How to Build Horizontal Deck Railing

Easy Guide to Design & Building Horizontal Deck Railing Ideas

Looking for a stylish deck railing? Want to add some flair and beauty to your outdoor area? Well, you’re in luck! Here, we’re going to show you the ropes on how to build a horizontal deck railing that will leave your neighbors stunned.

Think of lounging on your deck, sipping a cool drink, and admiring the smooth and modern railing you built with your own two hands. Not only will it keep your deck safe and secure, but it’ll also be the talk of the town! No need to stress about complicated carpentry jargon or confusing instructions.

We’ve got your back with step-by-step guidance to make you understand more precisely. So grab your tools, put on your favorite DIY hat, and let’s get started on this adventure of changing your deck into a stunning outdoor vibe with horizontal deck railing ideas.

It’s time to laugh and learn while becoming the deck guru of the neighborhood!

What is a Horizontal Deck Railing?

What is a Horizontal Deck Railing?

A Horizontal Deck Railing is a safety fence for decks and balconies. Instead of the usual up-and-down posts and railing, this one has handrails running from side to side.

The balusters are placed close together, making the railing look smooth and recent while keeping everyone safe from falling. This type of railing has become popular in the latest architecture because it looks simple and attractive in outdoor areas. But when you install any deck railing, always follow the local rules and safety guidelines to make sure it’s strong and safe.

Remember, safety comes first, but you can still enjoy the stylish and simple look of a horizontal deck railing on your deck or balcony. These horizontal deck railing ideas will add to the overall appearance of your outdoor space while keeping you and your loved ones protected.

Step-by-Step Guide for Applying Horizontal Deck Railing

Step-by-Step Guide for Applying Horizontal Deck Railing

Step 1: Getting the Right Tools and Materials

Before you start building, make sure you have all the tools and materials you need. Here’s a list of what you’ll require:

  1. Tape measure
  2. Level
  3. Power drill
  4. Circular saw
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Decking screws
  7. Balusters
  8. 2×4 boards for rails
  9. 1×4 or 1×6 boards for slats
  10. Post caps
  11. Wood stain or sealant (optional)

Step 2:Measuring and Planning the Railing

Before you start building your deck, make sure to measure its length and height carefully. These horizontal deck railing ideas will help you figure out what materials you need. Decide how far apart you want the balusters and posts to be to follow the local building rules. Draw a detailed plan to see how the railing will look. Planning everything well ahead of time will save you time and money during construction. Follow these easy steps to have a fun and hassle-free deck-building experience.

Step 3: Installing Posts and Balusters

Put up strong posts evenly on the deck using post anchors or brackets to keep them steady. Then, attach the balusters between the posts, making sure they are straight and evenly spaced. Handrails not only keep you safe but also make the railing look good. Check all the connections again to be sure the railing is powerful and reliable. With these horizontal deck railing ideas, you can have a safe and good-looking deck railing that you’ll like for a long time.

Step 4: Creating the Top and Bottom Rails

Now, cut the top and bottom rails to the right size so they fit perfectly with the posts. Use screws or fit fasteners to attach the rails securely. These rails are super important because they give tough support to the balusters, making the whole railing solid and tough. With horizontal deck railing ideas, your railing will not only look great but also last for a long, long time, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking easily.

Step 5: Assembling the Horizontal Slats

These horizontal deck railing ideas make your deck railing look stylish. Take the cut bars and place them flat between the posts. Make sure to tighten them securely. Leave a little space between each bar to make it look nice and even. This will give your deck a modern and trendy look, and most importantly, it’ll keep everyone safe. So, double-check that the bars are firmly attached to the posts for extra stability. A well-built railing not only makes your deck look great but also keeps it safe for everyone. Now you can delight your outdoor space with confidence and peace of mind.

Step 6: Finishing and Maintenance

Once you put the railing together, check all the parts and surfaces. Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper and add a weather-resistant coating to protect the wood from the weather. Clean it regularly and add more coating to make your deck railing last longer. Doing these things will keep it looking good and reliable for many years. These horizontal deck railing ideas make your deck safe and pretty.

Step 7: Safety Measures and Local Building Codes

When you build a deck railing, safety should be your top priority. Follow the safety rules and local building codes to make sure your railing is safe. Use hardy materials and attach all parts firmly to avoid accidents. By doing these things, you can enjoy your deck without worries, knowing it’s built safely. These horizontal deck railing ideas are based on safety and create a secure and fun space for you and your loved ones.

Step 8: Adding Custom Elements

Make your horizontal deck railing look special by adding unique touches. Try things like fancy caps lights for the posts, built-in lights, or using different materials like metal or glass. These horizontal deck railing ideas will make your railing look even better and show off your style. Just think about how cool and eye-catching your deck will be with these custom additions. Have fun experimenting and use your imagination to make a deck railing that shows off who you are and makes your outdoor space super special.

Benefits of Installing Horizontal Deck Railing

Benefits of Installing Horizontal Deck Railing .jpg

1. Improved View

The deck’s handrails are placed horizontally so that you can see the landscape. Unlike regular vertical railings that block the view a bit, these horizontal deck railing ideas make the deck area feel more open and spacious. Now, with the addition of comfortable Outdoor Lounge Chairs, you can adore the beautiful scenery without anything getting in your way. Whether it’s a garden, a lake, or mountains, you won’t miss a thing. Relax on the deck, take in the awesome views, and feel connected to nature. It’s a perfect setup for spending quality time outdoors while enjoying the beauty all around you.

