Railing Post Too Short - Decks & Fencing - Contractor Talk

Railing Post Too Short

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-15-2016, 05:38 PM   #1
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Railing Post Too Short


Replacing the deck joist, decking and railing for a customer. The existing railings didn't meet code. I need to bring them up to 36". The (8) 6x6 treated posts are currently only 32 1/2" high from the decking. The top rail cap will be a 2x6. My only idea is rip some treated 1/2" shims, put them on the post top, them a slab of 2x6 treated, then my rail cap 2x6. That will give me the 36". My concerns are...I don't think the 1/2" shim and 2x6 slab will hold up very well. Much less the problem with them splitting when I screw them rail cap down. It's right on the beach in NC. Very harsh sun, salt environment. Any better ideas out there?? Building the railing tomorrow. Thanks.
Joel
Canmannc is online now  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 03-15-2016, 05:52 PM   #2
deck aficionado
 
SelectDecks's Avatar
 
Trade: General Building
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 531
Rewards Points: 973

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Get yourself some post sleeves that are the right height, let's say 36" high. Drop a shim in there then put your top cap 2x6 on top and screw down threw. That way you don't see the ugly shim etc...Like this
Attached Thumbnails
Railing Post Too Short-1458082338359.jpg  

Advertisement

__________________
------
James
www.selectdecks.com
SelectDecks is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to SelectDecks For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-15-2016), CITY DECKS INC (03-16-2016), John Hyatt (03-15-2016), killerdecks (03-15-2016), Philament (03-15-2016)
Old 03-15-2016, 06:01 PM   #3
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by SelectDecks View Post
Get yourself some post sleeves that are the right height, let's say 36" high. Drop a shim in there then put your top cap 2x6 on top and screw down threw. That way you don't see the ugly shim etc...Like this
That looks great and is a very good idea. However, customer is on the cheap. It would be awesome if even half the folks I'm replacing decks for would go with sleeves and composite.
I guess if they don't want to pay for it, then they get what they pay for and the pieces start falling out in a year or two.
Canmannc is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-15-2016, 06:19 PM   #4
Pro
 
MarkJames's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman Services
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 9,796
Rewards Points: 16,947

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canmannc View Post
Replacing the deck joist, decking and railing for a customer. The existing railings didn't meet code. I need to bring them up to 36". The (8) 6x6 treated posts are currently only 32 1/2" high from the decking. The top rail cap will be a 2x6. My only idea is rip some treated 1/2" shims, put them on the post top, them a slab of 2x6 treated, then my rail cap 2x6. That will give me the 36". My concerns are...I don't think the 1/2" shim and 2x6 slab will hold up very well. Much less the problem with them splitting when I screw them rail cap down. It's right on the beach in NC. Very harsh sun, salt environment. Any better ideas out there?? Building the railing tomorrow. Thanks.
Joel
For peace of mind, do you have room to replace the posts? Might just be the easiest for you. Give the client a deal on them, but say it's necessary and blame the government.
MarkJames is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to MarkJames For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-15-2016)
Old 03-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #5
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 22,581
Rewards Points: 574

Re: Railing Post Too Short


use a 4x6 for the top cap.

might look better since you have 6x6 posta.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
Builderbob 72 (03-17-2016), Canmannc (03-15-2016)
Old 03-15-2016, 06:39 PM   #6
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Re: Railing Post Too Short


MJ, The 6x6's are extension of the deck support posts. I thought about cutting them off and just adding new railing posts. They didn't want to spring for the added labor/material. I already blamed the government...it's the building inspectors fault!
Griz, Good idea but they said it blocks the beach view too much. They said that's why the built them only 32" high before. I just said...gotta go 36" to meet code.
Canmannc is online now  
Old 03-15-2016, 07:14 PM   #7
Deck Parts Retailer
 
killerdecks's Avatar
 
Trade: deck builder
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wayne Mi
Posts: 3,108
Rewards Points: 888

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canmannc View Post
That looks great and is a very good idea. However, customer is on the cheap. It would be awesome if even half the folks I'm replacing decks for would go with sleeves and composite.
I guess if they don't want to pay for it, then they get what they pay for and the pieces start falling out in a year or two.
Go with sleeves and treated for your rail.
killerdecks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to killerdecks For This Useful Post:
TNTRenovate (03-17-2016)
Old 03-15-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Re: Railing Post Too Short


