Decks/Deck railing



    We have a deck that is made of Eon plastic boards and trim but our railing was built from cedar and glass. The cedar is really getting to be a pain to maintain. My wife wants me to rebuild the railing using some type of composite material. She particularly seems to like some that have a final coating that appears to be paint but really is a coextrusion with the composite. We do not seem to be able to find the necessary products to meet the requirements. I would like to maintain the use of the cedar posts structurally if possible. We want to reuse the quarter inch glass, there are eight 45 degree corners to accommodate, and the product needs to come close in color to the deck. The house is cedar log siding and the deck is a fake wood grain. I am fairly handy and can fabricate some things if I have the appropriate raw materials. The current rail has a routered 2X4 bottom rail and a routered 2X6 top rail that goes over the 4X4 posts. The 45 degree corner posts are two pieces of 4X4 mitered together. Can you suggest a solution?

         Thank you,


    This is not exactly my exact expertise, nor probably anyone's really for that matter. I could come up with a myriad of ideas for this, but it's really "too custom" to suggest just one, especially without being there to look at it with my own two eyes. I guess if I had this situation, I would just try to be open minded about coming up with different types of materials to possibly use to achieve the end goal. Personally, I really don't like to use "composite" for much other than decking, and sometimes fascia. To me, it's generally more hassle than it's worth when used in vertical/structural/railing types of applications. Also, keep in mind that when you use something like a composite product that is coated with plastic or such, it really limits how much you can shape it to your needs by routing and the like, Maybe you could use good old pressure treated? pvc? aluminum? epdm rubber against the glass?...

    Sorry if this isn't much help, but I hope it is... :)  


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Michael Romano


I can answer any questions relating to decks, porches, exterior stairs & railings, walkways, access ramps, pergolas, deck roofs, screen rooms, etc... These may include design ideas, footing to framing design & construction methods, various species of woods vs. composites & pvc/vinyl materials for decking, skirting, or railing applications. I also have expertise in various rain-free systems for under-deck storage & living spaces.


I have designed and built decks and many other types of outdoor structures for over 25 years for my own home improvement company. We also perform many other types of home improvements, including window & door installation, molding & trimwork, siding, basement finishing, siding, etc. Our main love however, is decks!

NADRA - The North American Deck and Railing Association. Several Small Business & Home Improvement Contractor Alliances & Associations.

I have written several articles over the years for,, and many other deck & construction related websites.

High School graduate. 2 years of Mechanical Drawing & Architecture classes. Vocational School graduate. 2 years of Construction Technology & Carpentry classes. Many years of reading, researching, and application in the real world.

Awards and Honors
I am certified by several decking manufacturers for expert application & installation of their products.

Past/Present Clients
Mainly local residential clients, and occasional commercial clients, including restaurants, nightclubs, office buildings, etc.

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