Building a handrail staircase
The most important part of building a handrail staircase is that the stairs need to be fastened securely. Usually, the railings aren’t installed until the finish work is being done because of the possibility of scratching or damaging the expensive materials during construction.
It might be necessary however; to secure the main support posts to the framework before the walls and floors are sealed up. In that case, you can secure the newel post to the floor joists or stringers.
If you decide to put in the newel post, you may want to cover it to protect it during the rough work. Lag screws help secure the newel post to the joists.
The newel post has to be completely solid. That's why it is often lag-bolted to the floor joists. The railings attach to the staircase and the newel post.
The handrail is then attached to the newel post with more lag bolts, but the hole for the bolts is drilled first to avoid splitting the wood. A countersink bit needs to be used so the hole and screw can be hidden with a small wooden cap.
A rail cap covers all the balusters and screw holes. It's a good idea to use wood glue to get a tight fit. You don't need expensive custom wood stairs to have a beautiful stairway.
In many cases you can have a store like Home Depot and Lowes come to your home and measure your stairs so you get the best fit at the best price. This will often be a free service.
Don't skimp on quality for handrails. You don't need to buy the most expensive set around, but handrails get a lot of use and they need to made of good quality materials and installed very securely. After many years, good quality will remain strong and solid.
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