Why do we need railings? And what materials can our handrail be made out of?

Posted: February 15, 2011 in construction, Uncategorized
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Railing and handrailing are an essential part of any home or business with stairs. Most local codes require you to have railing installed if you have a certain amount of stairs or any open space where someone can fall and get hurt. Most residential stairs need railing at a minimum height of 34 to 36 inches from the nose (front) of a tread. Commercial property usually requires a 42 inch high railing (commonly referred to as a guardrail) with a 36 inch handrail attached. Also most balconies, decks, porches and landings need 42 inch high guardrails. Another vital part of most local and national codes is the 4″ rule. Mainly concerning the ability of young children to fit their heads through the space between bars and fall through and get hurt. For that reason spindle/balusters should not be spaced more that 4″ apart on railing. Newer modern and contemporary styles also use glass, perforated metal and even plastic for railing panel in fill. There are several types of different materials you can use to make railing. Icarus Group Ironworks uses Steel, the most common and strongest, also the least expensive. Icarus Group Inc also uses Aluminum, which by nature is a weaker metal, slightly more expensive in terms of fabrication costs, but more durable and is usually painted using an oven baked powder coat finish (which can also be used on steel). Normally aluminum will not oxidize and is virtually maintenance free. A good option and the most bang for your buck in my opinion. Icarus Group Ironwork also fabricates using
Stainless steel, which is the most expensive of the three. Stainless steel is beautiful, Nyc Ironworks loves the different brushed finishes (grainy look) you can apply to stainless steel. It’s also maintenance free, but the costs of the raw material, labor intensive finishing, and super careful handling during installation makes it the most expensive.
There are other types of materials such as brass, and bronze, obviously super expensive but commonly used in high end homes,hotels, buildings and commercial establishments.
For examples and more information on gates, fences, and railing visit Icarus Group Ironwork.

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