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  1. #1
    Jack Stafford's Avatar
    Jack Stafford Guest

    Default Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    New Member; does anyone know what the Chicago Building Code requirement is for maximum vertical opening from the deck to the bottom of exterior balcony horizontal railing?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Welcome to the board.

    Without researching I would bet it is so a 4" shpere cannot pass through it.


  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stafford View Post
    New Member; does anyone know what the Chicago Building Code requirement is for maximum vertical opening from the deck to the bottom of exterior balcony horizontal railing?
    Jack: If you mean the deck guard, then the minimum height as per IRC would be:

    1. 42" for multi-family

    2. 36" if only accessible from one unit

    3. 30" if it is a stair handrail

    From IRC 312.1


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Jack,

    I do not have the Chicago code, but some codes used to have a limitation of 2" from the floor surface to the bottom of the bottom rail (that prevents most cans and bottles from rolling out under the railing) and, if there is not a limitation specifically for that, then the opening size would apply to any and all openings in the guard, which would include that opening.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Jack,

    I do not have the Chicago code, but some codes used to have a limitation of 2" from the floor surface to the bottom of the bottom rail (that prevents most cans and bottles from rolling out under the railing) and, if there is not a limitation specifically for that, then the opening size would apply to any and all openings in the guard, which would include that opening.
    JP: An eloquent and perhaps even correct answer, depending on what the actual original (poorly-worded) question was.


  6. #6
    Join Date
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    4

    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Hi All,

    I have to post, mainly to get the annoying stuff off every first page. Secondly, to say this is a great site! Based on one simple question, a person can get three great responses. One, clarifies stile spacing, and is correct. Two, is railing height and also agrees with what I think is correct. Three, is I think the answer to the question? I didn't understand the question until I read Jerry's answer. That has never come up for me, lower railing max opening. If/when I need a Litigation Consultant I hope he wants to leave Florida to see a March/April blizzard in the heartland!

    I am a new member but have been getting the e-mail inspection news for a while. It is more fun than having to fight with my crew. Sometimes not. If you know what I mean? I paused here to do a spell check and will agree with Denny: "spell check didn't work," at first, yes it did. Just not like a normal email or Word Doc. The google bar works a little differently here, but it works. Or you could load "Ie Spell"... not the point.

    I finally checked my state's requirements for training/certification for home inspections. None are required (Nebraska). So I feel free to post! And I feel obliged to offer some info. Home inspections are not always similar to what this site proposes.... A new condo unit does not exist here and 1 year inspections do not exist. Bugs exist. But we say, you have bugs. The termite guy comes out of Colorado, he has found a great niche, I don't mean to interfere with that. His treatments have never stopped anything in my opinion....at least subterranean. I think he is good at "the restaurant" bug biz. But I digress....This is a great site with many great opinions to any one topic. And it covers them all. Thanks Clyde


  7. #7
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Exterior balcony lower railing maximum opening

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stafford View Post
    New Member; does anyone know what the Chicago Building Code requirement is for maximum vertical opening from the deck to the bottom of exterior balcony horizontal railing?
    Jack: I dug around a bit. There is limited free access to the Chicago codes, so I don't find much other than the following:

    2.10 Stair Railings and Guardrails Section 33(13- 124-320)
    Per Section 33(13-124-320), guards shall be required at every point of danger including at all edges of every floor, balcony, mezzanine or other space used or intended for human occupancy which is at a height of more than 2-0 above the floor, ground or pavement directly below.
    Questions have arisen whether guardrails set at 42 are required at the stairs in addition to the 34 38 handrails set.
    Only the handrail set is required inside a typical enclosed stairs and the handrails need not be extended to 42 to meet the guardrail requirements. Guardrails are only required at the stair landings when the stairs are open or when the stair landings are unusually larger inside an enclosed stairs.

    Department of Buildings 312 743-3600

    http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalEntityHomeAction.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@1982724 663.1238493699@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccdadeglhlkggicefe celldffhdfhk.0&entityName=Buildings&entityNameEnum Value=5&topChannelName=Dept


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