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  1. #1
    cu wolf's Avatar
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    Default How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 1 1/2"" on one straight wall

    How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 1 1/2" on one straight wall.
    At the top of the stairs the handrail comes out 5" from the wall to the handrail about 3' down the stairs and gradually goes into about 4" 1/2. Than it makes a sharp angle into 1 1/2" from the wall the rest of the way down the steps. How can I make this safe?

    Picture attached.

    The stair width is 50" wide

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    Last edited by cu wolf; 05-13-2009 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Forgot to put stair width - Handrail 1 1/2"
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    Quote Originally Posted by cu wolf View Post
    How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall.
    At the top of the stairs the handrail comes out 5" from the wall to the handrail about 3' down the stairs and gradually goes into about 4" 1/2. Than it makes a sharp angle into 2" from the wall the rest of the way down the steps. How can I make this safe?

    Picture attached.

    The stair width is 50" wide
    "The stair width is 50" wide"

    There is the key to your answer.

    The stairway is not allowed to get narrower in the direction of egress, however, the stairway is allowed to get wider in the direction of egress.

    Being as the handrail is too far from the wall to get around the window sill, bring the wall out to match the railing, thereby making the stairway narrower at the top (as long as the direction of egress is down).

    The problem is that window is in the wrong location and created this problem. That window has safety glazing, right?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    So, what is the problem. It is not like the railing is hindering any egress . I assume that up is to the second floor and down is the exit to the exterior.

    The stair gets wider as you go down. The window may have been placed in a bad position but I am sure it had some aesthetic point to the exterior.

    So the railing comes out further than what is in a book. I might ask one. What possible problem is it creating? My only concern (I am only seeing part of the picture) would be as Jerry stated, the window glass.

    The stairs are 50 inches wide ???? Plenty wide enough for any stairway.


  4. #4
    cu wolf's Avatar
    cu wolf Guest

    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    No it does not have safety glazing.
    My concern is with going down the stairs and with it being 50" wide at the top....it appears like you can walk straight down the middle of the steps because the hand rail sticks out so far 5" closest to the wall and 7 1/2" stair side, which creates a false sense of the space and security. ( the location of the rail pushs you out if you are holding on to the rail ) This lasts for 1' at the top of the stairs and continues for 3' more going down, before it makes a sharp angle in toward the wall to 1 1/2". Whoops where did the handrail go.
    The 10 stairs are at the bottom are 56" Wide.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    Here is another option, maybe easier to do if ...

    What is on the right side (when descending) of the stairs? A wall? A railing? Is it straight?

    If the right side of that stairway is straight, install a handrail on the right side (the "recommended side" anyway) and remove the handrail on the left side (the handrail which goes in front of that window).

    Regardless ... that window requires safety glazing in it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    cu wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 1 1/2" on one straight wall

    Great fix, if I had the other wall for it. See picture.
    My concern is safety! Your hand can easy slide right off the handrail coming down the steps.

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    Last edited by cu wolf; 05-13-2009 at 11:06 AM. Reason: concern is safety

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 1 1/2" on one straight wall

    Quote Originally Posted by cu wolf View Post
    Great fix, if I had the other wall for it. See picture.
    My concern is safety! Your hand can easy slide right off the handrail coming down the steps.
    You DO HAVE the other wall for it.

    Second photo, left side looking up the stairs, install a handrail along that side which comes down the upper railing, the wall, and dies into the lower railing or continues on down alongside the lower railing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Lightbulb Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    Trim the window ledge so it's flush with the wall, put in a straight handrail.


  9. #9
    cu wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    I believe that there was a straight handrail before the window molding was installed. Thanks that would be the least expensive way to solve this problem.
    What is the farthest away from the wall that the handrail can be installEd, with being safe.and staying within code guidelines? This location is in Gekrgia.
    It is hard for me to believe that it would have gotten by inspection the way it is now.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 2" on one straight wall

    Quote Originally Posted by cu wolf View Post
    What is the farthest away from the wall that the handrail can be installEd, with being safe.and staying within code guidelines?

    Minimum clearance between the inside of the handrail and the wall is 1-1/2 inches.

    Maximum projection from the wall to the outside of the handrail is 4-1/2 inches.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    cu wolf's Avatar
    cu wolf Guest

    Default Re: How to make it safe? Handrail 5" from wall to 1 1/2" on straight wall

    Thank you for the information to get this handrailed fixed properly so it will be safe.


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