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Old 11-19-2009, 04:55 PM   #1
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


I have a small balcony that needs the wood rail cap replaced (I guess that's what you call it). It is badly deteriorated.

I was thinking about just replacing it with douglas fir, primed and painted. I was experimenting awhile with different woods for exterior gates and fences, and I wasn't happy. For example, I built a gate out of redwood, but then learned if it was not heartwood (all deep red) then it wasn't much good.

Also I hear cedar is the same, if it's not all heartwood it's not much better than douglas fir.

Anyone have their opinion on this.

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


Pressure treated or "composite" will withstand the elements best....

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Old 11-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


Composite sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

Pressure treated, I'm concerned it will warp. Also don't want to wait 6 months before painting it.
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Old 11-19-2009, 05:47 PM   #4
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


Understand, not my #1 choice either. I replaced my treated "cap" with composite after it dried. shrank, warped.......
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:22 PM   #5
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


What is the length of the ridge board? 12' or 16'? What is the dead load of the roof decking, materials? You don't have your location posted, so no-one knows if snow load has to be calculated. Will there be rafter ties, or ceiling joists to tie the rafters together? You need to answer all of these questions.



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Old 11-20-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


IF you're talking hand rail cap, there are some very nice vinyl hand rail caps out there now. You may have to find a fencing company for these, as in my area. David
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:06 PM   #7
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Correct wood for exterior handrail?


Ayuh,.... The Best way to stop the wood from rotting out is use Steel....
Or aluminum,...
Or ssteel...

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