New railing on existing porch


Old 09-22-04, 12:30 PM
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New railing on existing porch

Hey guys, what a great site for an amateur like me! Here's my situation. I'm adding a railing to my Dad's front porch. It currently has an aluminum roof with the aluminum (2X2) support post, every 8 feet. My plan is to support the roof (one or two posts at a time), cut the post to the height of the rail, install the rail and attach the post to the top of the rail. I'm using 4X4 PT for the rail post. 1.) Is 8 feet apart to far for the rail post (lateral pressure)? I plan on using bracing under the rail in the center (at 4') to prevent sagging. I plan on using the system of a 2X4 used as a top and bottom rail with 2X2's nailed to those and a 2X6 cap. I've found some pretty good info on this system on the web but 2.) does anyone know of any good pictures online of this style that I could study. We have 140 linear feet of rail to do, so I'm sure I'll be pretty proficient at it by the time I'm done.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Old 09-23-04, 10:52 PM
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Let me see if I have this correct. Your'e going to take the existing aluminum supports and cut them so the rail supports the aluminum posts?

You might want to have someone come and take a look and explain how they'd do it. From your description I can see many problems.

8' span for the rail will cause the center of the rail to have a big deflection when pushed on.

As for studying on how to build a rail just go to a home center or lumber yard and see how their prefabbed rails are built. From your explanation it sounds like a basic style. Who knows you might see another rail you like and decide on that. It's better to see in real life than a picture.

And with 140 linear feet of fence to build you may want to make a jig so all you have to do is throw pieces down and nail. And remember, when laying out the pickets always start from the center.
Old 09-24-04, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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First, welcome to and the Deck forum.

Next, let me try guessing and filling in some blanks (Let's see how well I do!) First, I'm guessing that these "2 X 2 aluminum posts" are in pairs, about 8" apart, with a scroll piece in between them. The cover above them is a "V-pan". Dad lives in mobile home. (How am I doing so far??) Each pair of posts is set on a concrete footing.

IF I'm guessing right here, and filling in all of the correct blanks, then the LAST thing you want to do is cut those posts. You are HALF right -- the posts are supporting the awning cover. The half you are missing is that those posts are what are keeping that awning in place when the wind blows!!

IF I guessed right, you have to look at the awning as a WING. When the wind blows, you have fast air going over the top and slow air below. THAT is called LIFT -- That is how they get 747's off of the ground!!!

DON'T CUT THE $%^&&*#%^ POSTS!!!! Build your railing between them.

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