There are countless reasons to build a deck railing, but the first two are the most important:
A deck also doesn’t look finished without a railing, mostly because it’s not. Those first two reasons, however, are why the municipality you live in probably has some pretty specific requirements that will factor into how to build a deck railing.
Below, we’ll go over a bird’s-eye view of how to build a deck railing in general, followed by a discussion of materials and then, those well-intentioned rules.
Intro to How to Build a Deck Railing
The specifics will vary based on your particular design but in general, there is a common sequence for how to build a deck railing: posts, top and bottom rails, then balusters.
If you like, watch this very happy man explain how to build a deck railing in just a little more detail than we’ll use here.
The posts screw or nail into the deck floor. Often, people notch their posts to make them more secure. Once each of your posts is in place, it’s time to attach the horizontal top and bottom rails. Then, once there is a top and bottom rail to nail into, the balusters can be installed.
Wood Porch Railing vs Metal Porch Railing
Of course, the most important difference between a wood porch railing and a metal porch railing is your own preference. The above overview is still basically true for aluminum metal porch railings. You can even cut aluminum with the same saw you cut wood with.
Some metal porch railing systems even come precut and ready to install. This is especially nice if you don’t want aluminum.
Deck Post Spacing and Other Key Considerations
How to Build a Deck Railing, Step #1: Find out your municipality’s rules. For example, your posts probably have to be at least 36” high and your balusters probably have to be no more than 4” apart. We say this a lot here, but municipal codes and regulations make up one of the best reasons to hire a trusted construction company to take care of this project and many others. Contractors work with cities and counties all the time and are fluent in this kind of Legalese.
Another important consideration is maintenance. You’ll want to give your whole deck, including its railings, a good inspection once a year and replace any rusty nails or softened wood. Again, a professional familiarity with tasks like these makes it much easier to know you’re getting quality work.
How to Build a Deck Railing for your Home
First, find out your municipality’s parameters on how to build a deck railing for your home. Second, decide whether you want wood or metal. Third, get cutting or start calling contractors. This is a small job for a professional and can usually be taken care of in one day. If you’re ready for a free estimate with Fitzpatrick Painting, click here!