Be sure to layout the position of your rail posts before installation. This is usually the trickiest part. If the top rail post is set at the rear of the tread you will want to align the bottom post similarly. Landings and stairs that change directions will often require the thoughtful situating of rail posts to allow for a system that looks and performs well. Grippable handrails are requireed and must meet specific requirements.
Click on photos for more detail. Guard rails are required on the sides of stairs with a total rise of more than 30" above the floor or grade below. On this project we used Deckorators aluminum balusters, stair connectors, post caps and rail connectors.
Secure bottom stair rail post to stair framing with (2) 1/2" bolts or equivalent. In this case we bolted the rail post to the riser board. You may also attach the post to the stair stringer. Make sure the rail post is long enough for a 34" minimum rail plus additional room for post cap mounting.
Verify that both your top and bottom stair rail posts are plumb. Lay the bottom rail on top of the stairs to determine the correct angle. Mark the intersection of the rail posts with the bottom rail. Cut your top and bottom rails to the same length.
If you are using Deckorator's rail connector you need to remove 1/4" on each end of the top and bottom rail along the angle. Attach the rail connector to the ends of the top and bottom rail with screws.
Install the bottom rail centered between posts. Install your stair baluster connectors so that each baluster will have less than a 4" opening between balusters.
Align the top and bottom rail sections to mark the corresponding connector locations with a level.
Guard rails on stairs must be at least 34" high measured from the nosing of the treads. Measure and cut your aluminum balusters to fit your stair railing assembly. Next slide the balusters over the bottom stair rail connectors then slide the top rail connectors into the balusters from the bottom up.
Attach the top rail to the 4x4 rail post using a Deckorator rail connector using screws.
Notice the top cap terminates into the rail post at the same height as the deck guard rail. Install the 2x4 or 2x6 rail cap over the top rail. Predrill and screw the ends of the top cap into the rail posts and secure the center with additional screws. Secure the top cap through the bottom of the 2x4 or 2x6 into the side of the bottom stair rail post.