Lake in High Water

How To Make a Deck Railing

I always love it when I can title a blog post beginning with “How To” I always feel like I am being helpful, which of course I am trying to be….however, you also need to remember, when it comes to renovations and home repair etc, I am much more like Tim than Al from the old Home Improvement television show.


But…..occasionally I have what I think is a good idea, and in todays post, I will show you that good idea. The problem was, I have built a new veranda deck, half of it is closed in as a screen room, while the other half is open to allow us to see the lake from inside the cottage and have a place to sit if we don’t want to be in the screen room.

However, how could I add a railing to the open end and close in under the railing without blocking our view of the lakeshore, front lawn and boats etc from inside the camp? But still have a railing that was closed in, protecting the deck from bad weather and people from falling off the deck.

The screen room that we have recently added to half of the front deck of the cottage was closed in at the bottom with boards, I wanted to retain that look on the open half of the deck, but still be able to see through to the lake in front from inside. This is the screen room.

After staring at the deck for several weeks, literally, thinking about various designs and how I could do it, including adding cutouts, perhaps shaped like fish or something, it finally dawned on me. I would close it in the same as the screen room, allowing me to keep the same look across the front, but I would make it so the front opened somehow to allow us to see the lake when we want and close it when we are not there, and for the winter months.

I came up with the idea of hinging every second board and installing gate hooks to allow me to open each one and either hook them open or hook them closed, depending on the weather etc.

Off to the local Home Hardware store to get some gate hooks and hinges and I set to work. It was actually much easier than I thought. First I cut all the boards and screwed them in place. Then I installed the hooks and hinges, making use of the same hooks for closing and opening what are essentially shutters.

If I do say so myself, it turned out even better than I could have hoped. We can open them when we are there and want to see the lake, or close them when the weather turns bad or we are going home.

I usually close the front deck in with plastic or plywood for the winter months anyway to keep the snow and rain off the deck, so this will make that much easier. When the boards are open they look something like this…..

This allows us to look through the railing and see the lake, boats etc as well as anyone walking immediately in front of the deck. In this pic below the person is me, however I am still working on the railing here and don’t have all the boards open.

Long story short, as a cottage renovation, or a ‘deck refit’ as the home improvement folks would say, this works great and I am very pleased with the outcome. .
Here’s a couple of old fellas who worked a little too hard one weekend and ended up both with sore backs, walking around with ‘staffs’ to hold them upright….cottage life is so relaxing…..LOL

Another job done….now it’s on to re-siding the cottage, raising the shed and putting new posts underneath, as well as some new windows and door work….oh it never ends, that is what makes life worth living!

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3 thoughts on “How To Make a Deck Railing”

  1. Hey, if your finished we sure could use help down here on the Ponderosa winterizin' everything from cattle waters to the tankless hot water heater that hangs on the side of our home. Heeehehehe!

    Loads to do 'round here yet.

    Ya'll have a beautifully blessed 'fall' day!!! :o)

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