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Railing Questions – To notch or not to notch – that is the question………

Railing Questions – To notch or not to notch – that is the question………

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  #1  
Old 05-19-08, 06:51 AM
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Railing Questions – To notch or not to notch – that is the question………

Well, I’m back at work finishing the deck I started last fall. I am now questioning what to do for railing. The front of the deck is 10 feet above the ground.

I am going to take 4X4 – 4 ft posts, attached every 6 feet max. I was going to notch the posts and attach with 2 bolts/post. But I was reading not to notch them. That would mean that there will be a gap of 1.5” between the deck edge and the railing (between the posts will be aluminum spindles, centered). I think that would look funny, All railings I have seen are notched.

Also, this will be a continuous rail, so for the top rail, should I go with a 2x6 ( or a deck board) or is 2x4 good enough?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-19-08, 03:00 PM
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4x4's leave very little meat to attach if notched. Using a 6x6 will give good support and may make the deck look sturdier. run your balustrade between them. I really don't like the looks of a continuous top rail, but each to his/her own. But if you use the 6x6 posts, then a 5/4 top rail will be in order.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 11:47 AM
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thanks for the reply:

All the books I read talk about using 4x4's. But now I'm thinking of placing the posts on the inside without notching, even though that would lose 6" around the deck and lots of cuts of the deck, I think it would make for a stronger support.( and I could use lag screws into the posts). I'm now thinking of using deck boards for the top rail as they have rounded edges and there will be 2x4's between the posts, under the rails, holding the spindles. So there would be plenty of strength. ( I would not think anyone would try and sit on the railing)

And of the books I read, the spacing between spindles appear to range from 2" to 9", I will go with 6" so the view is not blocked when looking through them.

Any thoughts on this approach?
 
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Old 05-22-08, 03:29 PM
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4x4's ar used a lot, that is true. the 6x6 however would be stronger and you could notch them and lag/bolt them to the band. the deck boards are usually 5/4 and 5 1/2 wide so that shold not be a problem. if you think no one will sit on the rail you are wrong. everyone, especially young people/children, think they are to sit on. the spacing is usually dictated by codes so children cannot get there heads through them. usually 4". good lluck.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 04:42 PM
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Old 05-22-08, 06:26 PM
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CanadianInIowa,

A question and several comments.

Q. Are you going to be 'wrapping the posts, or just leaving the wood exposed? If the wood's exposed, what you use for a post makes no difference. But, if you are going to 'wrap' them (slide a composite or vinyl sleeve over the wood post), then you'll have to use a 4X4. Nobody makes a wrap that'll work on a 6X6

C. Don't use lag bolts -- THROUGH BOLT the posts to the framing. Through bolts can be tightened in 5 years when the wood in the framing shrinks and starts to decay. Lag bolts can't.

C. If you are spacing the posts 6', extend a couple of the balusters (about 2' and 4') to the decking to give you support.

C. Check your local codes. Spacing between the balusters has to be such that a 4" ball cannot pass through it. Also check the required height. Used to be 36", but, under the 2006 I.R.C. it has to be 42". (That's to deter anybody from using the railing as a seat, and, after a few, landing in the yard!!)
 
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