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When Do You Need to Install a Graspable Secondary Handrail on A Residential Deck?

When Do You Need to Install a Graspable Secondary Handrail on A Residential Deck?

An ADA-Compliant Handrail is an important component to consider when building a deck with stairs. Whether you're constructing a residential composite deck, lumber deck or a deck made from other decking material, you're typically required to install a graspable secondary handrail on one side of the deck's stair railing when there are four or more stair risers present.

Key Residential Stair Handrail Requirements (IRC - International Residential Code)

  1. Stairways having four or more risers, or rising more than 30 inches in height, whichever is less, must have at least one grab rail.
  2. Handrails with a circular cross section shall have an outside diameter of at least 1-1/4 inches and not greater than 2 inches. If the handrail is not circular it shall have a perimeter dimension of at least 4 inches and not greater than 6-1/4 inches with a maximum cross section of dimension of 2-1/4 inches.
  3. The grab rail must terminate at the newel post (top and bottom posts).
  4. Clear space between a handrail and a wall or other surface shall be a minimum of 1-1/2 inches.
  5. The height of handrails must be installed 34 inches - 38 inches from the upper surface of the handrail to the surface of the tread.

ADA Complient Handrail on deck with stairs

Graspable secondary handrails are required by more and more building codes / deck codes in areas across the country. 

For additional safety, Deckorators® offers ADA-compliant handrails, particularly beneficial for homes with small children and seniors. These functional, graspable handrails, made of heavy-gauge aluminum and durable PVC, are not only compliant but also highly versatile. The system includes various radius elbows and return styles to suit diverse installations. Available in Textured Black, Textured White, and Weathered Brown, these handrails complement popular siding and trim choices in new home construction.

Always ensure compliance with your local building codes or consult your building inspector to guarantee the installation of a secondary handrail when required by law.

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