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Glass deck railings

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  • May 11th, 2020 9:03 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west

Glass deck railings

Not asking for a cost to install them, etc. But we want to replace out current pickets with glass for wind blockage and a better view. As well on a west side we want to put privacy glass and make it taller to block the one neighbours view. Im up in the air on doing it myself, or hiring someone. Ive got some calls and emails in already to see.

1. Do it myself, what are some good brands of railing systems. I see Rona has the Regal line, which I have used and installed in the past, but just the pickets. Dont have a Lowes locally, but have a Home Depot
2. Privacy glass, is pebbled style the only privacy style there is, or is there such a thing as one way glass for this scenario. Id prefer to not lose my view on the west side, but will scarifice it for neghbour privacy
3. Framed or frameless. I assume framed would be more sturdy for wind blockage.

We have no stairs to contend with, its all straight runs. My current railings are all one piece, so I cant just swap the pickets for glass, like the Regal ones.

Dimensions are 67.5" on the east, 164.5" to the south, and 135" to the west. 111" from the ceiling to the floor.

Any help would be appreciated, or a cost if you did get it installed, although I know those prices can vary from province to province. Or what brands to stay away from

Picture is a general idea of what Im looking at doing, just opposite side for the privacy and not wrap around. But that my layout with a covered deck and the walk out below

Image
26 replies
Member
Dec 4, 2009
320 posts
200 upvotes
I did something like this, but constructed the wood frame for the 4"x32" tempered glass panels.

The panels are captured top and bottom with a channel, and bonded in place using a sealant. There is a 3" gap between each pane, to allow for air flow. This gap is code, so kids and pets don't fall out the deck.

I bought the parts from Home Hardware, it was part of a system that I pieced out to suit my needs and picked it up at the DC in Kitchener...

You will have to be creative and determine your solution on your own. The privacy panels can be sourced from a glass supplier who can have the panes etched so the opacity is controlled. Custom panels get expensive and glass can get very heavy.

Good Luck!
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2015
1091 posts
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Durham Region
If you have some skill and time to plan then you could probably install the systems from big box stores no problem
As far as I know big box stores don’t sell privacy glass or the high panels like in that picture, and if you want one way glass then there is probably a film than can be installed to help with this

I installed some glass 66 x 36” panels in a fence for my pool, but I built my own wood frames instead

Going frameless will not be any worse for wind, but frameless glass has to be thicker and is therefore more expensive (and not available at big box)
Last edited by networksend on May 6th, 2020 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9610 posts
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Paris
I love the look of glass but my only experience with it is the cottage neighbours who have it and most of the winter it frosts up and blocks their view. We were considering doing it but he says he wouldn’t do it again (as we are winter cottagers too).
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Jerico wrote: I love the look of glass but my only experience with it is the cottage neighbours who have it and most of the winter it frosts up and blocks their view. We were considering doing it but he says he wouldn’t do it again (as we are winter cottagers too).
It will be a positive and a negative. Since we have a south facing deck and on the edge of the city, we have zero wind block. Even a bit breeze makes it uncomfortable, and as well, blows out the BBQ. The view if it does frost up in the winter wont matter since we arent on there much, and if we are, its when its nice out, so the sun would get rid of the frost.

I am debating the privacy side to maybe try those louvered wood systems. Ability to open them for air flow when needed, and close them for privacy when wanted. But not sure if that would look dumb like that one one wall, and then glass the other two sides
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west
networksend wrote: If you have some skill and time to plan then you could probably install the systems from big box stores no problem
As far as I know big box stores don’t sell privacy glass or the high panels like in that picture, and if you want one way glass then there is probably a film than can be installed to help with this

I installed some glass 66 x 36” panels in a fence for my pool, but I built my own wood frames instead

Going frameless will not be any worse for wind, but frameless glass has to be thicker and is therefore more expensive (and not available at big box)
And as well, a lot heavier to (frameless) Ill probably just stick to a railing/glass system. Save on cost and weight
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
WikkiWikki wrote: It will be a positive and a negative. Since we have a south facing deck and on the edge of the city, we have zero wind block. Even a bit breeze makes it uncomfortable, and as well, blows out the BBQ. The view if it does frost up in the winter wont matter since we arent on there much, and if we are, its when its nice out, so the sun would get rid of the frost.

I am debating the privacy side to maybe try those louvered wood systems. Ability to open them for air flow when needed, and close them for privacy when wanted. But not sure if that would look dumb like that one one wall, and then glass the other two sides
I built a wood wall behind my BBQ because of wind, then further along a bench and the louvered panels above as a spring/fall wind block. They work well but after 12 years some of the fence boards twisted right out of it and needed replacing (they are only $3). Id recommend it to others.
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west
Todd96srv wrote: I did something like this, but constructed the wood frame for the 4"x32" tempered glass panels.

