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How do I love thee? Let me count the spindles.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways, I mean spindles.

Ipe decking copy

… let me count the pieces

Have you ever called a contractor to look at fixing something and after mere seconds, or minutes, he can give you a figure on how much it would cost to fix without as much as touching it? If that number is high, you might dismiss him as a crackpot. What about calling a contractor, giving a 30-second description of what you’re seeking and receiving a very specific and very high price? In my line of work, I can look at an already built porch and estimate how much it cost to build. How? By the number of pieces.

Think about how many pieces it takes to build a porch. How many 6 x 6’s? How many pieces of molding? Single door or french doors? Let’s examine the 6 x 6 being used as a porch support more closely. Let’s think of a custom porch column construction. Most likely the column is wrapped or otherwise veneered by a nicer finish than the less elegant pressure-treated Southern yellow pine of the 6 x 6. We’re not giving pine a bad rap. It’s strong as all get out and holds up roofs, porches, decks, and house walls. But, in a custom porch, we do give those columns a good “wrap”. We finish them with nicer and more beautiful finishes. In the case of a custom designed and built porch, these column wraps are generally built by hand. Not only does it take 4 pieces of the material to wrap a column.

Let’s turn our attention to railings.

PVC Railing PanelKeeping in mind the scenario above of how many pieces it takes to build a single column, imagine how many pieces it takes to build a railing – just one section or the area in between 2 posts! Now let’s forget the construction and envision painting the railings. Every. Single. Year.

In the classic poem referenced above, Elizabeth Barrett Browning goes on to say I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. How far can your paintbrush reach? How far can your ladder reach?

Just as you must count the number of pieces for a construction estimate, you must multiply that times 4 when considering the annual maintenance. Painting your pickets from the front side is not so hard. Let’s swing the ladder around the outside of the porch and paint each and every spindle from the back side. How let’s try to find an angle where we can get the brush in between each of the spindles. Don’t forget your full-time assistant that wipes up the drips of paint that find their way on to the already painted side when you try to paint the sides of each and every spindle.

Or, how about low maintenance?

How long does it take to paint a low maintenance railing? It doesn’t. It never needs to be painted. Ever. It never needs to be scraped and never needs to be stained. It’s low maintenance. Will it need to be cleaned? If dust or pollen or mud or ketchup find their way to the railing, then it needs to be cleaned but some water and bleach and possibly a brush should be all you need unless you’ve left that ketchup on there way too long.

And how many pieces did it take to put together the railing panel you see above? One. The arched pattern part of the railing (excluding the hand rail that sits atop) is one piece. Our PVC railing comes in panels in the design of your choosing. You’d be hard pressed to imagine that this railing is made of PVC. The word PVC, for some, brings to mind something that looks very plastic or flimsy. Our custom-made but stock-sold solid PVC railing panels are solid to the core, designed to the max, and require nearly no maintenance.

How do I love thee railing that’s stunning to look at, easy to install and never needs annual maintenance? Let me count the ways.

If you are looking to purchase low maintenance porch railings online or to purchase low-maintenance railing panels, visit our Porch Store.

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