It’s been a full month since our last deck update! We’ve been working on it, albeit extremely slowly. Of course, nearly every weekend is either rainy or too hot, so it’s tough to squeeze in a good deck sesh. But we got one in this past Sunday!

Here’s where we left off.

There was a brief update a week later that glossed over cutting deck stringers.

That view is looking much nicer these days. The steps are about 51″ long. We’re undecided about railing. I need to check local code to make sure it’s okay if we decide to leave railing off (there might be a “if steps are more than x” high, you must have railing” rule). But right now? We actually really like it without stair railing. I’m sure we’ll feel differently when we have kids, but that’s not something we have to worry about for like, 15 years. Haha.

Check out how different the steps look with and without risers (which were still obviously in progress). The step boards have the same dimensions as the deck boards. I cut the stringers deep and long enough to fit two to a step with one as a riser.

Here’s a June vs. August comparison. We centered the steps with the door, not the deck itself, to make it less cage-y feeling.

To raise railing, we had to put up posts. The two on the house were existing. The two on the front corners were easy to screw in place. The two bordering the steps took a little work.

Since the last board hangs over the edge, we had to trim it away. I traced the post’s outline and drilled a couple of 1″ holes. Then my boyfriend took over to do the tough work, sawing and sawing to get that little bit of wood out.

Once the wood was cut away, the rail post fit in flush with the edge of the last board. A few 3″ (maybe 3 1/2″?) screws later, we were ready to raise the railing.

Previously, the railing was just screwed directly into the posts. Over time, the wood wore out and the rails got very wobbly. So, this time, I opted to used metal brackets to hold the rails in place. (I should clarify: these aren’t the final rails. They’ll be smooth and rounded. These pieces are just for holding balusters.)

We’re also doing the balusters slightly different. Before, they went from the railing to the exterior joist boards. This time, we opted for a bottom rail to attach the balusters to. Again: check your local code for height requirements.

But I’ll get into the baluster story later. Say, after we finish them all…next year? Haha. Just kidding. Kinda. I pledge to work more diligently on the deck. You know, as soon as it stops raining nearly every day.

What outdoor projects are you finishing up for the summer?

4 Responses to Deck Update: I’ve Been Working On The Rail(road)

  1. Your deck looks amazing! I wish I had the patience to tackle that large of an outdoors project.

  2. Wilma says:


    Your deck is going to be amazing! I’d just like to mention that when you’re thinking about whether to have railings on your stairs, you may want to consider whether you’ll be entertaining older persons, or families with young children, that would likely appreciate a railing.

    Great job!

    • paige says:

      Thanks! Yeah, that’s definitely a consideration with the railing. We’re toying with the idea of railing on just one side.

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