1. Check Visual Appeal
A drawing of the porch will help determine the visual appeal of handrails. For instance, if the porch will have railings around the walking deck, the porch steps may look better with handrails, even if the porch decking is just 24 inches high, for example. Adding handrails provides the opportunity to add well-made posts at the bottom of the steps on each side. These support posts can enhance the look of the house significantly from the curbside.
2. Consider Safety Concerns
Evaluate how your family will use the porch steps. If you have small children under the age of five, the handrails will provide boundaries to keep the children from toppling off the side of the steps. Even if they can’t reach the handrail tops, children gain protection from balusters in place under the handrails at the stairs.
3. Plan for Privacy
A public sidewalk in front of the house may dictate extra boundaries that are needed. For example, you can extend handrails along stairs coming off the porch to flank your own sidewalk that intersects with the public sidewalk. By extending railing beside the steps on toward the curb, you can install a security gate right where your sidewalk ends.
4. Review Step Dimensions
Extremely wide front steps may not require handrails. For example, if the porch decking is less than 30 inches high, the steps coming down from the porch are relatively easy to navigate. Just two or three steps are not a risk factor for most adults, and steps that are wider than 4 feet pose no real risk to falling off the sides of the steps. Narrow steps might require a handrail on just one side.
If you decide that you need a railing for your front steps, make sure to visit http://www.coloradocustomwelding.com to discuss with our railing experts a custom railing that will be just right for you.