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What is maximum space allowed for deck rail post?

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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?

Thanks,

Erik

REPLIES (3)
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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.

Thanks

Jeff

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David from Crimson King General Contracting in New Lowell
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!

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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.

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