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Old 03-15-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


I am going to have an over-the-the post railing installed on my stairway as part of a project to replace the existing carpeting on my stairs with retro-treads. I am doing the retro-tread installation myself and will have a professional install the railing. If necessary, I want to reinforce/rebuild the first step so that the installation of the starting newel can be done so that the railing will be as strong as possible. The starting newel will sit on top of the 1st step and a second newel will be on the landing. There will not be any newels in between.

Below are some pictures of the existing stairway, including one of the tread on the 2nd step removed. I have not yet removed the tread on the 1st step but I expect it to look similar. I also attached an example photo with a circled area to show how I expect the newel will located on the 1st step. Disgregard that this example is a post-to-post newel.

Through some on-line research, I see that there are various installation methods possible for a starting newel. Which hardare/installation method would be most recommeded and how should the 1st step be reinforced/rebuilt so that it can be installed that way?

Thanks,
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-img_3017.jpg   Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-newel-fastener-products.jpg   Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-starting-easing-newel-5.jpg   Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-img_3005.jpg   Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-dowel-through-tread-installation.jpg  

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Last edited by hkeiner; 03-15-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Your best bet is to coordinate with your installer, how he wants it done.
Assuming you will be using a 4"x4" post, I would want some framing to attach to, not just the stringer.
To accomplish this and put post in correct position on the stairs, will need to rip out a few inches of the post and as little as possible. About 1 1/2" so it lines up with the stringer or skirt board, however you pan to build. And long enough to reach framing below. I have seen them just attached to the stringer, then you can run another brace along side of it and two more short ones in between braces to box it in and stiffen it up.
When post is set, then you will cut out the opening and slide the tread down over the post. So you do not want to install it without the post being set first
Is always more then one way to do anything, so coordinate with your installer first.

I love over the post rails, they are illegal in most areas because of the cats ass when going to a landing and turning the other direction, is to much variation in hight on the next step. But the appearance of them is what makes them so k00l!

We built one once for a parade of homes house, knowing it was illegal, we ordered a maple hand rail at same time to go along the wall and would be legal.
We did not want to install it till after the parade was over.
Somehow the co inspection came before the wall rail was installed.
That inspector was fuming, he was cursing at us all the way because we knew it was illegal, he called us every name in the book for it.
It was so beautiful, he passed us anyways and stomped out the door

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


To clarify, the photo above is something off the internet to show what I call the "cats ass" when changing hight from the landing. I prefer something just a little bit more pronounced for effect, and changes hight even more.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Quote:
Your best bet is to coordinate with your installer, how he wants it done.
Quote:

When post is set, then you will cut out the opening and slide the tread down over the post. So you do not want to install it without the post being set first
I was not initally planning to find an installer until after I had finished with the retro-tread installation part of the project. Since it could take me several months to finish the retro-tread installaion part of the project, I didn't want to contact/interview railing installers until I thought I was ready for them. I didn't want to waste their time if they have to wait months for the work to start. I also thought it best to have the stairs ready for railing installation when they come out to quote and describe exactly what they will do.

Based upon what you say, I am rethinking the above plan. If it is best to install the starting newel before the retro-tread is installed on the 1st step, I need to either select and coordinate with a railing installer on this right away or delay installing the retro-tread and bracing on the 1st step until I do have a railing installer selected.

For sure it seems that permanently installing the retro-tread on the 1st step and then calling in a railing installer afterwards is not such a good idea. Thanks for advising me to avoid such a blunder.

Last edited by hkeiner; 03-15-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


As a stairbuilder here is what I would do. I would attach it with a 1/2 lap onto the ace of the riser and drop it down to the floor. Make sure the riser is plumb and securely fastened. If it is not then take off tread to make it secure and plumb. Cut the notch in the post so that the face of the post is even with the nosing. So whatever the overhang of your tread is then that is your half lap thickness. The finish guy will need to cut a notch in the tread to receive the post.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:30 PM   #6
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Quote:
I would attach it with a 1/2 lap onto the face of the riser and drop it down to the floor. Make sure the riser is plumb and securely fastened. If it is not then take off tread to make it secure and plumb. Cut the notch in the post so that the face of the post is even with the nosing. So whatever the overhang of your tread is then that is your half lap thickness. The finish guy will need to cut a notch in the tread to receive the post.
I am not exactly sure I understand what you described. Are you saying that rather installing the starting newel on top of the 1st step, that it should be attached to the face of the riser of the 1st step with a little lap between the riser and the newel? Something like the below example picture? If not, can you possibly attached a picture in your post showing what you mean. I want to install the newel in the best possible way so that it does not loosen over time.

Thanks so much for you help...
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Like this one except on the face of the riser instead of the stringer

Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel-image-8010918.jpg
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Keep in mind the location of the post ( left to right when looking at the stairs) is determined by where you want your rail to land at the top. Ie, center of a wall
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Are you planning a starter tread like in illustration 6-6, 6-7 and 6-8 with a volute?
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
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Preparing 1st step for over-the-post starting newel


Quote:
Are you planning a starter tread like in illustration 6-6, 6-7 and 6-8 with a volute?
No, i provided these illustrations only to show one of the ways that a starting newel can be installed on the 1st step (i.e., using a dowel). Because of space limitations, the 1st step will be no wider than the rest of the steps, unlike that shown in these illustrations

My plan was to install a newel on top of the 1st step with what I believe is called a "starting easing with cap", like that shown below.

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Last edited by hkeiner; 03-18-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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