High railing attached to 130 year old low railing.

Discussion in 'Carpentry and Woodworking' started by PBarson, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Feb 15, 2017 #1

    PBarson

    PBarson

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    We have a 130 year old home that has a beautiful railing at the top of the stairs, but it is only 27 inches high. I would like to leave it there but "attach" a higher, to code, railing to it. Any suggestions on design or approach to this?

    railing1.jpg

    railing2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  2. Feb 15, 2017 #2

    bud16415

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    Photos would help.

    Are you trying to stay true to the houses period or just want a nice looking to code fix?
     
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  3. Feb 15, 2017 #3

    kok328

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    You'll have to contact the building code dept. for you locality.
    36" is common.
    Last time I had to deal with this situation, I raised the rail to code and installed a 1x6 on edge under it to avoid problems with adequate coverage so lil ones don't slip under it.
     
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  4. Feb 15, 2017 #4

    inspectorD

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    Usually not an issue unless you install new stairs, and they never fit into an old home like they do now anyway.
    If you are in a historic District..you get a pass... unless your in NYC...

    Older homes sometimes you need to work with a building official, and if you cannot, take it to a higher up State official.

    Im in an old state, and have never had to raise an existing railing.
     
  5. Feb 16, 2017 #5

    joecaption

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    "beautiful railing at the top"
    Top of what, roof, landing, stairs, deck?
     
  6. Feb 17, 2017 #6

    PBarson

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    Sorry - edited my post - "Top of the stairs"
     
  7. Feb 17, 2017 #7

    PBarson

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    I am looking for a fix, to get it to code but mostly to keep the kids on the way safe as they grow up.

    I am hoping for something that looks decent, but doesn't require tearing out the original wood work.
     
  8. Feb 17, 2017 #8

    nealtw

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    We need a photo.
     
  9. Feb 17, 2017 #9

    bud16415

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    Look at post #1:)
     
  10. Feb 17, 2017 #10

    nealtw

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    I was trying to correct that just as my interweb shut down.:mad:
     
  11. Feb 17, 2017 #11

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    It is attractive and the way it was done back in the day. I would be tempted if it was mine to leave it alone and figure by the time the kids are big enough to fall over it they should be smart enough not to.

    On the other hand I see your concern about code height and it is a height someone might try sitting on it and going over backwards.

    The only thing I can think of that would look remotely correct was suggested above and that would be to remove it build a little short wall below and reinstall it. Might be a bit of a project depending on how it was attached.

    Also welcome to the forum. :welcome:
     
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  12. Feb 17, 2017 #12

    nealtw

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    Even with out looking at height, if a 4" ball will fit between any part it is not safe for the youngest kids.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2017 #13

    nealtw

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    Stand a Plexiglas in front of it.:confused:
     
  14. Feb 17, 2017 #14

    Sparky617

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    I would remove it and build a base under it to raise it up and then reinstall it. If the gaps are too big and your kids are young enough that their heads could pass through the spindles, I'd install a child safety net on the hall side until they grow enough to not put their heads through them. TOH did a project where they extended the newel post and redid the rails. It may be available on line.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2017 #15

    havasu

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    it appears to me that the spindles were added way after the initial newel installation, and distracts from the original build. If so, for the safety of my children, I'd rebuild it correctly for another 100 years of beauty/safety. This is just MY opinion only.
     
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  16. Feb 17, 2017 #16

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    27/2 = 13.5/2 = 6.75/2 = 3.375 looks not too bad

    railing2.jpg
     
  17. Feb 18, 2017 #17

    joecaption

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    I'd be even more concerned with those horizontal pieces that will act like ladder rungs.
     
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