If you are adding an elevated deck to your home’s exterior, you will also need to consider the various types of railings.
Outdoor railings are not only functional (and in many locations, required), but they can also be a beautiful part of your home’s exterior design.
Consider installing a railing with glass panels. The installation is easy, and the results are beautiful. The clear panels won’t distract from your view, and the little visual interference will even make your deck space feel larger.
Installing a railing with glass panels is likely easier than you imagine. After setting the posts and attaching the top and bottom rails, simply slip the glass into place. Enjoy your view—and your safety—for years to come.
Each system is installed differently. The following instructions are general. Please make sure to read the manufacturers’ instruction first.
The National Building Code of Canada establishes guidelines for the construction of buildings and various structures, including decks. However, these standards can vary depending on the local building requirements in effect in a particular province or municipality.
For instance, in the case of a deck, the height of the deck’s surface above the ground determines the requirement for the railing height:
Note that the maximum distance between the balusters and under the bottom rail is 4".
For a stairway, the treads should be no less than 9 ¼" deep and the risers no more than 8" high.
Always check the local building requirements for your area before beginning any such construction project.
Since suppliers may have different measurement requirements, double check measurements to avoid costly mistakes.
1.1 Plan and draw your project to scale before undergoing the installation.
1.2 Reproduce your drawing directly on your deck with coloured tape.
1.3 Draw a line at 1 ½" from each edge of the deck or balcony.
1.4 Determine the distance between each post according to the length of each section.
1.5 Mark the location of the post directly on the deck along the line previously drawn.
Depending on the system, it can either be installed directly on the wall or on a post.
2.1 Start your installation at a corner or along the wall.
2.2 If a post is required, pre-drill and anchor the surface bracket on the deck. Secure post loosely with fasteners.
2.3 Determine the position of the first vertical mounting brackets.
2.4 Using a level, measure against the surface, wall or post, and mark the location according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
2.5 Align the top and bottom railing brackets and secure to the surface with screws.
3.1 Position the posts according to marks previously drawn. You can use the length of the bottom rail to determine and verify the distance between each post.
3.2 Pre-drill and anchor the surface bracket on the deck.
3.3 Secure posts loosely in the bracket with fasteners.
3.4 Use only 2 screws to fasten loosely as you will need some wiggle room to install the railings.
3.5 If it is not already done, measure and anchor the top and bottom brackets on each post. Use a level to center in the middle of the post. Make sure the openings are directed according to the manufacturers’ specifications.
4.1 Measure the distance from post to post from inside the brackets of the bottom rail.
4.2 Mark both top and bottom rails of a section with the same measurement.
4.3 Cut to required lengths.
4.4 Place the bottom railing between both posts and secure in place.
4.5 Install support leg every 36" or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
4.6 Tilt post and insert the top rail.
4.7 Secure in place with screws.
This step will be different depending on the type of panels selected. Some manufacturers developed rails that can accommodate both spindles or glass panels. Railings might include specific moulding track or “U” channel that will need to be removed when using glass panels. Instructions will also suggest to insert the panel in the top rail first and then the bottom, others mention the opposite. Make sure to read the guidelines first. For the purpose of this project, full glass panels are used and “U” channels have been removed from all railing sections.
5.1 Place rubber blocks on each end of the bottom rail, as well as every 12".
5.2 Center and slide glass up into the top rail and down into the bottom rail.
5.3 If the space between the post and the end of the glass panel exceeds 4", use spindles. The spindles are needed for safety measures and to comply with codes.
5.4 Proceed with all the other sections the same way.
6.1 Make sure all panels and railings are level.
6.2 Tighten the initial screws.
6.3 Add the remaining screws to secure the posts firmly in place.
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