Walking you through these steps which will help guide you in order to properly install a deck railing. Ensuring that 15 years down the road you won’t be able to just pick up your railing and walk away with it. In this rail installation tutorial we will be referencing a horizontal rail kit, it’s super simple to do and ideally could be finished in 2-3 hours.
Use a top and bottom rail that comes pre drilled. You can purchase this at your local building supply store which will make the job much easier for you and save you some time and the headache of extra measuring. Also, when selecting the wood keep in mind to choose something that will match the deck for the best professional end result.
You will have a top plate that you will install leaving a gap at the top and the bottom, that way everything in the end will stay nice and dry.
Finish everything off with a decorative drink ledge 5 ¼ by 6 inch board on top. This will allow you to have a surface on top that you will be able to screw in from the bottom.
Leaving everything with a clean, shinny and polished beautiful end result for years to come.
When finishing the entire rail system you will want to keep the stairs at a gradual incline/decline. You will be creating 3 steps with a 6 inch rise which will ultimately be the easiest to build.
The kits come with end caps. These are provided because they get installed on the top and the bottom of the rails. This is to ensure that when you are screwing them into the post you will not screw all the way to the end of the wood. Screwing through the plate keeps your rail from breaking or rotting over time. This is exactly what you want for longevity.
Before you start screwing anything in, make sure to measure the base. That number will be what you will be using as reference for everything no matter what. When it comes time to screw everything in, you will know that you have done it right if everything else tightens up as they should.
Before installing anything attach all the spindles to the top and bottom, screw it all in and then attach it to the structure.
Use a tapping block when hammering the wood to the railing indirectly. This will make sure that your finished product is not left with all sorts of ugly dents.
Once everything is screwed in, use a leveller to make sure everything is nice and square.
After you put in all of your structural screws, add a few extra screws on top. This will get rid of the gap between the top & bottom railings. There is nothing worse than when you are sitting down looking past your railing and all you see is space in between the rails.
This is where the little details come into play, you want the railings and everything your hands would come into contact with to be perfect!
For the top plate use a 5 quarter inch board that goes on top of the rail.. The idea is to split the difference on the gap. It ends up being just shy of 1 inch on each side, from the post to the corner.
Soften up the edges which are sharp at the corners and not very attractive using a palm sander. * Be careful not to over sand *
When you are about to secure the hand rail, use shorter screws ( 2 inches) and attach it at an angle from the bottom.
The last part of the railing system is when you have reached the tight corner against the brick wall. It can be brick, vinyl or anything else for that matter. We suggest using a finishing board and attaching the assembly to the brick wall. This is because you want the triangle effect for strength. A railing isn’t just to look pretty but also for strength and safety for the entire structure.
When drilling the screw from the finishing board into the brick wall you want to drill right into the brick from behind so that the hole is covered from visibility on the outside.
If you do not have a hammer drill for this step that is perfectly OK! Purchase the Tapcon screw kit from your local building supply store. Make sure to get the one with the bit already in it, this way you will have the drill bit that is the size & won’t end up being disappointed.
This will take a little bit longer to screw into the bricks without the hammer drill function however, this method is still very effective.
If you really want to take the extra time you can purchase some plastic wood fill in the hole and sand it this will make the screw completely invisible.
We hope the next time you install your deck rail these tips will be of assistance!