Here’s a porch restoration we’ve been working on.
Interestingly, the original porch is probably 70-80 years old. Repairs had been made to the stairs within the past few years, and these failed almost immediately. The original deck had some rot, but was considerably more robust than the repairs.
For drainage, the bottom rail has been left open so the balusters can drain. Extending the balusters beyond the bottom rail is our interpretation of code requirements. For child safety a sphere of 4″ can’t pass through any portion of the railings. Let’s just say that if the folks who write building codes had seen my children we’d have a lot more latitude with baluster spacing.
I’ll try to get more photos of this one at some point.