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Deck Railing Posts

How To Install Posts For Wood Deck Railings - Part 4

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
  1. Deck Support Columns As Railing Posts:

You can use the deck support columns as the railing posts providing that the total height from the top of the concrete column to the top of the railing post does not exceed the length of lumber that you can purchase, as shown in Figure 12.

Overall deck support column/railing height

Figure 12 - Overall deck support column/railing height

The railing post position is inset on the deck by the thickness of the rim joist. It most cases there will be a second joist on the inside of the post, sandwiching the post between two joists, as shown in Figure 13.

railing post joist positioning

Figure 13 - Railing post joist positioning

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This style of railing, deck support construction is very strong and makes the deck extremely stable. This style of deck railing construction also avoids the problem associated with notching, although if you want the railing post to be in line with the outside edge of the deck, you can notch the support column/railing posts to accept the rim joist, as shown in Figure 14.

notched column/railing post

Figure 14 - Notched column/railing post

  1. Surface Mounted Deck Posts:

A surface mounted deck post is attached to the deck flooring using a mechanical form of fastener or bracket. There are many different styles of fasteners or brackets available. Two are shown in Figures 15, 16.

surface mount deck post anchor - style 1

Figure 15 - Surface mount deck post anchor - style 1

surface mount deck post anchor - style 2

Figure 16 - Surface mount deck post anchor - style 2

It is definitely easier and hence much quicker to use surface mount deck posts then it is to notch out a 4 x 4 piece of lumber. However, I do not like surface mounted deck posts. I do not believe that they provide the strength that one gets from a notched deck post that is attached to the floor joists and safety becomes a key issue.

Secondarily, I do not like the appearance of the products on the finished deck.

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