Have the building codes changed in recent years in regard to the spacing of the pickets in the railings?
Yes they have. The building code now requires that the pickets be spaced so that a 4 inch sphere can not pass between any opening in the railing. The railings must also be 36″ high for a residential deck located more than 30 inches above the ground. A deck surface less than 30 inches above the ground does not require a handrail at all.