A sleeve on a 6x6 will be wider than the 2x6 PT rail cap.
Canmannc is online now  
Old 03-15-2016, 09:11 PM   #9
deck aficionado
 
SelectDecks's Avatar
 
Trade: General Building
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 531
Rewards Points: 973

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Rip a 2x8 down to 6" wide, problem solved. I pay about $20 each for Fiberon sleeves at Lowe's. Not sure how many posts you have but your clients have to understand they're limited in their options and you're giving them a couple good ones...Just tell them you ran it past the top deck guys in the country haha
__________________
------
James
www.selectdecks.com
SelectDecks is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to SelectDecks For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-16-2016), TNTRenovate (03-17-2016)
Old 03-15-2016, 09:18 PM   #10
Deck Parts Retailer
 
killerdecks's Avatar
 
Trade: deck builder
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Wayne Mi
Posts: 3,108
Rewards Points: 888

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
use a 4x6 for the top cap.

might look better since you have 6x6 posta.
a 4x6 would warp, badly
killerdecks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to killerdecks For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-16-2016)
Old 03-16-2016, 09:19 PM   #11
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 38,503
Rewards Points: 3,790

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canmannc View Post
A sleeve on a 6x6 will be wider than the 2x6 PT rail cap.
Cut the post down to 4x4 and use a 4.5" sleeve
Calidecks is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Calidecks For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-17-2016)
Old 03-16-2016, 09:26 PM   #12
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 22,581
Rewards Points: 574

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by killerdecks View Post
a 4x6 would warp, badly
i just gave away 4 PT 4x6x18', two years old that were straight as an arrow.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
Old 03-16-2016, 11:04 PM   #13
Pro
 
Railman's Avatar
 
Trade: Railing
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 2,438
Rewards Points: 889

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Add the extra ht to 6x6, & wrap post around the joint with a 45' bevel edge 1x3 or so.
Railman is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Railman For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-17-2016), m1911 (03-17-2016)
Old 03-17-2016, 02:36 AM   #14
Pro
 
m1911's Avatar
 
Trade: finish carpenter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,819
Rewards Points: 15,632

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Lower the deck
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipitop View Post
That guy in video have mental issues plus eat hole turtle from some reason
m1911 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to m1911 For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-17-2016)
Old 03-17-2016, 04:58 AM   #15
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,662
Rewards Points: 8,478

Re: Railing Post Too Short


What is the height for that deck? If you under 30" maybe you can get away with that height...

Tell the Homeowner to go down to the township and get a Code Modification Request form. Have him fill that out and there is a good chance this could fly having the deck height under 30".

Done that quite a few times with great success.

What you basically want to show that the modification you asking for is reasonable and it will still provide equivalent safety

Show that your requests is based on practical difficulty in achieving code conformance on the existing railing and in your case the deck is under 30" and that the existing rail being 1 1/2" short of 36" it will still provide equivalent level of safety and protection.
Explain as clearly and completely as possible the nature of the code violation and the proposed change to the following code and use these codes as reference:
R312.1 Where required. Guards shall be located along
open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramps and landings,
that are located more than 30" measured
vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36
inches horizontally to the edge of the open side.

Add R312.2 Height. Required guards at open-sided walking surfaces,
including stairs, porches, balconies or landings, shall be
not less than 36" high measured vertically above the adjacent walking surface.
Include with that a drawing and a few pictures of existing condition and you shouldn't have any issues.

Good luck.
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to greg24k For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-18-2016)
Old 03-17-2016, 12:05 PM   #16
Pro
 
koa's Avatar
 
Trade: Fisherman
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 139
Rewards Points: 350

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Cut 8 2" blocks from a 6X6 and epoxy them to the tops of the posts. Pre wet the end grains a few times of both pieces and use plenty epoxy so the joints are not starved. If you're worried about splitting use 2" longer fasteners and after drilling pilot holes, drill oversize holes in the 2" blocks. West Systems makes great epoxy for all sorts of applications. If you need to relevel posts cut longer blocks then trim posts level. Use any leftover epoxy to coat the end grain of the post.

