How to Install a Custom Vinyl Porch Railing

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Tape measure and pencil
Electric drill and suitable screws or concrete bolts
Adjustable wrench
4 wall mount brackets
Support posts, steel and vinyl
Cap rail
Base railing for balusters
Support post skirts

Installing a custom vinyl porch railing on your veranda or deck is a smart and easy way to beautify your outdoor living space. Follow these instructions to install a vinyl porch railing speedily.

Step 1 - Measure the Length and Height of Your Porch Railing

Standard heights for porch railings are 36 inches or 42 inches, so choose the height you desire first. You will also need to measure stairways if you intend to run handrails down the stairs for the correct stairway railing supports. The minimum distance between support posts should be 12 inches. Make sure they are no more than 36 inches apart.

Step 2 - Purchase Your Railings, to be Mounted into Wood or Concrete

A porch railing to be mounted into concrete has longer support posts than a porch rail made for attaching to a wood floor base. Specify which you need when purchasing your supplies.

Step 3 - Attach Your Porch Railing to a Wood Floor

Attach one end rail support post to the wall of the nearest building, with brackets just below the top rail level and just above the base rail. For each support post, drill a hole 1-7/8 inch diameter into the wood floor. Insert the steel post and clamp it to the deck. Measure and drill four holes, 1/2 inch deep to attach the support post base,and fasten it into the wood.

Drop the porch rail skirt over this base. Add the vinyl covering to the steel post. Insert the base rail for the balusters. Insert the number of balusters specified in the instructions, for various section lengths. Install the next support post, and snap the top guide rail over the balusters, then secure it to the support posts. Continue setting up support posts and inserting baluster rails. Secure the final support post to the building wall as for the first support post.

Step 4 - Attach Your Porch Railing to a Concrete Floor

Use a steel post plate mounting system to attach your vinyl porch railing to a concrete floor. Attach the first post to the house wall with the mounting brackets, one near the top rail and one just above the baluster rail baseline. Set the base plate under the post. Mark the spots where the four anchor bolts will hold each post. Drill four, 1/2 inch bolt holes, 3-1/4 inch deep each, into the concrete surface.

Put together the bolt with its securing nut on top of each hole. Set the steel post into the base plate. Drill the bolts through the base plate into the holes. Put the porch rail skirt on the post, and wrap the vinyl outer post around it. Install the next support post, and attach the base rail for the balusters. Insert all the balusters for this section and secure the top rail by pressing it down tightly. Fasten the top rail to the second post, and continue. Attach the final post to the wall of the house at the far end of the porch railing.