How To Upgrade Your Deck

If you have a deck on your home and it has been around a while, then you may want to consider upgrading your deck. Upgrading can mean a number of things, but it essentially refers to making our deck better for your family and your home situation. Consider, though, that one of the best upgrades you can make to an existing deck is to add railings to it.

The first step in adding railing to your deck is to cut railing posts. They should be about three feet in height plus the width of the edge of the joist or beam. Measure carefully so that all rails are even with one another. This will make the rest of the process easier.

Next, you will need to notch the posts. The notches should be 1-1/2 inches in depth so that they will feet easily against the joists of your deck. From there, you should make sure you level all posts with a level.

Now you are ready to secure the posts to the deck. This should be don with 3/8 inch lag screws, but you can substitute if you consult with an expert at your home and garden store. In order to make the rail stronger, you can always use a weatherproof wood glue where the posts and joists meet.

Toenail (nail at an angle to catch boards butted up one another) the rails to the posts on each end. Make sure the rail is even with the top of each post. Also, if your deck requires it, make sure you also install a center rail. Even if it is not required, though, this can certainly add stability to your rail. You can consult local building codes to find out if you need to a particular type of railing.

Once you have the rail installed, you can get it stained and sealed. Make sure that you use a stain that either matches or compliments what you already have on the rest of the deck. You can also re-stain and seal the entire deck to get a uniform look. Also, it is a good idea to wait at least 24 hours after staining before you add any sealant to the rail. You can also add pickets if you like to make it look a little more professional. Another option is to add lattice under the rail, but if you leave it open that is acceptable too. The choice is up to you.

As you can see, adding a railing to you deck is not difficult and not really very time consuming. It is, though, one of the best ways to upgrade your deck. This will not only make your deck safer, but it will also make it more valuable in the long run. The rails will also add a more complete look to your deck and in many cases a place for people to set drinks, snacks, and also plants or other accessories. A rail is not just a safety device, you see.

WARNING: always wear gloves and eye protection when using stain and or sealant.

WARNING: use caution and wear proper eye protection when using a saw.