In our experience the best way to install a newel post for a porch or deck handrail is shown in this image. Using 2x pressure treated lumber for supporting the stairs as well as the riser for the bottom step provides a strong foundation for the stairs and post. There is another piece of 2x lumber directly behind the post that runs parallel to the riser. In this image that piece is covered by the stair tread. Everything is nailed securely creating a tight pocket for the post. We use polyurethane glue inside the post pocket and the post is thru-bolted to the frame. Usually a shim is required for a small adjustment to bring the post plumb. This method always creates a very sturdy porch or deck railing.
On this particular job the stair risers and stringers were wrapped with PVC trim.
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