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Ensuring Compliance on Balustrades and Handrails

We have supplied a lot of timber decking materials in the Brisbane and Sydney areas over the years. Usually it is because someone is building or repairing a nice timber deck. But sometimes it is because they built non-compliant handrails or balustrades and have to either start over or make some elaborate repairs.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few regulations concerning balustrades and handrails.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA)

Whenever your deck is attached to a building, it falls under the auspices of the BCA. The BCA contains standards of compliance of all balustrades and handrails. The bulletin is published by the Australian Timber Importers Association. It details spans and sizes as well as load capacities for handrail and balustrade connectors.

Durability Rating

In any outdoor application such as a deck, the timber used for handrails and balustrades must have a durability rating of 1 or 2. Species such as Blackbutt, Ironbark, Spotted Gum and Merbau/Kwila are compliant, as are many other hardwoods. Softwoods that are treated with a preservative to a grade of H3 or higher can also be used.

It is also recommended that you apply a protective coating to your timber to help protect it from nature, especially water. No strength reducing features should be present in your timber.


Brackets, bolts and nails should be hot dipped galvanised and screws should be rated at Class 3 Corrosion Resistance. If you are in a coastal environment, you should use stainless steel due to all of the salt in the air.

Bushfire Prone Areas

If you are in a bushfire prone area, your building is subject to Australian Standard AS3959.

CCA? Not so Fast.

CCA treatment is approved for fencing but not for handrails or balustrades due to the risk of arsenic contaminating the hands.

Call 1300 477 024 for more information.