How to build a simple outside wood railing for my steps

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people have outdoor steps on their property. Whether they lead from the back deck to the garden or from an above ground pool back to the grass, it is a good idea to build a railing to provide support for people who need assistance while climbing the steps as well as stability if someone starts to slip and fall.

Dig post holes about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter. Put the first one next to the top step and dig holes every 1.8 m (6 feet). Dig the first hole 60 cm (24 inches) deep and follow with holes that are 65 cm and 70 cm (26 inches and 28 inches), so your railing will trend downward.

Mix concrete in your wheel barrow. Follow instructions on the cement bag to mix the appropriate amount with water.

Place a 5 cm by 10 cm by 1.8 m (2 inch by 4 inch by 6 foot) piece of timber into each hole. Then shovel concrete in the hole until there is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) left. Once the concrete is dry, shovel soil over it. These are your railing posts.

Screw a bracket on each post.

Finish the railing buy screwing the other end of the brackets (attached to the posts) into the remaining timber. The remaining tilumber will be your railing bars. You'll repeat this process 4 times until the railing is complete.


This article builds a hand railing that is 5.4 m (18 feet) long. You can extend or shorten the railing by adding or subtracting more timber. Each section requires 2 pieces of 10 cm by 1.8 m (4 inch by 6 foot) timber.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure treated timber 5 cm by 10 cm by 1.8 m (2 inch by 4 inch by 6 foot), 5
  • Brackets, lightweight (3 to 6 holes), 4
  • Screws, 1.2 cm (1/2 inch)
  • Drill
  • Concrete
  • Shovel
  • Wheel barrow
  • Water
  • Tape measure
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Scott Damon is a Web content specialist who has written for a multitude of websites dating back to 2007. Damon covers a variety of topics including personal finance, small business, sports, food and travel, among many others.