How to Install an Outside Handrail for Front Steps

A handrail for front steps is not only an attractive addition to a house, but it also can make the steps safer. Steps have two parts: the tread, which is the part that you step on, and the riser, which attaches one step to the next. Standard treads are 11 inches wide, and standard risers are 7 inches high. Most homes have three or four steps leading up to the door or the porch. You can purchase prefabricated handrails to fit your situation.

Set the handrail in place on the steps.

Use a tape measure to place each post 2 inches from the edge of the step to which it will be attached.

Mark each screw hole for each post with a carpenter's pencil. Set the handrail to the side.

Use an electric drill with a masonry bit to drill holes where each mark is, if the steps are cement or stone. If the steps are wood, use an electric drill with a 1/8-inch wood drill bit to drill pilot holes where each mark is.

Insert the cement anchors into the holes on steps made of cement or stone. Tap the anchors gently with a hammer until they are flush with the surface of the steps.

Set the handrail in place and use an electric drill with a driver bit to tighten the screws into the steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Prefabricated handrail
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Electric drill
  • Masonry bit sized to the cement anchors
  • 1/8-inch wood drill bit
  • Driver bit
  • Hammer
  • Cement anchors
  • Cement screws
  • Wood screws
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About the Author

Damon Koch has years of writing experience ranging from software manuals to song lyrics. His writing has appeared in software manuals for Human Arc and on the CDs "Small Craft Advisory" and "Impersonating Jesus." He also has worked in building maintenance since 2004. He has attended Lorain County Community College as well as Cleveland State University.