Do I Need Guardrails on My Edmonton Deck?

Posted on: 2016-08-20


In Alberta & the City of Edmonton, construction standards and zoning regulations are created by officials and authorities to ensure public safety. Not only will a properly built deck protect your family from harm, an unsafe deck could mean you are liable for a personal injury on your property! But you can relax because the experts at Parabola Developments are here with a crash course on deck guardrail rules. Add these on to your existing deck, or add them to the plans for your next deck renovation!


First, we must determine how high your new deck will be. Whether part of a home or business, your guardrails will have to account for the elevation between the deck and the ground. If a side is not protected by a wall or the elevation exceeds 600 millimetres (24 inches) between the ground and the deck’s surface, it must have guardrail protection. Guardrails are also required if there is a steep grade within 1.2 metres (47 inches) of the deck.

Height of guardrail

Once we settle on the height of your deck and know which sides require guardrails, we can calculate how tall your guardrails will be. If your deck surface is lower than 1.8 metres (6 feet) and your deck serves a single property, guardrails can be cut at 0.9 metres (3 feet). Exceeding that threshold, there must be a minimum of 1.07 metres (42 inches) from the surface to the top of the rail.


Decorative guardrails are nice to look at, but we must ensure your selection meets all safety requirements. Firstly, no part of the guardrail can be designed to encourage or assist climbing. In non-industrial settings, openings between dowels or poles must be less wide than a 100 millimetre (4 inch) diameter spherical object.

As with any project, requirements change with the scale and usage of your deck or patio. The above information is only a guideline for a typical installation in a standard residential area. All measurements acquired from Alberta Municipal Affairs & Safety Codes Council, yet these may be subject to change. Always consult current regulations before starting or approving a home improvement project.

Questions or concerns? Contact Parabola Developments today!