Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Decks with Curved Rails

Curved Rails in Muskoka!

by Lawrence Winterburn

Lots of deck builders attempt curves--however, few of them achieve something that fits the site, looks good up close and lasts as long as it should. This is a summer residence near Gravenhurst Ontario.

I designed it to work with the flow of the home and to blend with the surroundings. Elevated homes with lake views need to also look good from the water--so I took that into account. 

When it comes to the rim joists, they need to be structural, so those are a solid lamination using red cedar lumber and marine grade adhesives. It is much like making one solid piece of lumber from multiple layers. Installing them is exactly the same as a regular joist, using nails. Since it is structural you can simply bolt the posts in place just like any deck.

The top cap is also made from multiple pieces and faired smooth. Fairing is a boatbuilding term, that just means to make a curve smooth and even. Since framing is never absolutely perfect, allowances for irregular placement of the posts must be made, which is why this rail ended up being about 9" wide around the curve. We added a drip edge to keep the inner portion of the rails dry.

The glass is 1/4" tempered and this rail, (a standard GardenStructure.com detail), is engineered to span 6' without too much trouble. The posts around the curve are roughly 4'-6" to work with the top rail size, so that flat panels work. Curved glass panels are possible, but not many clients will like the price.
 When you want to show off a view--and your prowess as a carpenter, a grand curved rail like this fits the bill!
*If you want details for this rail and or layouts to do your own, or a rail installed in Ontario get in touch with www.gardenstructure.com and ask for Lawrence, or email plans@gardenstructure.com . We will do our best to help you out! 888 293 8938. Visit the website for many other curved decks and pergolas!