How to Fix Sagging Deck Railing

Deck railing has been a staple of many homes for decades, but they can become sagging over time. This is due to the weight of the deck and what it is made out of. If you want to fix your sagging railings, this article will give you some ideas on how to do so!  

How to Fix Sagging Deck Railing

The first thing one should do when fixing their deck railing has measured the height from where it starts going down at each end. The next step would be to attach them with screws through pilot holes drilled into the decking boards on either side of where they will be attached. In this blog post, we will go over how to fix sagging deck railing.

8 Steps to Follow on How to Fix Sagging Deck Railing

Step One: Inspect the Deck

At first, inspect your deck for faulty railings. If you find an area where the railing has become loose or sagged, it’s like there is damage to the decking underneath. Mark this location with a flag so that you remember to take care of it later.

You could also mark it on your hand-drawn deck blueprint, which you should have made before starting the project. But, if you didn’t, don’t worry. Marking it on a blueprint helps to provide an accurate drawing of your existing deck so that you can reference measurements while building your new railing.

Step Two: Remove Loose Boards

To mark the locations of the joists, use a reciprocating saw to cut through the deck boards. Insert a pry bar between two of the boards to lift the corner enough so that you can slip a piece of scrap wood beneath it for support. Then, cut underneath the board, following the joist as close as possible.

Removing Loose Boards Using Pry Bar

Pry out both boards and set them aside; they should be relatively easy to remove after you’ve cut through them. The joists should now be visible and easy to mark for cutting. Once you’ve marked all the joists on the deck, use a reciprocating saw to remove them.

Step Three: Measure for Joists

Now you can mark the new joist locations with a pencil. Next, use a measuring tape to measure the spacing of the original deck boards. Then, transfer those measurements onto your sub-floor framing members. Measure twice and cut once!

Once again, use pry bars between boards to lift sections of sub-flooring. You should be able to cut through the joists with a reciprocating saw with ease now that you’ve exposed them. Cut the joists to length and discard the old ones.

Step Four: Add Support to Sagging Areas

Now it’s time to add support beneath the decking where you removed the joists. Use 2″ x 4″s and plywood as supports, and cut them so that they fit between the joists. For the first course of boards under the deck, space them about 3/4″ apart to give your finished railing plenty of room to attach to them.

Add Supports Beneath the Decking Area

You don’t want it to look unprofessional, so take the time to measure and cut accurately at this point. Next, attach the 1/4″ plywood to the 1″ sub-flooring with a 1 5/8″ deck screw. Then, attach the 2x4s using ring shank nails after pre-drilling holes for each screw.

Step Five: Cut Deck Boards

You need a circular saw with an appropriate blade for cutting decking materials for this part of your project. Since there are many different types of decking used on railings, be sure to consult the directions that come with your specific product.

Most of these products either snap together or use tongue-and-groove joints, so be prepared to do more than just cut boards for this section of the project. Sometimes it’s necessary to cut matching notches so that boards can fit together properly.

Step Six: Glue and Screw Boards

Once you’re finished cutting your decking, spread a thin layer of glue on the ends and inside if needed of each board edge. Then, use a pneumatic nail gun or a hammer and ring shank nails to attach the boards to the joists. For best results, stagger alternate joints as you go.

The result should be a tight fit between boards that looks like an even floor covering rather than a random arrangement of boards. If they’re not lined up evenly, it will look sloppy and unprofessional. Be sure you have the right measurements, so the result is professional-looking.

Step Seven: Stain or Seal Boards

For a finishing touch to your new deck railing, apply a sealer that will help prevent warping and damage from the elements such as water and humidity. Most people prefer to use a clear sealer so that the natural color of the wood shows through, although some choose to stain their decks for different looks or colors.

Applying Sealer to the Deck

Make sure you use a penetrating sealer that won’t allow moisture to penetrate the surface. One common type of sealant is called an oil-modified alkyd, and these are available in different sheens such as semi-gloss or matte, so choose one that will suit your tastes. If you use the steps outlined above for how to fix sagging deck railing, you can do it yourself.

Step Eight: Enjoy Your New Deck Railing!

Now that your new deck railing is finished, you can enjoy it for many years to come! Just take some time to maintain it properly, and be sure to replace any boards that start to rot or show signs of wear. You can also purchase wood preservatives, but replacing the boards is usually the best solution since they’re relatively inexpensive compared to completely redoing your railings.


To conclude, there are a few different methods you can use to fix the sagging deck railing. The most common way uses screws and brackets, which is cheaper than replacing the entire railing. You’ll need first to drill holes in the posts of your deck and then screw them into place with wood screws or drywall screws.

Once mounted, you will also want to attach two braces on each side of the post by drilling through one brace’s hole and inserting another bracket from underneath it so that they both go into the same hole drilled into the post below.

This should keep any future sagging at bay and provide additional support for those who would like to hang off their porch railings without worrying about falling over! The infomercial style of this article has shared information on how to fix sagging deck railing.

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