View Full Version : Handrails on deck

Ryan Stouffer
10-04-2009, 09:22 AM
disregard this post

Jerry Peck
10-04-2009, 09:38 AM
Just clarifying, yes, that needs handrails.

Ryan Stouffer
10-04-2009, 09:41 AM
Jerry, it does need handrails because it is considered 4 or more risers. Correct?

Jerry Peck
10-04-2009, 09:43 AM


Ryan Stouffer
10-04-2009, 09:54 AM
Thanks. With rookies like myself, I just want to make sure.

Erby Crofutt
10-04-2009, 02:08 PM

Richard A Hetzel
10-04-2009, 09:50 PM
LOL it's only 3 1/2 risers, which brings another code issue into play.

Craig Ervin
10-05-2009, 09:14 AM
What is the code for steps? I thought you could have 1 step without a hand rail, after that you needed something.

Ryan Stouffer
10-05-2009, 11:52 AM
4 or more risers.

Ryan Stouffer
10-05-2009, 12:15 PM
whose the moderator

Jerry Peck
10-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Anyway, I answered about the 4 riser as really being dependent upon the dimensional code requirement being enforced by the AHJ's adoption to a code such as the IRC or UBC that might be in place.

Any change in elevation is a "riser", which must conform to the dimensional tolerances of the code and the maximum variation from the other risers.

I'm not sure what the UBC says.

Usually the min-max riser can be at least 6" to 9.5 max.

No minimum in the IRC, 4" minimum in the IBC; 7-3/4" maximum in the IRC and 7" maximum in the IBC.

The tolerance for multiple risers are + or - 1/4" at the most.

The tolerance is 3/8" between adjacent risers and 3/8" between the highest and the shortest risers.

A hand rail is not required if the top landing is not over 24" from grade. So that is where the 4 riser comes into play.

The 4 or more rises come into play because the code say 4 or more risers and does not address a height.

If the stairway, deck, etc., is more than 30" high above the level below, then a guard rail is required. Maybe that is what you were thinking of?

Ken Bates
10-05-2009, 09:30 PM
In my State (Mass.) 3+ risers require handrails regardless of related heights.
(e.g. 30" for decks, landings,etc)

Jerry Peck
10-08-2009, 06:09 PM
I do question the conflict in the IBC to the guard rail statement though.....
30"/4 = 7.5" rbj

There is no conflict.

The 30" is for the guardrail.

The 4 or more rises is for the hand rail.

Two totally different things, with two totally different requirements.

Jerry Peck
10-09-2009, 12:29 PM
Really JP,

Consider a handrail on a wall, yes....but to a deck without a guardrail,,, I would think about it. rbj


There still is no conflict.

That does not mean one does not, should not, use common sense for each of the two distinct and different things.

If you have 4 risers of 7" high then the total height is 28" - which means no guard on the stairs and no guard on the deck, but it does required a handrail on the stairs.

If you have 4 risers of 7-3/4" then the total height is 31" - which means a guard is now required on the stairs and on the deck, along with the handrail on the stairs.

However, each (the guard and the handrail) serves a different purpose.

Jerry Peck
10-09-2009, 01:52 PM
Evidently the authors of the IBC didn't have someone on their panel that has common sense as you suggest. rbj


They do have common sense, it is just that the code does not address "common sense" standards, the code only addresses "minimum" standards. The code leaves "common sense" to each builder, and some have it, many do not.

Mark Tran
01-29-2010, 01:55 PM
Not only that stair needs a handrail but the BC code suggest If width is more than 1100mm a handrail is required to have both sides of the stairs.

Jerry Peck
01-29-2010, 08:00 PM
Not only that stair needs a handrail but the BC code suggest If width is more than 1100mm a handrail is required to have both sides of the stairs.

Maybe "up there", but not "down here". :)