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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to extend the handrail on the stairs full length to pass inspection for my rental property. At the bottom half of the stairs, the wall has been opened up and now has a polished wood top surface and trim.

Top of polished wood is about 30" to a tangent on the stairs. It's low enough for a new rail to clear the overhanging wood, but its too low to attach a new rail to the studs with standard brass handrail brackets. There's a 14" wide full height column at the end of the stairs that i could attach brackets to at any location, but that would mean I'd need to span 7ft diagonally between brackets, which I'm sure is not sufficient for strength and probably doesn't meet code either.

The only way I'd be able to use the standard brackets would be to attach the railing lower on the wall, but the existing railing is already slightly lower than code specifies. I could technically fill in the opening with framing and sheetrock so i have something to attach the standard brackets to, but I'm not willing to do that much work for this project. I have no problem mounting anything to the polished wood surface or the trim, but I can't find any type of bracket like that which would mount horizontally.

Any ideas what to do here?


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Go to the opposite wall.
That's something I would very much like to avoid doing. This is the opposite wall - exposed sh!t brick - totally uneven and weak as hell. I feel like trying to get a true vertical mounting surface on that would be opening a gigantic can of worms.


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That's something I would very much like to avoid doing. This is the opposite wall - exposed sh!t brick - totally uneven and weak as hell. I feel like trying to get a true vertical mounting surface on that would be opening a gigantic can of worms.

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You have a post to put the bottom bracket to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You have a post to put the bottom bracket to.
Yeah, i mentioned that in the OP. But that would mean only 2 brackets on the rail, and the brackets would span 7ft. Wouldn't provide adequate strength. To make things worse, this house was rehabbed with light steel framing, so i don't really have studs to anchor to. Probably going to have to cut open the sheetrock and sister 2x4s to the steel studs like i had to do in the bathroom to mount a medicine cabinet.

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Yeah, i mentioned that in the OP. But that would mean only 2 brackets on the rail, and the brackets would span 7ft. Wouldn't provide adequate strength. To make things worse, this house was rehabbed with light steel framing, so i don't really have studs to anchor to. Probably going to have to cut open the sheetrock and sister 2x4s to the steel studs like i had to do in the bathroom to mount a medicine cabinet.

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That post is holding the floor above so you will have real structure in there.

Reinforce that hand railing with square tubing under or change to a metal rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That post is holding the floor above so you will have real structure in there.

Reinforce that hand railing with square tubing under or change to a metal rail.
What exactly do you mean by reinforce with square tubing? Do you happen to have a photo of this?

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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My local home Depot is pretty ****ty so i highly doubt they'll have it in colors. Actually i don't even think they carry pieces bigger than maybe 8ft.

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It could be in pieces as long as you get long enough for the 7 ft span.



 

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Use a beefier handrail like the 6010 profile that is continuous and runs the full length of the stairs, (returned back to the walls on each end per code), move it up to the standard height 34-38" above nosing (per code) and you could probably get away with 3 brackets on the entire staircase. They need to be no more than 6 ft on center apart. (Per code) That opening doesnt look 7 ft long but you've got the tape measure. If it is, add 2 or 3 vertical 2x4s between the ceiling and the wall cap and wrap them with trim to match the wall cap. Then put the bracket on that, 6 feet from the one on the bottom column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Use a beefier handrail like the 6010 profile that is continuous and runs the full length of the stairs, (returned back to the walls on each end per code), move it up to the standard height 34-38" above nosing (per code) and you could probably get away with 3 brackets on the entire staircase. They need to be no more than 6 ft on center apart. (Per code) That opening doesnt look 7 ft long but you've got the tape measure. If it is, add 2 or 3 vertical 2x4s between the ceiling and the wall cap and wrap them with trim to match the wall cap. Then put the bracket on that, 6 feet from the one on the bottom column.
That's not a bad idea about the bigger rail. Would that look weird with the wall mounts? I feel like those rails are more for banisters with spindles.

Adding any columns in the gaps is off limits. Too ugly and too much detail work to match the aesthetics of the existing wood.

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I'm not saying to add a column in the middle of the space, I'm saying put the bottom bracket as high up as you can, then measure 6 feet from the bottom bracket and fill in the narrowest part of the triangle completely then trim it. The trim would all fit under the ceiling... 3 pieces to cover your framing. Matching stain isnt hard, neither is cutting and nailing on 3 pieces of trim.
 

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That post is holding the floor above so you will have real structure in there.

Reinforce that hand railing with square tubing under or change to a metal rail.
The handrail does not need any reinforcement. I challenge anybody to bend a 7 foot section of handrail that has any decent profile.

Its gotta be one piece though. Special order, long drive, or whatever, its needs to be one piece.

As mentioned, the post is solid, two brackets at the bottom into structure. Maybe two brackets at the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm not saying to add a column in the middle of the space, I'm saying put the bottom bracket as high up as you can, then measure 6 feet from the bottom bracket and fill in the narrowest part of the triangle completely then trim it. The trim would all fit under the ceiling... 3 pieces to cover your framing. Matching stain isnt hard, neither is cutting and nailing on 3 pieces of trim.
Maybe I'm not following what you're saying, but it still sounds like you're saying to build something up in the wall void.

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The handrail does not need any reinforcement. I challenge anybody to bend a 7 foot section of handrail that has any decent profile.



Its gotta be one piece though. Special order, long drive, or whatever, its needs to be one piece.



As mentioned, the post is solid, two brackets at the bottom into structure. Maybe two brackets at the top.
The 6010 profile previously mentioned, sure. But the existing rail in my picture is not that strong. That profile lacks the depth to be that rigid. However, im not even all that concerned about rail strength. My concern is the anchorage. The column at the bottom is pretty narrow and I'm not convinced it has anything really meaty. The is a 14ft wide rowhome, so load bearing walls in the middle of the room aren't necessary. Not to mention, i ran some cat6 up through there from the basement, and all i could see was steel framing when i cut into the other side of that "column".

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Maybe I'm not following what you're saying, but it still sounds like you're saying to build something up in the wall void.

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I think what he is saying is remove the top finished trim board and the white crown moldings. Nail in a flat 2x4 on top. Cut the trim board shorter and place it back. You will have to put something to fill in the drywall void left under the trim board and then you will have to select some different flat trim molding, instead of the crown one, to allow for easier mounting of the handrail bracket.
 
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