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South Coast Sundecks & Exteriors is an 'Expert' deck & patio railing contractor in Vancouver. We offer our clients every type of deck and patio railing system that is available. The railings we provide are quality built with style and precision that meet all Provincial B.C. Building Code requirements.
Everything Deck & Patio Railings | Sales & Installations

Many sundeck railing systems to choose from

With so many deck railing choices available you will need to start somewhere and our goal is to help you sort through and find the optimal balance between what looks the best for your project and budget and how the deck railings that we will supply and install for you will compliment the appearance of all other component aspects of your deck and house for added value.

South Coast Sundecks & Exteriors is a comprehensive deck and railing company so you will find that our service, industry experience and advantages will provide you with excellent value and remarkable appearances that are on time, on budget that will meet building code safety requirements.

Top mount or Side mount railing options

Top mounted and Side mounted railing options refer to the location where the supporting posts that hold all railing systems to the deck or patio are attatched. Since the 2012 Canadian building code amendment, side/fascia mounted railing systems are mandatory for all New Construction waterproof deck building applications. (i.e. Decks requiring permits) Side mounted or fascia mounted sundeck railing systems are attatched to the side of the deck perimeter fascia or parrapet wall with the mandate being that waterproof membranes should not be punctured with new designed deck builds.

Sundecks built before the 2012 building code amendment were mostly top mounted railing systems with exception to some commercial applications. The reasoning behind this amendement was due to examination of water ingression failures and their causes that mostly stemmed from the leaky condo crisis. The biggest underlying issue was that most of the decks were not purpose built or structurally blocked properly underneath the plywood substrate by the contractor or builder to accomodate the typical 4" aluminum post mounting plate and offset with its 4 screws or lag bolt fasteners. When the railings where installed they would be 'blindly' screwed through the deck membrane with the intention of all 4 fasteners going through the plywood into the structural framing.

Unfortunately in a lot of instances only the 2 outer fasteners would end up in the sub fascia framing and the 2 inner fasteners (towards the house) would only go into the plywood. This would cause the plywood to flex up and down everytime someone pushed up against the railing thus causing the inner screws mounted only to the plywood to work loose and eventually cause water ingression and deterioratation to the wood holding the screws that would be compounded by the deck sloping away from the building where water would flow towards the effected posts. These fastener holes are commonly sealed with caulking. Rubber gaskets also known as ring or condo railing gaskets used in commercial applications and quality installations by knowledgeable or caring professionals combined with thorough structural attachment prove to be more reliable.

Side mounted railing disadvantages come in 2 considerations besides overall appearance with the first consideration being wether or not a gutter or eavestrough is required. Typically deck gutters and eavestroughs would be installed right under the drip edge of the deck to effectively catch the rain water. With a side mounted railing system the mounting posts will now take the high position on the fascia board that will consume the top 5-7" leaving the remaining amount of fascia board to 'Hang' the gutter with the required sloping that still won't be able to effectively capture all the rain water. Suitable options are no gutter system at all or building a parrapet wall, curb stop and/or directional sloping with floor drains or downspout scuppers that will require structural changes and plywood substrate removal to create the right sloping with associated plumbing and carpentry alteration costs as well as logistical considerations.

Side mounted deck railing conversion consideration number two. All new deck builds 'should' incorporate design attributes for a side mounted railing system. However, if you are not building a new deck and thinking about reinstalling or upgrading the railings during a vinyl waterproof membrane replacement it is important to determine if your existing fascia system consists of a minimum 2 plys or layers to securely anchor the railinings to. More importantly is the necessity that exsiting fascia boards are structurally attatched well enough to the deck framing to accommodate the additional load bearing weight and inherent leveraging of a sidemounted deck railing system if there wasn't a side mounted railing there before. Topless and all glass deck railings are very heavy with high leveraging and new applications will require structural design modifications and reinforcement.

Regardless of your requests, appearance requirements or budget restraints we always recommend a side mounted railing system on a waterproof sundeck as a top mounted railing may effect the performance longevity and warranty on some waterproof decking membranes.

Aluminum Deck & Patio Railings

There are 3 different variations of aluminum deck railings in the industry. 1) Component packages found at big box stores that consist of approx 35-45 pieces for a 5ft picket railing section that need all parts to be assembled then cut and screwed together on-site. They offer terrible value with high installation costs, minimal post span distances, don't look great, rattle quite a lot and the finish is subpar compared to local powder coating finishers.

