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Each piece of the composite decking contains groves along the center of each edge to allow the use of special clips that are attached to screws. Insert the clip into the groove and drill the screws down into the joist to attach the decking (Image 1). This means there is no drilling into the actual composite decking. Place the posts, trim and decking as you go.
If you're working on a bi-level deck, it is wise to add a lighter color trim piece to make the level change more noticeable. Attach the trim piece with countersink screws Instead of the clips and screws (Image 2).
Measure and cut your railings to size for the banisters. Since the rails have pre-made pilot holes, make sure the distance between the end holes are the same distance from both ends of the post. This will assure correct spacing and alignment for the balusters.
Screw the round connectors into each pilot hole for the top and bottom rails. If the rail is longer than four feet, add a foot block to the bottom. Cut the foot block to the desired height (no more than four inches high) and attach to the center of the bottom rail.
Pre-drill holes into the underside where the mounting brackets are located to attach the bottom rail. Use a 7/32-inch drill bit, and make sure the brackets are flush with the end of the rail. Attach the brackets using 1-3/4 inch mounting screws. Repeat this step for the top rail. Next, pre-drill holes into the posts and attach the bottom rail in place.
Install balusters over each round connector on the bottom rail (Image 1). Place the top rail over the balusters. Make sure the top rail connectors line up with the balusters. Use a rubber mallet to secure the top rail into position. Once in place, screw the pilot holes into the post, then attach the rail, again using 1-3/4 inch mounting screws. Add the post tops by popping them in place (Image 2). Use countersink screws to attach the stair pieces into their joists (Image 3).
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