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Guard / handrail for your house and what you need to know

Lets define a couple things so we can be on the same page. A handrail is a single rail that goes along a wall, that way if you trip you have something to grab on to. Second a guard rail is to keep you from falling through / and off something


Styles of guard rails-

  • Pre fab- prefabricated railings come in parts. They Normally are put together with fasteners, pre made posts, and railings you will cut to size. This is great if you want to put your railing together your self! And most products out there are of ok quality. But be cautious of the really flimsy sheet steel railings they are cheep and while you may save money up front you could be replacing it sooner than you think.

estimated cost per foot- $80-$180



  • Cable- cable railings are a style of railing that could be prefabricated or hand made. Typically on the higher end of the prefabricated cost range but with quality parts. Cable railing can also be add to a custom railing for more design options

estimated cost per foot-$150-$250



  • Custom railing- a custom railing is for those who what a unique design not found in the stores. Usually people are looking for something with higher quality, simple but unique design, but still mainly have function in mind.

estimated cost per foot-$200-$300



  • Artistic- Customers seeking this kind of guard rail is wanting to make a statement, only putting the best quality and design in there house. Truly unique pieces of art! But do keep in mind id dose come at a pretty hefty cost.

estimated cost per foot-$300- $400




So some things to keep in mind when making decisions on your next project

-What you are looking to get out of your railing? Are you just need it to keep the kids from falling of the second floor. Or update your houses look. Maybe even be the centerpiece of your house

-When designing your guard rails if you have small children it is not advised to have horizontal designs do to a ladder effect. Having horizontal designs make it easier for kids to climb over... so please keep that in mind.

-And finally ill leave you with the codes that must be met for both a grab rail and a guard rail


Codes for residential handrailing's From IRC 2018

  • Handrails need to be on stairs with 4 or more risers

  • The Hight of the railing should be between 34''-38'' tall for interior railings

  • There needs to be a 1-1/2'' distance from the top of the railing from any obstructions

  • Railings must be continuous from the bottom riser to the top riser

  • Railings may stop at the newel post, a turn, a landing or over the bottom tread

  • railings must return to the wall at each end


Codes for guards from IRC 2018

  • guards are required if there is a 30'' drop or more 36'' away from the walking surface

  • minimum of 36'' Hight

  • if the guard is acts as a rail it must be 34''-36'' tall

  • there shall not be a 4'' opening in the guards design or from a flat surface where the guard sits

  • if the guard is on a stairway you can not have an opening bigger than a 6" sphere between the bottom of the guard and the risers


If you have any questions comments or concerns Please reach out!! Are welding shop located in Greeley Colorado, but we serve all of northern Colorado and beyond! You can find us at 103 23rd street Greeley Colorado. And you can reach out to ironstudiollc@gmail.com or 303-775-8122! Always happy to answer questions!

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