Decking Handrail

5 Jul 2008
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United Kingdom

I've installed my decking and fitted a handrail, although I know its secure when you push against it there is some play which I dont like.

The handrail runs along the far side with an opening in the middle (no corners) I was careful to position the joists so the post would be fixed through 2 joists. The newel posts have 2x bolts securing them to the decking base - I'm not sure on the size of the bolts but they were suggested from the place where I got the decking from.

I've been reading this pdf guide on decking etc : Fitting_Ins .pdf

and it shows the newel posts have been cut to sit on the joist (Fig11) whereas my posts are simpl bolted to my frame these actually sit on the frame, my question is could this resolve my problem and how does this strengthen my handrail?
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is your newel attached to the decking or the frame work!!!!!

it should always be attached to the framework and if its not in a corner supported on 2 sides you should introduce support on the second side as deep as possible
the post is bolted to the frame work on a joist corner, so it is supported on 2 sides?
you will always get a bit of movement on a decking handrail, unless its has corners which act a s a brace. Remeber youre applying pressure at the top of the post on a pice of wood, that has give in it as does the frame underneath. The only other thing you can do is place a noggin behind it in the frame
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thanks thermo I will give it a go, as I said I know its not going anywhere but I just dont like the movement, when the wood is wet I assume it will expand and retract when its dry so in the summer will there be more movement or will it be the same all year round?

Should I re fit the posts like it shows in the pdf, cutting part of them out so not only will they be bolted to the frame but they actually sit on it as well?
you can do, but before you do that put some framing noggins around it to strengthen it up, normally works!
Notching the posts won't add much stability I'm afraid. I try to avoid designing so that the rail does not have a 90 degree return built in, the only way to achieve better stability. As Thermo says, some clever nogginage around the post will help.
In my experience the only way to ensure really solid newalls is to design the substructure such that each newall is attached to both a beam and a joist or a beam and noggins or a joist and noggins.

Many DIY decks aren't designed in the traditional way (pier/post/beam/joist/board) and so newalls/handrails usually suffer as a result.

As Thermo has said though it's amazing what you can do with good noggins ... NEVER fix newalls to the boards though.

This shows how I do it ...

And the same area when finished ...


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