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Replace a Rotted Wood Porch Railing

Updated:2013-10-30 15:15:56
Weather turns a poorly maintained wooden porch railing into an unnecessary safety hazard and an eyesore. Rotten wood cannot withstand the pressures exerted on the railing when an adult slips or leans on it. Replacing a rotted wood porch railing reduces the chance of an accidental fall. A basic wooden porch railing consists of a top and bottom railing, a rail cap and balusters. Balusters, the vertical slats, support the middle of the top rail and fences in the porch.

Instructions as follows:

                                                     

Firstly, measure each rotten section of the wood railing with a tape measure. Draw a schematic of the porch railings on a pad of paper and place the measurements at the appropriate places. The schematic helps when gathering materials and during reassembly.
Secondly, cut the top and bottom of the balusters from the top and bottom rails with a reciprocating saw. The reciprocating saw's blade can cut through the nails and screws holding the baluster in place without damaging the baluster or the rails.
Thirdly, cut the nails holding the top and bottom rails in place with the reciprocating saw.
Fourthly, layout each piece of the new wood porch railing using the schematic as a guide. Mark each long piece of new railing at the appropriate measurement with a pencil, using a carpenter's square to draw a straight line. If the top and bottom rails have angled cuts, set the old railing on the new railing and trace the angled cut.
Fifthly, cut each piece to size with either a chop saw or a circular saw. A chop saw creates straight cuts without damaging the wood's surface. If using a circular saw to cut the wood, apply a light, steady pressure and cut completely through the wood before releasing the saw's trigger.
Sixthly, lay out the balusters on the top and bottom rails with the tape measure and pencil. Evenly space the balusters.
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