How to Properly Space Deck Railing Posts

How to Properly Space Deck Railing Posts

A railing system on a deck refers to several parts. The deck posts are the tallest part of the system and add stability to the entire railing system. Let’s take a look at what a railing system is and how to properly space deck railing posts.

What Is a Deck Railing System?

A deck railing system is like a guard rail and protects those using the deck from falling off. Deck railings must meet certain standards so that everyone is safe, including small children.

The five parts of a deck railing system are the top and bottom rails, posts, balusters, and railing caps. Here’s an overview of each part:

  • The top and bottom rails – the long horizontal pieces on the top and bottom of the railing system, between the posts, and used to attach the balusters
  • Balusters – the spindles placed vertically between the rails for safety and decorative purposes
  • Railing cap – purely decorative; the cap gives a nice finish on top of the rails
  • The posts – secure the entire railing system together

How Far Apart Should Posts Be on a Deck?

Spacing of Deck Posts

Deck posts should be cut about 10 inches longer than the railing. The two most common sizes used for deck posts are 4×4 and 6×6. When using 4×4 posts, place them no more than 6 feet apart, and when using 6×6 posts, no more than 8 feet apart.

The reason for these standards is that the railing system won’t have proper support if the posts are too far apart. Understanding deck post spacing is an important part of designing the proper deck building plans for your home or building.

Putting the Railing System Together

There is an order in which the railing system should go together to make it all come together properly. Let’s look at the best order to follow:

  1. Attach the posts to the rim joists.
  2. Secure the rails to the deck.
  3. Attach the caps to the posts (if using caps).
  4. Attach the balusters to the rails (check ordinances in your area for spacing…usually, 4 inches is the max).
  5. Attach the railing caps.

Now your railing system is complete! As mentioned, be aware of how to properly space deck railing posts by understanding the size used. Put everything together in the right order, and your deck will be safe and the railing system stable.

Mr. Spindle specializes in all railing systems. We offer a cedar deck handrail, along with many railing options, and can even create custom designs to suit your home’s needs. Contact us today, and we’ll help you get your deck looking beautiful for summer.