Terms of use. Another option is to design your deck by simply extending the footings another 36” so they also serve as the deck railing posts. U.S. building codes mandate that balusters have no more than a 4-inch gap between them. Given that a deck railing’s purpose is to prevent people from falling off of it, it’s critical to have proper deck railing post spacing to ensure your deck is safe. Make sure to mount the posts a few inches into account for the ledge board and provide an adequate buffer between the post and the house. Your railing can’t be less than 3 feet (90 cm) from the surface of the deck. As a result, the post spacings for a railing will vary as will the length of the railing section that fits between each post. Any fewer than that and you are over the maximum spacing required by code. Spacing between deck railing spindles type, when it down the distance from the same size to the past to help you types of deck for each baluster spacing using a wood framed deck page go to keep strong and installation guide information below. Do keep in mind that you may have to adjust your spacing based on the joists that run from the ledger board to the rim joist. If it doesn’t, even a fall of a couple of feet can cause serious injuries. Unless your deck is a perfectly square shape, the space between your deck posts will vary with each side. Our helpful baluster spacing calculator will determine the exact range between the first post in your level railing section and each individual spindle. Homeowners with railings farther apart than the current 4-inch spacing should retrofit the construction with additional interior rails or scroll work to reduce the openings, according to the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association website. For a side that is 17 feet 3 inches, for example, you’ll need to use the number of posts that keep the distance between each at 6 feet or less. One common problem faced when spacing and mounting deck railing posts doesn’t have to do with the post themselves but rather with what you’re attaching them to the rim joists. While a spindle or baluster can touch the deck, they often have a bottom railing to hold them in place. To calculate your cable requirement you must measure from the top of your deck or bottom rail to the bottom of your top rail, then divide that number by the cable spacing (3″) and subtract 1. On average, a baby’s head diameter is 4 inches, so the 4-inch rule is to ensure that babies will not stick their heads between the railings spacing. Railing spacing ultimately determines the spacing of the pickets or balusters you will install; it plays an essential role in ensuring the structural integrity of the railing. The railing must be strong enough to resist the following loads: Proper spacing of bolts ensures that the deck railing is securely attached to the deck. deck railing is always safety. Posts should be no further apart than 5.5 feet on stairs. Maximum spacing of posts is 72 inches on center. To build a deck railing, start by figuring out how many posts you need, then cut your wood to size and install the posts. Using stainless steel screws I toe nail the fasteners through the mahogany railings to secure the railing to the newel posts. Deck Guardrail Height . Sometimes local building codes will have more stringent regulations, so check your local building department for post spacing requirements. Next, mark the railing height on the posts with a pencil and double-check the distance between the posts. In this article, we’ll review how to space your deck posts, so your deck is both safe and visually appealing. Posts will be much stronger than brackets. Standard 4×4-foot deck posts must be spaced no more than 6 feet apart to provide adequate strength. If you decide to use this option, you’ll need to plan in advance as once the footings are in the ground, there is no way to extend their length. Just keep in mind that each style requires the addition of blocking in the frame to meet code. This fits the building code as long as you do not notch the posts. The lengths of each side of a deck often vary. If your deck ranges between 24 inches and 30 inches from the ground, local building safety codes require your deck to have a railing that is at least 3 feet (36 inches) high, extending from the deck’s surface to the top of the railing. Sometimes local building codes will have more stringent regulations, so check your … Expert deck inspectors will test the spacing using a 4-inch ball. For the side of the deck that runs perpendicular to the joists, you’ll need to space your posts so they fit in the corner where the joists and the rim joist meet. 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. Deck railing posts are what support your deck rails, which in turn keep people from inadvertently falling off the deck. Unless your deck dimensions are evenly divisible by six, you’ll end up with odd and rather unappealing deck rail post spacing. Building Code Deck Railing Post Spacing Requirements, Calculating the Space Between the Railing Posts. If you have deck sides that are not even numbers, you’ll need to spend a bit more time calculating. In California, deck railings are required to be a minimum of 42″ tall measured from the deck surface to the top of the guardrail. What is the Standard Railings Spacing? As you determine the location of each post, mark the placement on the deck frame. As with any construction project, make sure to check with your local building code before beginning deck railing post installation to make sure you are adhering to proper guidelines. A perfect spacing formula. Why Deck Railing Post Spacing is Important? While the posts are strong enough to support the required weight, sometimes a rim joist is not and will eventually rotate as stress is applied to the railing attached to it. When spacing the interior posts, make sure to measure from the center of each corner post as opposed to the corner of the framing to achieve proper spacing. of pressure from any direction at any single point on the post or railing. He is passionately interested in home improvement, renovation and woodworking. Learn how much spacing should go between handrail posts and how to install boards and railing for corner decks. Although your minimum spacing might be 6 feet, that doesn’t mean you start with the first corner post and move six feet outward from there. Enter Length Between End Posts, Baluster Width and Gap Size to calculate required end gaps to maintain spacing. For decks with deck rail posts on the outside, you’ll need two posts on each corner. They include the actual height of the rail above the deck, the height above grade when a guardrail is required and important baluster spacing dimensions.. We have also created separate illustrations for residential guards for the USA and Canada - depending on where you live. Composite balusters never touch the deck and are held in place four inches or less from the top of the deck’s surface. For example, for a deck with 12 joists, install a deck rail post to every third joist. The rails consist of a cap (top) rail and a bottom rail held apart by balusters. Wood railing could be in different styles such as Victorian, Chippendale railing and others. 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