How to Install a Metal Railing
Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough installs a custom metal railing using anchoring cement
1. Locate a local welding company to make the railings for the steps. This process usually takes up to three weeks.
2. Measure roughly 4” from the wall and 4” from the edge of the steps to place the railing. Use a marker to trace around the edges of the railing.
3. Use the coring drill to drill out holes for the railing. A scrap piece of stone can be used to guide the drill.
4. Use the masonry drill to clean out the hole made by the coring drill.
5. Dry fit the railings to ensure a correct fit.
6. Pour a small amount of the anchoring cement into the mixing cup and add water. It will immediately begin to cure, so work quickly.
7. Pour the anchoring cement into each hole. Clean up any excess cement with a damp sponge.
8. Check the railing for level before the cement cures. Let it set up for 30 minutes.
9. Add a bead of caulking around each hole to protect it from water.
A custom metal railing can be purchased from a welding shop. Mark recommended using one with solid steel posts. The one Mark installed was made by Mike’s Welding Company.
All the materials Mark used for this installation, including the caulking gun, the anchoring cement, and the coring drill, can be found at home centers.
Expert assistance for this segment was provided by MJM Masonry.