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How to Measure the Correct Height for a Railing Installation  

If you’re planning to take time this season to update things around your home, you may be considering changes to your landscaping or different fence styles. One aspect of this part of your property that you may not have spent a lot of time thinking about is the railing.

Hercules Fence Newport News Railings

Accurate measurements are critical when installing a railing.

Handrails or railings are a vitally important part of the safety features of any deck, patio, and walkway (especially stairs). But if the railing is the wrong height, it won’t make the area safer; the opposite will happen: a railing of the wrong size could even make things less safe than no railing. 

But how do you measure the correct height for a railing installation? Read on to learn the basics for a variety of situations.

Stairs And Grades

Railing heights are set and controlled by building codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act. On uneven ground, stairs, or anywhere there is a change in grade. The railing helps ensure that people can traverse safely. They are set to be at a comfortable height to allow a person to support themselves without straining or stretching to reach it, typically between 34 and 36 inches high. 

When installing a railing along stairs, the railing will run parallel to the nosing line. It should be attached to studs (for interior installation) or securely attached to a wall or properly installed posts (for outdoor installation). 

Railing for a particular use, like stairs designed explicitly for children, will often be lower than the standard 34-36 height, so you should check your local codes in those cases.

Decks And Flat Areas

Installing railings over an even surface is even easier than on grades. The railing maintains the same 34-36 inch height over the deck or flooring surface as a railing on a grade. The hardest part of adding to a deck or balcony is choosing which type you want (since you can have anything from glass rails to ornamental metal to wood). Don’t hesitate to contact Hercules Fence for the correct installation. 


There is one thing to remember about installing any railings, anywhere. The key to doing it right is to measure correctly. You cannot install it by “eyeballing it” or estimating. You cannot safely install a railing without having the proper measurement tools and using them correctly. Whether on a grade or around a flat surface, measure accurately, double-check, and install.

Get in Touch With Hercules Fence Today

Hercules Fence has experience with nearly every type of residential and commercial fencing material imaginable, from wood and aluminum to chain link, vinyl, steel, and even temporary fencing. We have developed a reputation for quality work and fair, competitive prices. Hercules Fence is ready to serve you from six convenient locations. We have offices in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

If you have any questions about finding your dream fence or fence maintenance, you can contact Hercules Fence today by calling (757) 316-3600 or visit FencesNewportNews.com today for a free quote.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2022 at 10:55 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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