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Home > Balustrade Removal and Disassembly

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Balustrade Removal and Disassembly

Reasons for removal
Balustrade sections (Railings and Balusters between Posts or between a wall and a Post) may need to be removed for the following reasons: 1. Inspection for rot or to determine paint condition on the ends of items.
2. To repair or replace rotting items.
3. To repair or replace broken items.

The easy way
The ease with which a balustrade section can be removed depends on the way in which it was installed. If Vintage Woodworks Installation Accessories were employed, then removal is relatively easy. This system allows one to assembly complete balustrade sections without exposed hardware and then install entire sections into place. To remove and disassemble such sections is simply a matter of unscrewing the metal end brackets that hold the balustrade sections between Posts and then reversing the assembly steps (disassembly) by removing the screws in that section.

Removing only a few Balusters
If only few damaged Balusters needs replacing, and if your balustrade was properly installed using our system, then it may be possible to remove one or more Balusters without removing and disassembling the entire balustrade section.

Try removing the cap rail (Handrail) by unscrewing it from the Subrail. That will expose the screws holding the Baluster tops to the Subrail. Undo those screws from any Balusters needing removal. Then see if you can work the Balusters off their bottom screws.

It may be necessary to undo the top screws on several adjoining Balusters so the Subrail can be bowed up slightly to provide slack for removing the Balusters. If you are able to remove Balusters, cut off the screws protuding from the Bottom Rail. Reverse this process to reinstall new or repaired Balusters after preparing them as discussed elsewhere.

Re-attach the Baluster bottoms by using a good grade of caulk as "glue" on the bottoms before putting them into place. If you also paint the Bottom Rail next to the sides of the Balusters bottoms, that alone should be enough to hold their bottoms in place. Obviously, if several adjoining Balusters have to be installed without bottom screws, the balustrade will be weakened. For that situation you should remove the entire balustrade section as described above so the bottom screws are accessible.

Likewise, if you find that the bottom Baluster screws are holding the bottoms of the Balusters too securely to remove them, it will be necessary to remove the entire Balustrade section for access to the bottom Baluster screws. To do this remove the bottom piece of our standard two-part Bottom Rail to expose the Baluster's bottom screws.

The other way
If balustrade sections were built in place, particularly if the Balusters are nailed to the Rails, then removal of Balusters will be somewhat more difficult. We strongly recommend taking this opportunity to reinstall your entire balustrade using the Vintage Woodworks system.

However, if time or budget does not permit a complete rebuild that this time, more care must be taken not to scar the wood surfaces while removing Balusters. The steps for doing this will depend on the manner in which the balustrade was originally installed, but if you are not doing the work yourself, please caution your worker that you want to preserve as many components as possible.

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