MoistureShield Composite Decking Review
Composite decking is not cheap, but that doesn't mean it can't be a great value. If you're looking to replace your decking soon, I'd definitely take a good look at MoistureShield.
MoistureShield Pro Aluminum Railing
Not only does MoistureShield manufacture composite decking, but they also make the railing to go with it. MoistureShield offers two different styles of railing: composite or aluminum. We opted for the white Pro Aluminum with round balusters. It’s a good look to give your deck a secondary color to work with. However, if you want your rails to match the deck, go with composite.
Just like the MoistureShield composite decking, the Pro Aluminum railing offers options. You can choose 36 or 42-inch rail height, round or square balusters, level or stair rails, post kits, and a variety of other rail accessories, including LED lighting.
With an existing porch like ours, you may already have several 4×4 wooden posts that support the roof overhead. MoistureShield Pro Aluminum Railing comes in 8-foot sections. On our build, we had several areas between our existing 4x4s that spanned more than 10-feet. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll need to install a post kit in between the existing posts in these areas. Ensure that you add extra bracing below, then use 3-inch lag screws to attach the new aluminum posts.
Once you have the four lag screws anchoring the aluminum post, install the base trim before moving forward. The post base trim is a one-piece aluminum square trim that slides over and down the post, covering the flange and bolts. If you forget to do this, you’ll end up having to remove the railing to install this trim.
Cut a Little Jig
MoistureShield does a great job with the instructions, and it will walk you through every step, including pictures. When installing the railing, creating a jig will help you save time. The instructions tell you to measure and mark each post at 35-1/4 inches, then use the line as an indicator to place the fasteners (screws) for the railing saddles.
Pro Tip: Cut a 2×4 to 34-1/4 inches – this puts your saddle bracket at the correct height (the fastener holes are exactly 1 inch higher) without measuring every time. You can nail, screw, or glue end pieces to cradle the bracket during fastening. You’ll be able to push the jig against the post with your knee and still have two hands to screw the bracket in place.
Once the posts and brackets are in place, installing the balusters and bottom braces are pretty self-explanatory. Post caps for the MoistureShield Pro Aluminum railing can be installed “dry” with just the whack of a rubber mallet. You can also choose to use some caulking or silicone to keep the post caps in place, more permanently.
Stairs Need Stair Rails – Angled Ones!
With your MoistureShield Vision composite decking complete and railing installed around your new deck or porch perimeter, the next step involves installing stair railings. It’s pretty much the same process as the railing, just with the balusters at an angle.