How to Attach Railings to a Column

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Pencil

  • Carpenter’s level

  • Variable speed drill

  • 1/16-inch drill bit

  • L-brackets

  • 1-inch wood screws

Installing railing between columns adds to the character of a home.

When you want to add railing to your porch or deck, don't let columns negate your plans. Methods for attaching railing to columns do exist regardless of the type of railing you want to use, but the desired railing can limit how they secure to the columns. Even then, minimal woodworking skills are sufficient to complete this project successfully. You may want to enlist a friend or family member to help hold long railings in place during the installation process.


Step 1

Measure the height of the railing. Determine the desired height of the top of the railing. Mark the column accordingly.

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Step 2

Measure the distance from the bottom of the top of the railing to the top of the bottom of the railing. Measure from the mark on the column toward the floor and make a mark on the column.

Step 3

Place a carpenter's level vertically on the column. Draw a short line intersecting the marks on the column. Measure from the first marks on the column and make a mark on the vertical lines that represents the thickness of the top and bottom of the railing.

Step 4

Drill a pilot hole with a 1/16-inch drill bit at the point where the two lines intersect. Install an L-bracket to the column with wood screws. Your choice in railing may require something different other than an L-bracket for installation.

Step 5

Place the railing on the L-brackets. Secure the railing to the brackets with wood screws.


Make two marks on the vertical lines if the L-bracket has two holes on each leg.

Place a block of wood under the bottom of the railing if it is 8 feet or longer.


Do not leave power tools within reach of small children.


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