail in relation to the stairs. A Guardrail is required along the open side of any walking surface, which include stairs, ramps, and landings, provided the drop is more than 30 inches within 36 inches from the edge. Exception 1: Guardrails located at the open side of a stair run shall not be less than 34 inches in height. The Guardrail height shall not be less than 36 inches above the walking surface.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'buildingcodetrainer_com-leader-1','ezslot_10',112,'0','0'])); 3. Building Codes Reporting Phone: 217-524-6343 Fax: 217-524-4208 TDD: 217-524-4449 Windy.Gerlach@illinois.gov. The handrail, itself, should be easy to grip, with a minimum diameter of 1 1/4 inches and a maximum diameter of 2 1/4 inches. If it isn't round, the handrail should be 4 to 6-1/4 inches wide. Deck guardrails (guards) should rise to at least 36 inches above the residential deck level. The same height rules apply to stairs, and the inspector measures the handrail height from nose of the stair tread. This means that the handrail must be situated directly on top of the balustrade itself if you want to create the lowest profile possible. When you’re constructing a deck, your local building authority inspects your plans to ensure that they meet or exceed local building codes before issuing a permit. The height must not be less than 865 mm above the nosing’s of the stair treads or the floor of a ramp; The height must not be less – o 1 m above the floor of any access path, balcony, landing or the like (see NCC Figure 3.9.2.2 and figure 3.9.2.3) or Height of handrails (1) The height of handrails on stairs and ramps shall be measured vertically from the top of the handrail to, (a) a straight line drawn tangent to the tread nosings of the stair served by the handrail, or (b) the surface of the ramp, floor or landing served by the handrail. Handrails must be ‘positioned between 900 and 1000mm above the pitchline’. Handrails for stepped aisles and ramped aisles required by Section 1029.15 shall comply with Sections 1014.2 through 1014.8. of pressure exerted over a 1-square-foot area. Handrail ends must be returned and terminated at rail posts. The Ontario Building Code | Height of Handrails 9.8.7.4. STAIR WIDTH. Section R312 is Titled “Guards and Window Fall Protection”. Install railings on any deck that is 30 inches or more from the surrounding surface and on at least one side of a stairway leading to the deck. Decks and balconies Balustrade requirements In Queensland there are strict requirements for the design and construction of balustrades and railings. Any opening in a Guardrail shall not allow a 4 inch diameter sphere to pass through. The Acceptable Solution F4/AS1 (Table 1) requires barrier heights in buildings other than housing to be 900mm on stairs and ramps, and 1100mm elsewhere. 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