2) Pre-made custom are full lenght sections (upto 24ft) that are pre-manufactured and finished Locally in a plant with pickets welded to the top and bottom rails. These sections are then cut to lenght on-site then 'slip fitted' and screwed into pre-made posts and corner brackets to hold the system together. 3) Custom made aluminum railings have all the components completely pre-manufactured and welded together off-site and then finished with powder coating afterwards which provides our clients with an aluminum railing system that is tailored to individual project circumstances. Both the Pre-made custom and Custom-made railing options we offer are pre-engineered systems so engineering schedules and CAD drawings for permitted projects are readily available if asked for by the building inspector.

Most aluminum railings are powder coated that is considered the most durable process when all the steps are performed and a quality powder is used. The process involves electrostatically applying powder to the railing sections but it is important that the sections are properly baked afterwards in a large oven usually upto 24ft in lenght. powder-coating-aluminum-railings

Equally if not more importantly is the precleaning and etching process of manufactured aluminum sections from contaminants so that the powder sticks properly. Some finishers will clean and etch by hand or if properly equipped the items will be dipped in cleaning & etching solution in large tanks then washed and neutralized in another tank prior to coating. The performance ratings of the finish are guaged by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) with ratings such as AAMA 2603, AAMA 2604 and AAMA 2605 with the latter being the highest durability rating against fading, chaulking and peeling.

Composite and PVC Deck Railings

Have been gaining traction in the market place with enviromental concerns over rain forests and the introduction of more attractive and refined designs with high definition wood grain patterns and mutiple color blending found in PVC and PVC capped composites that provide consumers with a new level of design options to personalize there decks with. The deck railing system plays a significant aesthetic role in deck renovating because of the horizontal coverage that is viewed from around the house aswell as being viewed when on the deck.

The initial costs of a composite or PVC sundeck railing system is outweighed with value when all of the advantages are taken into consideration such as Durability, Low Maintenance Costs and Sustainability. The surfaces never need to be sanded and stained every couple of years like wood railings and fading, scratching and mildew is non existent with only an occasional soap and water wash being required.

The finish appearance is free of 'knots' which makes it comparable to a more expensive 'clear of knots' wood deck railing system and the components will never warp, crack, splinter or be dined on by insects. The enviromental impact is minimal since most PVC capping is made from recycled plastics with the composite core being made from industrial wood scraps so you may be pleased to know your saving some trees and being enviromentally responsible in the process of building your new deck. Add a 25 to 30 year service life and the railings will pay for themselves in half that time with all the maintenance savings.

Composite deck railings are best suited for new deck builds and deck resurfacing projects because it is indisputably better to anchor the posts to the deck framing rather than surface mount to the top of the decking surface.

Glass Deck & Patio Railings

There are 3 distinctly different glass railing systems available to choose from. 1) Framed glass railings that is a railing system such as aluminum, wood or composite that has glass panel 'inserts' that naturally provide a fixed top guard rail incorporated into the design.

2) Frameless glass railings with support posts are structural panels of glass that are supported on either side with posts made of either metal, wood or sleeved composite that have no bottom or top rail. With the glass and aluminum post system we use a tall (40") or short post (24") can be used in the railing construction.

The glass panels can be either 10mm or 12mm thickness glass depending on how far a span you would like to see between posts and wether you want to pay extra for the thicker 12mm glass. This style offers the best value for topless glass railings but special attention should be placed on how the posts are constructed if you would like to see less post and more view.

3) Frameless glass railings without support posts should always be constructed from 12mm glass that can be either side mounted to the fascia board with steel 'stand off' spindles or top mounted with various options depending on other criteria. When the glass guard rail system is mounted to the fascia board it requires more glass to be used which increases the cost along with the thicker glass requirement and the stainless steel 'stand off' spindles making cleaning difficult in this area.Note: Proper structural provisions will be required for the added weight of glass railing systems.

