Railing FAQs - Railing Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Have To Install Rails On My Deck? Is This Just Required If I Have Children?

Handrails may be required for your deck depending on your location. Codes vary greatly from state to state, you should always check with your local building department before installing or updating a deck and/or balusters. In general, the International Residential Code (IRC) requires a deck, porch, or balcony to have a structural railing installed in order to pass a home inspection. For child safety, the balusters must be spaced less than 4" apart.
Back to Top

How Much Does Railing Cost?

The cost of railing cost can very quite a bit depending on project size/complexity and the material of choice. The team at DecksDirect is happy to walk you through your options to find the perfect railing to fit both your space and budget.
Back to Top

Do I Need To Meet Code If I Am Not Having My Deck Inspected?

By law, all railing must be inspected. Railing inspection codes are in place to ensure your safety and security. Regardless of whether you are having your work inspected, we strongly recommend building to code to ensure your deck is a safe place for family and friends.
Back to Top

Railing FAQS - What is Deck Railing Height Code What Is Code For Deck Railing Height?

The IRC requires guardrails to be at least 36" in height measured from the deck surface to the top of the rail. Commercial decks attached to multifamily buildings regulated under the International Building Code (IBC) require 42" high guardrails.
Back to Top






How Do I Meet Height & Gapping Code Requirements On Stairs?How Do I Meet Height & Gapping Code Requirements On Stairs?

For straight railing, the IRC requires guardrails to be at least a 36" railing height. Stair railing is a bit different and must be 34" high, which is measured from the nosing of the stair tread to the top of the rail. Another exception for stairs is that you are allowed a larger opening for the triangle formed between the stair riser, stair tread, and bottom edge of the bottom rail. This open space may not allow a 6" sphere to pass through it.
Back to Top





Railing Guide FAQs - Structural vs Post Sleeve What Is A Structural Post vs. A Post Sleeve?

A structural post is a post that on its own provides the strength required to satisfy code requirements or provide sufficient resistance for the rail system. A post sleeve is a decorative cover that slides over a structural interior post (typically a wood post). The image at left shows a structural wood 4x4 post surrounded by a decorative composite post sleeve.
Back to Top





Railing Guide FAQs - Contrasting Railing Color Do You Have Any Light Fixtures That Match The Finish Of My Railing?

Colors within one brand will always match. If the railing manufacturer you choose doesn’t make lighting, there may still be options that match or are similar. The knowledgeable and friendly team at DecksDirect is happy to walk you through what your options are, simply give us a call at 1-888-824-5316.
Back to Top





Why Should I Use A Taller Post At The Bottom Of My Stairs?

Because of the angle at which the rails meet the posts, you will need to have taller posts at the bottom of stair rails. This includes landings that connect two stair railing sections. If you do not have a taller post, your rail will meet the post at too high of a point to connect a rail bracket.
Back to Top

Does CableRail Meet Building Codes?

Building codes vary by location, so it's best to check with your local building department before installing or updating your deck.
Back to Top

Railing Guide FAQs - Step Lighting Do I Need To Have Lighting On My Steps?

Yes. The 2000 IRC introduced a requirement for illumination of all stairways in residential buildings. The code states that exterior stairways shall be provided with an artificial light source located in the immediate vicinity of the top landing of the stairway, including the landings and treads. As always, check your local building codes and consult your building inspector prior to installation.
Back to Top




Do I Need To Have A Handrail On My Steps?

Guard rails must be provided on the open side of a stair where it is more than 30 inches above the floor or grade.
Back to Top

What Angle Should My Stairs Be?

Code has allowances between 31°-38°, which makes sense because the angle of your stairs varies based on the deck height and elevation. Most fixed angle stair rails are built for a 34°-35° slope and you can adjust the rise and run of your stairs to fall within these specification. Many manufacturers offer adjustable stair rails which are great for the ease of install as well as those more extreme stair angles.
Back to Top

How Far Can I Span Between Posts?

DecksDirect sells railing that is produced in sections from 4' to 10' wide. Railing manufacturers are required to do testing on their products, so if it is offered in 10' sections then it has been tested to meet these safety requirements.
Back to Top

Deck Railing FAQs - railing on concrete Can I Install Railing Into A Concrete Patio?

Yes! In some cases it's as easy as purchasing a concrete bit and concrete structural screw. In many cases you will want to use washers and even gaskets.
Back to Top




Can I Cut A Rail Or Rail Panel?

Decks come in all shapes and sizes, so you will often need to cut a rail section or panel down to the length your project requires. For vinyl, cap-stock composite, and aluminum rails, use a fine-tooth carbide-tipped blade that's suitable for cutting wood. For steel rail, we recommend a blade suited for metal cutting, ideally an abrasive metal cut-off wheel. A standard chop saw can be used, and avoid cutting with a dull blade. Take care to cut the material much more slowly than you would cut wood. Be sure to coat cut metal rail ends with touch-up paint prior to installation.
Back to Top

Will My Metal Railing Rust?

DecksDirect offers metal railings in both aluminum and steel. Aluminum does not rust. Steel can rust if it is not properly powder-coated. All of the steel railings we offer are properly powder-coated so you should not have to worry about rusting. If you do cut your railing system, you will want to use touch-up paint to seal the cut line.
Back to Top

What Is Composite?

Composite is a combination of polymer resins and premium recycled wood fiber resulting in a product that exhibits the best qualities from both materials. The resins shield the inner material from damage-causing insects and moisture and protect the wood from UV damage, while the fiberous material provides stability, durability and traction.
Back to Top

Railing FAQS How Railing is Shipping How Is Railing Shipped?

Many railing items are too large and/or heavy to ship via the standard delivery methods such as FedEx or USPS. These items are generally shipped via Less-than-Truckload (LTL) Delivery and for larger orders, we ship via common carrier (18-wheeler). If your order is being shipped via LTL or common carrier, you will be contacted to discuss the details before the order ships. Please visit our freight shipping page for more info.
Back to Top





Railing FAQS How Railing is Shipping How Much Does Shipping Cost?

DecksDirect offers free ground shipping on select railing products within the contiguous U.S. Minimums may apply; see specific product page for details. For orders that do not qualify for free shipping, our shipping fees are based on package weight, dimensions, and distance being shipped. Shipping quotes can normally be calculated in the shopping cart portion of our website, but for larger items shipping quotes may need to be requested over the phone by calling 1-888-824-5316.
Back to Top

Download Full Railing Guide  

There are no products matching the selection.

3900 50th Ave N #100 Minneapolis, MN 55429
1-888-824-5316 sales@DecksDirect.com

Before you leave...


To see how we may use your information,
take a look at our Privacy Policy

Post your comment