Adding "No Rot" Deck Rail Support


Fine Homebuilding's Tips & Techniques

If a deck rail spans more than 5 feet or so, I think it´s important to support the bottom rail using something that won´t rot.

I´ve tried various approaches to this problem. The No Rot Deck Supportaccompanying drawing illustrates my favorite solution.

Instead of wood, I use short lengths of PVC pipe cut with a chopsaw into little cylinders.

For a 2x bottom rail, I use 1 ¼-inch O. D. (outside diameter) pipe cut into lengths that fit snugly under the rail.

To hold them in place, I run a 7-inch square-drive gutter screw through the bottom rail, through the PVC cylinder, and well into the deck ? burying the screw head. This works particularly well because I use a minimum 3-inch-deep bottom rail.

The PVC cylinders are strong and unobtrusive. They hold paint well. And they won´t deteriorate or wick water into the rail.

- Forrest McCanless, via e-mail

Tips & Techniques provided by Fine Homebuilding.
©2005 The Taunton Press


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