Proper porch railing height is an important factor in the overall design and look of your front porch and house. The porch gives a first impression of the house because it is one of the most noticeable parts of the structure.
Compliment your Front Windows
Many older style homes have front porch railings, with a height no taller than the bottom of the front windows. Depending on the size of your front windows and how close the sills are to the porch floor, this could result in a railing that is too low to function as a true railing. The recommended railing height is no higher than the front window sills. If the railing is higher, a caged-in or jailed look can result.
You will have to pay attention to current building codes in your area. New railings will have to meet code regulations for safety and function. If you can repair the old railing, you may be able to work around the codes. A 30” railing height should still give you the desired old-fashioned effect. For a true old fashioned look, keep the railing height 30”, or less. Also, try not to allow the railing to extend much higher than the porch window sills.