Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations 3

Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations

Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations 1

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Cable railings fall under the handrail and guard requirements in the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). Both of these codes are created by the International Code Council (ICC) and are used as the basis for most municipal and local building codes to determine what is code for cable deck railing. Commercial buildings must also meet ADA requirements for accessibility for handrails and guards to ensure the safety of all people.

In this article, where “code” is used, it will apply to the IBC, IRC, and ADA building codes which have many of the same requirements. Where the code differs, it will be noted. These codes dictate cable deck railing code requirements including deck cable railing spacing, guard height, and handrail requirements.

Cable Deck Railing Code Requirements

Cable deck railing code requires that handrails are located between 34” and 38” as measured from the stair tread nosing to the top of the handrail. The handrail cannot project more than 4 ½” on either side of the stairway and must have a clearance of at least 1 ½” between the handrail and the adjacent surface.

Handrails must be continuous for the full length of a flight of stairs or ramp run. Circular handrails must have an outside diameter between 1 ¼” and 2” to allow maximum graspability.

The IRC requires that a flight of stairs or a ramp have at least one handrail while the IBC and the ADA standards require a handrail on each side of the stairs or ramp.

Cable Deck Guard Requirements

Guards are required where there is an open-sided walking surface that is more than 30” as measured vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36” measured vertically to the edge of the open side. They typically extend above the handrail to ensure safety.

In residential applications, guards must be at least 36” above the adjacent walking surface or as measured from the stair tread nosings. In commercial applications, the IBC requires that guards be no less than 42” from the adjacent walking surfaces.

Cable Deck Railing Spacing

Cable deck railing spacing refers to the space inbetween the cables and the handrail, the cables and the walking surface, and the cables themselves. Cable spacing for deck railings requires that they are spaced so that they will not allow a sphere of 4” in diameter to pass through them.

Where there is a triangular opening at the open side of a staircase where the riser, tread, and bottom rail of the guard meet, it must not allow a sphere of 6” in diameter to pass through. The commercial code for deck railing cable spacing allows for an opening large enough for a 4 ⅜” sphere to pass through railings that are between the heights of 36” to 42”.

Cable Deck Railing Extensions

Cable deck railing extensions are required in commercial construction as well as any building that falls under the ADA standards for accessibility. Extensions must extend for at least 12” horizontally from the end of the ramp or beginning above the first riser nosing of a flight of stairs.

At the bottom of a stair flight, the handrail must extend in the same direction of the flight of stairs for a distance equal to one tread depth beyond the last riser nosing. Handrails can also be continuous to the handrail of another set of stairs or ramp.

At both the top and bottom of the stairs or ramp, the handrail must return to itself, the wall or adjacent surface, or the landing surface.

The IRC doesn’t require handrail extension in residential applications, so handrails may begin at a point directly above the top riser and end at a point directly above the lowest riser. Handrails should return toward a wall, guard, walking surface, or terminate at a post. Residential handrails can be interrupted by a newel post where there is a turn in the staircase at a landing or over the lowest tread.

Cable Deck Railing Post Spacing

To ensure stability deck post spacing for cable railings is recommended at 4’ on center. If more spacing is necessary, structural posts can be placed at 8’ on center with non-load-bearing posts spaced every 4’ between the structural posts.

Modern and Stylish Cable Deck Railings That Meet Building Code Requirements

Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations 2

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Stainless steel cable railing systems provide safety and security along balconies, stairways, ramps, and other walking surfaces. Our systems meet the deck cable railing code and provide options to meet the aesthetic needs of your project.

Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations 4

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VIVA Railings are designed for both indoor and outdoor applications, so they can go where they’re needed most.

Cable Deck Railing Spacing Code Requirements and Considerations 3

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Our stainless steel and aluminum systems can be powder coated in any of our wide range of options to create the ideal aesthetic while also meeting cable deck railing code requirements.

Contact the experts at VIVA Railings today to discuss the best cable deck railing to meet building code requirements and achieve your design vision!