Monday, April 27, 2009

Chain link fence railings

With some large chunks of time on my hands this past weekend I decided that I would go ahead with major project # 43,652: ripping out the temporary loft railings and constructing the new "finish" railings. What you see above is the result of close to 10 hours of work. I think it came out really nice.

As you can see from this shot, I only got half-way done. At the lower right of the image the 2x4 temporary railing is visible. I have long ago learned to cut in half any estimates of what I think I can accomplish on the house at any given time. The design I came up with was driven by my desire to spend as little as possible (pretty typical). I knew I wanted tubular metal railings and wire stays. Back when I was sourcing products for the play loft railings I priced out some professionally fabricated and installed railing systems: BIG bucks. My solution? Go to Home Depot and see what I can come up with for cheap.


What I came up with was basically chain link fence parts. The vertical posts are the chain link fence posts; the horizontal (or diagonal as it were) bars are the fence top rails, and the hardware is all the cheapo hardware for chain link fence. I bored out a hole to seat the base of the posts into, drilled some holes through the posts and then bolted them through the stair risers into the stringers beneath.

The cable cost something like 6 bucks. I anchored it in the downstairs post and then passed it through holes I drilled in the center post and finally fastened them to the wooden end post (which I built to match the other loft railing posts) via simple turnbuckles.

Score one victory for the cheap-skate! Seriously though, I love coming up with smartly designed modernist solutions to design problems that would cost thousands to do "right". All in all, I would say this cost me about $65. Not bad at all.

9 comments:

Todd - Home Construction Improvement said...

They look great but I'm afraid they are not code legal. Those would never pass the 4" sphere rule. Please be very careful with your young children and friends.

I'm not sure the railing would pass the 200 lb horizontal load test either.

We get lots of customers wanting a similar system and they end up having to have a professional system fabricated for this very reason.

Your house is really cool! I saw it on the Green Show the other day and I was very impressed.

Anonymous said...

great solution. Was it tricky getting the angle right for the holes in the posts?

Wade

Ruth E. said...

Splendid! I am building a house and also looked into the "real" components for this type of railing system and agree that it is totally out of budget...
It looks great what you did.

Lupine said...

Looks great! Thanks for some excellent ideas to use toward building a railing in our shop.

I don't see any commentary on the fencing used in the loft, and that appears to be a great solution for our shop loft, which currently has no railing at all. Thanks for any add'l info you might be able to provide!

Eli said...

This is a innovative cost effective design. I have a client who would like a chainlink fence with chainlink style railings. Since chainlink itself would not work on a stair angle I am looking for other styles. Is this railing built to code? The gaps between the wire don't look like they are 4" or less. Also how did you anchor the wire in the bottom post? It doesnt look like the wire continues right through the post.

jake ostler said...

I've been wanting to build a custom metal fence in Calgary similar to this to run around the back deck of my house. Great work, it looks amazing.

jackrider said...

There are some great designs here. I am hoping to use some of these ideas in creating an outdoor metal fence in Calgary. Thanks for sharing your pics.

tyleragent said...

Great post, and I've started to see a lot of artistic and contemporary homes these days get metal fencing put in their home for their railings and banisters. And I think that it's a great idea, because in some houses it just looks amazing.

Jim Stout said...

This actually looks really good. I can see people who own more modern homes really gravitating towards something like this. It also looks like it is really sturdy.

http://www.securityfencesystems.com/Commercial_Chain_Link_Fence.php