It is important to remember that anything built with 'structural or load bearing glass' such as any frameless or topless glass guard/deck rail or glass deck cover will be subject to the glass code section (CAN/CSB-12.20-M89) of the National & Provincial Building regulations as well as the guard rail sections (Div. B-Part 9.8.7)

Each municipality has interpreted and supplemented there own variation of regulation with risk assessement in mind which makes it a bylaw that will determine on wether or not you will be required to have an additional continuously and fixed structural top rail guard or hand rail guard added to your desired 'topless' glass railing.

Some municipalities are now consolidating on this matter and stating that topless glass guard rails will need a professional engineer assurances and field review documents that alleviates everyone from liability if for some reason a glass panel shatters or fails while someone is leaning on it or 'pushing' on it at a force less than the 240 lb's minimum requirement. Note: All glass railings are made from tempered glass regardless of thickness.

Wood Deck & Patio Railings

We have built many wood decks and railings over the years mostly from western red cedar that happens to be one of the most naturally durable and resilient woods that is resistant to decay, insect and moisture damage because of natural preservatives that makes it ideal for our enviroment. The stability of cedar is twice that of most other softwood lumbers so it doesn't shrink, split, warp, splinter or cup nearly as much as the other softwoods which makes it a good choice for wood deck railings if the wood source is not from old growth rain forests.

Wood requires maintenance that relates to time and money every 2-5 years on average depending on the species, enviromental exposure and direction, original staining procedures and wood finishing experience, so cost considerations need to be taken into account when budgeting. For example a deck railing system with spindles or balusters and a lot of profile detail will require a fair amount of time and money to prepare, stain and maintain when each spindle has 4 sides to work on and where the outside surface may not be easily accesible by ladder either.

Finished wood surfaces won't have a consistant appearance longevity, durability and resilience of a low maintenance composite or aluminum deck railing that will look good all year long but there is a niche market of consumers who only want the look and feel of a wood deck and railings in their outdoor living spaces. Read more about wood decks and railings.....

Custom Deck & Patio Railings

We can build you anything that comes to mind or that you see on the internet. With backgrounds in interior and exterior finishing we are very good at 'proportion building' which is the ability to put components together with the right size and scale and is often what makes our projects look way better than other companies.

Mixing metal, glass, wood, cables, balusters, and composites together for deck railings in various form and fashion within building code requirements can have very rewarding outcomes when hiring experienced creative deck and railing builders like South Coast Sundecks and Exteriors, regardless of what materials you would like to use we will leave that for you to decide.

Deck & Patio Railing Services

We offer all deck railing systems that comply with B.C. Building codes
We are an authorized dealer & installer for various deck railing systems
Our portable product samples, show you what to expect with your order
We provide CAD drawings and engineers schedules for permitted projects
Our home page and company page shows what cities that we work in

  Price Comparisons for your consideration

This is an approximate price guide to assist your decision process.
Package pricing with new decking, new deck builds & larger projects.
Permit & Engineering costs if required range from $500-$2000
All provided fixed price quotes are valid for 30 days.

Aluminum custom picket deck railings installed $65-85 per lf
Aluminum custom glass deck railings installed $95-125 per lf
Composite and PVC deck railings installed $95-$150 per lf
Stained wood deck railings with pickets or glass inserts $90-$125 per lf
Glass deck railings with aluminum, wood, composite posts $160-$190 per lf
Glass deck railings without posts - 'stand off' (side or top mount) $250-$300 per lf
Added cap or hand rail; 5/8" to 2" Stainless or Aluminum $25-75 per lf
Privacy and Windwalls, all options installed $150-350 per lf
We do not build pressure treated wood only deck railings

  Project Timing

Average time from Ordering to Installation is 3-5 weeks during busy season
Average completion time for most deck railing installations is 1-2 days
Average project completion time for deck building is 1-3 weeks
Completion times vary on the railing system, season and scope of work

  Learn More, See more...

  Associated page Topless-Frameless Glass Deck Railings
  Associated Page Everything Composite Decks & Railings
  Associated page Aluminum Patio & Deck Railings
  Associated page Wood for Decks & Railings

  Related page Everything Deck & Patio Surfaces
  Related page Everything Deck & Patio Building

  Visit our Featured Projects Pages showing our deck & patio railing projects
  Visit Whats New for you with South Coast Sundecks & Exteriors

  Please inquire here or phone 604 921-9185 to book an appointment.

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