Re-doing railings

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Old 04-09-15, 09:55 PM
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Re-doing railings

I just purchased my first home and while at first I loved the fact that there was a deck, over time I started to realize just how much I hated this thing. I am getting ready to replace all the wood decking with new lumber but I need to do something about the horrible railing situation. Lattice has it's place but not as a replacement for banisters. I have attached some pictures that will show how it is currently set up and hopefully someone here can give me an idea on how I can implement standard railing with banisters.

I have no idea why they ran the main support 4x4's all the way up the outside of the deck instead of having them underneath the deck. These support boards are the reason why I am stumped on how to do the railing.

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Old 04-10-15, 03:08 AM
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Running the 4x4s to the top of the railing is usually done for free standing decks. Personally, I like that design. I built a second story deck near the water in NY which survived Hurricane Sandy, using that design. The builders got cheap when they used lattice instead of balusters. I can't see if the footings are done properly either. Remove the lattice & add balusters no more than 4" apart. That's the code.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 03:49 AM
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I agree, leaving your superstructure alone and removing the icky lattice, replacing with code balusters will make a big difference. If your posts are buried in the ground and not sitting on footers with post bases, then the deck is eventually going to need repair in that respect. Wood cannot be buried and expect any longevity.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 06:27 PM
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I guess I just don't know how I can add the balusters with the way it is currently configured. What would I attach them to?
 
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Old 04-10-15, 06:36 PM
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Cut the balusters to length, then bevel both ends. Attach them to,the top and bottom lateral boards between the newel posts. Start at the center and work outwardly in each divided section, spacing them no more than 4" apart.
 
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Old 04-10-15, 10:00 PM
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will they be attached to the outside of the boards or inside? I would imagine if they were inside they would look kind of odd? Sorry for what I am sure are dumb questions, I have never tackled something like this before.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 12:26 AM
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The balusters go exactly where the lattice is, inside.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 05:15 AM
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Your lattice appears to be captured between two 5/4 boards. Hopefully they are floating and can be removed easily. Technically balusters go on the inside of the deck, but with yours less than 3' off the ground it would matter little in a safety standpoint. I would mount them on the outside, purely for an aesthetic reason. Attach them over the 5/4 boards top to bottom. Make sure they are plumb as you go.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 08:47 AM
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Yea the lattice is just screwed in so easy to remove. I found this picture last night, is this what you mean because I like how they did it and it is pretty similar to my setup?
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Old 04-11-15, 08:51 AM
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Ya, that is how it's done. Since your rails appear to have a solid stain on them it would be difficult to replicate that look using the existing 2xs.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:04 AM
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Nice. No, the people who I bout the home from painted the deck boards with a crappy white paint that is peeling and painted the railings the color of the house. Finding a way to strip that and start over has been a chore in itself.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:13 AM
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The only thing I see is that you will not have the luxury of having the handrail overhang, so my suggestion of tapering the balusters may be in order. Your call, however, since you are on site.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:23 AM
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Why wouldn't I be able to have the overhang?
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:26 AM
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Does the 5/4 handrail project at least 1 1/2" over the structure material? Difficult to tell in the pictures. If it does, then cutting the balusters flat on top is fine. If not, then I would consider tapering them at top.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:31 AM
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I would imagine that I would remove the back overhang. The current top of the railing is 7" wide, so I could replace that with a 6 inch board, mount it flush in the back and still have the overhang in the front right?
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:35 AM
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So just went out and measured, with the 7 inch top railing there is 1 1/2 inches of overhang on the front and the back. Not sure I would want to keep the rear overhang though. And what do you mean by a 5/4 handrail? You have been a lot of help, thank you.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 10:17 AM
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Again, the pix may not show it all, but this is a representation of what I see. I don't think you will have enough overhang of the top rail to allow for the installation of the baluster with a flat end. Maybe so.

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Old 04-11-15, 10:42 AM
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5/4 material is lumberyard talk meaning a full inch in thickness. Almost all lumber is measured in "nominal" sizes that go back a hundred years or so when the lumber was only rough sawn. Back then a "two-by-four" really was two inches thick by four inches wide. As the years went by the yards started "dressing" the rough sawn lumber to eliminate splinters and also make the edges square and this reduced the finished dimensions. When I was a kid a 2x4 measured about 1-5/8 inches by 3-5/8 inches. Today a 2x4 is 1-1/2 inches by 3-1/5 inches but the original name sticks. A piece of "1x stock is really closer to 3/4 inch thick than it is one full inch and thereby comes the descriptor 5/4 meaning five-fourths of an inch, 1-1/4 inch nominal or one inch in reality.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 10:43 AM
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Here may be a few better pics of how it is now. So the framed lattice just screws into the 4x4's and runs up in between the front and back overhangs. Looks like plenty of space. Also if I use the 4x4 posts but replace the top measured 2x7 with a 2x6 and run it flush with the 4x4 in the rear that would give me the 2 inches in the front for the over hang and the 2x2's correct? I would replace the front overhang on the top and bottom that measures 2x5.5 with a 2x4 to make it look a little cleaner.

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Old 04-11-15, 10:49 AM
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And this is what I imagine the front would look like with the measurements of the new wood. The wood in this pic is 4x4 posts, 2x6 rail cap, 2x4 top rail, and 2x2 pickets, and 2x4 bottom rail.

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Old 04-11-15, 02:13 PM
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Why do you want to do all that work? It's not needed. Remove the lattice & install the balusters against the same boards.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 04:09 PM
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Are those lattice panels coming out with the 2x2' attached? If so, you can insert your baluster in the hole created by the 2x2's and hide both ends.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 08:19 PM
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Yea the lattice and the 2x2's are one piece. I would love to keep it the way it is but they painted the railings and the amount of work it would take to get the boards ready for stain or new paint would be pretty much the same as starting over. Also I would want 2x4 top and bottom rails to show off the balusters a bit more.
 
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