Deck Step Railing – Deck railing is an integral part of any deck system and provides the first line of defense against injuries related to falls. As such, deck rails are strictly regulated by local building codes departments and are subject to inspection, even if the rest of the project is not. Deck railing should be a minimum of 36 inches from the top of the deck boards to the top of the railing, measured vertically.
The handrail may be greater than 36 inches tall if the owner wishes, but there are no exceptions to the minimum height rule. The railing of the deck that is on the step side must meet the same height requirements as the standard deck step railing. This measurement is taken from the tip of a tread of the ladder vertically to the top of the handrail. If the step handrail is greater than 36 inches, a handrail must be provided. Handrails can vary from 32 to 36 inches above the steps, measured in the same way as the handrail.
While standard deck step railing can be covered with any width of the board, handrail passage must be covered by an easily board, no more than 2 1/2 inches wide. If the upper part is wider step handrail, a grab handrail should be included as an alternative. Balusters must be spaced so those at no time along the balusters can a 4-inch diameter sphere pass between two consecutive balusters.