This summer, many home owners will tackle one of the classic summer home improvement jobs: building a deck.
This reviewer had the chance to recently try two different types of aluminum deck balusters. For those not up on the language of decking, balusters are the thin, upright poles that prevent children and animals from jumping/falling off a deck, and they can lend a signature look to any deck with a customized feel.
There are numerous styles, materials, and colors available, but this review is focused on the single most popular style. The upper and lower rails are 2×4 pressure treated lumber, and the balusters are black aluminum tubes. A truly classic and elegant look for our deck.
We installed approximately 36 linear feet of Lowe’s DecKorators 26 inch balusters last autumn, and we installed about 40 linear feet of Home Depot’s 32 inch Black Balusters with Fastball connectors this spring.
The DecKorators were not bad to install. However, we found that a lot of time was spent lining up the top rail with the bottom rail, and then aligning each baluster with the top one, without having them all fall over. This was next to impossible.
With the Home Depot Fastball system, however, the install went much quicker and smoother. The nature of the Fastball connector allows you to seat the balusters on the bottom and then “ease” them up to meet the top rail, making the alignment a breeze. The 40 feet done this spring took a quarter of the time it took to do the 36 feet last fall.
Of the two options, this reviewer and installer found the Home Depot Fastball system to be the easier and faster one to add to our deck.