Replacing a Deck Railing

1-2 hours

Replace or repair your deck railing

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If your deck railing is damaged, replace it at once. As with any deck repair project, thoroughly coat replacement parts with sealer-preservative, paying special attention to cut ends. This guide will teach you how to replace your worn out deck rail with new one.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS PROJECT

1
Remove the damaged railing
Remove damaged railing  - Replacing a Deck Railing

Mark the rail position on the posts, and remove the damaged railing. Position the new rail against the inside of the stairway posts. Align the rail with the top rear corner of the top post and with the mark on the lower post. Have a helper attach the rail temporarily with deck screws.

2
Attach the rails
Attach the rails  - Replacing a Deck Railing

Join lumber for long rails by cutting the ends at 45-degree angles. Drill 1/16-inch pilot holes to prevent the nails from splitting the end grain, and attach the rails with 16d (3.5") galvanized nails (screws may split the mitered ends)

3
Attach rails to the stairway posts
Attach rails stairway posts  - Replacing a Deck Railing

Attach the ends of the rails to stairway posts flush with the edges of the posts. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes, and attach the rails with 2-inch deck screws. Decorative post caps are readily available.

4
Position cap and attach to the inside of the rail
Position cap inside rail - Replacing a Deck Railing

Position the cap so the edge is flush with the inside edge of the rail. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes, and attach the cap to the rail with 2 1/2-inch deck screws driven every 12 inches. Also drive the screws into each post. Bevel the ends at 45-degree angles. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes, and attach to the post using 16d (3.5") galvanized nails.

5
Miter the end of the railing & attach the cap to the post
Miter the end post - Replacing a Deck Railing

At corners, miter the ends of the railing cap at 45-degree angles. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes, and attach the cap to the post with 2 1/2-inch deck screws.

6
Attach the cap
Attach the cap - Replacing a Deck Railing

At the top of stairs, cut the cap so that it is flush with the stairway rail. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes, and attach the cap with 2 1/2-inch deck screws.