Metal Railing Question

8 Replies

We are close to purchasing a Duplex that is 40 years old. Each unit is 2 stories, and it has metal railings on the stairs. The rungs are about 6 inches apart, which we feel is dangerous for small children. 

Apart from complete replacement, does anyone have any suggestions for retrofitting?

Assuming that they are painted as typical, you could consider taking them to a metal fabricator and having another post welded in between each one and leave your gaps at 3 inches instead.

Is this outside railing?  If so I think they could also be welded in place with an additional piece but it may be costly. You can add wire mesh as one solution.  If it is inside might be as cost effective to replace them with wood.

@Scott Weaner   you are right code is slightly over 4" I believe 4-1/4 maybe 4-3/8. I always use 4" it's easy to remember and better to be slightly smaller than bigger. I had A three foot section similar to this. I used wire mesh, to solve my problem.  I will caution that my mesh had small squares that my daughter got her finger stuck in. Sorry to say I can't remember what size I had. So just go with a larger square if you go that route.

Another thought is to attach horizontal bars across all the verticals.  Two or three should do it. 

Horizontal bars are climbable, and if I'm not mistaken, not to code. I'd go with wire mesh.

I wonder if there is some type of a metal lattice that could be attached. I will look into that.

@Sylvia B.   Thanks for catching that. It's clear as day. Not sure what I was thinking. Oh yeah I wasn't. :)

Hi @Scott Weaner  

I would have several estimates for retrofitting a additional balluster between the existing ballusters. Then you will know if it will be cost effective. Below is the latest code for baluster spacing. Previous spacing was 6" it is now 4".

Baluster Spacing (Sphere Rule): The general rule is to install balusters and newel posts between the handrail and flooring materials so that a 4” sphere (the head of an infant) cannot pass through.

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