Exterior Railing and Stairs in Havertown
We as home improvement experts do general carpentry in the Havertown area, and this case rebuilding exterior stairs and railing. On this project the first step was to remove the old broken stair structure before building the new exterior stairs and railing. Also we removed the rotted wooden framework holding up the stairs.
Creating a proper foundation
Next, we dug several deep round holes in the ground and poured cement into them, which then formed cylindrical columns. The cement foundation consists of all the columns being leveled with one another. These, therefore, became cement columns extending 40 inches below the surface. This is done to prevent the structure from moving when the ground surface freezes.
Installing the main support beam
After the old structure was entirely removed, and the cement had dried we began constructing a wooden structure to hold the stairs. The wooden structure consists of a main beam placed between the cement foundation columns. Bolts attach the main beam to the cement columns.
Building the wooden support structure
The framework also consists of 2” x 8” pressure treated joists. The beams are nailed together with equal spacing between them and nailed to the main beam. In this case the joists are set approximately 12” apart. This is closer than normal because Trex boards tend to flex more than wood and need more support under them.
Installing the deck boards
Deck boards require special decking or stainless steel screws. We installed the deck boards with a half inch spacing between the deck boards to allow the rain to drain through.
Preparation for railing
The client chose a white vinyl rail. These require a wooden support system because the vinyl style chosen is not strong enough on its own. We installed 4” x 4” pressure treated posts. these are placed around the perimeter of the walkway and at the top and bottom of the stairs. The posts are bolted to the joists framework below.
The rails and spindles are installed
We fitted the hollow vinyl post sleeves over top of the solid wooden posts. Once these are in place the spindles and rails can be installed. We carefully cut the railings and spindles following the angle of the stairway incline. We placed the spindles vertically into the railings and screwed the assembly together..
Completing the project
We installed a lattice underneath the deck. The white vinyl lattice is rot proof and gives the underside a clean, attractive appearance. It hides the dirt below the stair and deck structure. This deck sparkles in the sunlight is attractive and will require little or no maintenance for many years. Additionally this and many other general carpentry projects in the Havertown area.