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Old 03-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


Hi, here is a picture of my situation. take a look now and I'll try to explain it. The proposed balustrade ( in red ) is to be installed over a "flight cap" or whatever that is called. The problem is that it sits directly below the ceiling and their is not a lot of clearance as you get to the higher treads. What should I do when it comes to incorporating the handrail. the people I am doing this work for have bought all the iron balusters and I told them I'de figure something out. If anyone who knows anything about stairs knows what would look good or knows of at least a description of the type of stairwell configuration ( so that I can do some further searching on the topic) I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


not being a stair expert, but someone who has walked up warehouse stairs with a rail built improperly, I can tell you what not to do.

DO NOT end the handrail in a V where it meets the ceiling.have a u shaped curve or the like there. many fingers will thank you.

or have the rail "bend" back into the stairwell so the hand follows it away from the ceiling.

I'll be interested to see what the pros chime in with.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


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not being a stair expert, but someone who has walked up warehouse stairs with a rail built improperly, I can tell you what not to do.

DO NOT end the handrail in a V where it meets the ceiling.have a u shaped curve or the like there. many fingers will thank you.

or have the rail "bend" back into the stairwell so the hand follows it away from the ceiling.

I'll be interested to see what the pros chime in with.
That was my first thought as well.

I think your going to have to 'block' the upper portion of the 'V'...in fact, part of the V can be an anchor point for the railing....
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


thanks so far to those who replied. I'm still at a loss as what to do. should I screw a section of the handrail to the underside of the ceiling and then trim the spindles really short in that "v" section? Does anyone have any pictures they can show me of similar stairs with a finished balustrade? or a link to one? my guess right now is to have a "goose-neck sort of bump out of the handrail near where the diagonal section of handrail meets the horizontal section of handrail that is to be screwed to the ceiling??? then the handrail will travel up the rest of the flight mounted to the wall...can anyone help me out before monday???
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


What is shown is a fairly common design shortcoming, there are a couple of ways of dealing with it. The first is to run the rail into the ceiling and have a second rail on the wall side. The other is to use a off-set fitting http://www.ljsmith.net/products.aspx...11&product=953. Neither solution is particularly attractive but then you didn't design the staircase and sadly neither did the architect.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:53 PM   #6
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


The ballusters will just have to get shorter, as they must maintain the horizontal spacing as per code. As for the handrail, if there is a full length wall on the other end of the stair treads, I would run the rail there.
If it must go on the illustrated side, you will either have to build and "s" shaped offset far enough down from the"v" to alllow for hand clearance, or set the entire rail far enough away from the wall to allow a straight run. You cannot just start the wall mounted rail above the "v" as the handrail has to be one unbroken run from top to bottom for code.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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NEED HELP BUILDING AWKWARD BALUSTRADE please


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Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
What is shown is a fairly common design shortcoming, there are a couple of ways of dealing with it. The first is to run the rail into the ceiling and have a second rail on the wall side. The other is to use a off-set fitting http://www.ljsmith.net/products.aspx...11&product=953. Neither solution is particularly attractive but then you didn't design the staircase and sadly neither did the architect.
No need for me to chime in, you got it covered. The stairs shouldn't have been framed that way to start with.

The only thing I might add is, that might look a little unusual continuing the rail up the side of the wall as the spindles would have to sit on the treads and making the transition from the shoe to the treads might look a little awkward.

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Last edited by BigJim; 03-05-2012 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Added a little more.
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