Railings are extra important in the wintertime because of the role they play in outdoor safety. Pressure treated lumber is by far the least expensive lumber to use on a deck or outdoor structure. To give the posts a bit of added strength, we ran a few exterior-grade screws through the posts and into the stair tread and the face of the porch, toenailing them in. I am remodeling my home and have an outdoor railing that is approximately 28′ long and is straight.
Because traditionally there were many different porch elements, a wide range of styles and considerable regional variations, stock replacement parts available today are not often found to match what is needed in a specific porch repair project. But this slightly polished look is vastly superior to the white bllshit paint splotches everywhere, and only noticeable if you look closely.
Use a proper wood filler with a fine finish, never try to fill a deep hole in one go, always do it in layers. The bark side of lumber determines the natural curvature of the tread board as the wood dries, and it makes for the best stair tread drainage and the minimum cupping or or holding of water on the stair tread. An alternate treatment involves the use of much larger sheets of clear, non-reflective glass recessed behind the porch supports, balustrade and railing.
We ordered two lightning rails, some 4-1/2 ft. x 4 in. x 4 in. Pressure-Treated Wood Double V-Groove Deck Posts (see separate review) and DeckoRailBlack Rail Bracket 4-Pack (also separate review). I did it because I didn’t realize the outdoor oil would want to soak into the wood. If all sides can’t be reached, you’ll get the best protection with an oil or oil-stain finish — not with paint. Make sure that you match the type of primer you use to the type of paint you use – latex primer to latex paint, oil based primer to oil based paint.
Where greater safety is warranted even though no railing is required, alternatives such as planting an adjacent hedgerow, installing planter boxes between columns, or raising the grade are worth considering. First, position the piece of railing between posts, ensuring that it is level and doesn’t bind. Drainage systems collect moisture from between deck planks and direct excess water away from the structure. During the process of painting the railing, watch for areas where the wood has become dry and brittle or eaten by pests.
I’d recommend two types of alcohol: First get some denatured alcohol at the hardware store (usually in the paint department). If a floorboard is soft or broken, the extent of decayed or split wood can be determined by probing gently with an awl. However, once they do wear, the damaged finish will be very evident because the natural wood color will show through the otherwise colored finish. Some companies still make generic, stock architectural components in the same general sizes and designs as those that were first manufactured. Weak stairs can collapse beneath your feet, and loose railings can fail and lead to serious injuries.
The column shafts were repaired in place by cutting out the deteriorated wood and making repairs using epoxy consolidants and fillers. It is not uncommon to find historic porches with decks only several steps off the ground and with no railings. Post caps are commonly seen on vinyl, composite, and wood railings, and they’re like little hats that sit atop your railings. The railing had been assembled by the carpenters years before, and then the painters came behind to apply the white paint. If wooden railings are not long enough, center cutlines dimensioned for a new post halfway between the porch supports.
Saver Systems, manufacturer of the Defy-brand wood stain, even offers a product fortified with epoxy resins, which is not a food source for mildew and algae like natural resin (oil-based) stains are. Loose railings and balustrades present unsafe conditions and need to be repaired as soon as possible. After correcting any problems, apply a water-repellant wood preservative that can be painted.
However, the new wood flooring should match the existing in thickness, width, shape and texture. We did the rail a tad different only because we didn’t have the right kind of saw to notch out the steps. You want to blast away the dirt, grime and stains but not blast away the wood surface. Decay may be present where two wood surfaces meet and are not adequately protected from water, such as along open joints or behind moldings. Also see RAILING CODES & SPECIFICATIONS but keep in mind that your local building inspector is the final legal authority on building code requirements where you live. Beware that sanding and treating wooden porch railings can release arsenic from treated lumber into the air.
Our building manager says they meet code, but I contend the variation between steps is the problem. Finally, the balusters (the vertical posts that run up along the exposed side of the stairs) must be close enough together to prevent accidents such as small children falling through or getting their heads stuck. Riser lights are placed on the front side of steps or beneath the lip at each step’s edge.
Regular maintenance includes sweeping the wood porch decking, and, if needed, an occasional damp mopping. Thus, a decay-resistant, high-grade, vertical grain lumber is the best choice for the replacement of deteriorated porch elements, particularly flooring, stairs and milled elements such as balusters and moldings. Deck: Decks are almost always made of the same material as the deck – wood or composite.
But the PO of our house apparently caulked the original windows with a silicone caulk and globbed paint over it. That chipped. Otherwise, consult with a hardware store clerk about the best kind of outdoor primer for your project. Raising the historic railing by as much as 30% or more can have a major impact on not just the proportions of the balusters, but also on the overall appearance of a historic porch.
When it comes to the exterior stair railing for your deck, you will want a long-lasting material that will endure for as long as up to 20 years, while looking stylish. Vertical wood pickets are commonly used but cable rails with their strong horizontal lines are gaining in popularity. Other than the price, the drawback to PVC or composite railings is that they come in a limited number of basic styles. This is vitally important if you construct a deck railing that is exposed to salt-water spray. Otherwise the first step after removing any paint around the damaged area is to chisel or mechanically remove the decayed wood.
Unless a variance is obtained, it may be necessary to turn the stairs to be parallel rather than perpendicular to a building. Hotter, drier air temperatures will condition the wood quickly, but wet weather will prolong the process. The Cut or Grade is also listed, as a low-grade wood can perform very differently than a higher grade in the same species.
We followed the same basic pattern as the old porch but needed to bring it up to code, especially the stairs. A clear (knot free) grade of wood is best; however, if clear wood is not readily available or too expensive, a grade with small or tight knots is acceptable. When selective replacement is necessary, the key to success is the selection of suitable wood.
Nanajixaho is a place to find the best resources for your outdoor wooden stair railing ideas. Costs for removing, relocating, repairing, or modifying existing framing, surfacing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems – or bringing those systems into compliance with current building codes. Large round columns usually are made of wood staves similar to the way barrels are constructed; smaller diameter columns may be solid. And the older gray posts of the porch and top of the porch look beautiful just as they are.
We still get the occasional drip down the front of the cabinet and it hasn’t hurt the wood filler at all. Where buildings are set close to the street, it may not be possible to rebuild the stairs in the same direction to meet code if they will have to extend onto a public sidewalk. Our deck railing kits serve a practical purpose, and offer you an important safety feature. Watch out: as we detail at EXTERIOR STAIR FALLS , algae, ice, snow and water make outdoor stairs very slippery and dangerous.
These gaps allow moisture to leak into the wood, ruin the paint job and degrade the wood. We have an old 1920’s Tudor, and I’ve had to patch a lot of wood surfaces with imperfections. Under certain conditions, it may be advisable to extend footings for the posts below the frost line. Wood Selection: When choosing wood for repair and replacement work, the species, grade, grain and environmental impacts should be taken into consideration.
If you’re going to stain the wood, start with a less expensive wood and dye/stain to the color you want. To preserve historic fabric, the repair of old balustrades and railings is always the preferred approach. Even on a cold, crappy winter day, it took us less than three hours to build a railing that’s sturdy and (moderately) attractive. Next, we took our rail cap, and held it alongside the posts just above the top rail, where it was to be installed.
Measure the distance between existing porch roof supports/posts to determine if the porch railing stock will span the distance. The big cleaning gun and trigger” I needed to use to get this job done – Clorox Pro Results Outdoor Bleach. I’ve had good results with Cabot’s Problem Solver Deck Cleaner” and Problem Solver Wood Brightener”. For that reason, Universal Forest Products offers a wide variety of responsibly harvested wood decking and railing components.