Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill
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  1. #1

    Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    I am a homeowner, stay at home Mom actually, looking for some guidance to save money on my small project.
    Recently I removed our rotting flight of stairs up to our second story deck. Now there is a gaping hole in a our metal deck railing that must be filled in. I need a matching piece of railing to fill in the area.
    My plan as of now is to draw up the dimensions of the replacement piece I need, call a metal fab shop and have it made up and then hire a welder to pick it up and weld it into the existing. Sound like a good plan? How can I tell if this is steel or cast iron?
    Also, because the bottom bar is a "u" shape, I assume the welder can just cut off that piece with the welding tool and I can have a flat bar made to weld onto the support.
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    Last edited by archersmom; 05-13-2018 at 02:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    The base looks like cast iron and the rest is steel. Would a gate be a option IF you decide to add stairs later ?? You can add a gate and secure it from opening. Many nut , bolt, flat stock options to secure.
    In expensive doesn't look like a option to me. That looks like 1/2" solid uprights and heavy channel top and bottom. Post your location, there maybe a member that can help.
    Check Craigslist for wrought iron railings / fence. You may get lucky and find a section.

  3. #3

    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Archers mom. I am assuming that there was another section of rail going down at a right angle where the stairs were. That right angle would keep that corner stout.
    The bracket that holds the existing rail to the deck does not look (in my option that it would hold up if there were people leaning on it. I would recommend that you have a professional look at it before someone gets hurt. Al.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    It looks like about 60” opening based on the boards. Also looks like 4” prepunched channel on bottom but flat on top.

    That being the case, it would be a fairly easy build with small brackets to attach to the house. As pointed out, you have to be certain it is very secure for safety.

    If you have a straight section that was removed, you might be able to use it to fill in.

    A new piece could be shop built and then bolted to original to save welding on-site. You could even have the shop put on a piece below the two horizontals with a couple of holes drilled so you could simply drill matching holes in the ends and bolt it all together yourself.

    Post your location and hopefully a local member can help.
    Last edited by wb4rt; 05-13-2018 at 03:12 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Looks like box store railing to me, can't tell if the verticals are solid or tube from pictures though.

    Quick hammer test or attempting to deflect by manual force should determine that.

    The 2 tabs sticking into the opening should make splicing with a couple bolts on each rail simple enough.

    Probably easiest to measure the distance between horiizontals and visit Lowes, Menards and Home Desperate to see what they have.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Your plan is good. However. You might find a shop that will handle everything, from measuring to install. And perhaps take care of other issues or upgrades you desire. Rail looks custom fabbed to me.

    Good luck

  7. #7
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    You might want to visit King Metals dot com. They have what you are looking for. Pre-punched channel, pickets and flanges as well as top rails. You will get an idea of costs and such. Also many local steel suppliers around me punch their own channel as well. Good luck let us know how it goes.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Quote Originally Posted by archersmom View Post
    My plan as of now is to draw up the dimensions of the replacement piece I need, call a metal fab shop and have it made up and then hire a welder to pick it up and weld it into the existing. Sound like a good plan?
    If you're going to have a fab shop build it, might be best to have them send someone out to look it over and take their own measurements That way if there is any discrepancy in the final fit up it is on them not you. Also if they build it they will more than likely be able to bring it and install it for you instead of hiring a 3rd party to do it.
    Or like wb4rt mentioned, post your location and there may be a Welding Web member near you that could do it or help you with it, possibly doing it for less than a fab shop would.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    247

    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    The spacing and height of the bottom rail plus the strength of the railing is not code from what I can see. 4" ball cannot go through the pickets and beer bottle cannot go under the bottom rail. You are going to get into having to replace it all and bring it up to code to be safe. You don't want someone falling off when the railing fails so talk to a shop that does guard rails all the time and let them come up with a plan. It's going to cost but safety does. Your insurance may not cover any problem unless its brought up to code. I ran into handrail problems on my parents house trying to get homeowners coverage because of no hand rails. All had to be done to code to satisfy insurance inspector.

  10. #10
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    Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Measure the distance between the vertical uprights, measure from the centre of one upright to the centre of the next one. Then measure the width of the upright post itself. Then measure the inside distance between 2 uprights.
    Not all local city/municipal codes are the same. Your insurance company will not cover you in the event of an accident with that hole in the railing you have.
    A phone call to the local building inspectors office will give you the details of what’s required for deck railings in your area you live. Don’t tell them what you have done and what your doing. Just mention your thinking about having a new steel railing built and installed in your deck.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    That's not a store bought twist nor is the channel used on the bottom.That's welding shop made.
    Unbolt the thing and take it to ( yellow pages ornamental iron) a shop. Let them know how long you need the other one.
    In my shop that's 1 1/2 hrs plus material. Material is about$115 for that five foot section.
    1 1/2 hours in "Not There" is $45.If the twist is easy you can shave the labor to $30.It looks easy but I like telling the client " less than I expected"
    There ? Multiply by about 3.
    What is it up there guys ? $100/ft ?

    Keep in mind poster . Comp and product liability in Up There(A.) runs in the thousands to 10,000 per MONTH. Most guys won't flip the lid down on a helmet for less than $100 and I don't blame them a bit.

    I do have another idea for you ! It may take a little leg work and running around. Do you have a trade school/college nearby > All it takes is a " donation" but you'll likely have to to a place and buy the steel ( interesting to see how we'unz do it). My old welding teacher ( when lil Noah and I were building a boat) taught classes he would drag everything you could imagine into class and put us on it.
    Trailers, farm stuff, rusty old appliances or lawn mowers,bent bicycles,, make basketball poles and hoops. grates for grills and pans for a refrig.
    I'd have to think it's the same today. I hope so. If I was a teacher you can bet on it !
    Last edited by Bonzoo; 05-18-2018 at 08:08 PM.

  12. #12

    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Thank you for all of the helpful advice!

    I found a very reasonably priced metal fab shop to make a custom piece of railing. She agrees I should do tabs to attach to existing railing and she suggests I cut the top and bottom rail down to be flush to the support post before attaching the new railing. It would look cleanest this way. Again, I am DIY individual here with a small tool arsenal, I have a hack saw, circular saw, jig saw and a saw-saw (technical term?), would I use one of these to cut those metal bars?

  13. #13

    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    All great ideas, thanks. I found a decent shop to do the work. Unfortunately the entire railing is all welded together in one piece and its about 60' at least. Any ideas how to cut the top and bottom bar using household tools?

  14. #14
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    Re: Need some very basic advice for deck railing infill

    Hacksaw with new blade and good/proper technique. Or sawsall with metal cutting blade(first choice)

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