Building a deck is a fun DIY project to do, especially if you want to refurbish and improve the aesthetic of your Australian home’s backyard. While installing a deck on your property may seem an ultimately doable task, the difficulty of this lies in the strict regulations imposed by the Australian government.
There are numerous codes and regulations imposed upon the construction of home improvements. This is widely done to ensure the safety of all residents on a property, which is why it’s crucial to follow them. When it comes to the creation and installation of a deck on your home, one of the prime considerations lies in the addition of a safety handrail.
Australia’s Railing Requirement
Decks and staircases are commonly installed along with staircase railings, but the truth is, they don’t necessarily come hand-in-hand. According to the ruling of the National Construction Code (NCC), a safety handrail is only required to be included should the deck’s top be at least one metre above the ground below it. If it is under this estimated 30-inch height requirement, then an individual can opt-out of a railing.
There are also more rulings associated if a railing is installed on a deck. Depending on the height, you may have to factor in some more elements. For example, if it’s at least one metre off the ground, then the spaces between the balustrades must not be greater than 125 millimetres. If it’s greater than four metres, then there should be no climbable elements between 150 millimetres and 760 millimetres from the floor.
Why are Railings Important?
The obvious answer to why handrails in Perth are important is naturally for safety reasons. Although one metre may not be too high for the average adult, one can still get into an accident if they aren’t careful. An inebriated or vision-impaired person can trip and fall, causing an injury that could have been avoided.
Beyond these, children and pets will naturally have trouble with such heights. Falling from these won’t just be painful, it will also cost a lot in terms of medical bills or even lawsuits—so taking that extra precaution can actually save you more money in the long run.
The Common Mistake with Avoiding Safety Railings
Even if you’re absolutely sure you’ve measured the height of your deck, some post-construction concerns can find you needing to install a safety handrail nonetheless. If you’re determined to avoid the addition of railing for your deck, then taking note of some of the more common mistakes is necessary to avoid grief later on.
The floor-to-ground measurement will inevitably change over time, so make sure that you measure before and after constructing your deck. The prime mistake is to not factor in the settling of land or dirt post-construction. Over time, the ground underneath your deck could be swept or sloughed away—suddenly increasing the height of your deck to beyond 30-inches.
The Bottom Line
Decks are easy to make and are actually quite affordable. Some individuals may opt to create a deck without railings, so make sure to take note of the local legislation to ensure you aren’t breaking any laws. With proper planning from the onset, you’ll be able to create a deck that is both safe but still within legal bounds.
Are you looking for a provider of safety handrail installation services in Perth? Get in touch with us today and see what balustrades fit the deck you intend to build.