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There are two overriding issues in detailing decks: making the railing strong enough, and finding materials that will stand up to the weather. In this discussion, I will assume a flush-framed deck, because low headroom usually prevents the use of conventional framing where the joists sit on top of the girders. Most Railings Inadequate Residential railings that meet code are as rare as ivory-billed woodpeckers. The BOCA-based code we use in Massachusetts requires that a railing resist a 200- pound horizontal impact load applied at the top of a railing post. On a very small deck the railing itself can transfer this size load back to the walls of the house, in which case the vertical railing supports do not need to