Railings!

The front railings are now done, barring some minor caulking and painting. To bring you back up to speed, the railings on our front steps gradually rotted away after buying the house in 2004. Detail-oriented readers will notice that the date of that last railing post is September 2011, so clearly, they did not “in place and painted before the winter rains start.” In reality they didn’t get started until August, and it has been a gradual process of building and painting. However, they are nearly done, and I’m happy to say that they are very strong. Also, I changed a few elements with the goal of making them hold up better through the wet winters. I added a 1/2″ thick sacrificial piece of wood (shaped to match the railings) between the railings and the post, so if it rots in the future, that piece can be replaced. The original column bases were huge and had a lot of horizontal surface area to collect water. I scaled ours down, so the sloped angles start right at the base of the columns. Those two changes will hopefully help these last much longer than the last ones.

Here’s the nearly finished project…

The caps went on today, so it’s just a bit of paint away from being done

And the deconstruction of the construction…

Fully assembled, partially painted
Mating up to all the varied, often non-plumb surfaces was pretty challenging
One column up…
Small notch for the reinforcing bracket
The original posts were made by screwing the hollow, pyramidal columns into a wood square, which was bolted to the concrete. I tried replicating that, but my first column started to wobble within a week. I then used an anchor to install a center post, but it had very little lateral stability. I then added the tall anchor on the side, and that made it as solid as a rock. Even now, months later, there is zero wobble.

 

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