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How to Install Aluminum Railing Systems in Three Easy Steps

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An aluminum railing installation on your deck might seem like one of the more daunting ideas for a home project, but it’s a lot easier than most people think. All you need are basic tools, some attention to detail and the right aluminum railing system.

This guide will explain what you will need and provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to install aluminum railing systems in just three simple steps.

Aluminum Railing Systems

The first and most important part of the process is finding the right aluminum railing system for your deck. Before finalizing your decision, make sure the DIY aluminum railing system you choose meets all the relevant safety regulations in your jurisdiction. Also, you should look for a system that comes with a high-quality powder coating for longevity and durability.

Once you find a system that meets these essential criteria, make sure to familiarize yourself with any local regulations concerning deck railing height. The required rail height generally varies according to how far the deck is from the ground so it is wise to double check the required railing height for deck projects in your area.


Most people will already have most of the basic tools required for an aluminum railing installation, with the possible exception of the right saw, which you will be able to rent from your local  hardware store.

To install an aluminum railing, you will need the following:

  • Mitre saw (also known as a chop saw), power cord and work table
  • Non-ferrous aluminum cutting blade (very important!)
  • Square
  • Level
  • Cordless drill, wood bits & hex-head bit for lag screws
  • Tape Measure & marker
  • Metal file
  • Hammer
  • Pliers, wrenches, socket set, screwdrivers
  • Composite shims
  • Chisel (to tidy composite shim edges)
  • Clamps

Deck Railing Installation Instructions

Step 1 – Install Posts

Start by identifying where you will place the posts. Using your marker and tape measure, place markings for each post one to two inches away from the edge of your deck. Hold each post in place with one or two loose fasteners for the time being. Remember that posts should not be more than six feet apart.

Step 2 – Install Railings

Start by measuring the distance between the posts and cut top railings half an inch shorter than this measurement. Slide the cut railing sections into the top brackets. Using your level and shims, make sure that all posts are square before installing the remaining fasteners and tightening them. After the fasteners have been installed, double check that all the posts are level and square before continuing.

Follow the same procedure to install the bottom railings.  After all the railings have been installed, inspect each one to make sure you did not forget any screws along the way.

Step 3 – Install Glass

Required components:

  • Glass vinyl insert  gaskets
  • Rubber blocks
  • Tempered glass panels

Using the measurements taken for your railings, cut the glass vinyl insert gaskets to the same length and fit them inside the railings. Place rubber blocks in each end of the bottom rail, a few inches from the edge. Install the glass by sliding it into the top rail first before guiding it into the bottom railing.  Repeat this procedure for each section.

Congratulations! Your installation project is complete!

Consult Before Installation

These instructions on how to install aluminum deck railing systems  are meant to serve as guidelines and provide ideas to help you find your way through your next railing installation project. 

Before starting any kind of installation, make sure to raise your questions or concerns with a railing manufacturer representative to get detailed instructions on how to handle the particular circumstances and details of your project.

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