I'm in the process of planning stairs and railing, and am trying to formulate a sound plan before I start cutting wood.

This is the deck so far (ledger, joists, beam are all 2x6):

frame close

frame far

My plan is to attach some stringers directly to the rim joist (labeled A, and green lines show roughly where the outermost stringers will be mounted) using Simpson LSC connectors (I asked a separate question about those), and have the base of the stringers land on the concrete patio stones (labeled B).

For the railing posts at the bottom of the stairs, I'm hoping to use an approach similar to the one illustrated here:

bottom landing posts

For the landing, my intention is to have four railing posts that are in line with the posts at the bottom of the stairs.

There are some challenges with these four landing posts, however.

First, because of the connector hardware, I won't be able to install the posts flush with the corners, or at any corner between a joist and beam/ledger (see below).

front corner

back corner

Second, even if those connectors weren't an issue, I can't mount the outside stringers against the outer edges of the rim joist, since I need at least 3.5 inches of lateral clearance for the stringer connectors (see below).

simpson lsc connector

Third, the siding of the house overhangs the ledger, so I can't mount a post flush against the ledger (see below):

ledger overhang

I'm willing to lose a portion of usable landing, and have the four railing posts offset and inside of the end joists (i.e. not flush with the end joists). And I'm not sure a dropped header would solve these issues - and not sure how I'd build a dropped header that is structurally sound.

I'm hoping to use the blocking method shown below (image taken from here), except that unlike in the image below, the post would be between the end joist and the adjacent joist.

finehomebuilding image

I do have a couple questions though:

  1. I can see how it would be straightforward to use the above illustrated method for the rim joist, but given the overhang over the ledger board, would I be able to safely attach a piece of 2x6 to extend the thickness of the ledger board so that the method is viable on the ledger?

  2. The blocking method seems to have good "forward-backward" support, but perhaps not as good lateral support. Would it be a good idea to add some 4x4 blocking to help sandwich the post between the end joist and the adjacent joist to provide more lateral support?

Thanks for anyone who's taken the time to read through this lengthy question!


1 Answer 1


Some ideas… feel free to ask for clarification. (And to reinforce — your AHJ is the final arbiter on whether any of this is adequate.)

enter image description here

  • Thank you very much, this is very generous of you. So the outermost stringers will be connected with L90s and inner stringers with LSC. One concern is that the BCS Zmax that are connecting the existing posts to beam will prevent the outermost stringers from attaching flush against the beam, and will get in the way of the L90. On the right side of the deck, there is only 1 and 3/8 inch clearance between the edge of the BCS and the edge of the beam, which isn't enough room to fit the width of a 1.5 inch thick stringer + the width of the L90.
    – spacediver
    Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 23:25
  • just had a thought. Maybe I could extend the thickness of the beam with a 1x6, to allow a flush connection of stringer to beam. I'd have to notch it slightly to accommodate the BCS. And The bolt connecting the post to the DTT tieback would probably have enough clearance between the top of the BCS and the top of the beam. Does this sound reasonable?
    – spacediver
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 0:22
  • Please remind me: is your first tread at the same height as the rest of the deck, or is it ~7” down? Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 2:04
  • I haven't committed to where the first tread is. I'd rather not be constrained by that decision, and choose whatever is most convenient for building the stairs and railing. So 7" down or deck level are both fine. Also, will a structural screw be ok instead of a through bolt or lag bolt?
    – spacediver
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 2:49
  • 1
    Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – spacediver
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 3:22

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