How To Replace Porch Railing

Sitting on your rocking chair, whiling away time as the children play on the streets, is a relaxing means to spend your afternoon. It will be more perfect if you had a cup of coffee and a good book on your lap! Though a porch without a railing is fine with some people, others prefer a more “guarded” and delineated space and so I great idea would be to install a porch railing. It is a slighting expensive upgrade to add a railing to the porch, but if you already have a railing, replacing it will cost a tad bit less.

Porch railings need to be replaced every few years. The normal wear and tear will usually start to show after some five years. You can time your “renovation” when you do the upkeeps of your home. But do immediately have your porch railing fixed if the railing is proven hazardous and can injure somebody. Here’s how to replace your porch railings.

You will need: measuring tape, nail guns, screws and new porch railing.

Before anything else, check the building code requirements in your area. The requirements change from state to state so make sure you fulfill the requirements in order to retain your permit.

Now to the installation!

  • First, take you measuring tape and take note of the measurements of your existing porch railing. Please do double check all measurements as your need to be as accurate as possible when finding a replacement. Add about four inches to the length you measured between posts on the porch or deck. This will give you some allowance for cutting mistakes. While you are taking measurements, take this time to check for other problems that you may need to fix like loose floorboards, rotted wooden slabs and etc.
  • Armed now with your measurements, proceed to the hardware or local improvement store to pick out your new design railing. You can choose from wood, vinyl and plastic designs. There are numerous moldings available at the furniture/ hardware and even department store, home depot sections. Usually there are railing kits already available with directions for installation. Once you have the moldings of your dreams, take home your new set. Do not forget to purchase post brackets and screws.
  • Back at home, remove the old railings. If your railings are attached to a supporting structure make sure to install temporary supports. Try not to disturb/ damage the main posts. Set into place the new railings. Once the railings are firmly in place, secure it with screws or your nail gun. You can further secure it by using stainless steel or epoxy coated screws.
  • Test out your work by placing a bit of pressure on the railing and wiggling it a bit. It must be strong enough and firm enough to withstand the weight of a little kid or adult who might lean on it. Though you can buy different colors and styles of rail moldings, if you would still like to apply a new paint job or staining onto your new moldings may do so!

Now you can take a step back and check out your handiwork. Enjoy your beautiful porch and the many more relaxing afternoons to come!


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