How to Install Metal Porch Railings

What You'll Need
Project plans
Hammer drill with concrete bit
Rubber mallet
Tape measure
Chalk line
Anchor bolts

Installing metal porch railings is not that complicated but you need to think each step out carefully to ensure a good job. Metal railings for the porch can be purchased in sections that begin and end with the support posts. Each of these support posts has an anchor plate that has already been installed with predrilled holes for the bolts. To be able to attach them to the concrete base, you have to drill into it and use bolts to secure the support posts. Make sure that all the bolting and drilling that you do does not cause breakage on the concrete edges.

Step 1 – Consulting Your Project Plans

Study your project plans to know the exact location where the metal railings have to be placed. Specifically, you are searching for the measurement from the concrete slab edge to the center of the railing width. There are dimensions on the plan which will give you this information. With the use of a pencil and tape measure, mark the measurements in a number of locations on the slab. You should not place them more than 20 feet apart though if you are working on a large slab. Draw a chalk line through the marks you have made.

Step 2 – Marking the Support Post Center

To show the center for each of the support posts, take a measurement from the beginning support post to the end post of one of the railing sections. With the help of this measurement, put a mark on the line you have drawn for the center of the railings.

Step 3 – Marking the Bolt Holes

To be able to determine where you are going to drill the bolt holes, make a measurement at the bottom of each support post anchor plate. This will allow you to know the distance of the bolt holes from the center. Using the measurements, mark the bolt holes on the concrete base which should be relative to the center points of the support posts that you have marked previously.

Step 4 – Drilling the Bolt Holes

Each bolt hole should be drilled in a way that will match the depth for the anchor bolt sleeves. Make sure that you have the right type and size of sleeves and anchor bolts for the railings. To look for the specifications on the project plans, search on the section that is labeled General Instructions.

Step 5 – Installing the Anchor Bolt Sleeve

To install the bolt sleeves, tap one into each hole with the use of a rubber mallet. Make sure that the sleeve is flush with the top of the concrete base. Never use a regular hammer as it may damage the sleeve which will prevent the bolt from fitting into it.

Step 6 – Installing the Metal Railings

To install your metal railings, stand them up section by section. Line up the holes that are in the anchor plates with the ones you have drilled into the concrete base. Thread the bolts through the anchor plates and into the sleeves. Tighten them with the use of a wrench.