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Minimum Safety Requirements for Deck Rails and Balusters

Minimum Safety Requirements for Deck Rails and Balusters

The deck remains a must-have feature in Missouri homes not only because it provides you an extra living space for relaxation and entertainment, but also because it can naturally increase the value of your home. A well-designed deck should be beautiful, functional, and if you have a multi-level one–safe. That’s why you’ll want to make sure its rails or balusters meet safety requirements. The trusted deck and siding replacement specialist, Maris Home Improvements, shares some of these requirements here. 

  • A guard rail is required for a deck more than 30 inches off the ground. If you’re planning to have an elevated deck built, make sure to take its height into account. If it is more than 30 inches off the ground, you’ll need to have guardrails added to prevent you or anyone from falling off it. Guardrails are often subject to a variety of safety testing, and having them in place can make your elevated deck a safer space to spend time in.
  • When the deck stairs have four or more risers, handrails will be required. Handrails are sloped or horizontal railings that are used as support on deck stairs that have multiple risers. They have to be installed 34 to 38 inches above the stair tread nosings. It’s important that handrails are graspable–and meet size requirements–to effectively support both children and older adults. If you work with a premier exterior remodeling contractor like Maris Home Improvements for your deck installation, we’ll be more than happy to discuss how our handrail options meet not just design considerations, but also local safety requirements.
  • Your deck should have railings that are 36 inches high. The International Building Code requires that railings should be 36 inches high, no matter the height of the deck. 
  • Any bottom rails should be no more than two to four inches above your deck. The reason for the two- or 4-inch spacing is to help keep small children safe. And this is not actually limited to just the bottom rails. Balusters and posts should be no more than 4 inches apart, as well.

Schedule Your Home Exterior Consultation

Maris Home Improvements is not just your trusted fencing contractor–we are also your go-to company for high-quality deck installation. With our top-tier service, we’ll make sure your outdoor space remains safe, sturdy, and beautiful all year round. Call us today at (636) 778-4343 or fill out this contact form to schedule your home exterior evaluation. We serve Chesterfield, MO and the Greater St. Louis area.

Filed Under : decks
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