The terrace guardrail, or guardrail, is an essential and mandatory piece of equipment for the terrace. With the main role of preventing accidental falls, the deck railing also serves as exterior decoration. You can order your guardrail from an ironworker, a carpenter, or a specialist in landscaping work. However, you can also build a deck railing yourself. How to create a deck railing? Here is our step by step guide.

Terrace railing: what materials?

To create a deck railing, you will need:

  • Several stainless steels or galvanized posts;
  • Handrail;
  • A fittings ;
  • Screwdriver drill ;
  • Grinder;
  • Cable cutter;
  • Spirit level ;
  • Flat key ;
  • Metre ;
  • Square.

Before starting

Before you start your railing construction work, there are a few rules you should follow. First, the dimensions, layout, and shape of a railing depend on the result you want to achieve: do you want it to kneel, be sealed on a ledge, etc. Then you must take into account the required spacing between the rails. The distance between the first cable rail and the ground must not exceed 11 cm, the minimum required to prevent a child’s head from getting stuck. Likewise, the interval between the beams of a guardrail should not be more than 11 cm. Finally, the span between the posts does not require a maximum or minimum distance. However, if you are not yet a professional, choose a distance of 1.50 m maximum to ensure that the guardrail is solid.

Create support for the guardrail cables

The first thing to do to make a railing yourself is to install the cable support. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  • Disassemble the existing guardrail to see the different points where the posts must be placed.
  • Hold the post plate. Remember to put dowel bolts in the slab.
  • Hide the plate using new tiles. Make sure that the size of the tiles matches that of the floor space.
  • Create the rails by cutting the cable with a length corresponding to the distance between the posts or with a wire of 5 cm maximum.
  • Place a tensioner at the end of each cable. To properly insert the tensioner, you must screw in the same direction as the cable’s strands.
  • Fit the tensioner with a cable tensioner s. You can also choose a hydraulic crimper with a manual pump.
  • Prevent the threaded rod from passing through the post by cutting its end. Equip yourself with a grinder or a hacksaw and cut to less than 40mm.

Note that the tensioner is only an example; you can very well opt for fittings of different shapes: end cap, turnbuckle, lifting ring, quick link, etc.

Put the rails in place

Once the guardrail cable support is installed, you must now think about installing the rails by carrying out these different steps:

  • Drill holes in the intermediate posts and thread the cable through them.
  • Screw the threaded cable onto the starting post.
  • Equip the starting post and the posts on the angles with threaded sleeves and weld them into the holes. This action is not necessary on the intermediate posts.
  • Cut off the end of the cable. Note that the cable should not be shorter than the required dimension.
  • Crimp the hardware.
  • Screw in the threaded rod.
  • Use an open-ended spanner to stretch the cable and tighten the locking nut.
  • Cut the handrail with a grinder. You need to measure its length and cut it at a right angle.
  • Mark the location of the bolt holes on the handrail by positioning it on the posts. You can then drill holes in the same location and with the same diameter using a metal drill.
  • Secure the handrail with pan bolts or countersunk bolts.