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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I am designing a deck and would appreciate any advise given. There is a 3 season porch attached to house approx. 6'x16' wide. I plan on adding about 11' to the width and 7' depth for total of 13'x27'deck and porch. The deck will be about 9' off the ground and will need stairs.

There doesn't seem to be a consensus here on the best decking, everyone seems to have their own favorite, I'm wondering which railings you all prefer?

Also, if any of you guys are feeling generous, a ballpark time frame to complete job would be appreciated.

Thanks, Mike
 

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Do you have any pictures of the 3 season porch? That is the variable. Are you building it yourself or hiring out the job?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I do have some pics I'll try and figure out how to load them. I am going to build myself with some help provided I get the job.
 

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You're right, there's no consensus as to which is the best one. That's like asking, what's the best kind of car? I've yet to build two decks the same. I always talk to the home owner and get an idea of what they're looking for then give them a few options as to what I think fits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're right, there's no consensus as to which is the best one. That's like asking, what's the best kind of car? I've yet to build two decks the same. I always talk to the home owner and get an idea of what they're looking for then give them a few options as to what I think fits.[/Q,E]

With all due respect, that's why I didn't ask about decking. I asked about railings, I'm trying to educate myself in order to educate and direct H/O as to the best options available.
 

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With all due respect, that's why I didn't ask about decking. I asked about railings, I'm trying to educate myself in order to educate and direct H/O as to the best options available.
I think it goes without saying that if there is no consensus on the best decking, there will also be no consensus on the best railings. there are many options and everyone is going to have different preferences. I like Azek railings but they are pretty heavy on the hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think it goes without saying that if there is no consensus on the best decking, there will also be no consensus on the best railings. there are many options and everyone is going to have different preferences. I like Azek railings but they are pretty heavy on the hardware.
Thank you. I guess I am looking for something that's easy to install. Used to using wood and I just don't want to run into unforeseen issues.

You had posted a pic of a nice deck you had built awhile back and if I'm not mistaken you had a question or problem with cutting and angle or bracket attachment, can't remember exactly what the issue was?

I guess that's what I'm looking for.is not which one is best just their individual characteristics. Azek is great but hard to install. Fiberon easy but expensive etc.
 

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Yeah. The cutting a birds mouth in the rails is a little tricky. It came out clean and tight, but was time consuming. There is no gasket to cover the cuts like on other systems which means you have no margin for error. Like anything else, that extra time and difficultly factor has to be figured into the price.

The rails aren't cheap either, but I think the finished product looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Eric. I remember the cut, by the stairs looked good but time consuming like you say and no margin for error. Have you tried any other systems besides azek?
 

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The other option I offer is Color Guard, which is a vinyl rail system. Definitely not premium like the Azek rails, but low maintainance and really easy to install.

The guys who do decks all day everyday probably have more options than I do. I usually only do decks when part of a larger project.
 

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Thank you. I guess I am looking for something that's easy to install. Used to using wood and I just don't want to run into unforeseen issues.

You had posted a pic of a nice deck you had built awhile back and if I'm not mistaken you had a question or problem with cutting and angle or bracket attachment, can't remember exactly what the issue was?

I guess that's what I'm looking for.is not which one is best just their individual characteristics. Azek is great but hard to install. Fiberon easy but expensive etc.
Trex Transcends railing is a nice look and they make a birdsmouth gasket that fits the post corner nicely. I can install 10 bays by myself in a day. I never work very hard either.
 

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The other option I offer is Color Guard, which is a vinyl rail system. Definitely not premium like the Azek rails, but low maintainance and really easy to install.

The guys who do decks all day everyday probably have more options than I do. I usually only do decks when part of a larger project.
How long does it take you to install a 6' section of Azek? I loved the look and feel of them at the shows I've seen them at so I want to start offering them without taking a bath on the install on the first one
 

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How long does it take you to install a 6' section of Azek? I loved the look and feel of them at the shows I've seen them at so I want to start offering them without taking a bath on the install on the first one
Unfortunately these prefab systems have lot's of parts, and though generally similar, there are differences. Expect the first one to take a little more time then you are used to or will after you have done it a few times. That's where the bath comes in, it's known as experience.
 

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How long does it take you to install a 6' section of Azek? I loved the look and feel of them at the shows I've seen them at so I want to start offering them without taking a bath on the install on the first one
Not sure. Never just installed one section. I generally unpack all the boxes and start laying out the parts. Then separate all the hardware into containers so I can grab what I need out of each section. Then go through and cut my top and bottom rails and begin the assembly.

I look at how long I think it will take to install the whole rail system on any given project vs a rail section. Like Redwood said, there will be a learning curve. There is a big pack of hardware with each section and a lot of predrilling and screwing to attach it all.
 

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I am used to a decent learning curve and I expect that. I thought you might have it broken down to say 1 1/2 man hrs per section on an average job. I've worked with a handful of other various systems through the years, the Azek just seems like it would be a little more time consuming than most. I'll just add some time to my average and it should be close enough for the first job or two
 

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BFD I know it's not Azek, but I installed all this railing (24 sections) including the glass in a day and a half by myself. It's all still a kit. I do just like Eric does I get it all laid out first. I think unpacking everything and cutting up all the cardboard packaging took as long as the install.

uploadfromtaptalk1400456316633.jpg

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That would probably take me 3 days by myself to do in Azek. Like Cali said, just unpacking the stuff and getting rid of the cardboard takes some time.
 

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How long does it take you to install a 6' section of Azek? I loved the look and feel of them at the shows I've seen them at so I want to start offering them without taking a bath on the install on the first one
Deck height is a factor for Azek as it's easier to sink the mounting screws from the outside of the rail. Not a huge deal but it adds time to every section.

Working solo, I can usually average about one 5' section per hour for just the railings on a small deck. About 1.5 hours for the stair rails. If the sections are consistent or there are a lot of them then the time goes down.

There is a lot of hardware but it goes together well and you really don't need a helper to install it. By contrast, I installed Fairway's FX2 railing last year, at the customer's request, and was putting up a section in about 20 minutes. I didn't like the quality much for the price though. If it was a big discount from Azek, I'd install it all day long.
 
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