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deck railing

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Oct 24, 2013, 01:20 PM
deck railing
I am a newb trying to redo the deck, I am done with flooring and working on railing, I have half the railing done when someone told me I should of used 2 x 4 instead of 1 x 4.. How bad is it that the railing I used is treated 1 x 4? Is it a big enough problem to warrant redoing all the rails I already did?

Oct 24, 2013, 04:08 PM
Are the top and bottom rails the 1x4's you're referring to? I doubt they would hold up to the 200 lb man test. You could cap the top with a 2x6 to stiffen it up. If needed you can also put a 2x4 laid vertically under the 2x6 to beef it up. The bottom 1x4 should be OK. But it may not pass code for your town. Is this project replacing existing decking and rails but the structure below is all existing?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sparky617,

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Oct 24, 2013, 06:23 PM
Sparky is correct - it needs to be heavier but can be easily fixed by adding a 2x6 top rail and a few extra support blocks on the bottom. One bonus to this is that you can attach the cap rail by screwing from underneath - leaving a nice, clean cap.


I'm going from the picture but to my eye it looks like your 2x2 pickets are set 6" OC. That gives you slightly more than a 4-1/2" space between. Maximum spacing needs to be under 4". Put a tape on it and if you have more than 4" space between pickets you may as well start over.

And if you are going to re-do, then step up to 2x material for the top and bottom runs.