Monday, December 10, 2012

Porch Railings: Inspiration and Local Craftsmen

The old saying about inspiration striking anywhere was true for us back in August.

We'd met with local metalworker Neil Bland a few days earlier 
and were all set to have him make the railing 
for the upper porch and exterior stairs.

Regular old metal railings with vertical bars. 
It seemed to be what we needed to do 
and wasn't something we'd given much thought to since it seemed so obvious.
Classic for sure, but also a bit ho-hum.

Then we were eating lunch on the balcony of Hillel House 
on W&L's campus when inspiration struck!

I asked Joe what he thought of the horizontal railings that were right next to our table
and he agreed that they might be just the ticket.
And doesn't everyone eat lunch with a tape measure in their pocket?
Or at least people who are building houses do!
We took a few measurements, 
snapped photos with my phone,  
and then arranged to meet Neil on the balcony at Hillel House 
so that we could show him 
our starting point for designing our railings.

And here's the result....

The first panels going in....

They're just a tad out of the ordinary 
and the horizontal rails don't obscure the view 
when you look though them obliquely. 

The talent in our small county is second to none.  
We're thrilled with the care and craftsmanship shown by Neil.

We decided to have them powdercoated and also went local...
VERY local as one of our neighbors has a powdercoating business!
The color is nearly a perfect match 
for the bronze/brown of both the lights and the windows.

For the great color match, I owe a hats off and kudos to Tiger Drylac up in Canada.
Drylac is the source for the majority of powdercoating "paint" used commercially.
Even though I was just a lowly homeowner, 
they kindly sent me large free metal samples of 6 different bronze browns 
after I called them and lamented the fact that I couldn't make a decision using
the thumbnail sized paper chip in the powdercoating catalog.

I'd never have picked the perfect color using only the catalog!

The next step is to see if we can get our inside staircase builder back 
(he's supposed to be coming this weekend)

If we can get our interior railings
 then we'll be about ready to get an occupancy!


  1. Wow, those railings look great! I know you can't wait to get moved in. Have a great week!

  2. really nice choice on horizontal lines to go with the strong vertical lines of the columns! you are a designer, for sure!


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