What is maximum space allowed for deck rail post?

Question Icon
Posted by: from New Hamburg
8/4/2014 at 1:54:07 AM

My deck stairs span 14' and I was wondering if I could space my rail posts at 7' intervals so I can keep them even.

I've read that 6' is the standard maximum but I don't know if it's actually code. So I'd like to have 6 posts total instead of 8.

Will this compromise the strength of the railing or fail inspection?



User Icon
Date/Time8/4/2014 at 10:39:52 AM

Railings are designed to adhere to code. Rail spacings are there to prevent a childs head from becoming caught. Rail spacers are a good way to comply with code. If you have them use them.



User Icon
Date/Time8/4/2014 at 12:14:30 PM

Maximum spacing is 4 feet on center if posts stick up above top rail, if you have a continuous top rail then 6 feet. Unless you have a pre engineered rail system going in then these are the guidelines.

Every municipality will sometimes have their own preferences so I would check with your local building dept before going ahead with anything other than 4 feet.

Another note.. posts must be set in framing and fastened properly, they cannot be notched or fastened to the outside of the deck.

Hope this helps!

User Icon
Date/Time8/8/2014 at 10:22:23 PM

The spacing of rail posts varies depending on the type of railing system used. Needless to say post spacing for a steel railing will be greater that that of a wooden railing. The spacing of balusters ( often called spindles ) is in most provinces such that a 4 inch sphere cannot pass through. This applies to both the Ontario and National Building code. Most manufacturers will recommend a maximum railing 'Post' spacing to meet the code in your province.

Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.