How to Install a Stair Handrail on Stairs | This Old House

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now the building code establishes a

height for these railings to be set at

and it goes between 32 and 34 inches off

the nose of the tread I'm going to put

the level tight against the stair

holding it plumb I'm going to mark the

top of the stair tread and there's our

mark right there okay okay now what I

want to do is you've chosen 32 inches I

want to mock 32 inches for a height of a

railing okay now what I have to subtract

is the thickness of the railing and the

height of the bracket okay in order for

me to do that I have to measure the

railing diagonally because if you see

it's gonna sit parallel with the

stairway okay so that measures three

inches diagonally think of this part of

the leg of the frame and square under

the railing in this part the wall

holding it up against the bottom of the

railing and against the wall the center

of that hole down the bottom is three

inches okay so that means I want to

subtract a total of six inches off of

that 32 and that will establish where I

want them out the bracket on the wall

I'm gonna simply take this measurement

holding the level plumb tight to the

stair nose I'm gonna mark a dot right on

the wall right there okay now I'm gonna

mark the top just as I did the bottom

using my level as a gauge tight against

the tread okay levered I've got a chalk

line there right you want to pass me one

end now run the line past the dot and

I'm gonna run past the dot up here see

it there got it okay now I'm gonna snap

this chalk line this gives us a parallel

line with the stair that tells us where

we can mount the bracket anywhere on the

wall you use a stud finder see if we can

locate the edge of the first stud

there's that side I don't come back this

way edge is right there I'm gonna drill

a hole right in the middle okay okay by

using a seven sixty fourth drill bit

we're gonna drill a pilot hole for the

first screw

now we're ready for the bracket

two more pilot holes two more screws run

to the top bracket now we're going to

mark the length of the railing we're

gonna use the molding that's sitting on

top of the skirt board right where the

miter meets I'm gonna mark right here

where that miter meets the top you do

the same thing down the bottom okay

there's our length now set the saw at a

45 slide it down line up my edge and

make a cut okay now we're ready to cut

the other end I want to change my saw

and I want to mark my end

transfer that to the outside slide it to

you now we're ready to cut another 45

hold it firm now you ready ready



okay by taking the cut-offs from each

end and swapping them I now have a nice

miter and a great return I'll use a

little glue drill a couple of holes and

drive a couple of nails or we're in

business okay let's see how it fits up

here it's perfect how about down there

looks good okay now all we have to do

with these two screws in this collar put

it up underneath the bracket and the

railing is mounted great