Open staircase in basement

I have an open staircase leading to my basement and I have small children and would like to protect them from falling over the stairs, problem is the opening allows me to move furniture up and down the stairs so the railing or whatever i put there most be removable...The diagram below is a "rough" idea of what the opening looks like from the basement...
------------------------- | --- | --- | --- | --- | --- | -------------------------
As you can see the first few step only the height of the step is open. Any suggestions would be great....
---Travis
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tjbay wrote:

How frequent is this moving? I would assume you go months or more w/o carrying a sofa up/down the stairwell.
I'd do a conventional-style railing w/ balusters except mount them w/ bolting system rather than nailing. Depending on what you want for styling, a threaded pipe floor flange could be used as a mounting bracket or you could arrange a pole from the ceiling to the bottom step that is removable and attach to it...possibilities are almost endless.
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We had one in our last house when the kids were small. Yes, my son went over the side.
I assume you have the required railing? If so, I'd just screw on some 1/4" plywood or hardboard panels. It would not take much to hold them and make it safe, yet they are easily removed if the need arises. Ed
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I would like to try and keep it open if possible...
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tjbay wrote:

I believe they make a mesh material that may be used for this.
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Joseph Meehan

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It's called Chicken Wire.
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tm wrote:

Actually I was thinking of a slightly stretchy cloth material.
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Joseph Meehan

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One Step Ahead sells a retractable mesh-like safety gate, that you might be able to mount on the top of the stairs, stretch to the bottom, and retract when you want to move furniture up the stairs. Otherwise, if you want a bannister that will keep the kids from falling down, but also want it to be able to be removed, AND you want to keep the stairs open... I don't see how you can acheive all that at the same time. If the retractable thingie doesn't work, just install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs and keep them off it for a couple of years. That's what we've done in your situation.
Donna
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