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Old 04-01-2010, 10:56 PM   #1
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


We have a loft/catwalk area in our new home with the kid's bedrooms off of it. See attached mock-up picture. It looks down into the room below. There is a standard railing running 10-12 feet horizontally with standard ballusters running vertically preventing people from falling into the room below. We have two very young kids who are climbers. This is a highly-used area of the house. The kids move stuff near the railing and could climb over and fall. The stress is too much - so we need a solution.

We could wall it off. But that ruins the feel of this major feature of the house. So that's out. I've considered crafting a clear lexan extension upward (as I've mocked-up in my picture).. I've thought about rigging netting upward extending the safety height. Neither are asthetically pleasing.

Another option I thought of was to just rebuilt the railing but about 3 feet higher. But I fear that would look like a jail. Plus, the now longer baluster length might make them flimsy where a running kid could break through.

I've looked high and low online for any possible solution and found nothing. I guess standard railing height is considered safe enough for some people. There must be millions of homes with a feature like this - I can't believe there isn't some solution (other than watching your kids like a hawk, which we already do).

Ideally, I'd like to leave what I have and simply somehow extend the height by perhaps 2 to 3 feet with some add-on solution. If that doesn't work, my only other idea is to rip out what's there. Then, I'd build what effectively looks like a studded wall 6 feet high. Except the studs would be about 1/2 inch wide by about 4 inches deep, set about 4 inches apart, and set at a 45 degree angle. So if you looked at it from one angle, it would appear closed. From another angle, it would look open. Then I'd paint or finish it. But I have no idea what this would look like.

Any ideas?
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?-catwalk-mock-up.jpg  

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:06 AM   #2
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


We are in the EXACT same boat and are also amazed there are no easy solutions out there! We've thought about some netting but of course that will be very ugly...maybe coated wire? Did you ever hear any other ideas, or come to a solution? Thanks for any feedback...

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Old 10-22-2010, 06:13 AM   #3
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


Boy, this post brought back some long forgotten memories.

My after school babysitter greeted me in the driveway as I returned from work----

It seem the girls had flipped a couple of mattresses over the balcony railing and were preparing to jump,when she arrived at the house!

I had to laugh,----now they are all grown up with kids of their own---Mike--
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


I finally came up with something. This required 6 panels of lexan, mahagony top rails, quarter round and wall plates, and an iron rod that goes up into the ceiling. But in the end, it actually looks like it belongs. In fact, comments so far is that it is actually an improvement. It was not a difficult project. The hardest part is measuring so everthing is exact over the longer runs. I think it was about $450 total. BTW - next project is to replace the white balusters with iron - which is why I went with the iron (hollow with steel rod inside) front support. The iron rod is capped in the attic with a 2x4 - so technically, this setup is stronger than it was originally.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


Oh - and BTW - on the left side (long run) there was no stud in the wall to tie the end of the left top railing into. You can see what I did - I marked where it would end, and carefully cut out a section of drywall. Then I installed a 2x8 horizontally inside the wall, replaced the piece of drywall, taped and patched. Perfact anchor point for end plate.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #6
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Extend height of interior balcony railings by feet?


Nice---I wondered how you would pull off that job.

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