2. Safety and Security

Horizontal deck railings do two important things: they make your deck look nice, and they keep you safe. With these railings, you won’t accidentally fall off the deck, so you and your loved ones can feel secure. Just make sure to follow the local rules for the spaces between the balusters. Additionally, consider adding deck railing planter boxes to increase the beauty of your deck further. These horizontal deck railing ideas will make sure your deck is built safely and up to code so that you can delight it without worries. Whether you’re having a party or just relaxing, you can feel confident that your deck is both pretty and safe.

3. Comfortable Seating

Think about it on your deck, with the long railings as comfy armrests and a stylish Outdoor Rug under your feet. Plus, they’re super handy for putting your drinks and snacks nearby while you chill out. It’s like having a little relaxation spot right outside your house. These horizontal deck railing ideas turn your outdoor area into a cozy and fun reverse. So, whether you’re reading, chatting with friends, or simply liking the sun, the deck becomes the perfect place to unwind. Envelop the relief and make the most of your outdoor space with this clever addition. Your chill time just got a whole lot better.

4. Low Maintenance

Picking horizontal railings over vertical ones can make your life simpler when it comes to cleaning and taking care of them. The reason is simple: horizontal railings have fewer gaps and spaces where dirt can gather. With less dirt piling up, you’ll save time and effort in keeping them tidy. These horizontal deck railing ideas are easy to maintain, and you’ll have more free time to relish other things.

5. Design Flexibility

Horizontal deck railings come in different materials like wood, metal, glass, or composite. Deck Railing Lights are also a fantastic addition to consider, as they can increase the look and air of your deck during the evenings. These horizontal deck railing ideas let you pick what goes well with your deck’s look and your taste. Whether you like the natural attraction of wood, the polish of metal, the novel touch of glass, or the strength of the composite, you get to decide. Be creative and design your deck with the perfect railing that shows off your style and makes your outdoor space look amazing. There are so many options to choose from, so you can make your deck both useful and lovely, reflecting your unique style.

Pros and Cons of Building Horizontal Deck Railing

Pros and Cons of Building Horizontal Deck Railing


  • Cost: Horizontal deck railings are a better choice than traditional vertical ones because they are simpler to design and install. This means you can save money on materials and labor.
  • Ease of Installation: Installing flat deck railings is simple and quick compared to the more tangled up-and-down designs. Even if you like doing things yourself, you can handle this installation with basic tools and skills.
  • Flexible: Horizontal railings offer a wide range of design options. You can choose from various materials, styles, and colors to match your deck’s style and addition your outdoor space.
  • Higher Privacy: Adding horizontal railings to your deck gives you more privacy, so people passing by won’t be able to see inside as easily. It’s perfect for making your deck a comfortable and private space.


  • Lower Safety: Horizontal deck railings have larger gaps between balusters, making them easier for children or pets to slip through, posing safety risks. Also, horizontal rails might not provide adequate support for leaning or accidental falls, increasing the potential for accidents.
  • High Maintenance: Railings that run horizontally can easily get dirty because they gather leaves and dirt. This means they need to be cleaned often. Also, when water collects on a flat surface, the railing can start to rot or decay faster. So, it’s important to take care of them regularly and even replace them if needed.
  • Shorter Durability: Flat railings are more likely to get damaged by weather like bending, breaking, and water getting inside. This can make them not last as long as tall railings. When they are revealed to a lot of moisture and sunlight, they wear out faster, and you might need to replace them sooner.


All in all, you’ve now mastered the art of building a horizontal deck railing! We’ve gone through the steps of planning, measuring twice (or thrice!), and cutting once because you know how that saying goes. Remember, safety goggles are the coolest fashion statement when handling power tools!

With the posts surely in place and the rails laid out horizontally like a pro, your deck is meant to be the talk of the town. Not only does your railing look stylish, but it also offers a fantastic view of the horizon. Now, take a moment to pat yourself on the back – you’ve changed your outdoor space into a little slice of paradise. So go ahead, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You deserve it!

So, there you have it, the ultimate guide to building a horizontal deck railing in all its simple, engaging, and humorous glory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Composite Materials for The Railing?

Yes, you can use mixed materials for your horizontal deck railing. Mixed materials offer strength and require less maintenance than traditional wood.

Is It Necessary to Have a Railing on My Deck?

The necessity of a railing depends on local building codes. In most cases, decks raised above a certain height require railings for safety purposes.

How Do I Clean and Maintain My Horizontal Deck Railing?

To clean your railing, use a mild soap solution and a soft brush or cloth. For maintenance, inspect the railing regularly for any signs of damage and reseal or repaint as needed.

Can I Build a Curved Horizontal Deck Railing?

Building a curved horizontal railing requires more advanced carpentry skills and might be challenging for a DIY project. Consider consulting a professional for such designs.

What Wood Species Are Best for a Horizontal Deck Railing?

Cedar, redwood, and tropical hardwoods are popular choices due to their natural resistance to decay and insects. However, pressure-treated pine is a more budget-friendly option.


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