Can I replace porch railings that are placed in a cement porch?

6 Replies

I would really like to update my SFR and put in a new railing around the porch since the current enclosure is rusting out but the fencing is cemented into the porch. can I remove the railings without damaging the porch or do I need to replaced the entire porch to cement new railings?

There are probably multiple ways to do it. It would probably be best to have somoene look at it (or post pics) to get better ideas on how to do it.

Yes you can. If they are bolted to the concrete just unbolt them. If they are sunk into the concrete cut them as low as possible with saws all, then grind them down gulch with angle grinder. (You could then slap a little grey paint or a thin coat concrete on anything still showing) when I did it all I had was tile thinset and it worked out great.

Then buy railings with mounting feet, drill holes in concrete with masonry bit and secure with concrete anchor bolts.

@Cory Mickler  Both Chris and Josh make good points. As Josh mentions, any plate secured with anchor bolts embedded in the concrete should be removable. Otherwise, you can follow his suggestion. Some anchor bolts look like an "L", so the bolt cures both horizontally and vertically in foundational concrete. A concrete wedge anchor will wedge vertically into an existing slab that you perforate with a masonry bit. You'll need a heavy-duty hammer drill, so that you don't burn out the motor of a standard drill with each hole you create.

No need to break or crack the porch/slab. This is a simple retrofit for your new railings. 

Sawzall them off and put new baseplate over them to hide it.

Some houses around my area have the wrought iron that actually supports the porch roof; if you have that scenario, be very careful if dismantling the wrought iron ...

The old rail can be removed. First cut the posts close to flush on the deck. If you want to remove the piece from the cement, make sure the inside of the post is fairly clean and not filled w/ rust and dirt, then with a chisel, (or power chipping hammer) "GENTLY" fold the old post into the hole in the middle, it should loosen up and be able to be pulled out. You can then insert new posts into the old holes. If you can't get the piece out, you can simple fold the top into the hole and patch over it. if you want to re-install the rail into the deck, you may have to have new holes core drilled into the concrete. It's not fun, but it can be done.

If you can't get it by yourself, a good metal fabricator should certainly be able to do it for you.

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