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Porch Railing installation Help

I have an 8' x 12' 3" concrete porch that I would like to put railing around.  I am looking at Vinyl railing.  I only have two post that go up to the roof of the porch, they are 11'6" apart (subtract the 4"x4" width).  My steps don't have any posts for support and are on one of the 8' sides.  What would be the best way to install railing in this situation?  How would I mount more post to the concrete for support?  Any advice is apprectaited.  Thanks.

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Posted 2012-01-03T01:37:20+0000  by mickeymvp mickeymvp
 

Hello mickeymvp and welcome to the How-To-Community.

 

Good job on choosing vinyl railings, I would probably pick the same if I was the one doing this project.

For the projects where railings are low to the ground (concrete slab), vinyl railing it’s an ideal product. It is virtually maintenance free, aesthetically pleasing and easy to install. For the higher up installations I would advise to check your local building code prior to installation.

 

Back to your questions;

 

 I only have two post that go up to the roof of the porch, they are 11'6" apart (subtract the 4"x4" width).  My steps don't have any posts for support and are on one of the 8' sides.  What would be the best way to install railing in this situation?  How would I mount more post to the concrete for support?

 

I would address 11’6” side first by divvying it up in half and placing a support post in the center. See attached picture;

 Yorktown-porch2.jpg

Posts pictured here are something called post “sleeves”, these are hallow and slide over a steel mounting brackets.

 bracket kit.jpg

To securely mount this sleeve support bracket to the concrete you would need to use something called concrete “wedge” anchors or drop in anchors.

wedge anchor.jpgtrubolt_cutaway.jpg

 

These are the installation instructions for the wedge anchors.

wedge anchor installation instructions.JPG

 

Once the center post it’s secured to the concrete your next step would be to address corner posts before actual railings go in. There is two ways to do this; you can wrap up corner post with vinyl boards (1x) or build a temporary support remove post and install a post sleeve. Depending on the condition of your existing posts I would most likely lean towards wrapping option. There is also something called Perma Wrap which is a decorative post that comes in two “L” shaped halves. Removing porch supports it’s difficult, dangerous and something I would recommend to leave to the professionals.

L assembly.JPG

 

 

With the railings in place this would take care of the 11’6” side.

 

For the continuous 8’ foot side (no stairs) you would use the same method you have used previously on the long side with an optional alternative to use a half post for the end post. In other words you can use 2x4 piece of lumber bolted to the exterior sheathing and half of the sleeve only to create an illusion of the half post.

 

With the 8’ stair side you would do things a little bit different. Actually I would refer to the above attached picture. Just

like in the picture you’re going to need a post at the beginning and at the end of the stairs. If the stairs are open to the both sides (centered) then you are going to need stair railing and post on the both sides of the stairs. Differences are in railings and brackets you’re going to use. End brackets for the stairs railings are adjustable and actual railings are designed to be installed on the 45 degree angle.

 

Couple installation tips before we conclude;

 

Cut your railing couple inches longer and mark on the spot instead of trying to cut to the exact size.

If you are installing in cold weather leave a 3/16” expansion gap for the railing to expand with a change of temperature.

 

Use recommended bit size with concrete anchors and vacuum up the dust from the anchor holes.

 

Hope this helps and good luck with your project.

Posted 2012-01-03T16:51:40+0000  by George_HD_CHI

We are having the same issue but we are using treated wood.  What is the best way to secure a 4"x4" treated post to help support the fence?

 

We were thinking of using one of these...

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-Z-Max-4x4-Standoff-Post-Base-ABA44Z/100374999#.UfXCBtKmjpU 

 

Thank you!

Posted 2013-07-29T01:14:53+0000  by DIYLover
 
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