DIY Front Porch Railing Replacement Project

Jessica Evans
by Jessica Evans
6 Materials
8 Hours
Before and After - Replacing old front porch railings with new Richmond Rails and balusters, and bringing it up to code.
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
We completed our necessary measurements, and removed all of the old railings and balusters.
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
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
We then used wood glue to hold everything in place, and provide additional strength to the rails.
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
Next, it was time to add the rail support, screwing each rail firmly into place.
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
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
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!
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)
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • C Crow 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?

  • Diena Cameron 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.

  • Denise Denise on Feb 10, 2020

    What keeps the water from sitting in the bottom rail?

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3 of 19 comments
  • Kathy Kathy on Mar 20, 2018

    Especially if you want more than one color.

    • Jessica Evans 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.

  • Barb Porco Barb Porco on Jul 16, 2019

    Nice way to arrange photos on wall