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Do It Yourself or Not: Replace a deck railing

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

The railing around a deck can be a distinctive design detail or a practical addition that creates a secure enclosure and safe footing on the stairs. Before planning to replace a deck railing, check the local codes about its height and construction so that it meets local building code requirements.

To replace 40 feet of pressure-treated wood railing with end posts, balusters, a cap rail, post end caps and trim pieces a contractor will charge $1,089, which includes labor and material. Assuming you have carpentry experience and tools, you can buy the components, bolts and fasteners for $325, do it yourself and save 70%. For tools you'll need a carpenter's square, a tape measure, a hammer, a circular saw, and electric drill and a screw gun.

Make a rough sketch or take a cellphone picture of the deck and take it to the job desk at a home center or lumber yard, and ask for advice about the amount of materials and the type of fasteners you'll need. The job involves removing the old railing and making any necessary repairs to the decking. When you remove the old railing system, note how the posts are attached to the deck structure, then reinstall the new posts in the same manner.

Pro Cost: $1,089 — DIY Cost: $325
Pro time: 15.1 — DIY Time: 29.0
DIY Savings: $764 — Percent Saved: 70%



To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.




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