Sure, having a platform deck was fun for about two seconds, but now that we have full railing and balusters, it finally feels like a real deck again.
Quite a difference, isn’t it?
Last week, I told you about how we attached the railings using metal brackets. The balusters were simple. They’re 2″ x 2″ x 36″, and mitered on each end. I trimmed them a few inches so they’d be flush with the top and bottom rails. (Make sure your rail height meets local code!)
I didn’t catch any of the sawing action on film, but I do have a quick rundown on what I found to be the easiest way to install balusters. First, I laid them out evenly, and started screws in them, top and bottom.
Then I braced the wood and slowly screwed the balusters into a pre-marked place. Again: check code for baluster spacing requirements.
As you know, sometimes wood likes to SPLIT. Such a pain. Check out these two balusters. See the different way the wood grain runs? On the left, it flows parallel to the rail; on the right, the grain is perpendicular. Be careful screwing in both, but pay particular attention to the parallel grain. Go slow or drill a pilot hole if you’re drilling across the grain instead of into it.
After screwing a handful of balusters to the top rail, I’d level…
…then finish up attaching the railing to the bottom rail. By the way, we used star bit screws for this entire project, which minimizes stripping. Worth it!
Soon enough, we had an almost proper looking deck!
The balusters took no time to install. However, we were THREE short. Haha. Of course. Counting skills for the win. You can kinda see the gap on the left side, closest to the house. We’ll grab three more balusters when we get the railing this weekend.
Here’s the pile of ratty wood we had before:
And now! Just picture some lattice hiding the underside of the deck, some hydrangeas on either side of the steps, some party lights looped around and even a potted plant or two. Oh, and stain. Let’s not forget staining the deck. We have to wait a couple of months for that, so…late October? Maybe even early November.
Now we just need to find some deck furniture, right? Hello, clearance sections and Labor Day sales!