I have an existing deck(20yrs) that is off the main floor where I also have a walk out from the basement. So the deck is 6-7 feet off the ground. The framing is still solid with no rot.
I'm looking to replace the deck boards. I'd also like to change to 4x4 railing posts. The old railings were never real sturdy and don't like the style.
Looking for what is code for the city of Hamilton (Ontario).
-What is the required height for the railings?
-Proper way to mount the 4x4 posts.
Once the difference in elevation to adjacent grade exceeds 1800 mm (6') you require a height of 1070 mm (42"); less than 6' and it's 900 mm (36").
Guards in this application (exterior guards serving not more than 2 dwelling units) are required to resist a horizontal load applied inward or outward at any point at the minimum required height of the guard of 0.5 kNm or concentrated load of 1.0 kN applied at any point. Also must resist a horizontal load applied inward or outward on elements within the guard, including solid panels and pickets of 0.5 kN applied over a maximum width of 300 mm and a height of 300 mm.
Hope this is clear as mud :)
This is a fairly recent introduction to the Code and probably your old railings didn't need to meet any kind of strength requirement. Best thing is to have the posts securely sandwiched in place with the joists, beams, blocking, bolts, etc. There's no specific methodology described in the Code.
Minimum code could range between 36"-42". There are other factors to consider though to.
For example, if min code calls for 36", but you have toddlers, why not go 42"....keep safety for all in when building...over & above for code & safety.
Always bolt and glue posts to the beam if possible, or joists.
Your local authority may be able to assist you. Seems you need a permit, ask a lot of questions when submitting your drawings.
I just learned from another 'Ask the Pros' post that in Ontario there is a supplementary standard OBC SB-7 which describes accepted methodologies for building interior and exterior railings which is view-able online. (The Alberta Building Code does not have such a standard.)
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