Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Deck Railing Standard

By Kelly Driscoll, Standards Committee Chair
Approved installation, with railings matching the wood of the rear deck

Violation of the standards, with railings painted to match the house, not the deck

Lakeport’s Design Standards Committee would like to make everyone aware of a potentially ambiguous design standard for decks and railings that may impact some homeowners.

This issue can affect the following homes:
  • Those on the north/east side of Lakeport Way or Lakespray Way (i.e., those not on the lake side)
  • Those with steps descending from the back of the house to a rear deck
  • Those with railings on either side of the descending steps

According to the interpretation of the Lakeport Cluster standards by Reston Association’s Design Review Board (DRB), these railings must match the standard that applies to the home’s rear deck: 1) if the deck has not been stained, leaving the wood railings to weather naturally, or 2) if the deck has been stained, staining the railings to match the deck. In other words, the railings must not be painted to match the color scheme of the house. Details on approved stains are included in the full standards for decks here:

In the right-hand picture above, the railings were painted to match the Amber White/Monterey Gray color scheme of the house. The DRB objected to this, and the owner was given the option of 1) removing the paint from the railings and staining the wood to match the rear deck, or 2) submitting a DRB application asking for approval of this paint scheme.

The violation had the potential to delay the sale of the house.

Again, this issue should affect only those houses on the north/east side of Lakeport Way or Lakespray Way. The standards contain explicit descriptions and pictures for railings on the front of all houses and on the back of houses that face the lake.

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