The Orange Gecko Tiki Bar



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Deck Expansion Project
Phase Four
Adding the Pool Surround Deck - Adding the Railing and Privacy Lattice

The Deck Surround phase was developed from the FREE deck plans at  The information from that site makes projects like this so much easier for the layman deck builder. I am in the process of creating the (8) deck platforms that you connect together to form a circle around the pool, enclosing it.  The deck will be 3' wide, complete with railings. Having the right tools for deck building are a must!  Since beginning my deck building I have acquired a 12 volt cordless drill with extra batteries, a heavy duty scroll saw, a reciprocating saw and a 12" compound miter saw.  All I buy now are Dewalt products. I have gone through several other brands prior to this project and none of them have stood up to the test of time and use like the Dewalt brand.  You will also need a circular saw with a good blade and a bucket load of screws.  I chose to screw my project together instead of nailing as it give me the ability to swap out damaged boards if required.

Photo's of the Deck Surround Project 
Phase Five of Five - Adding the Railing and Privacy Lattice

The directions on suggest using pre-fabricated railing supports.  I checked out the pre-made supports at Lowe's and Home Depot and personally thought they they felt too light and were actually 3"x3". I fabricated these railing supports by cutting a 8' treated 4x4 in half and then cutting a 1 1/2' x 7" Dado joint in the end. They felt MUCH sturdier and saved me a bunch of money. The pre-fabricated posts were $10 apiece and the 8' 4x4's were about $7!  I cut the Dado joints using a radial arm saw, but you can do it just as easy with a circular saw and a wood rasp. Here you can see the posts attached to the deck framing. They attach at each junction of the wedge shaped framing. We used 5 1/2' lag screws and drilled pilot holes to keep the wood from splitting.  You will also need to toe nail them from the inside.  For extra measure I added a couple of long deck screws on the outside.  These puppies are rock solid.
Here is another shot from a different angle. The great thing about how these post are attached is that the railings can be easily attached with a 10 degree bevel. Here is a close-up picture of one of the rail supports with the lag screws holding it in place. We cut wedges from leftover wood to use as stand offs for our Tiki Torches. This small detail has made a great difference in the overall appearance of our project.
It is amazing how a small detail can make your project look so much better.  Not to mention adding a more "professional" look. ADK and his wife filling up the Tiki Torches so we can get some pictures of them after dark. I am very proud of the way the deck is shaping up.  Looks great already even without the railings and privacy lattice in place.
Here is another shot from the back of my yard towards the house.  My dog Pepper decided to pose for us in this one. This is a shot with all the Tiki Torches attached. I wanted to angle them out so no one would burn themselves when using the surround deck. Here is a shot from the other side of the pool.  This is going to be so great in the Summer. No more getting into the pool to clean it!
The wives out enjoying the deck and checking out our handiwork. My wife loves the deck and being out side. I love the fact I will not have to get into the pool to clean the damn thing. A shot of the Tiki Torches at night.  They create enough light to illuminate the pool at night not to mention running off the mosquito's in the Summer.  Another shot of the Tiki Torches just after sunset.  Now we add the railings and privacy lattice.
Top of Railing Bottom Railings Bottom Railings
Here is what the top railing looks like after the 2x4 cap is added. The angles are all 10 degree so it comes out looking very clean. I have added all the bottom 2x6 railings all around. I mounted the railings 6 inches from the decking. This is a wider angle shot the main deck.  The next step will cutting out the 1x2 trim strips to support the privacy lattice.
Here is a shot of the lower railings installed from the outside. Here is a shot of the lower railings installed from the outside. Well the privacy lattice is going on pretty smoothly. The trim strips hold the privacy lattice tight.  The trim must be pre-drilled to keep the wood from splintering or cracking.
I cut all the trim strips I would need and laid them out for easy reach when installing the panels. Cutting lattice can be a real pain in the ass if you don't setup your work area properly.  The lattice will splinter on you if you don't support the lattice when you cut it.  I used a jig saw with a fine tooth blade and just let the saw do the work. Here is a shot of the lattice installed. There is a trim strip at the top of the lattice, butting up to the top rail and one along the bottom.
This is a shot from the outside of the pool by the back corner of my yard. The project is coming along nicely. I really am happy with the way the railing and lattice look. Ran out of 1x2 trim strips so called it a day.  I was ready anyway, the day was overcast, windy and cold.
The project is coming along nicely. I really am happy with the way the railing and lattice look. This is a shot from the left side of the pool.  
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This page was last updated on 08/03/2008