DIY Front Porch Railing Replacement Project

6 Materials
$450
8 Hours
Medium

Before and After - Replacing old front porch railings with new Richmond Rails and balusters, and bringing it up to code.
porch rail replacement - before
porch rail replacement - before
We started by first deciding on what type of wood to use, how much we would need to complete the project, and what other tools and materials we needed.
Porch railing replacement - before
Porch railing replacement - before
We completed our necessary measurements, and removed all of the old railings and balusters.
Cutting the rails using a miter saw
Cutting the rails using a miter saw
Once measurements were made, we began to cut the wood to the correct sizes to fit in place.
Measuring for baluster placement
Measuring for baluster placement
Before setting the new pieces into place, we re-measured to be sure everything was correct, and also measured out exactly where we would place the balusters, and marked each section.
Using wood glue to ensure stability
Using wood glue to ensure stability
We then used wood glue to hold everything in place, and provide additional strength to the rails.
Setting the top rail into place
Setting the top rail into place
The rails were then set into place, starting with the outer balusters, the bottom rail, and then the top railing.
Screwing the rails into place
Screwing the rails into place
Next, it was time to add the rail support, screwing each rail firmly into place.
Finished side railing frame
Finished side railing frame
Once the frame was complete, we began to place the balusters in their pre-marked positions.
Making sure everything was properly aligned
Making sure everything was properly aligned
We went over each piece, ensuring that everything lined up properly, and re-measured to make sure all balusters were evenly lined up.
Caulking any gaps
Caulking any gaps
Once the railings were up, it was time to caulk any gaps, this is to prevent water from settling under the wood, and ensuring that these new rails would last!
After!
After!
Completed rails and balusters! All that is left once caulking is finished, is for the homeowner to paint the new rails!

Suggested materials:

  • Richmond Rail  (Home Depot and Lowe's)
  • 3 inch exterior finish screws  (Lowe's)
  • 16 guage 1 & 1/2 inch angled finish nails  (Lowe's)
See all materials

To see more: https://homedecorandideas.com/diy-porch-railing/

Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • C Crow
    on Mar 19, 2018

    Looks so pretty and your information so helpful. Just curious, what was out of code in the "before" railings?
    • Jessica Evans
      on Mar 22, 2018

      The balusters weren't properly spaced, the old ones were too far apart. Building codes are different in each area, but the general rule is that you shouldn't be able to pass a 4" sphere between balusters! :)

  • Diena Cameron
    on May 11, 2018

    This railing is really beautiful. Could you tell me what a project such as this one you did, would cost ? We need to replace our railings going up our front porch stairs, the actual railing around the porch was replaced by previous homeowners and flower boxes were put into place instead. I don't really care for those, they really limit how you can rearrange the furniture because they are not as narrow as the railing would be. Our porch is small, only two sides are open and obviously one has the stairs. It is maybe 5' × 6' and we need to replace the steps, there are 8 steps. Just wondering if I need to take out a loan for something this small or if it's in the realm of doable in my small budget. Thanks for any info.

    • Diena Cameron
      on May 16, 2018

      Thanks Jessica, I did read the whole post but I must have missed the part amount the amount. Thanks for that info, yes that really helps me. Your wood for the bottom railing looks like it has a channel in it for the ballisters to sit into, is that correct ?? Is that a special kind that I would need to tell the person at the lumber yard or is that self-explanitary in the name of the type of wood you bought ??? Sorry for all the questions, just want to get it right and not sound like a dummy when I order the wood. Again it looks beautiful, much improvement.

Join the conversation

3 of 18 comments
  • Jessica Evans
    on Mar 20, 2018

    Thank you, glad it helps! :)
  • Kathy
    on Mar 20, 2018

    Especially if you want more than one color.

    • Jessica Evans
      on Mar 22, 2018

      It would definitely be easier if you were using more than one color! I would say painter's tape could be used, but honestly, I do not like, recommend, or use painter's tape unless I absolutely need to.

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