I need to put a handrail in where my entrance is. There are 3 steps leading up to my house.
When putting the 4x4 post in, right next to the steps, should I just dig far enough down and pack it back in with dirt, OR do I use concrete to keep it sturdy?
If you go deep enough then no concrete should be required. I would make sure you have a few inches of gravel under the post and up the sides for a few inches. This will enable water to drain away. Then just pack in dirt. I would use a heavy tamper or at least heavy piece of wood. You want it packed tight. I would say go 3' deep and you should be golden.
Agreed! I was envisioning concrete steps (op didn't say) and a situation where it wouldn't be practical to lag. But, you are correct, lagging to a stringer, or the side of a concrete step, in conjunction with a buried post, would be best.