Trex Transcend Railing Installation
I completed a somewhat complex Trex Transcend railing installation the summer of 2016. This railing system is well engineered and a pleasure to work with. This column was SO GOOD that I shared with the 31,000 subscribers who read my June 21, 2020 newsletter.
Trex Transcend Railing Installation - #WOOT!
It's important to note the Trex Railing Installation manual is a great document. To begin with, you need to read it cover to cover.
I'm just going to share some extra tips here that made my installation go faster. I'm also going to share a few things I wish I would have done differently.
Railing Post Spacing
I used the post sleeves that are engineered to slide down over 4x4 posts. The pre-cut railings are made for 8-foot-on-center and 6-foot-on-center spacing.
For this reason I laid out most of my deck posts for the 8-foot spacing. If I could do this over, I would have put them at 95 and 1/2-inch or even 95-inch spacing.
On the negative side, you'll have difficulty getting perfect fits of the railing sections if your posts are even slightly out of plumb. A point often overlooked is if the 4x4s have the slightest amount of twist. The 96-inch center-to-center post spacing will have you cursing for sure.
Another key point is be sure the 4x4 posts you use are carefully selected. To avoid warping and twisting, only use posts that have been cut from the center of the tree. You want to see the sapling core in the center of the post for ultimate long-term stability.
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Rail Post Height & Low-Voltage Cable
My precut post sleeves were 40 inches tall. It's a perfect height.
I installed my rough 4x4 posts so they were 40 inches above the treated floor joists. This created a 1-inch dead space on top of the post after the sleeve was installed.
As a result this dead space was perfect to house the extra low-voltage wire tail that comes with the lighted post caps.
The post sleeves have friction ribs on the inside so they fit snug on a 4x4. I wish I would have taken the time to create a 1/4 x 1/4-inch routed recess groove on the post for the low-voltage cable to fit inside.
Instead I just put the cable near one of the corners to completely avoid the friction ribs.
Cutting Railings - Go Sloooooooow
The railings seem to be made from fiberglass. This gives them great strength. The Vintage Lantern brown color is some sort of coating on top of the fiberglass.
I noticed chips on some of the cut edges. These happened because I cut too fast.
Code Compliant Stair Railings
The building code is a dynamic document. It changes every three years.
You need to be very precise with your post placement on stairs for the railing height to meet the code minimum.
This placement, in my opinion, conflicts with the BEST place to put the posts for maximum strength and stability.
I put my stair railing posts on the inside corner of the rough stair stringer and riser. Recessed through bolts through the stringer lock the post in place.