Hand rails can be a beautiful decorative item, but they also serve a purpose for keeping people safe as they go up and down the stairs. In fact, California code dictates that all homeowners must have one installed for stair cases with four stairs or more. If you need to replace your current hand rail or you'd just like to upgrade to a more modern style, the process to put one in is fairly easy. Follow these steps, and you'll be safe and secure going up and down the stairs in no time.
Measuring and Cutting
First, you will need to measure just how long the hand rail should be. You can do this by taking a tape measure and calculating the length of the stair case. You will probably need to have someone help hold the tape measure at the bottom of the stairs. There should be at least four inches of additional rail length at both the top and bottom of the stairs, so people have a bit of extra railing to hang onto as they go up or down.
If you're adding a custom hand rail, you should cut the ends at a 45-degree angle, with the angles facing the wall so no one gets hurt or cut on the angled ends. You will also need to take into account the height of the hand rail. The average height is 36 inches, but you can use your discretion to make it higher or lower. Mark the wall so you know where to install the brackets based on these measurements.
When you attach the hand rail to the wall, it should be secure. This can be done by using a stud finder to locate the studs inside of the wall. Securing the rail to studs will help ensure it stays attached and remains sturdy for heavy use. Mark the studs with a carpenter's pencil all the way up and down the staircase. Brackets made to hold the rail will need to be placed at the top and bottom of the staircase, and then one every four feet additionally between each end of the staircase.
Install the brackets using the included hardware for each area that you've previously marked, drilling them into the studs. Once all brackets have been installed, you can place the wooden hand rail onto them. Before you attach the rail to the brackets, make sure it is correctly laid along the stair case. It's a good idea to have another person check this to make sure everything is even and level. You're now ready to attach the railing securely to the brackets for a safer trip up and down the stairs.
For more information, contact a company like Weld Pro.