#12 Why We Decided to Redo The Loft Railing

After our first attempt at the loft railing, we realized that it was slightly unstable despite the fact that I screwed in many 6-inch deck screws from the railing into the subfloor. So we went back to the drawing board again to think of a different and more stable design. Let’s revisit.

This was my first design of the loft railing. I originally wanted to do some macrame braiding in between the 2x4s, but the far-right (and far left) corner wasn’t attached to anything. The whole railing’s weight is supported by a couple of 6-inch deck screws and I can easily see it may be a safety hazard. It took some convincing and help from Mr. CodeJunkie, and I took this first version back down.

Here is a first sketch of what it should look like, how much lumber we needed to buy, and how long these pieces needed to be cut at Home Depot. We ended up buying about 5 pieces of 2x6x144 ($~100) and some decking screws. Home Depot trips are expensive these days. I guess everyone is doing home improvements since we are all locked down due to COVID.

Going to Home Depot is always stressful for me. I don’t particularly enjoy crowds and it is plain intimidating that I don’t know half of the stuff they have here. It is like a Lego’s game on hard mode. Fortunately this time I got help from Mr. Codejunkie. This was hands down the fastest time I got out of Home Depot.

The first thing I did after coming back from Home Depot was sanding. It was very therapeutic for a while until I got tired of sitting on the floor. I busted out my Makita sander and quickly finished sanding all the wood pieces (with 220 grid).

Making frame by yourself can be hard sometime when you need an extra arm you don’t have. This is when the legs come in handy.

I re-made the basic frame again, but this time with two support columns, and completely with 2x6s instead of 2x4s. They feel instantly sturdier. A lot less nerve wracking than my railing version 1!

We added these support columns on the outside of the railing frame. They needed to be countersinked & pre-drilled before we put them up.

These support columns are also 2x6s and they will eventually be attached to the frame itself to ensure the load is transferred to the sub-flooring.

During my week of working in the barn, I had a slight accident. I was trying to fix this window that acts as a guillotine every time you open it. And I dropped it on my window frame and made a huge dent on it (AND my heart…). But it’s nothing a little pink spackle can’t fix! 

Here you have it, our second attempt at making this railing safe and pretty! 

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