Monday, September 30, 2013

DIY Deck Railings

We had a fun weekend, and I hope you did, too!  The weather lately has been amazing, so I have taken advantage of these sunny, cool days by getting outside as much as possible-- weeding, playing golf, and (of course) working on the deck.  After building the main platform and then the privacy screen I moved on to the railings.  

 Figuring out the right design had me stumped for a while there, since both of my books and most of what I could find out there on the internet describes how to build this one style of railing that I'm not crazy about... The advantages are that water drains well since there aren't any flat surfaces, and it's easy to build, but I just couldn't get excited about this look, so I kept searching for clues on how to build what I do like.  Here's the easy version of railings, with the posts attached to the outside of the deck. 

After digging up a few inspiration photos I worked on figuring out how to recreate this look.  I love how clean the whole thing appears with the posts set inside the frame of the deck (something I knew I wanted early on enough to install them before laying the decking boards-- you really have to think ahead on a project like this!  Makes my brain hurt...:)), and I like the wide handrail at the top punctuated by post caps.

The first step was to install the 2x6 wide hand rails on top of the vertical posts all the way around, and then for each section of railing I screwed in a 2x4 as the bottom support, making sure it was level and at a uniform height (in my case about 3 1/2 inches off of the floor).  Then the tricky and time consuming part was assembling the inside sections, each created out of a 1x2 slat across both top and bottom, connecting the balusters together.  Each section of railing varies in width from the next, so each insert had to be designed specifically for that space, which ended up being a real project of precision.  And cutting.  So much cutting.   

Building the main sections of railing actually flew by once I got the hang of things and found a system that worked for me, but the trickiest, most brain-challenging part was doing the stairs.  Checking and double checking my angles (and still having to redo a couple of things-- hey, it happens:)) was again made so much more fun by my handy angle finder tool.  This thing absolutely saved me and kept me from throwing in the towel when facing this part of the project.

I'm not quiiiiite finished with all of the railing work yet, as you can see in the photo below, but I couldn't wait to share my progress with you!



1 comment:

  1. Your choices are pretty, and I love how it turned out! It’s already lovely but think you should consider painting it with a dark woodsy color to match the roof, or a light one closer to the shade of the walls. David @ DAL Builders


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