Deck Build | Part Seven - Derailed

In my last post I said I was going to talk about the handrails, and I hinted that it was somewhat of a pain.  I thought I would have a real meaty post about the handrail trials, but it would be somewhat like this, "Put up one section, realized section didn't match angle, took down section, redid section."  You get the idea.  Let's just say Mike got his math skills workout on this project.  So, instead of boring you with all the minute details I'll be quick, and since the handrails were the last step, that means WE'RE FINISHED!  So, I'll save most of my energy on the final reveal, which I'll post later this week.

Back to the handrails.  Let's start by talking about the design of railing I chose.  I did a quick Google Image search and found a couple different styles that I considered.  Here's a few that we looked at:

(Image found here)

(Image found here)

(Image found here)

I finally decided on this style:

(Image found here)

And, of course, out of all the ones we considered, this was the most difficult.  

Mike started by attaching the posts and this was done using the pre-cut posts that came with our original delivery and cutting off the somewhat fancy tops.  Like a couple of the pictures above, we wanted to have an uninterrupted top rail without the posts in between.  They were then attached to the edge of the deck, you know because we didn't want to give up even an inch of our 500 square feet!  Actually, it was just the way Mike designed it, and it was easier than cutting the decking around the posts.  Here you can see how the post tops were cut off and the decking was notched and the posts were attached to the side of the framing:

Most of the posts went in pretty easy like the three above, but some required a lot more thought and measurement like the inside corner one that was actually made by cutting two posts and attaching them together.  This was done so that the handrail would attach parallel to the decking.

After the posts were all in, Mike then added a piece of premium decking as the top rail.  We chose the decking instead of a regular 1 x 6, because they are already rounded.  We also wanted enough room to place a drink on top.  You know, the important details. 

From there he added the spindle sections which were the spindles sandwiched at the top and bottom by 1 x 4's.  This was the tedious part, after figuring out how to attach some of the trickier posts, making certain the post angles were correct, and keeping the handrail height within code.  This took the longest and with all the other projects Mike's taken on in the last couple of weeks, not to mention our rainy weather, it took about two weeks for him to do them.  Doing about a section a night after work.  The funny part was a friend of ours came over to help at the beginning of the process and I foolishly thought it would only take the two of them about 5-6 hours to finish everything.  

Here are a couple sections completed:

Since the handrails complete the whole deck, I'll save the completed photos for later when we reveal the completed project.  I know you're all dying to see it!

1 comment

  1. Building codes discourage or sometimes prohibit the notching the posts.