After 25+ years of shoveling my deck by either forcing the snow through
the railings or lifting it over, I finally decided that I was getting too
old for that. The deck is 6' feet above the yard and the only opening in
the railing goes to a small landing at the top of the stairs. There was no
way to easily shovel the snow from the deck - until now.
First, the description, then a picture which will help this all make sense.
The posts for the railing are built in a sideways "H" configuration when
viewed from the top. The railings slip into the "H" and are secured with
nails though the face of the posts. The posts are then capped with a
square cut from a 2x8 and nailed onto the top.
I removed the nails that secured a railing section into the posts, as
well as the nails from one side of 2 caps. This allows me to raise the
section of railing enough to shovel underneath it. The railings fit fairly
tightly between the posts, so I can't raise either end to their final
height in a single lift. To solve this, I built "stepped" supports,
allowing me to raise the railing incrementally until it is at its final
Although this section of railing is now a bit shaky, I haven't made the
deck any less safe since the railing section can't go anywhere except up.
In the spring, I'll secure the section with a few screws just to tighten
it up until next winter.
I've used the system twice this year and I'm quite happy with the results.