Garden Decking Ideas – Adding Handrails
Not all decks need railings, but if required they should be planned for at the beginning of the project. The design may have to be changed to allow firm fixing points or posts moved to stop a clash of fixings. Other factors will need to be considered. These include the effect that the railings will have on the view and what practical purpose they are intended for.
The main reason for incorporating railings into a deck is for safety, but this need not affect the overall aesthetics of the deck. Most railings have to be of a minimum height and distance between the spindles or horizontal rails. It is a good idea to check with your local for these exact measurements. The rails must perform their number one role, which is the safety of people on the deck; they must be secure and be able to withstand people leaning against them. It is far better to over-design than under-design in this case and some thought must go into the structure and materials used in the construction of the rails.
As with other aspects of the deck there are many options for the type of rails used and the way they are constructed. Mostsuppliers with have at least one rail in their range, probably many more, but you can design and build your own very easily. From simple wooden rails to copper tube or stainless steel wire running between the posts, the choice is endless. On a windy site you may require a wind break, in which case toughened glass could be used to preserve the view. In situations where the view is not important, solid panels are another alternative.
1. Measure out the position of the bolts; stay at least four times the diameter of the bolt from the edge of the timber. Use a wood drill to pre-drill the hole for the.
2. Position the upright and secure the bottom coachinto position with a spanner. Leave a small gap underneath the post to allow water to run away
3. With a level check that the post is upright and secure in position with another coach. You might need a hand to hold the post upright.
4. Fix more posts at equal distances across the bridge, no further apart than 1.5m, to support the horizontal rails. When this is done, fix a rail across all the posts using a level as you go. Remember it must be secure as people will lean against it — 100mm by 50mm should be the minimum dimensions or the rail. Remember safety first — do not use any mains-powered drills or saws over the water; use either a cordless or hand saw only. Any cut surfaces should be treated away, from the water course.
5. Fix the handrail in place by screwing into the posts rather than the rail. Theshould be twice the thickness of the handrail, to secure it safely.
6. Find the centre of the rail between the posts and secure the first one in place, checking to make sure it is upright. With a block of wood as a spacer, secure the top.
7. As with the top rail, use the same spacer to create even distances between the posts and secure at the bottom.