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How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

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How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

The back door of my house is about a metre above ground level.

There is an approximately 1mtre sq platform outside the back door with steps to left and right.

Straight on there used to be a ramp that has now been removed

There are now wooden steps up to the platform, replacing the old ramp.


So, there is now the backdoor, a small platform and 3 sets of stairs.

I want to create stair rails to protect the open sides of the steps, i.e. Either side of the central wooden steps and also down each open side of the left and right steps.  The other sides of these  steps are the house wall.


I would appreciate guidance as to how I can go about this as economically as possible.


* I am unsure as to whether I could use single uprights in the corners between the brick and wood at each side of the central steps

* I am unsure whether I could fasten directly to the concrete or should have some form of metal bracket

* I am unsure as to what height the handrail should be from the steps

* The wooden steps have projections that overlap onto the top of the platform - This bothers me as it creates a potential safety hazard for tripping. - I wonder if I could safely remove those overlapping sections and secure the wooden steps in some other way, perhaps as part of this whole project?


I will appreciate any assistance I can get




rogersteps centresteps centreSteps left sideSteps left sidesteps right sidesteps right sidesteps - overlapsteps - overlapsteps wide viewsteps wide view

Kind of a Big Deal

Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

Hi @nonsibicunctis 


You've provided some good photos of the steps.

Looking closely at those wooden steps - they look like they're just sitting there and held in place - by gravity?

Unless there's something going on under the second step?

And they don't look to be embedded in the concrete at the base?




Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

Yes, you are right.  At present they are not fixed to the brick work or slab at either top or bottom, in fact not at all.  In other words, if I pull them away from the brick work then, once the top overlaps are clear the steps would fall forward, as you say, only being held there by gravity.


I had intended to fasten them in some way but haven't yet done so as I thought that I may be able to combine the task with building the hand-rails for one of the ideas I had was to put an upright against each side of the wooden steps running from top to bottom, hence making the steps effectively self supporting. 


After that I was intending to attach them to the brick work at top and bottom.


I haven't gone ahead because, as I said above, it occurred to me that I may be able to combine the hand-rail and the securing job together.  :smile:


p.s. - as you can probably tell - I'm no tradie and not even a handy man!



Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

Hi again @nonsibicunctis 


"I would appreciate guidance as to how I can go about this as economically as possible."


My first choice would be steel.

Awful drawing - but you can see where I'm going with this. My first thought is galvanised steel pipe (50mm diameter) with anchoring points.

This would require accurate dimensions and an engineering firm that will bend the pipework - and quotes.





Otherwise we need to think/design woodwork that will incorporate the steps and handrails?

Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

Thanks for that suggestion.  Yes, it would be a good way to go.  I have no skills or tools for working with metal, however, though it doesn't look as though this would really need such.  The problem for me would be the cost of having the pipe bent and or welding, if necessary.


I'm probably better off going with wood for at least I have got appropriate (I think) tools and have done a fair bit of work with wood, in the past.


However, I appreciate both your interest and effort in what seems to me to be a perfectly good drawing for this purpose.  So thank you. :=)

Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?



Good morning Roger!




Now, as Monty Python said in their Holy Grail film - "It's only a model!"

It's not indicative of the wood or the joins I would use - but it would be two L shaped sections that will be joined by new steps. I would dispense with the 'gravity' steps you presently have. And from there we project the hand rails.

I'm thinking the first wood choice would be 190 X 45 H4 pine for the two bases - then we go from there.

My thoughts also include two styles of brackets with brick and concrete anchors.


I'm open to all thoughts - good and bad. 😁




Possibilites with wood?Possibilites with wood?



Re: How do I make a hand rail for back steps?

Hi @nonsibicunctis,


It's great to see that @Noyade has been providing some beneficial information. I love the idea of using timber, especially if you have the tools to work with it.


I've created a rendering for you below. You could use 90 x 90 posts anchored to the concrete with stirrups. You'd then be able to construct handrails to suit. The stairs could be bolted directly into the side of the posts.


The only real difficulty you might experience is trying to bolt the posts to the slanted concrete pad. It might be more practical to bolt them directly into the bricks where you can and use plastic packers to accommodate for the slant elsewhere.


Please let us know if you have questions.





Stair bolts.png

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