For a porch railing that is strong, lightweight, and more maintenance-free, you can't beat an aluminum porch railing. However, it may be somewhat more of a challenge to install an aluminum railing than a wood one. For this reason, unless you know what mistakes to avoid making, you may find it a bit more frustrating.
Building without Planning
Save yourself a good deal of frustration by planning your porch railing installation before buy your materials. In addition to measuring the length of your proposed railing to determine the quantity of railing pieces you'll need, be sure you know which fastening system you prefer to use and the correct baluster size. Once you've begun installing your railing pieces and discover you've chosen the wrong system, or your railing is the wrong height, it's not likely that you'll be able to return your purchase for a refund.
Fastening the Bottom Rail Too Soon
As you attach your bottom rail to the rail bracket, don't make the mistake of fastening until you have placed the rails on the plug brackets you'll find on the rail. Once this is done, lower the top rail until the plugs line up, then slide it a down into the upper rail bracket. Only when all the parts line up should you fasten the rails to their brackets.