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Refresh Your Deck: Part 2

Decking

Give your deck that updated look with Lowe’s Severe Weather™ composite railings and lattice. If you haven’t already, review the instructions for part one of this series, which will explain how to install the composite posts. In this part, we’re going to show you how to attach the composite railings and lattice.


Attaching Deck Railings

Deck Railing

Step 1

Measure the distance between the posts. Also, account for the brackets when determining rail length. For example, with our railing system, we subtracted ½ inch for the brackets.

If the new railing has precut baluster holes, cut the railing so the end holes are equal distance from the end of the rails. Be sure you don’t have partial holes at the railing ends. If you do, you’ll have to adjust the rail to either direction.

Step 2

Place the bottom rail next to the top rail, line up the holes and mark the length.


Step 3

Cut the rails to length with a saw.


Step 4

Attach the crush block to the middle of the bottom rail using PVC glue, following the manufacturer’s instructions. The crush block helps provide support to the middle of the rails.


Step 5

Once the PVC glue has cured, assemble the railings. Insert the spindles in the holes on the top and bottom rails. Slide the end caps on the rails.

To keep the railing together for easier installation, tie a couple of bungee cords or rope around it near each end.

Step 6

Hold the railing in place between the posts, making sure the end caps are centered, and lightly trace around them. You might need help holding the railing in place.


Step 7

Set the railing aside and remove the end caps.

  • Hold an end cap on its respective mark.
  • Place the bracket flange inside each cap and mark the screw holes.
  • Remove the caps and drill the holes.
  • Hold each flange in place and attach with screws.
  • Repeat for the remaining three caps on the top and bottom rails.
  • Reattach the end caps on the railing.

Step 8

Hold the railing assembly between the posts above the flanges, then press downward to lock all the caps.

Wear a dust mask when cutting composite materials or treated lumber.


Installing Stair Railings

Stair Railings

Step 1

Replace the railing posts as needed following the previous instructions.


Step 2

Place the top and bottom rails with attached brackets on the stairs, next to the posts, as shown in the diagram. Make sure the end baluster holes are equal distance to each post. Use a pencil to mark the angle of the rail to the perpendicular post. Typically, it will be about 32 degrees.

Attaching the railings on stairs requires special stair brackets. Ask a Lowe’s associate for assistance when purchasing.

Step 3

Cut the rails and attached brackets with a saw. Be sure the precut baluster holes are lined up on the top and bottom rails.


Step 4

Assemble the railings as noted in the previous instructions.


Step 5

Position the assembled rail section on the posts and mark the screw locations.


Step 6

Drill the bracket holes with a 1/8-inch drill bit.


Step 7

Attach the brackets to the posts with screws to secure the railing.



Finishing the Deck


Step 1

Install the post caps. Many simply snap into place.

Install the post caps. Many simply snap into place.

Step 2

You can cover bolt holes from old posts by installing fascia boards. For best results, use treated lumber about 2 inches narrower than the rim and end joists, then you can attach lattice to the exposed joist areas.

  • Position the boards flush with the top of the decking. Either have someone hold the boards in place or use clamps.
  • Drill holes for the screws, and secure the lattice with screws.

Step 3

Install the vinyl lattice.

  • Measure and cut the lattice sheets to fit the selected location(s). Attach it to the exposed rim and end joists.
  • Place the cut lattice in position.
  • Secure the lattice to the rim joist and end joists with lattice screws.
Add trim around the lattice for a cleaner look.