Install handrail?

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Old 04-15-05, 08:35 PM
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Install handrail?

I am trying to install a handrail leading to my basement and need a little guidance. The stairs are L shaped. First set has 6 steps then there is a 4x4 landing followed by 8 more step. How long does the rail need to be and how far apart should the hardware be spaced?
 
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Old 04-15-05, 08:57 PM
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Code for our area is it can be no less than 34" and no more than 38" off the stair tread. not less than 1 1/4" or more than 2" in diameter for proper hand hold. cannot go beyond first and last riser any more than 12".

So in a nut shell you need a handrail for each set of stairs starting at the top tread and going to the last tread, and both ends must be terminalted at a newel post or returned back to wall so cloth cannot catch on them...nee to be smooth and no sharp corners either, but all the one we install have a 90* returning back to wall so our inspectors dont consider that a sharp corner when used with standard pine handrail.
 
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Old 04-15-05, 09:02 PM
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Assuming that you take 8 steps up to the landing, and that the landing is counted as your 8th step... and also assuming that your stairs have a standard 7" rise and 10" run, 8 steps would produce a triangle with sides of 48 and 80, where the hypotenuse (handrail) would be 93.29".

Assuming that the 6 steps are from the landing to the main floor, and that the main floor is your 6th step, using the same formula, 6 steps would produce a triangle with sides of 42 and 60, where the hypotenuse (handrail) would be 73.23".

It doesn't hurt if the handrail is a little longer, so you'll likely want an 8' and a 7' piece, then trim them precisely. The handrail brackets are a matter of taste, and largely depend on where the studs are. So if the walls are framed on 16" centers, you can either put them every 32" or every 48". For the 93" long handrail, I would suggest one on each end, with 2 in-between. For the 73" long handrail, one on each end, with 1 in-between should suffice.
 
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Old 04-17-05, 10:23 AM
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Handrail

If I can't find a stud, can I use plastic anchors?
 
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Old 04-17-05, 11:08 AM
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In my opinion, that would not be a good idea. It would be better to purchase a $10 studfinder, or tap the wall with a hammer and listen for the solid sound of a stud.
 
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Old 04-17-05, 12:00 PM
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Those anchors, platic, metal, toggle, etc...just wont have the strength to hold if the rail is needed in an emergency. How would you feel if a child was falling, grabbed the railing and had it pull outta the wall cuz the anchors did'nt hold?

As contractors we cannot take that chance, as a homeowner you should'nt either with lives at stake.
 
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Old 04-17-05, 02:17 PM
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Got it

Thanks everyone. Found the studs. Appreciate you help.
 
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