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Old 02-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
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Hand rail suggestions needed


We just had a new patio and steps built last Fall. I'd like to install a handrail on a small set of steps off the mud room. See photos below. I'm currently thinking iron. Not a hard project, but I'd love some of your opinions on:

1. Any other ideas besides iron? The rest of the patio and walkway materials are unilock Brussels (Coffee Creek) with limestone treads and caps. Wood structure is rough sawn cedar with urethane. House colors are antique white siding with clay trim. Third photo below shows the rest of the project for reference.

2. Should I mount the ballusters to the top of the limestone treads or the sides of the concrete blocks? Everything is attached with masonry adhesive only. I've never worked with limestone so I'm a bit nervous about cracking or splitting it if I try to anchor bolts to it. I suppose I could go THROUGH it into the blocks. The treads overhang by about 3 inches so it might be tough attaching to the sides of the blocks.

3. I've seen a couple sites where I can measure and order iron handrail kits. Anybody have good experience with any of these places that you'd like to recommend?

4. Opinions on which side? I'm thinking the left side since that's the side the door opens on.

5. Any other gotchas I should look out for? Seems like a simple project but still one I've never done before.

Thanks!


Steps needing handrail:


Different angle:


Patio showing colors and materials:

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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Hand rail suggestions needed


Personaly I would not attch the railings directly to the teads unless you used a core drill and set them in epoxy.
If not there going to come loose and pull out or snap off the stone.
A better easyer way would be to build the railing next to the stairs out of redwood.

If to do go with metal railing use powder coated aluminum not steel for far less maintaince.

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Old 02-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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Hand rail suggestions needed


I would do this the purely simple way.

First, I would put a railing on both sides of the steps.

Secondly, I would make each railing out of one 8' or 9' pipe, bent at whatever height and angle (about 28 to 32 degrees?) you need with a wall flange welded on the top end.

I would remove the 4" x 6" sidewalk stone paver you have on the right of the steps (the one with the black spot on it)

And I would remove the matching 4" x 6" paver stone on the left.

Then I would dig a hole where those pavers were, deep enough to set the bottom end of the bent pipe down in there.

Line everything up, fasten the top ends to the house by means of the flanges.... brace everything off with scrap 2 x 4's, and ......

Pour the holes full of concrete.

You're done.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
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Hand rail suggestions needed


Steel pipe that's going to rust off where it's set in the ground, and use ugly pipe flanges againt vinyl siding that has to to be able to move or it's going to buckle. Hmm.
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Hand rail suggestions needed


Willie--won't a flange pucker up the siding?--I think you will need to open up the sidind and add a block directly to the house seething first--
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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Hand rail suggestions needed


"5. Any other gotchas I should look out for? Seems like a simple project but still one I've never done before."-----

I don't know your location, but you might want to check with the AHJ for:

R311.3 Floors and landings at exterior doors.
There shall be a landing or floor on each side of each exterior door. The width of each landing shall not be less than the door served. Every landing shall have a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. Exterior landings shall be permitted to have a slope not to exceed 1/4 unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent).

Exception: Exterior balconies less than 60 square feet (5.6 m2) and only accessible from a door are permitted to have a landing less than 36 inches (914 mm) measured in the direction of travel. From: http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...011_par002.htm

May not be required, nice for your H.O. Insurance carrier, if ever a claim and at resale time.

Gary
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:06 PM   #7
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Hand rail suggestions needed


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Willie--won't a flange pucker up the siding?--I think you will need to open up the sidind and add a block directly to the house seething first--
The close-up views appear to be wood siding...... but I will admit my old eyes could be mistaken. I came to this conclusion because of four things: The shape of the profile... what appears to be sheet metal covering over the door trim... and the difference in color of the trim from the other side of the house shown in the larger photo.... and the lengths of conduit already fastened to the siding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
Steel pipe that's going to rust off where it's set in the ground, and use ugly pipe flanges againt vinyl siding that has to to be able to move or it's going to buckle. Hmm.
Aluminium tubing if you want, or simply paint steel piping. I've had a basketball hoop steel pipe in the ground (in concrete) for close to 40 years now, and all I ever do is wire brush it and repaint.

I specified a WELDED flange for just exactly that reason, aesthetics. "Flange" doesn't always mean a screw-on pipe flange...... there are dozens of very decorative wall flanges for this express purpose, or you can fabricate one.

Here's one that the tubing could simply be slipped into, with a set screw near the bottom outer edge........ Truthfully? The tubing really COULD be locked into a flange like this with J-B Weld. That stuff is amazing... and holds like a vise!
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Last edited by Willie T; 02-21-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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