The panels are captured top and bottom with a channel, and bonded in place using a sealant. There is a 3" gap between each pane, to allow for air flow. This gap is code, so kids and pets don't fall out the deck.

I bought the parts from Home Hardware, it was part of a system that I pieced out to suit my needs and picked it up at the DC in Kitchener...

You will have to be creative and determine your solution on your own. The privacy panels can be sourced from a glass supplier who can have the panes etched so the opacity is controlled. Custom panels get expensive and glass can get very heavy.

Good Luck!
Timbremart said they actually sell the glass, but recommend going to a glass place because it will be cheaper then their glass. So nice to hear some honesty from a place about it. Didn tthink of Home Hardware for the system, Ill add it to my list
[OP]
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Jerico wrote: I built a wood wall behind my BBQ because of wind, then further along a bench and the louvered panels above as a spring/fall wind block. They work well but after 12 years some of the fence boards twisted right out of it and needed replacing (they are only $3). Id recommend it to others.
Maybe I could do tall wind walls east and west with the louvers, and the south rail the same height in glass. It would cost less, and be more symetrical than just one tall wall.

We have no need for privacy on the east side as we have no neighbours that way, but it would help for wind as well

We did the louver system at our old place for a lower deck gazebo we built when we lived outside the city. No matter how hard the wind blew, even 100K, you could be in there and sit. I miss that for sure
[OP]
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First quote was for about 4 grand with all glass and the tall privacy glass installed. One place does do the one way mirror glass, but they dont recommend it due to the reflection, as in blinding the neighbours.
Last edited by WikkiWikki on May 7th, 2020 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Aug 29, 2005
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Ontario
I built this myself, purchased through Lowes. Waited for one of those save the tax or similar sales.
https://regalideas.com/products/glass_system/

Lowes only has a few glass sizes in stock, but they can order anything that Regal carries, just a special order.
Last edited by Smoothie on May 7th, 2020 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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Out west
Smoothie wrote: I built this myself, purchase through Lowes. Waited for one of those save the tax or similar sales.
https://regalideas.com/products/glass_system/

Lowes only has a few glass sizes in stock, but they can order anything that Regal carries, just a special order.
Thanks. Ill look into it. The two railings that wont be changing height I think is a do it yourself thing (for me) But the other ones that will be 6 feet tall might be beyond my skills

Only thing is we dont have a Lowes locally, and I want to be abel to see the stuff in person first before buying
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
719 posts
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Would you require a permit to do the wall of glass? I asked my municipality once and they said roof and/or wall that isn't temporary will require a permit. The one neighbour who you want to block may report it.
[OP]
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Katedontbreak wrote: Would you require a permit to do the wall of glass? I asked my municipality once and they said roof and/or wall that isn't temporary will require a permit. The one neighbour who you want to block may report it.
They said no, but that's when I asked about keeping the deck height. I emailed them again to confirm. Since its not a solid wall, as in top to bottom. It will be about 6 feet or so in height

Why would a neighbour care I want to block a view, its not their view?
Member
Jan 1, 2006
274 posts
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Richmond Hill
Friends who had clear deck railings put on regretted it because birds could not see the glass and would fly into it. They too had a deck that was on a higher elevation like in the photo.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
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WikkiWikki wrote: They said no, but that's when I asked about keeping the deck height. I emailed them again to confirm. Since its not a solid wall, as in top to bottom. It will be about 6 feet or so in height

Why would a neighbour care I want to block a view, its not their view?
Some neighbours can be terribly weird and unpleasant. They might take offense to the wall being there to block their view or they may find the glass unpleasant to look at.
[OP]
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Katedontbreak wrote: Some neighbours can be terribly weird and unpleasant. They might take offense to the wall being there to block their view or they may find the glass unpleasant to look at.
Well then they can complain after the fact if that does happen. It shouldn't get down to that
[OP]
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Confirmed no permit is needed for the higher privacy wind wall. The mirror glass is available, but wont be doing it, since its a west wall the sun would reflect off to the entire backyards in the neighbourhood. Nice as it would be to have the view, Im not going to be one of those type of people
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Dec 17, 2007
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Alliston, ON
You may need to add some framing to your deck if changing railing. The new posts probably have a solid base that gets bolted to the deck and solid blocking underneath it. Your current railing is probably 4x4 wood posts that bolt to the framing of the deck
[OP]
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schade wrote: You may need to add some framing to your deck if changing railing. The new posts probably have a solid base that gets bolted to the deck and solid blocking underneath it. Your current railing is probably 4x4 wood posts that bolt to the framing of the deck
All my railings are metal and the posts, since they are all one piece. Unfortunatly I cant reuse them. If they were a Regal type railing I could replace the pickets with just glass.

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