Sturdy railings prevent deck mishaps --
and your local code probably requires them if your deck is
elevated more than one step above the ground. To assure
structural integrity, the railing posts must be securely
attached to the stairs' stringers or, in the case of
bottom railing posts, sunk in concrete.
1. 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. Mark the outline of
the post and the deck rail on the back side of the
3. Use a level or
combination square to mark a plumb line at the bottom
end of the stairway rail, then remove the rail.
4. Cut along the marked
outlines using a jigsaw or circular saw. Thoroughly
seal the cut ends.
5. Position the stairway
rail flush against the top edges of the posts. Drill
1/8-inch pilot holes, then attach the rail to the
posts with 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
6. If the deck railing
has a cap, measure and cut a cap for the stairway
rail. Mark the outline of the post on the side of the
cap, and bevel-cut the ends. Position the cap over the
stairway rail so that the edge of the strip is flush
with the inside edge of the rail. Predrilled and
fasten with deck screws.