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Decks/railroad tie deck posts


I am building a wooden deck on an embankment for a yard shed. The customer wants to use used railroad ties rather than pressure treated 6x6's for the posts. What are your thoughts? Thank you, Dan

Hello Dan, I would never use cross ties for anything, I have removed more rotten cross ties than I can count. Just to compare the two I have a story about what we did on a job one time. The customer had a 6x6 retaining wall that had been there for 20 years, it was partially below ground, when we got the 6x6s that had been buried for that long out we washed them off and they looked brand new, I was shocked at there ability to endure. Cross ties are good for railroads because they are in gravel and the gravel doesn't hold water. I have even torn up cross tie walls and unearthed massive termite swarms. So in conclusion, I don't recommend them at all. Hope this helped.


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Eugene Clayton


I would be happy to answer any question reguarding the construction of decks, composites verses natural materials, structure support systems,railing applications,stair design, how to figure stairs etc.. Pretty much anything that has to do with decks and or porches.


I have been in the construction industry for over 27 years including new home construction, custom deck and screen porches. Most of my expertise is from framing custom homes for over 20 years. I now own and opperate a very successful custom deck and screen porch company in Atlanta Ga.

High school graduate

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