When we first built the deck, it was meant just for Andy and I to sit out in the sun with coffee in the morning or a beer in the afternoon. Later on it became the focus for an occasional barbeque and pot luck get-together. Often, we'd squeeze 8-10 chairs on it, forcing some to sit perilously close to edge and more than once, nearly fell off. Just recently, a neighbor slipped when he was getting up, but fortunately, only the chair went flying over the edge.
Here's an old photo of the original deck.
So figured it finally was time to build a railing. The main problem with adding a railing wasn't doing the carpentry, that's pretty basic, it's the snow and ice that periodically unloads off the roof during the winter, often burying the deck in 2-3 feet of heavy wet snow. So we'll see how it goes this winter. If the railing survives the gods of snow and ice, we'll add some sort of cable guard system beneath the railing to fill in the space, but still allows the snow to pass through. Or we might be cleaning up a pile of splintered wood in the spring.
So at least now there's a place to set down your beer.