Building your handrail, whether for the decking, stairs, driveways, or porch, is very easy. Follow the steps we’ve outlined below to install firm handrails that offer safe access to your office or home.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Measure the Place You Want to Install the Handrails
It’s crucial to take some measurements before buying the handrails. It would help if you can make a simple sketch of the area you plan to build the handrails to ensure you take the correct measurements.
It’s also essential to place a mark on the area you intend to install the rails and use it as a point of reference.
Once you have completed working on this task, measure the distance between the offset and the end of the step, the depth height, and the steps’ height. Be sure to note down this information on your drawing.
Take Some Dimensions
After taking your step dimensions, do some calculations to help you know the type of fittings and how much pipe you need to complete the task.
First, ensure the posts at the bottom and top are of the same height. OSHA and BOCA require the minimum height of rails to be 42 inches.
When calculating the length of your handrail, determine the angle by measuring the distance from each post.
Now, add the length of the step and post to help you know the steps’ height. Next, add the height of the steps together and then divide it by the length.
After determining the angle, choose the type of fitting you plan to use. We recommend selecting fittings that allow you to create rails at any angle.
Also, choose the flanges you’re going to use since different flanges are available for mounting your handrails.
It’s important to mention that you should avoid using a fence or tube post when building a handrail. Instead, use a pipe with stainless steel snaps to prevent your rail from rusting. Alternatively, coat your pipe in powder to protect it.
Finally, ensure you have the necessary tools and parts before you begin working on this project, such as a mallet, drill, three pieces of galvanized steel pipe, two flanges, swivel fittings, and plugs.
Install Bottom Flange
Place the bottom flange from one end to the other to secure the handrail. Doing this will also ensure the rail doesn’t have slopes in it due to wrong measurements.
Secure the flange in a way that you can see the mark you made in the middle. Use a marker to put a mark on the location of the two holes. Now, remove the flange to make holes.
When you are done, put the flange back in place and then screw in strong anchors.
Connect the Handrail and Post
Be sure to build from the bottom to attach the post. Next, secure your post to the flange and then connect the fittings. Lastly, attach the handrail and allow it to hang down to make things easy for the next step.
Connect Top Post
At this point, assemble the entire handrail when the flange is not secured. This will enable you to straighten the top flange. To ensure everything is secured firmly, walk around the railing.
Now, mark the top flange holes before securing it firmly to the ground. When you are done, attach the top post. Also, connect the top swivel fitting to the handrail and the top post.
Inserting the plugs is crucial as they will give your handrails an elegant look and prevent water from entering the pipe. Remember to pound in the plugs using a mallet. It’s essential to mention that once the plugs are secured, they won’t come out easily.
Enjoy Using Your Handrails
Prevent falls that can lead to severe injuries like sprains and fractures by using the handrails all the time. Some people only use rails when going down. However, you can slip and fall no matter the direction you’re going.
Overall, installing handrails is not complicated. Just follow the steps we’ve highlighted above, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to execute this project.
Moreover, you’ll save costs you would have incurred by hiring a professional to build the rails for you.
By: Jim Pullman
About the Author: Jim Pulman has extensive knowledge and experience in Home Building, Construction, and Design. He writes articles in his free time and partners with content creators to share his expertise with the online community.