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Old 07-05-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
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Building deck rails


I want to build a 4ft high deck railing for a deck that is the following specifications:

- 2ft high
- 20ft wide, 10 ft long
- 8 foot long staircase in front

So I need to build two 10ft long railings for the sides, and two 6ft railings for the front. The deck surface overhangs on both sides so I want to utilize a lower deck railing and minimize my cuts into the deck surface boards. I plan to use 2x4's for posts and railings, 2x2's for balusters, and a finished rounded 2x4 for a cap.

How many 2x4 posts should I use and how should I space them out? I was planning to use 3 for the 10ft side(start, middle, end), and 2 for the 6ft side(start, end).

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Old 07-05-2010, 09:52 PM   #2
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Building deck rails


http://www.lancova.com/deckinfo.pdf

Be safe, Gary

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:16 AM   #3
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Building deck rails


Lots of useful tips in there and the answer is no more than 6ft apart, however this guide says nothing smaller than a 4x4 post attached to the rim joist. I've seen 2x4's(even decks without any railing posts attached, just balusters supporting the upper and lower rails and cap!). Must be a locality thing?
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:49 AM   #4
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Building deck rails


I've never built a deck railing without 4x4 posts
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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Whatever your LOCAL Code allows. Remember these are minimum safety guidelines.You can build it below minimum, without an inspection. (Make certain your Homeowner's Insurance will cover).

http://www.nadra.org/industry_news/april07_woodbits.pdf

Be safe, Gary
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:23 PM   #6
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Building deck rails


If I choose to use 4x4's, I see many people notch out a 6" high (or whatever size our rim joist+deck board height is) by 1.5-2" deep cut so the railing sits closer to the deck surface. I even see the stores selling precut decorative posts notched like this. What is your take on safety on this?
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:44 AM   #7
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Check out the downloads here: http://www.strongtie.com/deckcenter/...ource=category

Be safe, Gary
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Old 08-06-2010, 12:35 AM   #8
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Building deck rails


Been reading these guides, and wow, these guys think they really know how a deck should be built.. however, I've never ever seen a deck built anywhere near these specifications, even by pros. Actually, I've probably seen 200 homes on two sides of the country in the past few months and less than 5 of them actually had 4x4 posts attached to the rim joists, and 2 of those had notched out weakened 4x4's. They were either multiple 1x2 ballister's attached to the rim joists or used 2x4's for posts. The rest were 4x4 posts that run on the inside of the rim and are part of the foundation which I'm told are frowned upon due to potential rot.

One of these manuals suggest that lag bolts, or even carriage bolts alone are not enough to support a 4x4 post on the outside of a rim joist and that a special bracket should be used... and of course they make it! This seems not only overkill, but a waste of money and time. I'm not saying I disagree with building a deck properly, although I would like to see some pictures here if anyone has any using these brackets seen in technical bulletin T-GRDRLPST.

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