How to Build a Deck Railing

A deck is an extended area of a house that is normally used as a patio or basically just an area of relaxation. A great way to enhance the look of your deck is by fitting up a deck railing onto it. A deck railing can be used to provide safety by preventing persons from falling off the deck or it can just be the next way of making your deck look more stylish.

Tools required

  • Handsaw and Table saw
  • Level
  • Framing square
  • Drill
  • Post hole digger
  • Socket wrench
  • Tape measure

Materials required

  • Wood
  • Balusters
  • Nails and screws (galvanized)
  • Lag bolts
  • Concrete


  1. Decide how tall you will want your railing to be. Measure out and create some markings with the framing square for each railing post on the outer joists and joists header area of the deck where the railings will be constructed.
  2. Use the tape measure and calculate the entire perimeter where the railing will be mounted. Then make a notation of how many balusters you will need to put in between the main railing posts so an equal distance can be maintained between each. Try not to make the distance between each more than 4 inches.
  3. Cut out all the different pieces that will be used to make the deck railing. For this article, we will use 36 inches as the height measurement for the railing posts, so use the table saw and cut-out posts. Measure the length of each connecting post then use the table saw and start cutting 2*6 pieces of wood for the upper deck railings (sub railing), making them the same as the shape of the outside frame of the deck.
  4. If you are installing Posts from the bottom of the steps leading up to the deck, dig a hole 3 feet deep with the post hole digger to insert the railing post, then fill the hole with premixed concrete and allow it to dry and set for a couple of days.
  5. Use the handsaw to cut notches if the deck overhangs so that it matches the size of the railing boards, but the notch should be made slightly bigger than the post.
  6. Install the balusters around the deck using 2½ inch deck screws so they run along the frame of the deck. Join them to the posts through a diagonal hole using more deck screws
  7. Drill the railing posts with the power drill, then use lag bolts, screws, and socket wrench to properly attach the upper deck railing onto the balusters to complete the deck railing. Then use the level to make sure everything is properly aligned.
  8. Paint and stain the deck railing, to protect it from the different elements of weather, such as rain, wind, and the sun.

Tips and Warning

  • When using the tools make sure you are dressed in all your safety gear, the right clothes, shoes, and gloves
  • Try and purchase the same wood that was used to make the deck so that everything is of the same quality and they match.
  • If you don’t wish to use premixed concrete, you can make your own mortar with gravel, concrete mix, and water. It is possible to get better quality concrete by making it on your own but it takes more time.
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