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  • Railing?

    Not sure what the local codes may say, but I need to make some handrailing. Checked around and determined the height needs to be between 34-36 inches with 4" maximum open space between vertical rails. In this case the rails won't extend all the way to the flooring/deck height. How high off the deck can the bottom (horizontal) rail be?
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  • #2
    Forty two inch height on the level sections, thirty four inch height off of the nose of stairs. There can be no place where a four inch diameter sphere can pass through, no place. So no more than three and seven eighths off of the floor or between pickets etc and so on.

    If you do anything less you put yourself and others at extreme risk. If an accident occurs then you are liable. If a lawyer found this thread then it could be construed criminal negilence on your part and your insurance company would abandon you like a bad diaper.

    I've had clients that didn't want to meet code on stuff like pool gates or hand rails. As a last resort I've offered to do it their way if they would sign a notarized statement accepting all liability. I've never had a taker.

    The reason the code is so harsh is there have been accidents. Some of those accidents have been fatal. They are rare and usually tied to something really freaky happening. We as professionals should always do everything in a professional manner, including following code.
    Last edited by wroughtnharv; 07-11-2010, 08:50 PM.
    life is good

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    • #3
      Here are the specs you are looking for. I'll let you look them up...learn more that way.

      IBC 1009 for stairways
      IBC 1010 for ramps
      IBC 1012 for handrails
      IBC 1013 for non residential guards ( I have to use this one the most for handrails)

      Others to compare:


      IRC R311
      IRC R312

      You should get all your answers form those sections. Just Google the code number and you will get many sources. That's how I found all of them.
      Don


      '06 Trailblazer 302
      '06 12RC feeder
      Super S-32P feeder

      HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
      Esab Multimaster 260
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      • #4
        I get with the building inspector and show him what I have. If needed make the changes he wants then there are no problems at the finale inspection. Start a relationship with them and they will give you good info and Codes that you need.
        Also this is the code that they go by here.
        http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf
        Last edited by Rick C; 07-11-2010, 09:00 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DDA52 View Post
          Here are the specs you are looking for. I'll let you look them up...learn more that way.

          IBC 1009 for stairways
          IBC 1010 for ramps
          IBC 1012 for handrails
          IBC 1013 for non residential guards ( I have to use this one the most for handrails)

          Others to compare:


          IRC R311
          IRC R312

          You should get all your answers form those sections. Just Google the code number and you will get many sources. That's how I found all of them.
          If a lawyer found this thread then it could be construed criminal negilence on your part and your insurance company would abandon you like a bad diaper.

          I don't believe that by asking a question it could be construed as negligence. Constructing them out of code however would be.



          I did look it up before posting the question, one source was an OSHA page: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ons&p_id=24960
          Another on stair codes: http://www.westfiremfg.com/html/stair_codes.html
          And finally, this one: http://www.safetyis.us/stairs.htm

          None of them state the 42 inches you refer to. Where am I going wrong?
          Last edited by nocheepgas; 07-12-2010, 06:02 PM.
          Miller Syncrowave 200
          Homemade Water Cooler
          130XP MIG
          Spectrum 375
          60 year old Logan Lathe
          Select Machine and Tool Mill
          More stuff than I can keep track of..

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nocheepgas View Post

            If a lawyer found this thread then it could be construed criminal negilence on your part and your insurance company would abandon you like a bad diaper.

            I don't believe that by asking a question it could be construed as negligence. Constructing them out of code however would be.

            Correct. What I meant was you wouldn't be able to claim ignorance if there was a record of a search for information and you constructed them out of code.



            I did look it up before posting the question, one source was an OSHA page: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ons&p_id=24960
            Another on stair codes: http://www.westfiremfg.com/html/stair_codes.html
            And finally, this one: http://www.safetyis.us/stairs.htm

            None of them state the 42 inches you refer to. Where am I going wrong?
            IBC 2000 Guards not less than 42 inches with Exception: For Group R-3, and within individual dwelling units in R-2, whose top rail also serves as handrail shall have a height not less than 34 inches and not more than 38 inches.

