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-   -   Deck Baluster Spacing Incorrect (http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/deck-baluster-spacing-incorrect-158668/)

tmcmahon 10-02-2012 08:21 AM

Deck Baluster Spacing Incorrect
 
I recently built a deck and discovered that my baluster spacing is too large by 1/4". The spacing is 4 1/4" vs. 4" per code. I used 3/4" diameter aluminum balusters and I am looking for a way to increase the diameter. i.e. adding a plactic sleeve around the baluster.

Has anyone run into this issue before and are there recommendations on how to correct without redoing all of the balusters?

Thanks

TM

joecaption 10-02-2012 08:33 AM

Post a picture.
A simple piece of 2 X 4 used as a gauge cut to 3-3/4 long would have made sure they were spaced correctly.

woodworkbykirk 10-02-2012 05:32 PM

did someone say something about it to you, if its only a 1/4" it will usually slide..

tony.g 10-02-2012 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 1021840)
Post a picture.
A simple piece of 2 X 4 used as a gauge cut to 3-3/4 long would have made sure they were spaced correctly.

He wanted ideas on what to do to correct it, not how to have set it out in the first place.

As the journeyman said, it's only a little over and while the Codes have to draw the line somewhere, its not as though its like 5".
If it has been flagged up, could he (temporarily) wire some chicken wire over it? Just wondering.

sublime2 10-02-2012 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk
did someone say something about it to you, if its only a 1/4" it will usually slide..

Second this!
Usually not a big deal.
Ground level deck or raised?

SeniorSitizen 10-02-2012 06:13 PM

Squeeze them into an ellipse until each side gains 1/8".

tmcmahon 10-02-2012 06:28 PM

History....deck baluster spacing incorrect
 
Thank you for the quick feedback.

This is an elevated deck, about 4ft max at one point. I ended up with 4 1/4" because I measured the spacing on the deck I built back in 2003, which was 4 1/4". Ends up the code changed in 2005 from 6" to 4". No question that this was my mistake.

I am working with the building inspector to see if this could be grandfathered in based on the new deck being an addition / extension to the current deck. So far it doesn't look promising.

One idea I had was to take pieces of split plastic tubing and place it over each baluster to make up the 1/4". Something similar to split conduit covering.

I like the idea of squeezing them into an elipse, but I have about 400 balusters to correct.

mae-ling 10-02-2012 06:31 PM

How hard would it be to just remove them, move them to 3&3/4 and add more?
Might be best and easiest in long run.

tmcmahon 10-02-2012 07:54 PM

Difficult to replace
 
It would be difficult to replace them since each baluster is recessed into a pilot hole, top & bottom. All of the 2x4's would need to be disassemled, flipped, re-drilled and then reassembled.

mae-ling 10-02-2012 08:08 PM

could tyou post some pics so we could give some ideas

tmcmahon 10-03-2012 09:46 PM

Deck Photo
 
1 Attachment(s)
I am proud of how the deck turned out, with the exception of the baluster spacing.

AtlanticWBConst. 10-04-2012 05:30 AM

Not Bad at all for a DIYer Project.

GBrackins 10-04-2012 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fairview (Post 1022249)
Squeeze them into an ellipse until each side gains 1/8".

huh? can you explain?

md2lgyk 10-04-2012 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GBrackins (Post 1023499)
huh? can you explain?

I had to think about this for a bit too. The balusters are round, so flattening them would make them a bit wider. But the suggestion has to be a joke - I can't imagine it could be uniformly done, not to mention the number of balusters on that deck.

GBrackins 10-04-2012 09:05 AM

thanks md2, guess I hadn't had enough coffee this morning.

if this is a sticking point with the building official what is the possibility of installing a larger diameter baluster? if not .....

most jurisdictions have a board of appeals, a board where you can take individual issues to to seek a variance or exception to the code. if you cannot come to a meeting of the minds with the building official over 1/4" then I would suggest appealing to the board of appeals and explaining what happened and how compliance at this point would create a financial hardship.

In Massachusetts the local building official interprets and enforces the state's uniform buildingcode. If you believe they have either interpreted the code incorrect, are enforcing it unfairly, or you have a situation that does not comply with the code you can go before the BOA and present your case.


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