ok,now that I've got the "retaining wall" pretty much under control, let's switch to another thing: the concrete stairs on the side of the house and the railing that should go there.
I had the "stucco" guys remove the railing that was there and throw it in the dumpster. (it was as UGLY as you could imagine and loose too! :()
now that the "stucco" is done, I need to replace the railing with something nice. any suggestions?
Personally, I would avoid a traditional railing and landing system of posts and newels that must have an open space of 4 1/2" or 4" maximum between them since they begin to look like a "wall" and cut off the open appearance.
If you have deep pockets, one method is a post and rail system with pricey transparent panels to provide a "see-through" appearance. The post and rails should be able to resist the required codes. The top rail can be wood, but wood posts are difficult to mount and get enough strength to meet requirements, depending what they are mounted to. It is difficult to get wood posts attached to a concrete surface in an attractive manner, but steels posts can be hidden better. The local codes may give minimal panel requirements for materials.
If you ever get inspected the inspector may have a spring gauge to measure the force or just push on it and determine the deflection and resistance by feel. If possible, get a permit and inspection to prove they are adequate in case you ever sell. - This is becoming a increasing hot problem.
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