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In residential construction, wooden posts are often used to support railings. The challenge for the builder is how to attach these posts to withstand the design loads required by code. Code Requirements The building codes make a distinction between handrails and guardrails. Handrails are provided for the users of stairways to grasp for stability while climbing or descending. Guardrails are required along stairways and at the edges of raised platforms — balconies, platforms, or decks — to keep people from falling off. In many cases, the handrail also functions as the guardrail. Regardless, the support posts, whether newels or intermediate posts, must meet the load requirements for both guardrails and handrails. Most building codes specify how strong railings must be to ensure