If you are adding a railing to your old deck to update its look and make it safer, then it is vital you correctly install the railing's posts. Incorrectly installed posts will make your railings look bad and can also lead to injuries.
When you install the railing posts on your existing deck, follow each of these tips.
Tip: Contact Your Local Building Department and Obtain a Building Permit if Necessary
Before you ever hit the home improvement center to buy your lumber and supplies, first, take the time to contact your local building department to see if you need a building permit. When you call, they will also give you specific information about the types of deck railings and their support posts that are up to code in your area.
Tip: Buy Pressure-Treated 4x4's to Use as Railing Posts
Unless your local building department excludes their use, you should purchase pressure treated 4x4's for your railing posts. Pressure treated lumber is chemically treated to make it nearly impervious to damage from weather or insects and will provide the strength your deck railings require.
Tip: Use Concrete Piers for Easier Post Installations
If you want to save some time and effort, you should use concrete piers with 4x4 brackets on the top rather than sinking the railing posts into the ground. The piers are inexpensive and will save you the mess of using cement and will save you the time it takes for it to dry.
Tip: Measure Twice and Cut Once
As the old construction saying goes, it is important you always measure twice before you cut your railing posts. Once you cut them, if they are too short, then you will need to buy new posts. Even if you are sure your first measurement is correct, check your marks on the boards before you take a saw blade to them.
Tip: Use at Least Two Long Bolts to Attach the Railing Posts to the Deck Framing
When it's time to attach your railing posts to the deck's framing, make sure you use two long bolts. Screwing the framing to the posts is not adequate to make your railings stable. And, make sure you predrill the holes the same size as the bolts to make the process go smoothly.
Finally, once the holes are drilled, hammer in the bolts, out on their washers, and tighten them down tight using your wrench. Contact a deck railing installation team for more information.