The 8-Steps Guide to Build a Simple Handrail
Have you gone through the layout of your home and backyard and wondered how easier life would be with a handrail along with the steps to your house? Handrails are an essential part of safety for your home.
If you are hesitant to call an expert to get the handrail fixed in your house for a hefty price, do not worry. Luckily, with the right tools, materials, research, and enough time on hand, you can install a handrail just as well as any expert.
Here is a list of the steps you can follow to make a simple handrail for your home.
1. Is it Allowed?
Consult your building authorities and check whether it is permissible to construct a handrail.
Adding modifications to your house might seem like a great idea but if it is not allowed or legal, you will face even bigger problems in the future.
2. Measure the Area
The very first step to making a handrail is measuring the area. Imagine purchasing all the material only to realize that the rails are too big or just one or two inches short, it would be a waste of money as you will not be able to use the materials.
Measure from the top step all the way to the bottom step as railings should run along the stairs. Furthermore, you should also measure the height of the steps to determine the length of railing from the bottom to the top.
If you are installing a wall-mounted handrail, the process might change a bit but it is still very similar.
If the railing will be fixed to the wall, mark the spot on your wall with a piece of chalk. To calculate the angles of the handrail, measure the distance between the posts, and add the length of the steps along with the distance between the post to the step.
Next, to determine the height of the steps, add the height of the step. Lastly, divide the height by the length on your calculator and apply the inverse tangent of the figure. The figure you will end up with is the bottom angle of your handrail.
After taking the measurements, note them down.
3. Preparations before Shopping
You also have to decide on the type of railing you need before you go out to buy all your tools and materials. Your choice of the railing will depend on where you are installing it. If you want a simple metal handrail for your backyard or front steps, remember that it might get rusted quickly.
On the other hand, you can use wooden handrails if it is installed inside the house as long as they match the décor of your home.
Depending on where you want to place it, choose the best material for the handrails.
Furthermore, remember to include in your shopping list some of the tools you might need for the project but you do not have it lying around at home, such as floor drill presses. If you are struggling with how to choose the best one, this is how I choose my favorite tools.
4. Clean the Stairway
Even if your stairs are used frequently, it does not eliminate the possibility of it collecting dust. If they are not used at all, then they are definitely dirty.
Before you start any work on your stairs, you need to clean the area around it. The reason being that because of the trash there might be a possibility of you to trip and fall while working along your stairs.
Moreover, it can create problems during the installation of your handrail. Overall, your job will be a lot easier if you have a clean workspace.
5. Purchase Your Tools and Materials
Now is the step for you to go to the market and find the tools and materials you need. Remember to keep your measurements with you when you go shopping.
If you go around the shops and can’t find the railings with the perfect measurement, do not fret or get stressed. You can always get the handrails custom made according to the measurements of the stairways of your house.
6. Selecting Flanges
If you have done a quick search on flanges, you will notice that there are many different kinds of flanges out there. Flanges are used to mount your handrail and secure them in place. It essentially works like a frame for your handrail.
There are different types of flanges to choose from for your handrail but no need to overcomplicate it. Choose a flange that is sturdy and works well with your railing of choice.
Install the base flange of your stairs and if the railing will be mounted on the wall, install the wall railing bracket. In order to install these, use a drill to create holes for the anchors.
7. Install the Railings
Depending on the type of handrail you have chosen, the process will differ. You might have to fit the railing in place and tighten it with screws. Regardless, this part of the process is not too tricky since all you have to do is fit it with the brackets.
If you are using railings without any instructions whatsoever, you can also drill a hole in the pipe, attach the railing to the bracket, and then screw it tight.
8. Securing the Ends of the Railing
Whether you are using materials brought from the store and making the entire railing from scratch or if you bought one with a guide, always make sure that the end of the handrails is secure.
You can get hurt by cutting yourself from the ends of the handrail, especially if it is a metal one.
Secure the handrail with pipe caps at the ends of your railing.
The tools and materials used to make handrails are fairly simple, it just takes a little preparation and follow the procedure to install it.
Moreover, if the work is tough or complicated, do not hesitate to take help from your local construction experts. They can help you prevent huge mishaps on your handrails made by rookie mistakes.