Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
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!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,076 Posts
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".
 

·
GC/carpenter
Joined
·
43,943 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
31,141 Posts
If it's just a few inches too high off the ground, suggest decorative crushed rock to bring the grade up, or maybe a raised flower bed.
 

·
Eater of sins.
Joined
·
4,687 Posts
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.
 

·
Hack
Joined
·
3,011 Posts
If you do have to , or choose to, raise the rail height...what will you do at the meters on the house?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Looks like you are not more than 24 inches to grade. Code in Canada is more than 24 you need railings 36 inches. As mentioned just bring the grade up to meet code 24 inches.
 

·
Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
Joined
·
25,220 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I think if it was my property I'd make some flower boxes and affix them to the top rail. It might help to pretty up the joint a bit too.
 

·
GC/carpenter
Joined
·
43,943 Posts
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.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top