Adding Curb Appeal with Cedar & Iron Railing : One Room Challenge : Week 7
Updated: Jul 12, 2021
It's Week 7 of the One Week Challenge and I'm feeling so relieved to have this phase of the front porch makeover completed. This was by far the most challenging of the phases and had us both cursing the DIY acronym at times. Some of the frustration came with not ordering enough parts (more on that to come) and also drilling into the brick (even with the appropriate tools and bits) it didn't go smoothly. But now that it's done, it's added tons of curb appeal and was all worth it!
If you're curious about the larger plan for the One Room Challenge, you can read more on our Week 1 post.
I'll do my my best to break down how we built the cedar and iron deck rails below, but as always, please send me a note or leave a comment, if you have any questions. I'll supply the list of products we used, at the end of the post.
Step 1: Demo
We didn't feel one ounce of remorse bringing this old clanky thing down!
Step 2: Pour Concrete Foundation
Due to the new design of the railing, we needed to pour concrete footing for 1 of the 3 posts. We used a hole digger to dig to the thaw line and scrap wood to frame out a square for the top of the footing.
Step 3: Waterproof Cedar
Treat cedar post and rails with a weather-proofing application. We used a urethane to provide water-proofing to the wood. Note: read the instructions on your weather proofing application so that you have enough time for drying between coats. Our product suggested 3 coats.
Step 4: Drill Holes in Post & Secure Anchors to Concrete
Drill holes in the bottom of the post for securing to the anchor. Use a hole saw to drill a pilot cut in post and use a mallet to drive the anchor fully into the wood. Then install the anchors to the concrete using appropriate fasteners. In rushing ahead, I didn't end up taking any photos of these steps, but the directions make this easy to follow. I really liked that these anchors don't require exposed cuts in the bottom of the wood, so we went with the Titan Post Anchor Kit.
Step 5: Install Railing Connectors For the Bottom Rails
Since we were anchoring the railing to the house, we made 6x6 cedar plates to fasten the railing connectors.
Tip: There are different anchor railing for stairs and straight runs, so be sure to order the different types, based on your project needs.
Step 7: Install Baluster Anchors & Balusters
The regular straight railing was super easy to install, but the stair railing is definitely more challenging. We actually ended up mixing different brands (because I didn't order enough of the baluster anchors online) so to stay on schedule I picked up a similar product at the local hardware store.
TIP: When ordering the baluster anchors, be sure to account for 2 anchors per pole!
When it came to the baluster anchors,I have to say that the Deckorators brand is far superior when it comes to the stair railing baluster, as it's easier to install. The anchors have taller interior framing component, so the poles stay in place much easier, while installing. We had to use tape to keep the balusters and anchors in place on the similar product that I picked up at the local hardware store. The photo to the left displays the difference in manufacturing. Though they look the same when installed, the Deckorator anchor on the right has the taller interior frame, which does a better job at holding the balusters in place, while instaling.
Once the baluster and connectors were secured, we installed the top railing, using the railing connectors. If you're planning on doing this project, I highly recommend ratchet straps for securing the balustars and anchors, while installing the rails.
TIP: I should also note that this is most definitely a 2 person process, especially when installing the balusters for the stair railings.
Step 8: Install The Post Cap
The standard post sizes are 4x4, but I wanted to create more of the stately craftsman look, so we went with 6x6 posts.
Now that the railing is done, we'll be adding the last touches with furniture! I can't wait to reveal the full makeover next week! Make sure to sign up for our blog updates so you don't miss the reveal!
6x6 Cedar Posts
2x4 Cedar Lumber
Appropriate fasteners (wood, masonry, etc.)
Be sure to join the adventure, as we go, and follow us on instagram at @Hyyge_Spruce
Also, don't miss out on all the talent and inspiration happening from other designers on the One Room Challenge Blog!