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Old 02-27-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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stair hand rails


need to know the standard stair hand rail width..I know I have to have the height between 30 and 36"

I was planning on using 4x4 doug fir for the hand rails....too thick? hard to grasp? I could bevel them to form a rounded top

any ideas?

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:29 PM   #2
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http://www.arcways.com/pdfs/IRC2006.pdf
See pages 10 and 11

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Last edited by Willie T; 02-28-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:30 AM   #3
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IRC R311.7.7.3 (1)Type I handrail shal have a diameter of 4" min -6 1/4" max. (2)For type II handrail more than 6 1/4", there shall be a graspable finger recess.........
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chulett View Post
need to know the standard stair hand rail width..I know I have to have the height between 30 and 36"

I was planning on using 4x4 doug fir for the hand rails....too thick? hard to grasp? I could bevel them to form a rounded top
any ideas?
Most areas have adopted the current IRC which requires a height, as measured plumb for the tread nose of 32 to 36".

4 x 4 would be totally ungraspable and is not legal, besides being way to bulky visually, it is just wasting space in the stairwell. There are many references on the web about code requirements for stairways. Most of the stair part manufacturers offer pretty easy to understand illustrations and explanations of rail dimensions and design on their web sites.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
That's the link you want right there.

Chulett, your height is incorrect. It is 34-38". Agreed, a 4x4 is gross overkill for a handrail and is non-functional in that most folks cannot grasp it.

The code section that Just Bill quoted is in there, but the dimensions are misleading without all the information. You can't have a handrail that wide, so don't read it that way. The width of your handrail is determined by the shape of the rail's profile. Willie T's attachment has everything you need to know.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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stair hand rails


got the point! Thank you! The handrail system will have 4 1/2 rebars welded together for the spindles...and put into a 4x4 base board which will be attached to the posts..for the handrails..I will still use the 4x4s but will router them down to a curved pattern..still debating the whole thing!

another problem we ran into is with the stringers! We laid the treads out perfectly! all the treads will land perfectly on line 8 inches apart..the material is 4x10 doug fir.

the issue is the top tread next to the landing! Let me explain..the stringer is a 4x12

all the treads have alot of room to route out and then peg. the stringer at the top tread only allows us 10 inches!

Not sure where we messed up! I will post photos..we used a 2x12 pine for mock up..the doug fir is in garage..we did measure it also


Please ask me all the questions you have! Need to figure the top tread out!

Thanks
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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thekctermite

thanks for the correction on the height! I like the 38" Will still wait to decide on it until after the stringers and treads up...gonna cut back on the hand rails
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #8
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here are some photos..kinda dark sorry.

the stringer is a 2x12 pine board

if you look closely, you can see the dark lines where the center of the tread will go..again, the issue is with the top tread

from the outside edge of stringer to landing is only 10 inches..one of the photos shows the lines for the other treads. They can easily go in with an 1" or 2" for the outside of the stringer

Can I lengthen the stringer to gain more room for the top tread?
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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here are pics
Attached Thumbnails
stair hand rails-unnamed-8-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-4-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-9-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-10-.jpg  
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
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Your making a simple mistake with the math. Are you taking into consideration the thickness of both landings? Don't lay it out to the centre of the tread. Go top of landing to top of landing and top of treads. Are you using a framing square with stair guages?
Stair hand railings 32" - 36" When you walk upstairs you reach foreward, when decending your hands are at your side and slightly trail behind you while stepping down. I usually try for 34", a comfortable happy medium. From the photos it looks like your off to a good start
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:41 PM   #11
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stair hand rails


thanks for the reply


if we go from top of landings and top of treads, that will help with the top tread?

that would push up the tread height and make the top tread even smaller I think..

on the handrails...you are correct...gonna go with either 34 or 36 will get there after we get the stringer figured out!
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #12
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stair hand rails


What is this total run between the 2 platforms?
What did you plan for your final tread run... run does not include overhang.
It looks like your stringer is to short. You need to push that stringer forward (in this case the stinger will need to be longer). Be careful in doing this as it will limit the width of the platform. If this pushes the stair forward too much then you need to shrink your run.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:07 PM   #13
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stair hand rails


total run for the stringer is 53" will have to modify..I attached photos of ongoing project..the stairs shown are mock ups of 2x12s the photos in the garage are the real stuff we are going to use.

this weekend gonna do the mock up stringers for the upper stringers
Attached Thumbnails
stair hand rails-unnamed-14-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-13-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-12-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-11-.jpg   stair hand rails-unnamed-10-.jpg  

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Old 03-13-2011, 08:58 PM   #14
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ok, we finally got the mock up of the stairs done for the main floor! Here are the pics..next we have to build the landing in the basement! Will start on the real stairs after the landing is done

Do have a question. when we put a piece of the 4x10 doug fir on the 4x12 stringer for the upper run to the loft, we have a 2 in gap between the treads!

We figured we will us the extra 4x10 left over to fill the gap by screwing and gluing a 2 inch section to the 4x10 to the 4x10 tread. We wont have enough room to route out the entire tread in the stringer. If we did, that will put our route edge 1/2 inch from the edge of stringer! So we figured we would route out the 4x10 stringer and just abut the 2 inch to the back of the stringer..of course we will drill, screw and dowel the stringer parts from the outside.

Does this sound ok? Yes the doug fir is green and we plan on cutting down the 4x10 to size and air drying to prevent them from gapping.

Any suggestions?

Yes I will check out the website mentioned to get mold on the green wood, and to dry the wood
Attached Thumbnails
stair hand rails-img00145-20110313-1837.jpg   stair hand rails-img00146-20110313-1837.jpg  
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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stair hand rails


Your really going to have to give a better descriptive and visual explanation.
Is that post at the end of the stringer going to stay there? It should be directly on top of the other post so it does not interfere with the line of travel. It is in the way and you will have an obstruction with the hand railing.

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