How to Install an Outside Handrail for Front Steps

Written by damon koch
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How to Install an Outside Handrail for Front Steps
Install handrails to enhance the decor and safety of your home. (door of new condominium 1 image by Amy Myers from

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.

Skill level:

Things you 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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  1. 1

    Set the handrail in place on the steps.

  2. 2

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

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

    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.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

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

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