Exterior railings


I am going to build a small two step stair off a front porch for my DL because she has a small problem with getting off the porch due to a slight handicap in walking (aftermath of a bus car accident.) But I am unsure how to install a railing for it on face brick. I can drill into the morter joints and use some type of concrete anchors or I can drill into the brick itself and anchor to the brick itself. The problem is I do not know which of the two choices would be stronger and less likely to fail under stress. Can anybody who has done something similar give me some advice or different solutions for my problem? Tia for any help. Larry
--
larry in Cinci



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Thanks tyke. Larry

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As Tyke says, you can use the expanding type. I've used red heads in concrete with great success, but they might split both the bricks or the mortar. Plastic inserts with screws might do, but I think I would go with epoxy. Drill the holes where ever they need to go, in brick or mortar, and epoxy studs in the holes. That should give you tons of strength without stressing the brick or mortar. Home depot and the like should sell epoxy made for setting anchor bolts in concrete. BTW, if you do not have a hammer drill, rent one, even if it is just a Dewalt cordless. It will save you a lot of time and frustration.

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| I am going to build a small two step stair off a front porch for my DL | because she has a small problem with getting off the porch due to a slight | handicap in walking (aftermath of a bus car accident.) But I am unsure how | to install a railing for it on face brick. I can drill into the morter | joints and use some type of concrete anchors or I can drill into the brick | itself and anchor to the brick itself. The problem is I do not know which of | the two choices would be stronger and less likely to fail under stress. Can | anybody who has done something similar give me some advice or different | solutions for my problem? Tia for any help. Larry | | -- | larry in Cinci | |
1. Do not put holes in the mortar. The anchors will pull out in no time at all.
2. Get a hammer drill or a 1/2 inch drill and put the holes in the bricks. A hammer drill just makes the hole punching easier.
3. Use "tapcon" screws of sufficient length and thickness to hold the rail. These screws are basically a self-tapping concrete screw meant for just the kind of task you want to do.
These screws come with the appropriate sized concrete drill in the package. I have them holding shutters, window well covers and end-posts for my fence where it attaches to my house. The guy before me drilled into the mortar because it was easier and I had to replace my shutters when the wind tore them off the wall taking the pins with them. I have not lost a shutter since.
-- PDQ
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The thought of hand railings supported by inserts in brick or mortar makes me very nervous. If someone is depending on the handrail for support and it lets go, there could be real problems. I would make sure such a rig was either through bolted or lagged into something substantial. Pretend for a minute that you are personally responsible for any injury that may result from the project. Think about freeze/thaw cycles and the fact that brick is a very brittle material. Realize that the handrail may be there for a long time. Dave
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Lag shields and lag screws into the brick. The mortor will come loose. It is possible to overtighten and crack the brick, yes. So you just tighten as much as is needed. If the wood shrinks later you can tighten some more.
John
larry's lair wrote:

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The types of anchors you would need will work in either brick or mortar. I expect you can get the strength needed with either option.
Personally I would try the mortar first. If the bricks are old, they may crack while being drilled and cause a piece to fall out.
Get the type of anchor which expands as it is tightened in the hole. Also use the correct drill bit for concrete/mortar. If you do not have a hammer drill be patient, it may take some time even with a new bit.
Dave Paine.

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