Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 6
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HokieDIY Nice sturdy product, but beware some details
Overall I'm pleased with this product. The design is nice and after installation it's very sturdy... much more so than I expected from PVC railings. It took me a whole day to install 5 kits, not including the post kit, which took about 1/2 day by itself due to my limited access underneath the porch.
1) Veranda is a brand name owned by Home Depot. HOWEVER, they allow two different manufacturers (Fiberon and Barrette) to sell under the same name and logo, setting up a recipe for incompatibility. I needed a post kit, so I bought the one with a metal tube structure (Barrette), not knowing it was a different manufacturer than the rails. Problem was the rail line hardware kit had an assortment of screws that would not work with the Barrette post kit. The screws to attach to the post would hit the metal tube (see pictures). I tried to find alternative shorter screws, but couldn't find any like the painted ones they provided in the line kit. Fortunately Home Depot online took pity on me and supplied me a new hardware kit so I could have the proper (extra) screws. I made the case that they're selling incompatible products under the same brand name.
2) Pay close attention to where you screw the brackets on to the rail (i.e. the underside). I accidentally installed the brackets on the upper side of one top rail and now have to buy a new top rail. If you work quickly, you'll forget which side to put the brackets on. I was able to purchase a new rail from Home Depot. Asked them to sell it to me at cost seeing as how I spent close to $600 on these rails and accessories. So getting a new top rail for just over $20.
3) If your posts are not square to your columns, you will have a gap angle. Don't try to fudge, make sure everything is as perpendicular/plumb/level as possible. Even with the recommended gap between the joining surface and the bracket (which helps to pull the pieces together), it doesn't always close the gap completely, especially on the stair rails. Also, my columns were not exactly centered with the lower posts on the stairs, so I had to attach one stair rail off-center of my main porch column (see pictures).
4) You WILL strip screw heads (and they don't give you extras in the line rail kits)... found that I needed to use the high torque/low speed setting on my drill to reduce the occurrence of this. Also they recommend using a 1/8" bit for drilling pilot holes. This is OK for plastic, but too tight for wood IMO. Therefore I had better luck using a 9/64" bit when drilling into wood. This helped to reduce stripping the screw heads.
5) If you're cutting the stair rail, you start with the bottom. The tricky part is transferring that cut to the top rail. You should match the holes together when doing this, BUT do NOT measure to the hole edge, because that hole edge will change in horizontal distance as you increase the angle of your stairs due to the thickness of the hole. You need to put a baluster in at the approximate angle of the stairs and measure the horizontal distance from the cut to the baluster. I cut a short piece of extra baluster (about 3" long) to be able to position the baluster vertically but at an angle like it would be installed. Then I could transfer the cut line to the top rail. See pictures... I drew a section view. Note that if you transfer the A dimension on the lower rail to the upper rail B dimension, it will skew your balusters slightly. Honestly, I made this mistake on one of my stair rails and you can't tell. Even looking through the balusters on the second rail and comparing the angles, they're barely distinguishable. But if you're a perfectionist like me, you'll want it right.
My only dilemma now is what glue I should use to attach the post caps.
August 26, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Oldfolksrepair Easy to fit
This was simple to add on a remodel porch. We wrapped the post that was there with the matching post wrap and it worked easily. This rail we had to cut 1/2" off both sides to fit it to our porch. We have a good power saw and blade, clean cut. Quick fit. you do need to pre-drill post to let the screws work the best when using the kit that joins it to post. It does not come with the rail, you buy it separate. We have all the tools and technology, but we are aging, this allowed us to do our own repair even as Seniors.
June 17, 2016
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by MJ Nice Quality Product.
Nice quality product. Easy to install. Dressed up my 20 year old deck.
July 28, 2016
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by BvilleBound Best deck railing solution I found
The original wood railing on our deck was aging quickly, ugly and unsafe. I reviewed the options and picked the Veranda Regency composite product at our local Home Depot. I am a semi-pro home remodeler and know quite a bit about new building products and technology, and this composite is a winner. The core is strong and weather resistant like pultruded fiberglass, and the gloss white surface is sharp and never needs paint.
Unlike vinyl, the rails and balusters are strong even when it gets hot in the summer, self supporting and need no wood reinforcement. Sleeves slip over your existing posts, so no structural changes should be required. The rails also fasten to the posts with stainless brackets on the bottom side -- there are no ugly 'pocket brackets' at the end of every rail. The brackets and screws are all stainless steel, for long term strength and no rust stains.
I attached some photos showing the before-and-after from wood to Veranda. Here are a few installation tips:
> Post sleeves: The post sleeves will be larger than your wood posts, which leaves a gap. Insert a couple of shims at the top to tighten the sleeve against the post. This will make installation of the rail brackets easier; the sleeve won't shift and move when you are drilling holes and tightening the stainless screws. (A photo is attached showing the shims in place.)
> Rail brackets: Attach the brackets to the rails first. If you position the stainless rail brackets at the end of the rail, you will find that this often leads to a gap between the end of the rail and the post, after the rail is installed. Tape a thin piece of cardboard to a small builder's square, and hold it against the end of the rail when you position the bracket and mark the holes for the rail screws. This will shift the bracket back a bit, which will pull the rail tight to the post. (Photos are attached of the builder's square, the marks for the holes, the gap and the rail pulled tight.)
> Clamp the rails to the posts: To keep the rail securely in position while you mark the bracket holes, drill the pilots and tighten the screws, rest it on a couple of 2x4 pieces, then carefully clamp the bottom of the brackets to the posts with rubber faced clamps that won't mar the post sleeve. (Not a metal clamp.) The clamp will cover the bottom hole in the bracket; you can add this final screw after the other two are tightened.
> Stainless screws: People often complain about stainless screws 'twisting out' or breaking. Fact is, stainless is softer than the steel used for standard screws, e.g. Deckmate. You must be more careful. If your PT deck posts are old and hard, you may need to drill small pilot holes. Always use a fresh, high quality, full length driver bit -- not the free short ones that wiggle around and twist out. Drive the screws in slowly and carefully with constant pressure. If a screw starts to slip and skip, stop immediately, back it out slowly and start again with a new one. (High quality Milwaukee bits are available in the Home Depot tool dept.)
I hope all of this info is helpful. This was a great solution for our deck, and should be for yours!
September 20, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Crogzwell Better than our old wood railing
Easy to install, almost didn't need the directions. Our old wood railing was dried out, cracking and generally unattractive. This looks much better. We'll see if it still looks as good in 10 years. We were concerned that it might not be sturdy enough but it certainly is.
October 24, 2015
Rated 3.0 out of 5.0 by dfield Decent, required brackets are worthless
The railing itself is pretty good quality, really like the look and the price is pretty competitive. One of the railing kits I received had the baluster holes cut 1.5" x 2" as opposed to 1.5x1.5; not a big deal I always buy a few extra for things like this and return as needed.
Biggest downside is the required brackets are more than $16 for 4 brackets and a handful of screws. Even with pre-drilling all the holes, the screws still all stripped. Ended up buying some quality screws separately...pretty big bummer for something that is so much. I would definitely keep the low quality and high expense of those brackets in mind before buying this again.
September 11, 2014