Design ideas for front-porch-step handrails include wrought iron, wood or metal pipe railings. The style of the home and taste of the owner affect the idea that is most appropriate for the railing. For steps with an existing flat top wooden rail that is too wide to provide a good grip, installing a simple metal handrail inside the existing structure helps to increase safety.
Wrought iron rails provide a decorative touch to the porch while providing support for those using the steps. These rails are available in black or white, but owners can paint them any color. Powder-coated wrought iron provides a longer lasting finish than painted.
Wood rails are usually easy to install. Installers should use pressure-treated wood for any materials with direct ground contact to prevent rot. Wood rails offer the option of a simple handrail for support or of adding panels and rails for a decorative touch.
Metal pipe railings offer a secure rail that does not rot. These handrails are a good choice for occupants who depend on the rail for assistance with mobility. The pipes attach to the porch with adapters that provide a secure connection to concrete or wood flooring and steps. They are easy to install using parts from the hardware store or by purchasing a handrail kit.