Stairways without handrails are extremely dangerous things. This is especially true if you’ve got kids or elderly family members living with you. A sturdy rail can prevent loads of potentially severe injuries to your loved ones.
Why build a handrail yourself? First of all, it isn’t that hard to pull off. Anyone with some DIY construction or maintenance experience should be able to handle it alone easily. Secondly, you can save money by not hiring anyone else.
Even if you’re not typically a handy person, the following steps should guide you through the process.
Check Whether You Need a Permit
Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain a building permit before you get started on your handrail. If that is the case, we urge you to get one right away, just to be safe. This way you’ll avoid any penalties in the future.
In addition, you should check whether there are any specifications you need to follow when constructing a hand rail. Your government may have passed some sort of safety regulations that dictate the proper length and angle that your handrail should be adjusted to.
Get Your Measurements Right
If you want your handrail to be perfect in terms of safety and accessibility, then you need to get your measurements right. There are two metrics you need to be concerned about, when taking measurements: the rise and run.
The run concerns how long the handrail is going to end up being. Hence, you need to measure the diagonal length from the bottom step all the way to the top one. After that, add 4 inches on each end so that there’s room for people to grab onto.
The rise concerns the height at which the rail will be mounted. Typically, you would measure 30 to 36 inches from the same position on each step and mark this spot on the wall.
Determine the Type of Railing
Handrails can be made out of wood, metal or even synthetic material. Wood is of course the most common option and it’s very sturdy.
Metal is great for outdoor handrails, because it is less susceptible to decay.
Synthetic material is extremely durable and can be easily moulded into different shapes. It can even be made to look like wood. However, it is the most expensive option out of the three.
Consider Requesting a Custom Railing
If you’re having trouble finding a handrail that’s the exact size of your measurement, then you might have to buy a longer one and cut it to length. However, if you don’t want to go through all that trouble, then some stores allow you to put in order for a custom-sized railing.
Gather the Right Supplies
For most handrail installations you will need at least the following:
- A Handrail in the right size
- Two sets of brackets
- Two sets of screws
- A drill
Handrails are indispensable if you have a staircase in your injuries. They prevent you and your loved ones from injuries and make sure that you don’t violate any form of home safety laws.