covered porch railing

kimkssSeptember 23, 2008

Hey!! Our builders are currently in the process of places "posts or columns" on our front porch. It is a covered front porch that extends approx 30 feet across. Sorry I don't have a picture right at this time. They were placing the columns that extend from the concrete floor to the top of the porch. However when trying to space them far enough apart so that there doesn't look like there is too many they end up right in front of windows. Builder said that they cannot be more than 10 feet apart due to railing. Are these columns necessary for support because I see some porches that have 1/2 column posts that are secured to the floor of the porch but only go as tall as the railing. Is this an option or do they have to be full columns?

Phew...I have no idea how to ask this question. :-) I hope someone can follow it and give some advice. :-)

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mightyanvil

The length of the railing should not be the issue; the size of the roof beam, the area of the roof, and the required design loading should determine the maximum spacing of the supports.

What was shown on the design drawings?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 12:48PM
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meldy_nva

But if the posts aren't specified as needed for the roof support, then why not use mini-columns just high enough to support the railing? Thus the roof supports could be spaced so not to block the windows and the rail-supports could be interspaced so as to not exceed the 10-foot separation.

OTOH, if the roof supports are specified to placed in such a way that the windows are blocked, then you have a different problem which involves the architect/designer.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 1:41PM
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lsst

We have 4 posts spanning a 40 foot wide porch. I chose to do just 4 so that we did not have a post in the center of a bay window.
As far as railing, we have decorative black iron and a larger black iron post the height of the railing was used in every 6- 8 foot section to add support.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 3:37PM
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kimkss

I'm back with pictures. They are really poor and I tried to lighten them because it was getting dark by the time I got there last night. The first 4 posts at the front of the porch are already there. The other posts are actually just white boxes that I put there to get a better idea of how it is going to look. Just seems like there are too many posts but maybe it would look better when there is railing???? Also...if we eliminate a post on the right side of the door and evenly space two of them then it would put a post directly in front of the kitchen window.

In the area I live we do not hire architects, etc. when building houses. It is a rural area and our builder draws up a blue print, etc. After our blue print was drawn up we extended the length of the covered porch because it seemed like it was too short compared to the overall length of the house. That threw the drawing off.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:31AM
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mightyanvil

Is this the front or the rear of the house?

I would take out every other post and trim them out to be twice a big. If that requires a larger roof beam I would replace it or add an LVL to the existing one. Currently the absence of a visible roof beam over the posts makes the porch roof look insubstantial. If that doesn't get the post away from the window try 5 posts or 6 posts.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:46AM
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meldy_nva

Those posts do look much too close and too thin. Visually distracting. Frame the entrance, so that the doorway is between two posts. Use the distance from view-left entrance post to corner to repeat that spacing on view-right or evenly space just two posts between view-right entrance post and right corner. Actually, if they are finished to have a more solid appearance, it might look fine with a total of four posts [2 corner, 2 interim]. Play with the picture.

Are the posts load-bearing? Are you going to screen?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 1:18PM
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