How to Install Garden Railings

One of the most popular choices when it comes to distinguishing the front of your property boundary is a short wall with metal railings on top.

This provides a traditional appearance whilst adding a natural balance to your garden and pathway.

Do I Need Planning Permission To Install Railings?

Before purchasing bricks or railings to start your project you may need to seek for planning permission.

The following points would all require planning permission from your Local Authority.

  • If your new wall/railings measure over 2 metres in height
  • If the new wall/railings adjoins a public highway and will be over 1 metre in height
  • If the wall/railing is within 3 metres of a road edge and is no more than 1 metre in height
  • If your neighbours all have open-planned front gardens
  • If you live in a listed building

If you are in doubt over any of these points, or want reassurance regarding the work you intend to do we would recommend seeking advice from your local authority:

How Do I Attach a Railing to A Post?

The standard manner to attach railings to metal posts is via brackets, which are normally included with the purchase of the railings. Metpost and Burbage products include the required brackets with each panel ordered.

You would require self-tapping screws to secure the bracket to the posts. This then allows you to hang the railings from the installed brackets.

Railings can also be hung from brick pillars or timber posts. These would require suitable screws designed for the material the brackets will be installed to.

How Do You Attach a Post To The Wall?

The easiest way to add railings above an already installed brick wall is to use bolt down posts. These include a square foot plate which allows for 4 bolts to go through the base of the post and into the brickwork, suitably securing your post.

Should you not have a brick wall, you can choose to use the bolt down option to secure the post to a hard ground, such as concrete or paving.

Alternatively you could look to use concrete in posts to go straight into the ground and then attach your railings to this.

What Height Should The Railings Be?

The only law regarding the height of railings is applied if the railings are being located on a roof or raised terrace. Should this be the case the minimum height of the railings must be 1.1 metres from the floor for it to be legal.

UK Building Regulations state that for the railings to be safe for domestic and residential, they must be resistant to pushing and leaning against, and have gaps under 99mm in all directions. This is to ensure children can’t fit between the gaps.

The UK Building Regulations and the Law do not offer advice on the height of a railing on the front of your property, with or without a supporting brick wall, however permission may require to be granted by your Local Planning Authority.

How Do I Measure Railings?

If you are looking to install railings you will need to ensure you order the correct width to suit your wall.

Measure the gap between your posts, or if you have no posts include the relevant space for supporting posts.

For example, if you had no posts and a gap of 1930mm for your railing at the front of your property, you would need to include a post on either end of the railing to support this.

Taking into account 2 x 50mm posts, this leaves you now with a gap of 1830mm, of which you need to fill with a railing.

Most metal railings will provide you with dimensions of the size of the actual panel. In this case a railing designed to fit a gap of 1830mm would be perfect.

If you already have posts, simply measure the size between these. Railing panels typically come at around 1.8-1.8m in width. However, these can be cut to size and made to measure if required.

The height of your railing is down to your personal preference or restrictions placed by your Local Authority, and would also depend on the height of your wall (if applicable). For a railing positioned on the top of a wall the standard height is around 455mm.

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