Hello everyone, I am doing some deck re-building and I was looking for
some good advice. First of all the side railings seem to follow the
pitch of the deck which is about an inch out of level over the course
of 4 feet. Is there any reason I should keep the pitch on the rails or
should I make them level? I mean are they built that way so that rain
water runs off of the rails like it would on the deck or is it just
Also, I've been advised to wait up to 30 days before painting PT. Is
this absolutely necessary? How long should I wait or should I wait at
Finally, does anyone know of a good wood to use for decks that is less
expensive than PT and can be painted right away?
If anyone has any suggestions I would be greatly appreciative. Thanks,
J in Boston
On 31 Aug 2006 06:07:41 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I don't think the rail angle is going to be critical, but might be more eye
pleasing if it matched/flowed with the deck...
On an extreme pitch, such as a ramp, it seems that the rail is a standard height
from the ramp surface, not the ground, right?
Most likely they built it that way because it takes less work than
trying to make it level. There's no rule that it has to follow the
deck slope. How big is this deck that it has a 1/4" per foot slope?
Usually the slope is a less than that as the water will run off between
the deck boards.
Check out the PT lumber manufacturer's recommendations. I've heard
everything from a couple of weeks to six months wait. PT lumber is
saturated with water and chemicals under pressure, hence the P. If you
don't let the wood dry out and reach an equilibrium the paint will be
blown off the wood by vapor pressure.
There's not much cheaper than PT. PT is basically the bottom rung. If
you're in a hurry and want a finished deck, why not use a composite
lumber? It's done the day you put in the last nail/screw and you won't
have to deal with painting. When you factor in the labor, material and
maintenance costs composite lumber makes the most sense.
Follow the deck. They will look crappy it they are level and the deck is
At least that long. Don't paint, use stain. Wait a year is even better.
Even better is using another wood like mahagony or ipe.
Well, you certainly don't want mahagony or ipe if you are llooking for
cheap. You can use plain old pine, but it may also rot out in a few years.
If you really want cheap, use old pallets. Do you want to build a deck that
will last for many trouble free years, or do you want cheap and a PITA?
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