Decks with Tempered Glass Rails in North York
This deck with glass rails was done in collaboration with Elizabeth Tschoppe Garden Design in North York, Ontario. As usual, she gave us a sketched concept and we put our details in the deck design. The trick was creating a beam beneath that would span 24′ for the double garage. The bottom of the beam had to be high enough to drive a minivan under. A flashed plywood beam was the answer. Sure, this deck was built 15 years ago–but it certainly looked good with the house, and is still in use today.
The deck has a triple border and has full-width red cedar decking. Spaced tempered glass rails to allow air to flow through and massive footings to support the posts carrying the 24′ beam.
The glass rails offer an unobstructed view of the kids playing in the pool below and emulate the windows within the house beyond. We always try to make the style of attached structures work with the home becoming a natural extension of the home as if it grew there!
Designing Large Span Decks
When you want a 24′ clear span deck you need to get creative. We looked at solid wood beams and a few other options. We ended up opting for a laminated plywood product for the big span. The engineers specified a 14″ size, but when we installed the beam we discovered that there was movement. Engineers are not always right. The beam also sagged in the middle. We removed the beam and cut 1.5″ of a crown. We then sistered 2 more 10″ beams to each side that were also crowned. In the end, the deck was perfectly straight.
It takes experts to work with unique products to achieve unique decks.