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