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The options for materials used in building a porch have expanded, and wood is no longer the only option for building an attractive and durable porch in the front of a house. Vinyl porch railing systems have become prevalent in home design because vinyl requires little maintenance, it lasts a long time, and it is relatively inexpensive to buy and install. Vinyl porch railing systems often include vinyl porch posts and railing panels that are connected together to create the final structure. While not as strong as wood or metal in terms of bearing a load, vinyl porch railing systems are a great option for an attractive and low-cost porch construction project.
Homeowners and builders use vinyl porch railing kits over wood for a variety of reasons. Vinyl requires no staining or painting, which means no repainting or re-staining will be necessary a few years after installation, as is the case with wood. Vinyl is easy to clean and is resistant to mold, mildew, and bug infestations. High grade vinyl porch railing systems will not yellow in the sun or buckle in changing weather, though some cheaper alternatives may.
Installation of vinyl porch railing systems may be more difficult than wood systems, however. Since wood can be easily cut on-site, installation of wooden porch railings can be adapted if a mistake is made. Vinyl porch railing systems, on the other hand, are prefabricated to specific lengths and tolerances, so a certain amount of skill and patience is necessary to install the panels correctly. If the panels are not installed correctly, they may buckle and crack as the weather changes, or the panels themselves may loosen enough that they may fall out of place.
Vinyl railings are often designed to mimic the style and texture of wooden railings, though the process of creating the vinyl railings lends itself to unique designs and textures, opening up a new set of aesthetic possibilities. Most railings are designed in conjunction with vinyl porch posts, which can also be ornately designed to accentuate the beauty of a porch or home. Vinyl railing panels can also be used with wooden posts, and vinyl panels can be affixed to the wooden posts to create a consistent aesthetic. Vinyl railings are strong enough to support large amounts of weight, though they are not quite as strong as some other materials.