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Building Codes Related to Railing


Building Codes 101, Part II: ICC and Building Codes

Building Codes 101, Part II: ICC and Building Codes     Where the first part of this webinar series touched provided an overview of building codes, this second part focuses on the model codes provided by the International Code Council (ICC). It provides more specific information on ICC’s family of codes and the methods used to create and modify them. It seeks to provide you with the information you need to make use of ICC’s codes and participate in its...more

Building Codes 101, Part 1: Introduction to Building Codes

Building Codes 101, Part I: Introduction to Building Codes     What are building codes? Why do we have them? Why can’t we just build buildings however we want? These are some of the questions that this webinar set will help you to answer. The regulation of the way buildings are built in the United States is unique, compared to other industries and even other countries. It can be a mystery to those who have not yet actively participated in the process...more

Clarifying Bracket Clearance

Required clearance between a handrail and other building elements continues to confound and confuse. Here's a quick review of where present codes now stand.  The 1992 Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) stated that there was to be an absolute dimension of 1-1/2" between a handrail and a wall. This was actually a "grab bar" dimension which was part of an old version of ANSI A117.1. It's purpose was to avoid someone from getting caught between the wall and the...more

Building Codes By State

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Handrail bracket clearance: Past, present & future

This article was originally published in NOMMA's Fabricator Magazine, January/February 2003 The confusion over handrail bracket clearance has plagued our industry for 15 years. The good news is that the new ADAAG is acceptable to our industry and will likely remain law for another 12 years. However, the ICC and NFPA codes are revised more regularly and require NOMMA's continued vigilance.   By Tony Leto  The Wagner Companies   Anyone concerned with handrail bracket clearance over the years...more

OSHA Railing Requirements

Requirements from the General Industry Standards Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes (1910.23)    (a) Protection for floor openings. (1) Stairway floor openings must have standard railings (as specified in (e)) on all exposed sides (except at the entrance). For seldom-used stairways where traffic across the opening prevents the use of railings, a hinged floor opening cover of standard strength and construction must be used with removable...more

ADA Grab Bar Requirements

A4.24 Grab Bars, and Tub and Shower Seats    A4.24.1 General. Many people with disabilities rely heavily upon grab bars to maintain balance and prevent serious falls. Many people brace their forearms between supports and walls to give them more leverage and stability in maintaining balance or for lifting. The grab bar clearance of 1 1/2 (38 mm) required...more

The Ladder Effect

The 2000 International Residential Code (IRC) states that guardrails . . . shall not be constructed with horizontal members or other ornamental pattern that results in a ladder effect. It has never been in the International Building Code (IBC).   This was removed in the 2001 code cycle and was published in the 2001 IRC supplement. It has remained that way and is in the 2003 or 2006 publications of the IRC.  It is important to note that many local code authorities are using codes based on BOCA...more

ADA and Accessibility Codes

Handrail Accessibility Standards and Information -- Updated March 2012   There are two references that are used throughout the US in relation to accessibility: ICC/ANSI A117.1, Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities and The Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)   The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990...more

Code Comparison Chart

The following information is based on information compiled by the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) as of June 2004.   Municipal and state authorities generally do not write their own code. They use these model codes and guidelines to create documents for use in their local jurisdictions.   Not all fabrications need to meet building codes. Some installations may be considered ornamental in nature.  Wagner manufactures products that will meet building codes and...more

Building Codes

Prior to using any railing products, it is incumbent on designers, fabricators and installers to make themselves familiar with local codes that apply to their applications.   Most municipalities and local code bodies do not write code – they adopt codes prepared by various code bodies. Historically, model codes were prepared by code bodies such as the Building Officials Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the Council of American Building Officials (CABO), the International Conferenc...more


The clearance between the handrail and wall is shown to be 1 1/ 2 inches (38 mm) minimum.

The handrail extends horizontally above the landing for 12 inches (305 mm) minimum beginning directly above the first riser nosing.