Tuesday, July 21

Did You Know? A Deck Update

RAILINGS! I've got railings!

You may not know this but there are building codes and industry standards that dictate what you can and can't do with railings. For instance, depending on your locale, specifications for railing height range from 32" to 48". This was of particular interest to me because, being short, I found my old deck railing much too high for my satisfaction. So when I started looking into getting the new deck, my personal requirement was that the railing be no higher than absolute minimum required. In my area that minimum is 36".

Behold the 36" railing:

Another thing I discovered is that the railing must not be "climbable." This one strikes me as being good example of regulatory silliness. I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as a fence that really can't be climbed if someone puts their mind to it and tries hard enough, especially since there's no corresponding regulation against having tables, chairs, stools, ladders - or anything else with a climbable surface - in the vicinity of the railing. Further research says what this really means is not giving idiots really obvious footholds, should they get it into their heads to do something stupid. Basically, we're protecting people from themselves.

Another rule says that the maximum space between balusters (those are pickets, btw) is 3.5" maximum. And apparently they test this by trying to roll a 3 1/2" ball between them. Because if the space is too big, the same idiot who tried to climb the railing will stick his head through there and get stuck. And just think of the damage he could do to the balusters in the meantime.

Yes, there's a gap where the stairs will be. So Family Member says "Don't forget you don't have stairs yet." And I say "How can I forget what I never had?" Yes, some idiot could jump off and hurt themselves. Then again, the idiot could decide to jump off the stairs, once I have some, and hurt themselves. There's only so much you can do if people are really determined.

In the meantime, I'll avoid inviting idiots over to my house. And if you come to visit, please don't climb the railing or stick your head through or jump off the stairs. Which I'm hoping I'll have by then.


Merry said...

Oh Lor' that reminds me of the guy who came over to check something under the house. He lifted up the trap door, set it aside, and jumped into the crawl space. Then he told me, in a serious, portentous tone of voice, "there is an open hole here now."

Gosh. What would we do without these geniuses? (genii?)

liketea - ooh, spooky, Mr. Word Verification is trying to get to know me better, find out my likes and dislikes

Scope Dope Cherrybomb said...

You have the right idea. Don't invite the idiots. Did I mention that I was sending my sister over? You know, the one CMS calls Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

hablea-Have a beautiful lanai enclosed already.

BCB said...

Wow! It's really looking, um, deck-like. Very nice.

And I think most of those regs are to protect poor little crawlers and toddlers whose mothers put a baby gate across the stair opening and stick the kids out there alone as if it's a big fresh-air playpen.

BTW, I really like the new look of the blog, too.

amythape: the sound a grownup makes after squeezing his head through 3.5" space, despite all precautions. Usu. accompanied by wild hand gestures.

McB said...

Thanks. I somehow lost my original color/font scheme several months back. It's still not what I remember from before but it's closer.

And thanks for the deck compliments too. It's coming along. The stairs are the time-consuming (and yard consuming, too) part.

Flact: what you get when people don't like you facts