Your deck is up and now it’s time to install the railing before one of your kids tries to launch himself off the open platform like Superman. Believe it or not, the process is not overly complex. We asked our readers to share how it’s done, and this is what they had to say:
Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a home design expert with Clearsurance.com.

Keep it Simple by Purchasing a Kit

The beauty of composite deck railings is that they can be used with concrete porches, wood decks, and composite decks. Composite railings are available in a variety of styles and colors to coordinate with your home’s character.

Composite railings are long-lasting as they’re not susceptible to moisture rot and sun breakdown.

Setting the posts for stair railings is the first step of installation. You’ll need to cut your composite post to length, place it over a wood post, dig a hole, place the post in the hole, and backfill the hole to secure the post.

Next, you’ll need to attach brackets to the post. Cut the stair railing to length and lower it onto the brackets. Secure with screws.

When installing a railing directly onto a deck, you don’t need to dig post holes into the ground. Instead, you’ll install the steel support columns directly into the deck using bolts and brackets.

A composite cover goes over the steel posts, and the cross rails fit into the mounting brackets on the composite posts.

You must use rust-resistant screws for everything that needs to be secured. The railing will last many years, and you don’t want rusted-out screws shortening the lifespan. You’ll also need to use adhesive when placing the post caps.

The process of installing a composite railing is relatively simple when you purchase a kit because all the materials are included. All you have to do is cut the posts and rails to size and follow the instructions for secure mounting.

Posts Sold Separately

You can get a composite railing kit in either 8′ or 6′ varieties. You likely won’t find something that includes the posts you’ll need or the sleeves, caps, and base trim for those posts, so you’ll have the get those online or from the hardware store.

You may need to adjust any rail posts that aren’t in alignment, shaving off parts of them so they line up perfectly. Then you’ll want to center your rail section against the post sleeve and attach using a universal rail bracket. Use a jig to drill holes for the balusters, then install, being sure not to over-tighten.

You’ll need to use a pre-cut top and bottom cap to get your rail flush with the post and to better support a steeper angle.

Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey, President at WikiLawn Austin Lawn Care.

Miranda Yan

Miranda Yan, Co-Founder of VinPit.

Install Deck Railing in 10 Steps

Once you are done with installing a composite deck, establishing deck railings is the next step. The railing design you choose should provide sturdiness to the overall frame and go with your outdoor space design.

Here are the steps involved in installing a composite deck railing:

  • Determine the type of railing and the architectural design of the railing.
  • You might want a traditional, modern, or minimalist design. Take your outdoor living space into account and choose accordingly.
  • Select the kind of infill you want with your railing.
  • Put the post sleeves in place and glue its collars.
  • Measure the tops and bottoms of the rails and cut them according to the markings.
  • Join a crush block on every bottom rail on the underside.
  • Align the holes of the top and bottom rails.
  • Mark the bracket location on posts, make a hole, and fix the rail with screws.
  • Install all the balusters, putting the first and last baluster as guides for the others.
  • Put the top rail in place and lock it with the balusters.
  • Now, secure post caps with adhesive.

Follow the same steps for all the other railings as well.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.