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Old 12-11-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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Railing around attic scuttlehole


I have a large attic that is accessed via pulldown stairs. The attic has a floor installed. I would like to install a rail around the scuttlehole, something simple around 3 sides. I was thinking about making it out of 2X4's. One issue is that I don't want to have to pull up the floor in order to install this rail, I would rather just lag bolt the rail system down thru the floor into the joists.

Can anyone help with the design of a simple rail system with provisions on the bottom to be bolted thru into the floor? I'm not sure how to integrate each of the 3 sides into each other or how much cross bracing is needed?

I appreciate any help, thanks!

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Old 12-11-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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Railing around attic scuttlehole


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I have a large attic that is accessed via pulldown stairs. The attic has a floor installed. I would like to install a rail around the scuttlehole, something simple around 3 sides. I was thinking about making it out of 2X4's. One issue is that I don't want to have to pull up the floor in order to install this rail, I would rather just lag bolt the rail system down thru the floor into the joists.

Can anyone help with the design of a simple rail system with provisions on the bottom to be bolted thru into the floor? I'm not sure how to integrate each of the 3 sides into each other or how much cross bracing is needed?

I appreciate any help, thanks!
You are not going to be able to install a reasonably strong railing without opening the floor in the area to get at the floor beams. There are floor beams running parallel to the stairs that are in the perfect place for what you want to do. The opening is only about 4 feet long so you only need 4 posts; two at the rear of the opening and two at the top of the stairs. These posts need to be bolted or screwed to the floorbeams on the side away from the stair unit. Then connect across the two rear posts to enclose that end. I would also apply gorilla glue where you connect them to the floor joists. This will fill any voids left after you bolt or screw the posts. make the posts about three feet above the floor level. Attempting to connect these posts on top of the floor is going to make a very weak connestion.

I don't know what type flooring you have, but you can cut out a piece where each of the posts will go. Cut it back the width of one joist bay (usually about 14 1/2"). Install your post and then install a nailer to the post and next joist so you can reinsert the cutout piece to repair the floor.


Last edited by dadflynn; 12-11-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:53 PM   #3
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Railing around attic scuttlehole


I was hoping the make a solid 3 sided unit that would be strong itself, then just lag bolt it down to the floor joists.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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Railing around attic scuttlehole


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I was hoping the make a solid 3 sided unit that would be strong itself, then just lag bolt it down to the floor joists.
That's not going to work very well. With the height somewhere around 3 feet the open end is going to be very loose - unless you brace it at an angle. The closed end will be rigid. It's the open end you need to be careful with considering this will be the end you will put your hand on for support. According to national standards it's supposed to support a sidewards force of 200 pounds. Your method just won't cut it.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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Railing around attic scuttlehole


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I was hoping the make a solid 3 sided unit that would be strong itself, then just lag bolt it down to the floor joists.
Ayuh,... Do it your way, 'n use say 3, 6" metal angle brackets on each leg, on 3 sides of each leg, 'n Screw 'em down into the stringers...
'course, on 1 side of each leg, you can use shorter screws., as there's no stringer under 'em, just floor boards...

Attached as such, I gotta think it would take some serious Effort to dislodge it...
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