Professional Porch Railings by Do-It-Yourselfers

You have big plans to install a porch railing, but even though this is the first time you are attempting such a project, you want it to look professionally done. Like all projects that you want to come out really well, the most important part of the project is the design and planning phase. There are a lot of parts to a railing and you have to make sure you know how to work with each one of them such as the top rail, bottom rail, posts, balusters and finials. All of these can be obtained at your local home improvement center or lumber yard. And of course, today, you can even shop for these items on line.

Proper planning is critical to a project such as this. It is not complicated, but it is necessary. Make sure you know all of the measurements you will need and make sure you have all of the materials and tools you will need.

There are certain features of a railing that are the hallmark of professionalism. A professional is able to add certain features and touches to a railing that will make it special and unique. Today, you can buy woodwork that adds that special touch without being custom made by a professional.

Of course, if a shoddy installation is done, the job will never look professional. If you make sure you have all of the proper materials for a good installation, yours can also look professional. Use finishing nails, a good drill, file and saw, and, if you plan to paint the railing, the right grade paint for it. Proper measurement will also assure a professional look; nothing looks more amateurish than gaps. If you measure properly you will have no errors.

You can do your railing installation in an afternoon as long you have the right equipment. Here are some important hints to make is smoother and easier: Wear safety goggles to avoid injury while sawing and drilling. Double and triple check your measurements. This is most important. Measuring everything carefully will safe you a lot of time and money on wasted mistakes and materials. Measure the total space for the deck as well as the points between the posts and balustrades. Cut your lumber at the top and not at the bottom. You can hide a poor cut under the top rail, although you would be better off if you get pre-cut pieces in the lengths you need. When you have cut the balusters, mark where they will go on the rail with a strip of colored tape.

Your railings can be in any style, so if your home is Victorian, you can have detailed looking ones, and if your home is modern or contemporary, you may want very plain ones.

Once you have completed the railings, make sure you weather proof them against the element so they will continue to look good after all of your hard work.