Setting porch rail posts
What better place to cool off and relax than your front or back porch? Building a porch fence with railing will not only improve the appearance of your house, but also offer space for flower pots and prevent falling off the porch. With a little bit of knowledge and the right materials you can fence in your porch yourself.
First of all, the following tools and materials are necessary: jigsaw, power drill, miter saw, ratchet set, hammer, 4×4 lumber, railing lumber, baluster lumber, tape measure, nails, screws, lag screws, paint, wood glue.
After you made sure you’ve got everything listed above, follow the next steps:
1. In order to set the posts, make a center mark at the middle of the distance between each column. Frame a 4×4 perimeter on the porch by using masking tape. In the center of the masking tape you should drill a hole, cut out the space and insert the post into the slot. Make sure that the post has the desired height and that it is aligned with the horizontal support beam. Next, drill another hole to fit a lag screw and and attach the post firmly to the beam using the lag screw. This step should be repeated for each post.
2. Cut all the balusters that you will use to build the fence precisely to the same length, using the miter box. If the wood is not yet cut to width, use a table saw in order to rip the wood. At this stage it is essential to determine the number of balusters you will need to install between each post.
3. In order to build the upper and lower railing you will need to measure the distance between each column and cut the lumber to that length. Mark where the balusters will be positioned along the top and bottom railing, allowing equal spaces between them. Drill small holes in the railing and use a screw to attach each baluster to the bottom railing. When all balusters are attached, turn the bottom railing upright and position the top railing over it. In order to secure the top railing, two nails per baluster are required. We advise you to drive the nails halfway before you insert them fully into position.
4. Decide what height you want to position the railings at. The following step is securing the railings to the columns and posts. In order to do that you will need wood glue and 45-degree angle screws, as well as drilling pilot holes at the same angle. First apply wood glue into the holes and then ask a friend to firmly hold the railing as you drive in the screws.
5. Now that you have built the fence around your porch, it is time to improve its appearance. To do so, start by sanding all the sharp corners and edges and continue by varnishing, staining or applying water-resistant paint. We recommend to use a primer first.