When you think of your deck, you probably imagine fun days out in the sun, evening BBQs, and family get-togethers. However, you might not think about the level of safety your deck provides. But it’s an important element to consider. Here are three reasons deck stairs need hand railings.
- Building Codes -The first reason that deck stairs need hand railings is to meet specific building codes. The International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) state that a handrail should be present on any stairs you use to get in and out of your home. These codes also require a hand railing for stairs with four or more steps. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a handrail for two steps or more in public and commercial spaces.
- Safety Purposes – Safety is another reason deck stairs need handrails. Stairs can be dangerous, especially if they don’t have something for people to hold onto as they walk up and down them. Outdoor deck stairs also experience elements like ice, sleet, snow, and rain that can cause the stairs to become very slippery. Installing a hand railing on your deck’s stairs provides safety and protection from potential slips, trips, and falls. To ensure that your handrail is sturdy and durable, consider using wood balusters, which are aesthetically pleasing and provide the necessary support.
- Overall Graspability – The third reason that a deck should have hand railings is for overall graspability. Building codes and safety purposes are good reasons that decks have handrails, and these two elements work together to create an appropriate level of graspability for handrails. A handrail is only effective and helpful if you can grab it easily. The best measurements for round handrails should be about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, while handrails that are not round should be between 4 and 6.5 inches in diameter. Wood balusters are a popular choice for handrail material, providing a sturdy railing and classic appearance.
So now that you know why deck staircases should have hand railings, you can ensure that your deck’s stairs are meeting the proper safety requirements.
Island Post Cap offers everything you need to improve your deck, including round wood balusters that can add style and security. Don’t forget to consider wood balusters and custom deck components for your next deck renovation project!