Deck Post Caps: What They Are and Why You Need Them

A custom deck is a perfect addition to any home. And of all the pieces that make up a beautifully crafted deck, the deck post cap is an unlikely hero.

If you’re building a deck from scratch, deck post caps can be confusing. Do you really need them? What purpose do they serve? Read on for answers to these questions and others.

What Are Deck Post Caps?

Deck posts are structural balusters that sit vertically and support your deck’s framing. In most cases, the deck post will rise slightly above the uppermost railing. Deck post caps are decorative pieces that sit atop the posts to give the entire deck a finished look. Post caps are available in a wide range of styles and materials, making it easy to find a selection that complements your deck. 

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Why You Need Deck Post Caps

Deck post caps are decorative, but they serve some practical purposes. From protecting against the elements to enhancing appearances, here’s what makes them an essential part of any custom-made deck.

Protect Your Deck Posts

As an outdoor fixture, your deck will be tested under harsh conditions. Because deck posts tend to sit slightly higher than the rest of the deck, they’re particularly susceptible to the elements.

Sun, rain, wind and snow can damage your deck posts, leaving them chipped, cracked and faded. Post caps act as a helmet to protect the balusters and prevent them from aging quicker than the rest of the deck.

Pests and mold can also damage deck posts, but unlike harsh weather, they can spread quickly to infect the rest of your deck. Deck post caps are easily removable and can prevent such conditions from spreading, extending the life of your deck overall.

Add Flair to Your Deck

A deck post with no cap can make your whole landscape look unfinished. Post caps allow you to add decorative flair to your deck and make it your own.

Post caps come in countless shapes and styles, making them a great way to personalize your deck to the last detail. Opt for a classic square-shaped cap, or go round for a contemporary feel. No matter which shape you choose, a deck post cap will provide the finishing touch your deck needs.

deck post caps

Types of Deck Post Caps

You have plenty of options regarding deck materials, and postcaps are no exception. Whether you’re going for a traditional wood look or prefer metal’s modern style, there are several types of post caps to choose from.

Wood Post Caps

Wood post caps are the perfect complement if you’ve gone with a wood deck. These caps will blend seamlessly with the rest of your space and give each post a finished look.

When it comes to wood post caps, keep in mind that they’re not immune to long-term issues like weathering and cracks. For this reason, you’ll need to replace your caps every few years to protect your deck. If wood is the aesthetic choice you’re looking for, this may be a small price to pay.

Metal Post Caps

Metal is one of the most popular post cap materials. Metal caps offer a level of protection unmatched by most other post cap types. Plus, it’s long-lasting without the need for constant maintenance.

Metal post caps also offer aesthetic value blending seamlessly compared to other post caps. And unlike wood, metal post caps are the perfect addition to decks made from any material. Crafted from copper, aluminum or iron, these caps can be molded into any shape you want.

View of back deck and screened porch

Glass Post Caps

If you’re looking to elevate your deck, glass post caps are the perfect way to do it. Glass caps will catch sunlight for a luxury look right in your own backyard. Available in any color imaginable, these post caps complement any deck. To take things further, opt for custom-made stained-glass post caps that depict your chosen design.

Glass caps will require regular cleaning to ensure they keep their shine. But if style is what you’re looking for, there’s no better choice for a post cap. 

Vinyl or Composite Post Caps

Post caps made of the same materials can help you complete the look if you’ve chosen a vinyl or composite deck. These post caps tend to be extraordinarily weather-resistant and can hold up even under harsh UV rays. For wood decks, vinyl caps are also a great way to protect at-risk parts of your deck. They require little maintenance but may need to be replaced every few years to ensure your deck is well-protected. 

Post Cap Lighting

Some post caps can even be outfitted with LED lights to illuminate your deck after dark. Use this function to bathe your deck in soft, ambient lighting without the need to purchase separate fixtures. This improves the functionality of your post caps and sets the mood for a night of fun out on the deck.

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Deck Post Caps: How High Should They Be?

For most decks, the uppermost railing should measure at least 36 inches in height. Deck posts can sit anywhere from 1 to 3 inches above the highest railing with the post caps on top. The true height of your post caps will depend on their shape and style, but most measure another 1 to 3 inches. All things considered, your post caps will be anywhere from 2 to 6 inches above the highest railing.

Let the Professionals at PWHI Help You Choose Your Deck Post Caps

Choosing deck post caps can be a hard decision to make. Make sure you get what’s right for your deck by letting the professionals at PWHI help you. From material to style, we’ll guide you through the selection process and even install your caps for you.

The perfect deck will make your Virginia home feel like a sanctuary. Schedule a free in-home design consultation or call us today at (703) 492-1294 to get started on the deck of your dreams. 

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