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Do It Yourself


Can rusted metal railing be fixed?

By Peter Hotton
Peter Hotton
Peter Hotton has been the handyman expert for the Boston Globe for more than 30 years.

Q. One of the metal posts on my front step railing has rusted out so badly that it is sort of dangling from the rail. Can that be fixed or replaced?

It can be fixed, but it’s a jury-rig at best. This is how: Railing posts are sunk into the concrete or masonry steps, so the bottom of the post must be chipped or removed right out of its hole. Then the post is cut near its bottom and a new post mortared into the hole to connect with the old rail. Then thin stainless steel plates can be screwed into the post, serving as a splint to keep the post vertical. Better is to have a wrought-iron worker replace the post.

Q. I have sheer curtains in front of a recessed radiator. Do those curtains block any of the heat coming from the radiators?

The heat will go right through the curtains, or push them aside or away for the heat to come into the room. Enjoy the billowing curtains, or open them when the heat is on.
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