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Thread: How to anchor the endpost on a short handrail?

  1. #1
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    How to anchor the endpost on a short handrail?

    I'm helping an elederly neighbor install a handrail on the backsteps out of their house.
    IMG_5917.jpg

    What is the best way to anchor the endpost?
    I'm wary of drilling into the bottom step because I don't know how the steps were made and I don't know if they'll hold the vertical post steady - but I could bolt several vertical members into the side of the steps and that might be good enough.

    I could also use one of these type of anchors
    Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 12.15.00 PM.png
    Dig a hole about 10" wide x 10" and set it in concrete?
    If I do it this way only one upright will be secured, of course.

    Tying the handrail to the house is pretty easily done, so that part will be very secure.
    Any opinions welcome.
    Thanks, Mark
    Last edited by Mark Gibney; 08-29-2021 at 4:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    McKean, PA
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    Anchor the bottom post into the concrete sidewalk. It will make a safer railing.

  3. #3
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    That bottom post needs to have a secure & solid mounting. Anything wobbly is going to contribute to the chance that the elderly user will fall. Short of a massive steel bracket, just mounting to the sidewalk is not going to provided the needed stability. Securing it to both the sidewalk and the side of the steps, or just the side of the steps, will.

  4. #4
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    If you can move the steps, they will be hollow. Use hollow wall anchor bolts if it is, otherwise concrete anchors.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, tomorrow I will be able to run all this by a contractor I know.

  6. #6
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I would drill into the sidewalk for an anchor bolt holding a post base. If the exploration drilling reveals the sidewalk is too thin or cracked to hold an anchor bolt then drill a big hole and use a cast in place post base.
    Old suspect concrete I would epoxy the bolt in or go old school and use lead or sulfur. A wedge anchor will break out poor concrete.
    Bill D

  7. #7
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    We did a fairly large exterior handrail project where we used titan anchors, they worked very well and don't look too bad. NO chance of blowing out the concrete if you use the correct pilot size.

    IMG_6412.jpgIMG_6418.jpg
    IMG_6411.jpg
    WoodsShop

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Wood View Post
    We did a fairly large exterior handrail project where we used titan anchors, they worked very well and don't look too bad. NO chance of blowing out the concrete if you use the correct pilot size.

    IMG_6412.jpgIMG_6418.jpg
    IMG_6411.jpg

    I disagree. His concrete is already cracked so think hammer drilling and driving in mechanical anchor bolts does risk blowing out the concrete.

  9. #9
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    with the titans you screw the anchor in, it isn't like a wedge anchor at all, but you do need to hammer drill the pilot hole.
    WoodsShop

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I disagree. His concrete is already cracked so think hammer drilling and driving in mechanical anchor bolts does risk blowing out the concrete.
    I looked very closely & those steps look solid. Those threaded anchors do not exert a great deal of lateral pressure on the surrounding concrete.

    Joe, that's a great looking handrail installation.

  11. #11
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    Lewiston, Idaho
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    I and another family member have balance issues. I installed a short hand rail on our back steps which are very similar to those shown. I used concrete anchors, drilled the recommended hole size, installed the handrail and then used a silicon caulk to seal around the base of the posts. That was about 4 years ago and they are still rock solid.
    Ken

  12. #12
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    I would consider securing the post to the outside of the second step. That would give you a much larger area to attach anchors at a wider spread. You could put anchors at 3 different levels and get a firm attachment. You could even use a strap and attach across the face between first and second step to anchor the post. It looks like the steps are not that wide to take up much space with handrail, and handrail on outside of step would not reduce the space. I know there is a door opening that sets a minimum space, but some room to maneuver is always nice.

  13. #13
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    Or even the 3rd step like I did hear on my house, so I could cut the corner, but then older people the second step would be better / safer

    Stais Bottom Post.jpg
    WoodsShop

  14. #14
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    Apr 2017
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    Michigan
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    Run the handrail down then make a short return to the left so you have two posts anchored to the sidewalk.

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