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Thread: stair case hand rail

  1. #1
    DIY Member jetlag's Avatar
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    Default stair case hand rail

    I have a stair case between two floors on a new house, When you get to the bottom landing you make a left turn to go out into the living room . I want to take out a few extra feet of the living room wall so the stair case will show at the bottom and use the spindles and stair case railing for about 5 ft . after that the wall will be solid to the top of stairs . My problem is the code says the handrail must be continuous with no break from top to bottom unless the stair turns and a newell post is there, how can I change over from the spindall rail to the rail going up the wall without a break , The code will permit a rail on one side only and I can put it on the other side . but I still have the rail with spindels that will dead end where the wall starts . Is that allowed if I say the hand rail is on the other side ?

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    You are dealing with a very techncal area of the building code. Your quickest answer would be to drop in at your local Development Services Office ( or whatever they call the permit department). Partly open walls as you describe are quite common, so I would think it is definitely doable. You just have to find out what YOUR inspector requires.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I'll second the fact the best person to explain what is required is the inspector. I THINK it requires at least one side of the stairwell to have a continuous handrail from top to bottom. What you have on the other side is optional.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member jetlag's Avatar
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    Thanks Jadnashua , if that is true I can cut the wall off even with top of the 1x10 that is on the side of the stringer and cap that off with a 1x6 . On top of that install the handrail and spindels untill the handrail dead ends into the wall where the cut out ends , The continuous handrail will be on the other side of stairway.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider, when remodeling, you usually have to bring the ballisters up to code. Most of the older ones installed are spread too far apart and a child could get his head or even body caught between them. The current code requires their spacing to be quite small. I don't remember the exact dimensions, but you should check if this will also affect your remodel of the stairway.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member jetlag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Another thing to consider, when remodeling, you usually have to bring the ballisters up to code. Most of the older ones installed are spread too far apart and a child could get his head or even body caught between them. The current code requires their spacing to be quite small. I don't remember the exact dimensions, but you should check if this will also affect your remodel of the stairway.
    This is a new house , I just framed the wall solid untill I could decide how far to cut back . The code spacing on the ballisters now is so that a 4" sphere can not pass through. And in the cut out formed by the tread and riser , a 6" sphere can not pass through . That is a case where the ballisters rest on a piece above the treads .

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    In the Trades brownizs's Avatar
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    The railing would actually have a little jog, that goes past the wall to continue down to the Newel Post at the bottom. This way, the railing is continuous and does not break any place. On the lines of that note, my BIL's contractor screwed up when they installed his, due to when you grasp the railing and go up or down the stairs, you get pinched when it goes up past the flooring.

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