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Handrail Construction That Lasts

Why do so many balustrades fall into disrepair?

A common sight around Brisbane is timber balustrading in varing states of disrepair. All too often the standard timber balusters, bottom rails and handrails are assembled by a carpenter with a pinning gun often without galvanised nails.The painter only comes to paint the balustrades once they have been assembled. This means that all the cut ends never get sealed/primed and the contact points on the bottom rail are only ever protected by the factory preprime blue coating. This is not as durable as a dedicated primer/sealer paint. As a result water gets in all the end grains and sits in the contact points rotting the timber and rusting the metal pinning nails. The bottom rail and the baluster connection point is the first to give way causing the bottom rail to collapse and the balusters to fall out. 


Our approach is different

How to renovate the Second Nature Builder way.... dismantle the components. Clean and sand. Remove rotted timber and repair with epoxy filler. Prime all timber, especially the cross cuts and bottom rail prior to assembly. Assemble with 8 gauge galvanised screws through the bottom rail and into each baluster and pin the balusters into the handrail rebate with galvanised brad nails. 

Experienced Team

Second Nature Builders is an experienced and multiskilled team that build timber balustrades by prepainting at critical stages of assembly which means that all end grains and contact points are protected at the outset. We also use superior galvanised fasteners and more durable fastening techniques for long lasting balustrades that can withstand the sun and rain of a Brisbane climate.

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Avoid this common mistake

Avoid this common mistake

Common deck building mistake: having exposed timber end grain at a pool edge.

Timber is largely constructed of longitudinally aligned cells that convey water up the stem. These vessels or tracheids, become exposed when the timber is cross cut: eg at the end of a decking plank. If this exposed end grain is butted up against a pool edge then it can absorb a lot of water just like a bundle of straws in a glass of water. This can result in the piece of timber rotting from the end at the pool edge..... see pictures.


Good practice is to seal the cross cut with a bituminous paint prior to fitting the decking plank thus protecting from water ingress and rotting....see picture.

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Affordable Decking Quotes

Affordable Decking Quotes

There are now so many choices for decking materials and fixing methods. It pays to understand the options before getting your decking quote in South East Queensland. The intense sun and rainfall we receive can be distressing for the decking surface.

Remember that the balustrading and stair solutions can add as much as the cost of the deck itself. 

Unvarnished/sealed timber will quickly carbonise leaving a silver/grey surface. Hardwoods can handle this, but soft woods like treated pine will tend to split on knots and at the ends in a 20mm plank. Regular sealing/ varnishing/ oiling of the deck adds a maintenance regime and costs, but preserves the timber colour and helps to feed the wood.

Some tradies use stainless steel screws, countersunk and plugged as a premium long lasting finish. Other fixing methods include predrilling and screwing/nailing or fixing with concealed fixings. Each has a different finish and cost associated with it.

Local, sustainably sourced hardwoods like spotted gum or tallowwood are great ecological solutions compared to the imported balau and kwila which are harvested from rainforests.

Another recommended solution, and ECO friendly, is the modwood type products now flooding the market. These are plastic boards (although quite realistic in appearance) and typically are made from recycled milkbottles!

To get the right decking quote for your situation, give us a call at Second Nature Builders on 0438 325 566.

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