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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trimming out a staircase that goes to a guest apartment in the garage area. The first step and half of the second step project into the garage. According to code I have to install a continuous handrail from the first step to the top step. I will also have to install one spindle on both sides of the stair.

The home owner wants to cut the posts and spindles out after final inspection. The treads are a stained red oak. Has anyone out there ever installed a temporary post and spindle on a set of stairs where it would cause minimal damage when removed ? Any ideas on how to keep my first two steps from being butchered after they have moved in ?
 

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I had a similar situation a while back. In my case the risers were painted white so I attached the newels to the face of the risers and removed them after inspections. Then I had to cut the railings and move the newel post. I was lucky in the respect that I was able to move the newel posts up to cover the holes in the tread where my spindles were. I used a smaller newel post also since it was sitting on top of the second tread. It looked better.

It was a pain in the butt to do but the client didn't mind paying for it.

Good luck! Hope this helps

Lee
 

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How about drilling a hole for a threaded insert. Drive it a 1/4" below the surface of the tread. Use a hanger bolt connection in the spindle. If you unscrew it later use a wood plug
 

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Can you start the railing ,up one stair?We have done this before to allow more room at the bottom.
Screw medallions to the ends of the rail and attach them to the posts.,cover the screw holes with removable buttons.
 

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Notch/cope the newel post over the bottom tread nosing. Face mount newel to rise using 1/2" buttons to cover screws. Do two screws just under nosing, & 2 at about 1.5" from bottom. Fab a rail with a bottom shoe that's parallel to the railing, with as needed balusters, so as to have the shoe just above the treads. Most codes will allow for this type of railing, but you better check yours. Fasten rail to the wall using the same screws + buttons as at the newel.

To remove, just remove the buttons, & screws. The only holes will be at the wall/rail, & 4 small holes (putty fill) at the risers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Notch/cope the newel post over the bottom tread nosing. Face mount newel to rise using 1/2" buttons to cover screws. Do two screws just under nosing, & 2 at about 1.5" from bottom. Fab a rail with a bottom shoe that's parallel to the railing, with as needed balusters, so as to have the shoe just above the treads. Most codes will allow for this type of railing, but you better check yours. Fasten rail to the wall using the same screws + buttons as at the newel.

To remove, just remove the buttons, & screws. The only holes will be at the wall/rail, & 4 small holes (putty fill) at the risers.
That is what I was thinking about doing. Probably the way I will have to go.

Thank you for all the suggestions.
 

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What happens after the inspection is all on the homeowner. Anything in a home could be changed, or tampered with if the homeowner wants to. Any liability would be between them, & posibly their insurance company.

We're talking 2 treads, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A tread and a half actually. The rest of the steps run between two walls. He plans on cutting the hand rail at the end of the wall, and removing the post, and the one spindle (on both sides).

I will not be doing this, he will. He doesn't want the handrail on the last step and a half , as it is in the way of using his garage. I was just trying to find away that it didn't cause to much damage to the treads.
 

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I would consider that if someone falls, is badly injured and needs life long care, the attorneys for that person will be going after everyone involved including the contractor (and his insurance) who knowingly designed/constructed something with the intent that it could be easily modified by the homeowners to circumvent the code which probably would have prevented the accident in the first place.
 

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If it's just two, and he's at all handy: why not cut, fit and prep two finished treads... then park them in your shop.

Install two other treads and pass.

Homeowner moves in, does whatever he wants in his own home and places an order for two finished red birch treads. Perhaps at that point you'll happen to have some lying around your shop... which he can install if they happen to fit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The homeowner isn't handy enough to fit new treads, nor is he that worried about the look after the fact. I'm the one trying figure out a way to make this happen with the least amount of destruction.

As far as liability and danger of removing the newel post , it really isn't like that serious. If I had a photo to upload I think everyone would see that we are talking about one step that would not have a hand grip. There is a far greater chance of someone falling up the stairs than someone needing to grip this section of rail. THE ONLY REASON this is an issue is because code states first step to last step. There is just enough room between the post and wall to require one spindle, by code.

However it goes the handrail has to pass code. What ever the homeowner does after he moves in is his choice. I know for a fact that he will remove the post and one spindle because it interferes with his garage , really dumb design.

Thank you for the suggestions. I am just going to install it my normal way. I'll just live with the fact that are holes in my tread evertime I drive past that house.
 

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Why not skip the newels and turn the corner with your grab rail. You would just have to extend the bottom tread past the half tread nose on the side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Why not skip the newels and turn the corner with your grab rail. You would just have to extend the bottom tread past the half tread nose on the side.
I'm not sure if that would technically pass code. I've already installed the steps, but that would have definetly been an idea to kick around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I used 4 x4 for the posts. I cut them to fit over bullnose of the tread and attached it to the bottom riser. For spindles I used 2 x 2 and toe nailed them into the tread and handrail. Not my prettiest work,, but it is in the garage.

Now the homeowner can keep it , or remove it with minimal damage to the treads.
 
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