# Proper Angle For Stair Railings On My Deck

We just purchased our home and the deck off the house was not completed. Everything was done except the handrails. We have all the handrails completed around the deck except for the stairs.
I was wondering if their is a standard angle for the stair railing? Is their a formula that should be used to calculate this?
Thanks Amy.
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Angle? The angle of the handrail has to match the angle of the stairs so as to remain at the same height from top to bottom. Or am I missing some subtleties in the query?
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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It should follow the angle of the stairs. Standard height is between 30" and 34". A quick call to the building inspector will verify the code in your area. Ed
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The angle you need can be computed by knowing what is the rise of the stairs and what is the run. Most stairs have something on the order of a 9" tread (run) and a 7 1/2" rise. Using a carpenters framing square makes the job easy to figure out. Put a straight-edge on the markings on the square you measured for rise and run to create a triangle. You can then either use a protractor to measure the angle or simply compute it mathematically using plane geometry.
Now that I have said all that, when you cut the bannisters you cannot assume that your posts are plumb. Even if they are, I recommend you use a bevel square and measure directly from the posts to find your cutting angle. Clamp a level to each post and set it to true level. Then take your measurements with the bevel and transfer this angle to your saw for making your cuts. Make your first cut and place the rail against the outside of the post and eyeball your angle. If it looks good you can make the second cut with the angle you measured from the next post. I suggest you make this cut approximately 1/2" long. That should give you enough material to finesse a third and final cut so the rail is snug. And you will have to do this all over again with your bottom rail. Just remember to ensure to maintain identical drops under each juncture with your rails and posts. BTW - don't be surprised if the posts do not have faces that are truly parallel to each other. In fact, it is likely they won't be. This means you have a compound angle to fit. A belt sander makes this job easier, but it can be done by hand. Best of luck ...
Amy L. wrote:

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On 14 Aug 2004 07:16:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@paxemail.com (Amy L.) wrote:

?
Parallel to the stairs, the same height above each step as it is along the deck flooring.
Bill.
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Lay a straightedge on several of the tread nosings, measure the angle from this straightedge to the newel post. Handrails on stairs should be held 28" to 32" above the straightedge. (Guardrails on the deck surface should be a minimum of 36" from the deck surface).
Typically, legal stairs have an angle of 36-42 degrees (not science, just measured a few:)
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On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 18:54:54 -0400, "Eric Ryder"

Why? The support posts are vertical and each the same height, and those the same height as the ones holding the horizontal deck railing. Since there is at least one post at the top and at the bottom, the rail must wind up parallel [same angle] to the stairs.
Bill.
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Bill Rogers wrote:

Read the thread title. The OP did not ask whether she needed to know the angle, she asked how to find out what it was.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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Then why did she ask if there is a standard angle?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Perhaps because if there is a standard angle then she doesn't have to do anything else to find out?
--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 09:54:29 -0400, "J. Clarke"

Read the reply. It's better to give stronger advice than to answer a questionable question. She can find the angle by trig as well, but I wouldn't advise that either. The point is that there is no need to measure the angle, and it does little good. A better way is simply a better way. Any angle [stair to post] can be copied using an adjustable bevel if necessary.
Bill.
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On Sunday, August 15, 2004 1:58:21 PM UTC-4, Bill Rogers wrote:
wrote:>> Why? The support posts are vertical and each the same height, and

l must wind up parallel [same angle] to the stairs.> >Read the thread title . The OP did not ask whether she needed to know the >angle, she asked how t o find out what it was.Read the reply. It's better to give stronger advice than to answer a questionable question. She can find the angle by trig as w ell, but I wouldn't advise that either. The point is that there is no need to measure the angle, and it does little good. A better way is simply a bet ter way. Any angle [stair to post] can be copied using an adjustable bevel if necessary.Bill.
Agreed. Make it the same height at the top and the bottom. It will naturall y align. The angle is unnecessary to know.
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first, lay a 2x4 or something flat across the nosing on one side of the stairs.Then take a framing square and lay it on the 2x4 with the 24" end pointing up. Slide the square up until you can make a mark of the angle on the post at the top of the stairs (the top of the 24"end). you now have you angle. It should be around 36-38 degrees. (verify with a speed square) Then subtract 1 1/2" inch from the mark on the post for the 2x4 used and that mark should also be around the right railing height.

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Amy,
I always use a framing square with the tongue against the tread corner. Where the end of the body lands is where I cut the post. The 2by hand rail goes on top of that.
Good luck,
Pat
Amy L. wrote:

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On Mon, 9 Jun 2014 12:20:11 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It is necessary to know if the OP is building a railing off-site - like a wrought iron railing that is welded together at the right angle and installed in one piece. Easy enough to canculate anyway if you know the run and the rize.
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They prolly got it figured out sometime in the last ten years, I think. <g>
--
Jim in NC

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