02:54AM | 11/26/04
Member Since: 09/11/04
14 lifetime posts
Hello. My insurance company wants me to put a hand rail on the back 4 steps - no problem I thought. It does need to be to code - which in my town is 36" high with ballusters no more than 4" apart - no problem

Question: my friend created his own hand rail instead of using the prefab one I had using a nice 2 x4 piece of cedar. He waants to put the ballusters alongside the handrail not under and using the height he wants to put them out does not give one's hand full free access to the handrail - your hand goes over the tops of the ballusters. Aren't the ballusters supposed to go under the hand rail or low enough not to contact the hand if putting along the side of the railing?

Thank you.



09:03AM | 11/26/04
You are correct. The Ballusters should be out of the way so as not to snag on a persons clothing. I have seen rails as you describe and I just don't agree with this concept. What you could do is to put a true 1x4 on each side and put a true 1x4 cap on it with dog eared ends.

If you do put the ballusters on the side you should at least cut the tops at an angle to provide more finger room.


09:13AM | 11/26/04
Member Since: 09/24/04
128 lifetime posts
I agree, I have seen the type of railing as you describe it. I have never agreed with this concept. It is far to easy for someone to get hung up and trip.

What I would recommend is to get two true dimensioned 1x4s and put them on each side of the ballusters. Next get a true dimensioned 1x to cap the rail and put dog ears on the ends and round off the edges.

You will have to determine the width of the cap based on the thickness of the ballusters.

If you do go with your friends method I would suggest that you at least cut the ends of the ballusters at an angle to allow for more finger space.

U.S.M.C. Semper Fi !!!


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