Attaching top rail banister directly to house

by S Kelly
(Waltham)

I just got home from work only to find out that part of the railing on my new composite deck was attached to my vinyl house with a bracket which is visible from under the banister.

The builder also appeared to have cut out small area of vinyl siding bottom beam of railing and secured into siding with 1 small screw and silicone around area.

He did this as opposed to adding end posts by the house and attaching banister an railings to posts. I'm not very happy as my old wooden deck had posts on corners.

Is this method safe, strong, and can it cause some form of water damage as water may be able to enter through vinyl area that was cut out and siliconed?

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Jul 07, 2013
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Has to be installed correctly
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

Attaching the top rail or banister at the end of a run of railing to the side of a house is not necessarily a bad thing but it can be very bad if not done properly.

The problems that arise if someone tries to do this is that the screws going into the wall of the house are only secured into a thin sheet of plywood rather than an accurately placed 2x material blocking between the wall studs.

To do this properly, the blocking has to be installed behind the sheething between the studs properly. This is only reasonably done when the house is originally under construction. Otherwise it is a lot of work. So it sounds like some short cuts were taken in your case.

Also to do this properly the top rail has to be flashed properly and usually with some adhesive membrane given the curved or irregular shape of the top railing banister. Then the siding has to over lay around the flashing and the rail.

So you can see it is a lot of work to do it right. But if done properly the strength of the railing will be fine. Typically builders just set in one more post at the end of the run of the deck railing leaving a gap of less than 4".

Watch this video on Do's and Don'ts and exactly this problem


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