            The way I read that is 42 inches unless it's a handrail like on a ramp or stairs, then it's not less than 34 nor more than thirty eight measured from the nose of a tread if it's stairs.

            Most of the handrails we build and install on level surfaces are referrred to as guard rails and not hand rails. We had a problem with one when we installed and then they put in a floor that took up an inch of height. We had to go back and put it up to forty two because the forty one failed.

            Make sure you pay attention also to the grip dimensions too. You'll get a red tag for a hand rail that's too small or too large for a normal grip.

            The clients will take the attitude that it's mine and we don't have to worry about a lot of the time. They're not the one hanging their butt out the window if anything goes wrong, you are.
            life is good

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nocheepgas View Post

              If a lawyer found this thread then it could be construed criminal negilence on your part and your insurance company would abandon you like a bad diaper.

              I don't believe that by asking a question it could be construed as negligence. Constructing them out of code however would be.



              I did look it up before posting the question, one source was an OSHA page: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owad...ons&p_id=24960
              Another on stair codes: http://www.westfiremfg.com/html/stair_codes.html
              And finally, this one: http://www.safetyis.us/stairs.htm

              None of them state the 42 inches you refer to. Where am I going wrong?
              Right there in the Westfire link you provided

              "509.2 Height The top of guardrails shall not be less than 42 inches (1067 mm) in height."
              Ed Conley
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              • #8
                No way could your search for the correct codes ever be construed as criminal negligence. That is completely asinine. Criminal negligence by definition means you are NOT trying to get teh correct info.

                OK, Guards are required over a specific height with a handrail at a different specific height...confusing enough? Remember, this is government speak. Universal height for all guards is 42" as per OSHA and other like them. Handrails must be at 36" to satisfy ADA. You must meld the two to be completely legal in some places. We meld them here when we have enough room. I recently did the rails at a RSC store. Had to meet OSHA, and ADA...which is exactly the same as city codes. The guards all had to be at 42" and the handrails on the stairs had to be at 36". We did have a clear egress of 48"+, so here is what we did. We set a 42" guard rail on the stairs and hung a 36" pipe handrail to the inside. Not to worry if its confusing, I have pics. BTW, They wanted the handrail on the ADA ramp as well as the stairs.

                The absolute BEST way if you are unsure how to do the newest codes...look at a brand new shopping center or industrial complex with guards and handrails and copy them. They had to pass inspections to get operational, so if they passed...you should also. These specs can have local twists to them that the code doesn't reflect, so by checking out the competition, you can catch them. Be sure to look at as many NEW railings as you can. That way, you will get the latest and greatest.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by DDA52; 07-12-2010, 08:06 PM.
                Don


                '06 Trailblazer 302
                '06 12RC feeder
                Super S-32P feeder

                HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                Esab Multimaster 260
                Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

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                • #9
                  Some good references I found and use.

                  http://www.ci.kent.wa.us/WorkArea/Do...t.aspx?id=3250

                  http://nampa.id.us/pages/View_File.php?id=2166

                  http://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/so...da-guidelines/
                  Don


                  '06 Trailblazer 302
                  '06 12RC feeder
                  Super S-32P feeder

                  HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                  Esab Multimaster 260
                  Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DDA52 View Post
                    The absolute BEST way if you are unsure how to do the newest codes...look at a brand new shopping center or industrial complex with guards and handrails and copy them. .
                    How then, do they get away with a top hand rail and a middle hand rail only?
                    You could easily fit a small refrigerator between. much less a 4" ball. I've seen them on stairs, ramps, etc. Do the commercial standards differ that much from residential? It would seem that the commercial standards would be stricter.


                    DDA52: I see from your photos you have both a handrail and a guardrail. Perhaps this is where I'm misinterpreting the code?
                    Last edited by nocheepgas; 07-12-2010, 09:01 PM.
                    Miller Syncrowave 200
                    Homemade Water Cooler
                    130XP MIG
                    Spectrum 375
                    60 year old Logan Lathe
                    Select Machine and Tool Mill
                    More stuff than I can keep track of..

