A Chippendale style railing is one of the most beautiful designs for your sundeck. However, It is time consuming to build so contractors charge a premium.  We'll show you how to "do it yourself"!  Even with no knowledge of how to build this railing, you can accomplish this task in less than 1 hour per section. (post to post) This translates to 8-10 hours work on a railing that  will be enjoyed for many years to come.  Plus all your friends will wonder how you did it!

The Chippendale style works best with post to post distances of 3' to 7'.  The post to post distance in our project is 3 feet.  The angle of the boards changes as the post to post distance gets longer.  You can use 2x2 or 2x4 lumber as the pickets for the interior of this railing design.



Step 1. Install Top and bottom 2"x4" horizontal rail from post to post.  Top rail measurement is normally 36" off the deck or floor.  Bottom rail measurement varies depending on the project and your preferences.  Typically 3-4 inches off the deck is an appropriate measurement for the bottom rail. Our project has an additional bottom board to attach screening as this rail is for a screened porch.




Step 2.  To begin the railing pattern, install a diagonal board from a top corner to the opposite bottom corner as shown.  The simplest way to measure this board and all boards for this railing is to pre-cut your board 4 inches longer than where the board is going to be used. Hold this board in place behind the railing, centering it in the corner angles.  Mark both ends with a pencil, and cut. This piece should fit exactly in place.  Secure with galvanized finish nails.



Step 3.  Measure along this diagonal board and mark the center point. The next board will cross this existing board at the midpoint. Precut your board as before, hold in place and mark to determine the angle and length. Cut and install as shown.  Repeat this procedure to complete the other side of the "X".  


Step 4.  The Chippendale style uses evenly spaced pickets to complete the railing. The distance between these pickets cannot exceed your local building code requirements for picket spacing.  Check locally for the spacing code requirement. Measure each half of the newly formed "X". and divide to have even spacing between pickets without exceeding your local code requirements. You may need more pickets than our project required. To make these pickets you pre-cut the boards, and hold in place to measure and mark as before. The length of each of these boards is correct when they are exactly parallel to the main "X" board as shown in the pictures.  Hint:  to check parallel simply check the measurement at each end of the board, or cut a spacer.  Attach with galvanized nails and continue until the section is complete.  Repeat the same procedure for each section.  Now you're a Chippendale Pro! 





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