If you’re planning to install decking in your garden, have you considered whether you’ll need balustrade? Balustrade (also known as railing) is important if you have a raised deck or steps up to your decked area, as it helps protect against falls and keep children and pets safe.

Balustrade can also be beneficial for making more of a feature of your decked area, making it feel more like an outdoor "room" and creating additional privacy around your decking.

Somerlap decking balustrade The Somerlap range of newel posts and rails are ideal for creating effective balustrade. From left: newel posts, turned spindles, patrice newel posts and patrice rails – all made from long-lasting, pressure treated timber.

What you'll need

You'll need to measure the edge of your decking (and steps if you have them) to work out how many posts, spindles and rails you'll need.

Newel posts

These are the larger posts that support the base and hand rails that the spindles will be attached to. Look for newel posts that have been pressure treated for a longer life.

Base/hand rail

Before you can affix the spindles you'll need to add a base rail at the bottom of your railings, and a hand rail to the top. Both rails are attached to your newel posts.

Spindles (also called Baluster)

Once the base and rail is attached you can go ahead and add your spindles, equally spaced. Remember that building regulations specify that the gap between spindles is 100mm.

Depending on the desired height of your railing, you may need to cut your spindles to size.


The tools you'll need to install balustrade are similar to those for laying decking. They include:

  • Hammer
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • A saw or jigsaw suitable for cutting wood
  • Screwdriver