How To Install A Vinyl Railing

How To Install A Vinyl Railing

Step by Step Instructions on Installing A Vinyl Railing

The experts at American Discount Fence offer the following tips when deciding how to install a vinyl railing.

A Vinyl Railing offers the homeowner a maintenance free product plus enhances the beauty of your home. Vinyl Railings come in various styles so you can find that special look for your home. Vinyl Railing can be installed in around concrete patios, directly on concrete, directly on wood decks or balconies.

How to Plan

Discuss your plans with your local township to see if there are height or style restrictions for the type of railing you would like to install. Traditionally railings are installed to a height of 36 inches for lower levels and 42 inches for balconies.

Visit a reputable vinyl railing distributor like American Discount Fence and have them provide valuable insight and budget suggestions.

What is Available

Vinyl Railings come in various styles and colors. They can be used for decoration, security or for safety. The top rail comes in different widths and shapes so that they can be easily held on to by senior citizens. They are usually supplied in a box system that includes the top and bottom rails, balusters or pickets, bracket kits with screws and caps. Post, post caps are also supplied if needed.

With most manufactures both top and bottom rails have metal reinforcements to add strength and stability.

Railing Terminology

  • Top Rail – The top portion of the railing that you can hold on too.
  • Bottom Rail – The bottom portion of the railing the holds in place the balusters.
  • Balusters – The pickets in between the top and bottom rails. These pickets can come in various styles such as square, round, and other decorative styles.
  • Bracket Kits – Allow you to connect the top and bottom rails with the post.
  • Post – The vertical support that the top and bottom rails will be attached to.
  • Post Skirt – The post skirt is the bottom molding of the post to hide the connection to the concrete or wood deck.
  • Post Mount – The aluminum mount that is bolted to the wood deck or concrete. The vinyl post is then placed over the aluminum mount for install.

Site Layout

Take time to carefully lay out your plan for the railing to be installed. An incorrect measurement could result in problems later. Make provisions for widths of the railing so that you do not end up with odd sized sections that can complicate the installation.

Before You Begin

Make sure you have the correct post needed to assemble your vinyl railing. In some situations, existing posts may be used, or if needed new posts will need to be installed. Posts for the stairs are typically longer then the posts for non-stair sections.

Getting Started

Project tools and materials needed: Hacksaw or miter saw, drill, tape measure and level. Check all boxes of material to be sure you ordered everything you need and that everything is accounted for. Distribute the rails to the appropriate location for installation.

Measure Rails for Openings

  1. First you need to measure the distance of the opening. Mark the measurement on the top and bottom rail, verifying that you are trimming equal amounts off of each end of the top and bottom rail in order to maintain a uniform appearance.
  2. Cut each end of the top and bottom rail at the markings. (For example, if your rail is 4 inches longer than your opening, you need to cut 2 inches off of each end.)
  3. Insert the foot peg in the bottom rail for the desired distance for the bottom rail to be off of the floor. If a foot peg is not available, prop up or shim the bottom rail to the desired distance.

Installing the Bottom Rail

  1. Slide the mounting brackets onto the ends of the top and bottom rails. Install bottom rail first by inserting into the opening. Make sure the rail is level and then fasten the brackets to the post or column with the provided screws.
  2. Inserting the Pickets
  3. Insert the pickets into the routed holes of the bottom rail.

Installing the Top Rail

  1. To install the top rail, hold it an angle above the pickets and slide it onto the picket’s one at a time. Check to see if the rail is vertically level and then secure it by screwing the brackets into the post.
  2. Adjust the top rail side to side until the pickets are vertically level. Screw one leveling screw into the top and bottom bracket on one end of the rail.
  3. After assembly install the screw caps (provided) to hide the screw holes.

Post Information

When a post is needed to be installed, some vinyl posts can go directly into the ground around the cement patio. The post should go down 3 feet into the ground with a 60 lb bag of concrete to hold in place.

Some installations require a 4×4 pressure treaded post to be installed, then the vinyl post sleeve goes over the 4×4.

When installing the post directly on the concrete patio or wood deck, a post mount will be required. The post mount is bolted on to the concrete or wood deck, then the vinyl post sleeve will go over the post mount. At the top of the post decorate your post with a vinyl post cap. At the bottom of the post, use a post skirt for cosmetic purpose.

Remember to contact American Discount Fence when planning your Vinyl Railing Installation.