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I guess it would depend on application? Maybe one isn't as critical as another? I see that here as well, but nowhere near as often as I used to. The 4" rule is the law of the land so to speak. Go with that and you won't have any troubles.
                      Don


                      '06 Trailblazer 302
                      '06 12RC feeder
                      Super S-32P feeder

                      HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                      Esab Multimaster 260
                      Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It seems this is the correct info for my application (from one of your links):

                        Residential Guards
                        Where are Guards Required?
                        IRC Sec R312.1
                        Porches, balconies, ramps or raised floor surfaces
                        located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade
                        below shall have guards not less than 36 inches in
                        height. Open sides of stairs with a total rise of more
                        than 30 inches above the floor or grade below shall
                        have guards not less than 34 inches in height measured
                        vertically from the nosing of the treads.
                        Porches and decks which are enclosed with insect
                        screening shall be provided with guards where the
                        walking surface is located more than 30 inches
                        above the floor or grade below.
                        In R-3 Occupancies, and within individual R-2
                        dwelling units, a guard whose top rail also serves as
                        a handrail shall have a height not less than 34 inches
                        and not more than 38 inches.
                        IBC Sect 1012.2.
                        Guard Opening Limitations
                        IRC Sec R312.2
                        Required guards on open sides of stairways, raised
                        floor areas, balconies and porches shall have intermediate
                        rails or ornamental closures which do not allow
                        passage of a sphere 4 inches or more in
                        diameter.
                        Exceptions:
                        ● The triangular openings formed by the riser,
                        tread and bottom rail of a guard at the open
                        side of a stairway are permitted to be of such a
                        size that a sphere of 6 inches cannot pass
                        through.
                        ● Openings for required guards on the sides of
                        stair treads shall not allow a sphere 4-3/8
                        inches to pass through.
                        PH1-
                        Last edited by nocheepgas; 07-12-2010, 09:10 PM.
                        Miller Syncrowave 200
                        Homemade Water Cooler
                        130XP MIG
                        Spectrum 375
                        60 year old Logan Lathe
                        Select Machine and Tool Mill
                        More stuff than I can keep track of..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DDA52 View Post
                          I guess it would depend on application? Maybe one isn't as critical as another? I see that here as well, but nowhere near as often as I used to. The 4" rule is the law of the land so to speak. Go with that and you won't have any troubles.
                          Thanks for the help!
                          One more question...Does the 4" rule apply to open stair treads? What I've researched doesn't clearly state that, with the exception that if a person could walk under the stairs, then the riser shall be closed.
                          Miller Syncrowave 200
                          Homemade Water Cooler
                          130XP MIG
                          Spectrum 375
                          60 year old Logan Lathe
                          Select Machine and Tool Mill
                          More stuff than I can keep track of..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            just wait til you build railing around a public pool.... thats when it gets more fun... self closing/ self latching gates as well.

                            as a general rule of thumb, if you can push a 4 inch ball through a gap, its gonna fail. alot depends on the inspectors interpretations and his/ her mood for the day, but if you make it where the ball wnt fit ANYWHERE, you'll be fine. ive found in arkansas that residential railings around a pool are the same, and handrails/ stair rails are also the same code as commercial.

                            the real fun part is security barring on a house... it has to be able to open from the outside easily (for the firefighters) (new code for pulaski county) whats the point in having security bars????? lmao!
                            welder_one

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nocheepgas View Post
                              Thanks for the help!
                              One more question...Does the 4" rule apply to open stair treads? What I've researched doesn't clearly state that, with the exception that if a person could walk under the stairs, then the riser shall be closed.

                              No worries. Stair gaps I am not sure of. The 4" rule may apply there as well. You'd have to ask on that one.
                              Don


                              '06 Trailblazer 302
                              '06 12RC feeder
                              Super S-32P feeder

                              HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
                              Esab Multimaster 260
                              Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

                              Comment

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