Stair balluster spacing

(Chris Misner) #1

Does stair balluster spacing vary within your County/State. I contacted the building department where I live in California and they told me maximum width was 4-3/8" wide. I always thought it was 4" as I was taught. Also did any of this change as the years went on?

(Larry Kage, CMI) #2

The spacing in 4 3/8" on stairs and 4" on railings/guards around here.

(Chris Misner) #3

If I understand you correctly, anywhere there is a stair tread and riser the spacing can be 4–3/8" wide and guards such as upper landings, hallway guards its 4" wide max.

(Larry Kage, CMI) #4

Correct. :slightly_smiling_face::upside_down_face:

(Chris Misner) #5

Thank you so much. It can be quite confusing. Just curious where do you practice your craft?

(Larry Kage, CMI) #6

I’m retired in NW MI.

(Chris Misner) #7

What’s interesting is that the building department did not elaborate or explain that bit of information.

(Chris Misner) #8

Thank you sir!

(Larry Kage, CMI) #9

My pleasure.

(Stephen H. Payson) #10

That’s why we have jobs :slight_smile:

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(Nolan Kienitz) #11

Not in the least unusual.

Larry Kage’s comment is excellent as well.

(Frank Rotte, , CPI, San Diego Home Inspector) #13

This is a great graphic.

(Chris Misner) #14

Thank you sir, for the info. I appreciate it.

(Joseph Jacono) #15

This is always a sore subject of mine. I don’t remember exact time frame the standard of a 36" railing was implemented. There are a lot of homes built in the late 70’s and into the 80’s, Contemporary farmhouse was very popular style in Chester County. They were built with open floor plans, two story foyers with catwalk hallway connecting master suite to rest of the bedrooms, these have 32" high railings with spindles set at 6" centers. Spindles/pickets are finished sized 1.5 x 1.5, so spacing ends up at 4.5" opening. Disturbing to be upstairs with that 32" railing and that little extra spacing. Extra 4" height of a 36" railing may not seem like it should be such a big deal but at 6’-2", I can tell you it’s a little unsettling.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #16


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