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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

Refreshing a rental unit that does not meet current code for railing height. I am looking to increase the railing height on the main floor porch up to 36", which will push it above the limestone columns which they are tied into, up onto the square wood posts which support the porch roof. It will be about 4" higher than the top-most portion of the stone base.

The existing railing design is a simple 2x6 with a routed edge, posts are 2x2.

I'm looking for possible solutions for this, which do not involve rebuilding the limestone posts - IE railing/wood only. I was thinking either to mitre the railing so that it goes down to the side of the post. Or, some sort of rosette/buildout so that it can still butt into wood.

Here's a pic - This is a rental property, so HO is not into spending much, meanwhile I'd like to do something that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. Thanks in advance for any ideas!
 

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In California I don't think you'd be required to raise the rail height. Guard rails are required when the drop is 30 inches or more, and I don't see that in that picture. If required, it would need to be 42" high in California, not 36".
 

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You will need handrails on those stairs to meet code. It's 3 or more steps. It doesn't look like that porch is over 30" from 36" of leading edge of the deck. In other words measure 36" from deck and nowhere within that 36" can it be 30" or more.
 

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Of course you are in Ottawa, why anyone would want to be there is beyond me, but none the less) you may have historical codes as we do here in CA.
In which case it is entirely possible that you do not have to bring it up to present day code.
Check it out with the AHJ first, do your due diligence.

Andy.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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You will need handrails on those stairs to meet code.
How about some uniform rises to meet code first? :jester:

Agree with the above; wouldn't that be grandfathered?

IMO: The railing height and columns were designed as a whole. Changing one or the other is never going to look right.

IMO: A 36" railing on a near-ground-level porch is ugly and impractical. Porches like that are made for sitting and looking. With a 36" railing, you get the pleasure of staring at the top rail when seated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
How about some uniform rises to meet code first? :jester:

Agree with the above; wouldn't that be grandfathered?

IMO: The railing height and columns were designed as a whole. Changing one or the other is never going to look right.

IMO: A 36" railing on a near-ground-level porch is ugly and impractical. Porches like that are made for sitting and looking. With a 36" railing, you get the pleasure of staring at the top rail when seated.
No, not grandfathered - because it's a multi-unit dwelling so city is sticky about rebuilds. I haven't talked with the city abt it, just my engineer who came to look at it. That's been his experience given the nature of the repair.

Good idea on raising the grade! I think we miss it by max 3", so it's not that hard to deal with if I recall. Raising the railing is really not a pleasant option at all :sick:

I might start a picture thread on this one :) It's pretty messy. Wouldn't mind some further opinions on this. The middle column was ready to topple over when we jacked it up today. Needs a little bit of cement love to keep it standing.
 

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How about some uniform rises to meet code first? :jester:

Agree with the above; wouldn't that be grandfathered?

IMO: The railing height and columns were designed as a whole. Changing one or the other is never going to look right.

IMO: A 36" railing on a near-ground-level porch is ugly and impractical. Porches like that are made for sitting and looking. With a 36" railing, you get the pleasure of staring at the top rail when seated.
It wasn't the guard rail I was referring to, it was the handrail, hand rails are for steps guardrails are for balconies and porches over 30" in hight. Code says you must have a graspable rail for steps with 3 or more risers.
 
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