How To Fence In A Porch

What You'll Need
Power drill with assorted bits
Ratchet set
Miter saw
Tape measure
4x4 lumber
Baluster lumber
Railing lumber
Lag screws
Wood glue

Whether in the front or back, a porch is an extension of the home that provides outdoor space for relaxing, entertaining or play. A porch fence with railing lines the outside edge of the porch. This not only provides your house with a framed finished look, but it offers protection from falling from the porch as well as space to line flower pots or other items.

Step 1: Set the Posts

At the halfway point between each support column, make a center mark. Use masking tape to frame a 4x4 space on the porch. Drill a hole in the center, and use the jigsaw to carefully cut out the space within the masking tape.

Drop the post—cut to right height—into the slot and line it up with the horizontal support beam. Drill a hole large enough for a lag screw. With the ratchet, secure the post firmly to the beam with a lag screw. Repeat for each post.

Step 2: Cut the Balusters

The balusters, the vertical support pieces that make up the fence, need to be precisely cut to equal lengths. To do this, use the miter box. You’ll need a table saw to rip the wood if it isn’t already cut to width. Determine how many balusters you’ll need between each post and cut them each to the same length.

Step 3: Build Railing

Using the lumber designated for the upper and lower railing, measure the precise distance between each column and cut them to that length. Evenly space the balusters along the top and bottom railing, marking where they will set.

Make small pilot holes in the railing that precedes the screws. Use one screw per baluster to secure each one to the bottom railing first. Once they are all attached to the bottom railing, balance it upright and position the top railing to secure it. Use two nails apiece for every baluster. Drive the nails in partway before you attempt to drive them fully into position.

Step 4: Secure Railing to Posts

At the right height, secure the railings to the posts and columns using a combination of wood glue and upward-pointing 45-degree angle screws. Once again, create a path for the screw by making pilot holes at the same angle. Apply wood glue. Have a partner hold the railing firmly and drive the screws in.

Step 5: Paint and Finish

After the porch fence is constructed, sand all sharp edges and corners. Stain and varnish, or apply a waterproof paint designed for outdoor use. Keep in mind that you might need to start with primer.