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How tall can external railings be?

24 June 2021

Whether you’re embarking on the new-build of your dreams or just getting to the next stage on your doer-upper, period or modern railings can add character to your property whilst keeping loved ones safe. The Building Regulation and planning requirements for these features in the different regions of the UK can be a little confusing, so here’s our simple breakdown of what you need to know.

How tall should railings on balconies or raised platforms be?

Min height for raised railing

For anything higher than 300mm from ground level, the minimum railing height is 1100mm above the deck. This can be exceeded if you felt it would aid the design or safety of an outdoor space.

Min height for raised railing with parapet

The 1100mm is taken from the finished floor level so if there is a dwarf wall which is 400mm high then the railing height required is 700mm. The exception to this when the width of the dwarf wall from the edge to the railing position is such that it is deemed as a step. There is no hard and fast rule and what measurement it needs to be in order be deemed as a step but the general rule of thumb is 220mm.

How tall can boundary railings be?

This depends on what your boundary separates or is adjacent to. For a boundary railing next to or adjoining a public highway, or within 3 meters of a road edge, your railing should not exceed 1100mm in height.

min height for boundary railing based on distance to road.

For any other railing or boundary, the best rule of thumb is to stay below 2000mm to avoid the need for planning permission, but if you’re unsure it’s always best to double check with your local authority.

Min height for a boundary railing

Keep in mind that additional planning restrictions may come into play for certain buildings such as those that are listed, within conservation areas or share an open front garden. In these cases, you may be preventing from adding railings, or may need to meet specific design requirements. That’s why we offer a wide range of period design for everything from railing panels to heads, spindles and backstays to fit your property. For those larger endeavours (over 5 metres in length), we can even take mouldings of existing railings and craft exact replicas for your project.

Learn more about getting planning permission for railings.

To prevent existing railings getting to the stage of replacement and repair, take a look at our tips on how to maintain your iron railings over time to prevent corrosion and other age-related damage.

If you need a staircase, railing, balustrade or balcony for your own project, then get in touch. You can view a wide range of our designs in our gallery and submit a quote directly from there.



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