Attaching Railing Posts to Rim Joist

by Stephen
(Wilkes Barre)

I have a very well built 16x14 deck, or deck surface that is, and I am looking through my options for attaching my railing posts to the rim joist which is a double 2x10 (4x10).

I would like to attach 4x4 posts to the outside of the deck by notching out 1 inch, and fitting it to the rim joist. I would use 2 lag screws and possibly a piece of metal strapping at the top, used as a sleeve to fit the notched bit of post into.

My reasoning in is I have 50 feet of railing to install. With this method I use just 1 sq foot of decking space. The other option is attaching the posts to the inside of the rim joist, which i am told is stronger. But uses between the 3 inches of space for the rim joist and the 3.5 in. For the 4x4 I am using 25 sq feet, or roughly 10% of my deck space!

Building code aside because I have already cleared both with my code compliance office... which would be recommended? The average height off the ground is 5 feet but, it does go as high as 11' feet in one corner.

Any advice to make the outside post option stronger or a better option would be helpful.

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Jun 05, 2019
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I saw this option
by: Graham

I saw this option in tips from Decksgo received by email, but I can't see how this would meet any code:

https://www.decksgo.com/attaching-railing-posts.html
Editor's Comments
That methodology is no longer used because cutting the post in half weakens it and building techniques have evolved beyond that. That deck was built in 2005 prior to those changes becoming common place.

Today, you would either set the entire post into the joist bay and block it, then notch deck boards around it or else use a surface mounted solution that has some engineering guidelines for residential applications.

Oct 07, 2013
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There is good information on another page
by: Mick

There is a very comprehensive discussion on the best ways and all the tricks, techniques and hardware you need to securely attach wood posts into the framing of a deck - if that is the way you are going to go.

Check out this page.

It shows you with large pictures and diagrams how each possible framing situation should be handled.

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