The most important goal when building a deck is constructing a strong and sturdy structure that will last your client, or your family, for years to come. Rot and deterioration of materials are valid concerns, but making proper choices when selecting materials and building methods can help avoid the need to rebuild or repair sooner than you should have to.

Deck stairs and railings are key components to get right when you’re aiming for safety, and it’s important to make sure whatever method you’re using to attach your posts can withstand an adequate amount of lateral force. Too often, the extra steps to prevent rot and ensure structural integrity are skimmed over—and in deck construction, those kinds of missed details can result in catastrophic events.

Luckily, this article from Raymond Valois featured in This Is Carpentry has not one, but two fool-proof, code-compliant methods for securely attaching bottom deck railing posts. Using additional blocking at the base of the staircase and sealing up the cut ends with flashing tape, Raymond’s techniques create unwavering posts that are perfectly plumb and protected from moisture. We would like to also encourage the use of end cut solution any time you are making field cuts on pressure-treated lumber.

Follow along with Raymond’s thorough guide to attaching bottom deck posts.

For more decking tips and tutorials, be sure to check out our guide to code-compliant guardrail post connections and tips for protecting your deck during wet weather. And, if you haven’t already, it’s the perfect time to give your deck a safety evaluation—you can download our checklist here.