Best way to secure railing at 10' spans?

by Cindy
(TN)

We have used 6x6 support posts for our deck. They are sunk 3 ft into concrete piers and form part of the footing.

My question is, what is the best way to secure the railing between them if the span is 10ft?

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Jul 13, 2011
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Install a post at midspan
by: Editor-Rich Bergman

I highly discourage you from running a single railing section over 10 feet. This is just too long and your railing will be much weaker unless you install steel or aluminum sections. And they would have to be very securely fastened to each 6x6 post.

A much safer and better looking option is to install a post at the 5' midpoint. You can use either 4x4 or 6x6 and you should probably run a continuous 2x4 or 2x6 cap rail over the top of the mid post and secure it to the 6x6 posts.

You can secure the mid post using traditional framing techniques by setting it into the deck framing. But you should add in some metal joist-rim joist connectors to secure that connection further.

Then re-deck and re-notch the decking to seal it up. But you will still have wood on wood contact and depending on your climate and the wood used moisture may eventually rot the posts.

Or you could use one of our Titan Post anchors for a 6x6 post which if properly secured to the some blocking between the joists at mid span will resist at least 503 lbs (for a 42" post) by itself. And overall that railing span would be very very strong.

That option avoids having to removing decking boards and notching them around any post sticking through and also increases life span because the post is elevated off the deck surface to stay drier longer.

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