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Need to build a simple handrail for some stairs. It's only 3 concrete steps coming off a porch. There's nothing on either side of the steps. I'm going to use a 4X4 wood posts. My question is how to secure the posts. I initially thought about just burying them in the ground beside the steps in about 2 ft of concrete, but then thought maybe it'd be easier to just attach the posts directly on top of the concrete steps. I know Simpson makes a few different post bases for this, but my question is - Will these post bases provide a strong enough attachment for lateral weight - ie someone leaning against the rail? Thanks.
 

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Got a picture?
And your right, just a flush mounted post base will not be strong enough.
I just do as you suggested and set the post in concrete next to the steps.
 

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Need to build a simple handrail for some stairs. It's only 3 concrete steps coming off a porch. There's nothing on either side of the steps. I'm going to use a 4X4 wood posts. My question is how to secure the posts. I initially thought about just burying them in the ground beside the steps in about 2 ft of concrete, but then thought maybe it'd be easier to just attach the posts directly on top of the concrete steps. I know Simpson makes a few different post bases for this, but my question is - Will these post bases provide a strong enough attachment for lateral weight - ie someone leaning against the rail? Thanks.
Been there, done that.
Your are correct,they will not be strong enough.
 

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Bolt them to the side of the steps. 2x4 will probably be strong enough. That is all I used my two step solid concrete porch and they are solid as a rock.
 

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get a 4x4 post bracket thats designed for anchoring to concrete. they have a 5/8" hole in the middle for a 1/2" wedge anchor to fasten it down to concrete
 
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