How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Can you have a deck without a railing?
Thursday, March 26, 2020
A deck is not required to have a railing if it is not more than 30-inches above any ground level within 24-inches of the edge of the deck. So any deck that is more than 30-inches high requires a guardrail that is minimum 30-inches high, per International Residential Code (R312.1.1). Also, the openings in the rail pickets should not allow a 4-inch sphere to pass through.
The code is one thing but, if you are concerned about the possiblity of family or friends falling off the deck and breaking an ankle or worse, a deck railing for a slightly lower floor level than 30-inches is sensible. Also, see our blog posts What is the average life expectancy of a wood deck? and What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?
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