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Old 01-26-2008, 03:56 PM   #1
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PVC Railing on Concrete


As you see with the 2 attached Pics....I have to install a railing for the door opening pad (4x4) and steps.

I know the big box shops will have most of the tools and hardware needed.....but I figure I might ask for any tips or suggestions.

I was thinking of getting Sand color PVC with simple railings. I live in Southeast PA so I figure this will be a spring project when I know it will be dry and a bit warmer.

The concrete steps and porch were put down last April. Porch size is 24x14 overall.

Any tips out there? Thanks.
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PVC Railing on Concrete-porchpic1.jpg   PVC Railing on Concrete-porchpic2.jpg  


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Old 01-26-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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You should be able to install a pretty sturdy railing. One point, is because you are going to have a return - back into the house at the top landing.
Bare in mind, when you do that, you will have to remove some of the siding, cut it so it goes around the railing's ballustrades/or post (dependant on your installation arrangement). You would also need to obtain vinyl color matching J channel (for your siding)...that will wrap around the railing/posts components, that will be attached directly to the house.

One of the "bench-marks" of a well made railing system, aside from the workmanship details, is it's sturdiness. When you grab and pull on it, it should be solid and tight.

One Key Tool: Obtain a Hammer Drill or Rotary Hammer. You will need it to install your fasteners to the concrete.

Personally, I would suggest using a PVC composite railing system that allows you to slide a post cover over a 4x4 PT post.
I would also suggest that you install your posts, not on the surface of the landing and steps, but to attach them to the sides. There are many "post anchoring systems" that attach the posts to a surface using a plate with fasteners. I personally hate these beyond mention. I have yet to find one that I feel attaches a post secure enough for long term heavy use.
The arrangement I propose looks like the following. See figures 3 - 6 at this link (scroll down on the link): http://www.easy2diy.com/cm/easy/diy_...ge_id=35720671

You can use galvanized concrete sleeve anchors and bolts. Counter-sink the bolt heads into the 4x4 PT post, so that they do not protrude more than the surface of the 4x4's. Use a paddle drill bit to do this, before you do the actual drilling for the fasteners. You should install 2 per post, and place them slightly diagonal to eachother, rather than one on top of the other.
Personally, I would notch the posts where they will meet the side of the concrete. Possiby take 1 -1/2" off and leave 2" to drill and attach to the side.
Post covers can be obtained in varying lengths. So you could use longer post covers and notch them where the 4x4 railing post sits directly against the concrete.

Unlike the other pictures on that link, you could opt, not to install your ballusters directly to the concrete. Rather, install only your railing posts, then install your composite upper and lower ballustrades to the "covered" posts.

I feel that such an arrangement will give you years of use from a reliable, solid, secure, and safe railing system.


- Build Well -

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 01-26-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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Thank you for taking the time for the detailed response. Some great tips. there. Much appreciated.
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