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Stair rails are for looks and safety…and whether it’s time to replace your current railing or you just want to change up the look, it’s something you can do on your own. So stick around for this episode of Around The House and we’ll show you how. [Music] Today we are here with Scott Feroni from Colonial Elegance.
Now Scott how easy is it to put in your own railing? It’s very simple Jake. Today we’re going to show you very simple steps from colonial elegance on how to install a beautiful, elegant staircase in your home. Start by counting the number of steps you have in your staircase. For most residential staircases, count each step as one foot, then add an extra foot to figure out how long of railing you’ll need. For example, for 12 steps, you should purchase at least 13 feet of railing. You’ll need a newel post at the bottom, another newel post for each turn or landing, and a half-newel where it meets the wall. You’ll need one short baluster for the front of the step and one long baluster for the rear of the step. Also measure the distance of any straight sections. If the old stair treads are worn, now is a good time to replace them. Colonial elegance offers a wide selection of replacement stair treads and risers. First drill pilot holes in the half newel. We’re using three inch construction screws to anchor it to the wall studs. The bottom screw is covered with a plug. The top screw is hidden by the handrail. The height of the handrail depends on the height of the balusters. For 36 inch balusters the center of the handrail should be positioned 35 and a half inches above the floor. For 39 and a half inch balusters the center of the handrail should be at 39 inches. It may be necessary to trim a few inches off the bottom of the half newel and newel posts so the handrail is positioned approximately in the center of the flat section as seen here. For this installation we trimmed 5 and a half inches from the bottom of the newels. To find the location of the bottom newel we take the width of the newel, in this case three inches, add half the width, another inch and a half, to give us a total of 4 and a half inches. Measure 4 and a half inches from the front of the step and the same amount from the side. This is where the center of the post will be. Now drill a pilot hole. A double-ended lag bolt is screwed into the bottom of the newel and then into the stair. Make sure the post is level. Then, lay the handrail section on the treads of the stairs and mark both ends at the correct angle to meet the posts. Carefully cut the handrail at this angle. Next, three-quarter inch holes are drilled in each stair tread to receive the balusters. For this particular installation, each hole is drilled 3 and one-sixteenths inch from the front and back edges of the step to give us a 4-inch space between each baluster. The holes are set back so they’re centered with the bottom newel post. Check your local building codes to make sure the spacing between balusters meets requirements. Then, attach the handrail to the bottom newel post. For 36 inch balusters, measure up 31 and three-quarter inches from the stair to the bottom of the handrail. For 39 and a half inch balusters, measure up 35 and a quarter inches. Attach the handrail to the bottom newel with a rail fastener. Drill a pilot hole in the newel post at the same angle as the handrail. Install the bolt. Then, in the hand rail, drill a pilot hole for the bolt and a larger hole for the nut.
Apply glue and slide the rail onto the bolt and tighten the nut. Attach the handrail at the top with finishing nails. Next, insert the baluster into the hole in the step and following the bottom edge of the handrail, mark the angle where you will cut the top of the baluster. Cut each baluster a sixteenth of an inch longer, so it fits into the groove cut in the bottom of the handrail. Cut all the balusters to the proper length. Before installing, check for level, then glue and nail into place. Finally, the fillet pieces which fit under the handrail between each baluster are cut and secured into place. For straight sections of railing, cut the hand rail to the correct length, install the bolts into the newels, set the balusters into place and install the handrail. Clean up any excess glue, the railing should be allowed to set for 24 hours for the glue to dry. Find all the materials you need for this and other projects at your nearest Menards. And for other do-it-yourself projects check out Around The House at Menards. com. .