Tips for decking out
– Rust busting: Use stainless steel or top-quality hot-dipped galvanized hardware. An application of a water-repellent finish is also recommended.
– Basic rails: According to most building codes, a deck railing should extend from 36-to 40 inches above the deck surface. Railings usually consist of three elements: Railing posts, rails and balusters. The 4×4 railing posts should be spaced 4 feet on center with posts located at deck corners and against stair stringers. Two-inch rails extend between posts and support the balusters. Some railings are designed to have three rails (a top rail, a bottom rail and a capital). Balusters are typically 2×2’s, installed vertically in a conventional railing. The space between balusters should be 6 inches or less. In some railing designs, baluster ends are cambered or beveled for better appearance.
– Sturdy seating: The railing design should not encourage sitting unless it is substantially built and actually intended for the purpose. Railings should be sturdy barriers erected at the deck’s edge without completely obstructing the view.
– Steady support: Railing supports should be securely fastened to the framing of the deck. They should be bolted to joists or beams, or they may be an extension of the post.
Source: California Redwood Association