Last edited by koa; 03-17-2016 at 01:38 PM.
koa is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to koa For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-18-2016)
Old 03-17-2016, 06:51 PM   #17
Pro
 
TG Deck's Avatar
 
Trade: exterior carpentry
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 753
Rewards Points: 1,770

Re: Railing Post Too Short


I like the 4x6 cap idea and the stretching the posts w/trim ideas.
A 4x6 cap, or under cap/rail, would make that thing a beast...super solid....turn those edges with a big router bit...
We stretch posts when needed and its not a biggy.
TG Deck is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to TG Deck For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-18-2016)
Old 03-18-2016, 05:11 AM   #18
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
What is the height for that deck? If you under 30" maybe you can get away with that height...

Tell the Homeowner to go down to the township and get a Code Modification Request form. Have him fill that out and there is a good chance this could fly having the deck height under 30".

Done that quite a few times with great success.

What you basically want to show that the modification you asking for is reasonable and it will still provide equivalent safety

Show that your requests is based on practical difficulty in achieving code conformance on the existing railing and in your case the deck is under 30" and that the existing rail being 1 1/2" short of 36" it will still provide equivalent level of safety and protection.
Explain as clearly and completely as possible the nature of the code violation and the proposed change to the following code and use these codes as reference:
R312.1 Where required. Guards shall be located along
open-sided walking surfaces, including stairs, ramps and landings,
that are located more than 30" measured
vertically to the floor or grade below at any point within 36
inches horizontally to the edge of the open side.

Add R312.2 Height. Required guards at open-sided walking surfaces,
including stairs, porches, balconies or landings, shall be
not less than 36" high measured vertically above the adjacent walking surface.
Include with that a drawing and a few pictures of existing condition and you shouldn't have any issues.

Good luck.
Thanks Greg, Never tried that. I'll ask my inspector about code modification request. I suspect he'll say no way. One job I have is a boardwalk from the house to the beach, over sand dunes. Railing is 28" high with 6" spaced pickets. The inspector told me and the owner, bring it up to code or tear it down and people can walk across the ground to the beach.
Canmannc is online now  
Old 03-18-2016, 07:39 AM   #19
General Contractor
 
greg24k's Avatar
 
Trade: New Home Construction-Additions-Remodeling
Join Date: May 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 7,662
Rewards Points: 8,478

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canmannc View Post
Thanks Greg, Never tried that. I'll ask my inspector about code modification request. I suspect he'll say no way. One job I have is a boardwalk from the house to the beach, over sand dunes. Railing is 28" high with 6" spaced pickets. The inspector told me and the owner, bring it up to code or tear it down and people can walk across the ground to the beach.
The funny thing is the code dictates that all decks higher than 30" above grade must have a guardrail. But if you decide to put railing on a deck lower than 30" you have to meet the code requirements for that railing even if the deck doesn't requires to have a railing.
__________________
I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!
greg24k is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to greg24k For This Useful Post:
Canmannc (03-18-2016)
Old 03-18-2016, 05:08 PM   #20
Member
 
Canmannc's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 60
Rewards Points: 164

Re: Railing Post Too Short


Quote:
Originally Posted by greg24k View Post
The funny thing is the code dictates that all decks higher than 30" above grade must have a guardrail. But if you decide to put railing on a deck lower than 30" you have to meet the code requirements for that railing even if the deck doesn't requires to have a railing.
Greg, You are so right. However, the inspector did give the owner some wiggle room when he said." If you bring the areas of the boardwalk that's over 30" high up to 36" guard height, I'll approve it". I thought that was pretty generous.
One major issue is...if they are going to rent the property out to the public then it needs to be up to code and safe. I mean these folks are renting these properties out, and they are already booked solid from Easter to Labor day. Some get $4-5K a week. Just google Emerald Isle rentals. You will probably see many of the ones that need deck replacements. (Actually they ALL need the decks replaced). I predict there will be more deck collapses at NC rental properties this year...Just saying.

Advertisement

Canmannc is online now  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Timber Frame vs Post & Beam Dustincoc Framing 18 06-26-2014 08:32 PM
Ornamental End Post Caps Joe Wood General Discussion 5 01-25-2013 02:59 PM
A little short on notice, but... Diamond D. Tools & Equipment 0 06-11-2012 10:28 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?