Porch Hand Rails
From Code Requirements to Building OptionsPorch hand rails have strict construction requirements to ensure safety and integrity. Knowing the basic requirements and options for building porch hand rails or deck hand rails will save you both time and money.
If looking for design ideas for outdoor stair rails, we have information along with a picture showing different design options in our stair hand rails section.
Many hand rail systems, some pre-assembled, are designed to ensure these requirements are met. Choosing the right system can make building your porch hand rails easy.
Outdoor Hand Rails - General Code RequirementsIt is imperative you check with your local building codes department to obtain the specific requirements for hand rails in your community before you build. Please do that.
Here's a list of general building codes you can use to check with your local codes department.
Again, check with your local building codes department to obtain specific requirements for your area.
Porch Hand Rail OptionsOutdoor hand rails can be made from materials such as wood, composites, wrought iron, metal, and aluminum.
Metal Hand RailsYou can find steel railing at most home improvement stores and it does not require any welding. You can cut it with a hacksaw; it is bendable so it makes it easy to install for porch hand rails.
PVC or Vinyl Hand RailsIf you want low maintenance and durability consider PVC or vinyl hand rail systems. They are very popular and fairly easy to install. Most PVC railing systems have wood or metal inserts. Vinyl railings usually do not.
Most kits come with everything you need, top and bottom rails, pickets, and mounting brackets.
Often times they are pre cut to save time and for easier installation like this one from L.B. Plastics, Inc. They advertise their kits are designed for standard sized steps (7” to 11” rise to run) and include adjustable step adapters which are used to adjust for various angles.
Another system I like is from Southern Vinyl Manufacturing. They have an extensive library of installation videos (like the one below) for their products along with a seemingly great product line. It's worth checking out.
How a Middle Hand Rail Can Help
This beautiful porch in Cape May, New Jersey has wide porch steps and the homeowners like to decorate with seasonal potted flowers. But they told us that it was difficult for their neighbors to navigate the steps. So they decided to add a middle handrail.
They hired a carpenter and asked that he make the middle handrail look as it if belonged there. What a wonderful job he did.
Do you agree that it looks like it's always been a part of these porch steps? And what a help for visitors. Now the plants can be kept on the steps and guests can safely navigate too.
To give you a view of the steps straight on - looks absolutely perfect. We thank John and his wife for sharing their photos and story with us.
Composite Hand RailsComposites are another option you might want to consider. Composite materials last longer than wood and are maintenance free. They have the look and feel of wood, never need painting, and are resistant to fading.
Still the most popular front porch and deck hand rail system, wood can be as simple or as ornate as you would like. I've constructed several wood hand rails and can attest the trickiest part is finding the correct angle for cuts.
Once that's done, assembly is fairly easy given you can use prefabricated wooden top and bottom rails (available at home supply stores). Pickets fit into pre-cut holes making it a simple job.
Wrought Iron Hand Rails
Although there aren't too many true wrought iron railings (most are made from other metals), wrought iron does add an element of elegance to a home as shown above.
The Amazon ads are our affiliate links. Thank you.
CommentsOur site is a labor of love. We appreciate your comments very much.
~~~ Signup for free porch tips in your in box. ~~~
Helpful LinksShop Amazon for Porch /Garden
New / Updated Pages
Porch Ideas for Mobile Homes
Find a Local Contractor
Build a Porch | Small Porches
Porch Columns | Porch Railings
Shop for Home Plans
Porch Curtains | Porch Enclosures
Porch Landscaping | Vinyl Lattice
Porch Decorating | Porch Ideas
Navigation AidsHome | Top of Page
Site Search | Site Map
Custom Porch Products
For Your Porch Parts
DIY Eze Breeze
Screen Porch Windows
Complement Any Home!
End sponsor section
All rights reserved.
Content and photos may not be reproduced
in any way without our written permission.
FIND A LOCAL CONTRACTOR
Search Our Site
DIY Eze Breeze - Screen Porch Windows
Porch Store - Custom Porch Products
Vintage Woodworks for Your Porch Parts
PCA Products Complement any Home
Home Plans with Porches
See Our Latest Updates
Browse Our Porch Market
Get Our Porch Ideas Generator eBook
Ten Before & After Case Studies
We may earn a commission by referring you to some products on merchant sites. See our disclosure policy. Thank you.
Front Porch Designs Home | Return to Top
Contact Us | About Us | Advertise with Us | Search | Site Map
Content and photos may not be reproduced or copied in any way without our express written permission.