How to Build Deck Railing

A deck is a floored structure that extends from the house. It is generally not roofed. It can be found at the back, front, or side of the structure. Railings can be added to the deck for safety or aesthetic purposes.

  1. Make sure the steps for the deck are already installed, ensuring that the deck can be easily accessed. Remove any wood or materials attached to the deck until you get to the rim joist. The rim joist is the outermost edge of the flooring. It is used to bind the wooden planks that make up the floor.
  2. Make the upper deck railings. These are 2’x6′ pieces of wood with a crown curving upward.
  3. Attach the railings to the deck. Make sure the attachments are only temporary.
  4. Fasten the railings by using 3-inch screws for decks or by using ACQ nails (spiral).
  5. You may choose to install 4×4 posts at the bottom or top of the steps. The posts should be sunk at least 3 feet deep into the ground and backfilled so it remains stable.
  6. Determine the positions for the balusters. They should be at least 5 inches apart. You can use a framing square to make accurate measurements. Mark the positions so you can refer to them later on.
  7. Attach balusters to the corners of the upper deck railing. Use 2 ½ inch deck screws to attach 4 balusters on each corner.
  8. Permanently attach the upper deck railings you made in steps 2 to 4. Screw through the bottoms to raise the railings.
  9. Make sure the tops of the railings are leveled.
  10. Fill in the spaces between the balusters with the railings.
  11. Once all the railings are in place, fix them into place with a diagonal hole and a 3-inch deck screw.
  12. You may choose to add more wood to the top of the row as an added design. You can also add horizontal pieces of wood to the rail for reinforcement.

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