SingletonRW2

How to inset stair rails?

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1 hour ago, SingletonRW2 said:

I seen this on Pinterest. How can this be done in CA. Stair rails inset into wall.

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Manual modeling. 3d moldings, solids, hardware...

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10 minutes ago, robdyck said:

Manual modeling. 3d moldings, solids, hardware...

Sounds awfully complicated. May be about my skill level.

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Just a thought, but are these Code-compliant? I sure wouldn't want to try and grab the handrail if I was falling! Maybe they are; I just haven't seen this style.

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Just now, SingletonRW2 said:

Sounds awfully complicated.

Yeah, its fairly complicated. Relatively quick if you know how, but awful if you aren't sure where to start. Just like the real thing! If you need something like this for a set of plans that has some $ available for outsourcing, you can get it built by someone else, right in your plan file. Then, you'll have the 2D to detail it, the 3D for renderings, and the objects to reverse engineer it for quick learning.

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I would use solids for the wall along with  boolean operations to get the recess.

Then use a molding polyline.

You can do the rail, lining boards and shadow line all on the one molding polyline.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-12-10 at 2.38.06 pm.jpg

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Doubt those are code compliant either.

 

Just a thought on how to model it though but how about some wall material regions/region holes???

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1 minute ago, rgardner said:

Just a thought on how to model it though but how about some wall material regions/region holes???

 

Give it a try.  That tool is not quite versatile enough for a job like this but it would be great if it was. Niche is closer but still not right.

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Just now, Chopsaw said:

 

Give it a try.  That tool is not quite versatile enough for a job like this but it would be great if it was. Niche is closer but still not right.

Might have to try that.  Wasn’t thinking of creating an inset as much as a thick region on either side of the railing... 

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I thought of both those tools.

Material Regions will cause lots of problems, especially at the corners.

Wall Niche will not provide the shaping required.

I decided it was better to stay away from walls.

 

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Just now, glennw said:

Material Regions will cause lots of problems, especially at the corners.

Wall Niche will not provide the shaping required.

I decided it was better to stay away from walls.

 

Unfortunate but true. ;)

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If a railing wall that follows stairs with a handrail mounted above it, along its top, meets code, why won't this?

 

Cite code language in your answer, same way you would insist the inspector do.

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4 hours ago, GeneDavis said:

why won't this

It's the glass cover with little hammer that says 'Break Glass in case of Emergency'

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6 hours ago, GeneDavis said:

If a railing wall that follows stairs with a handrail mounted above it, along its top, meets code, why won't this?

 

To me, its clearly not meeting the intent of the code whether its a technical violation or not; however, If we're using the IRC (the basis for most codes in the U.S.), then section 311.7.8.2 could pretty easily be used as the argument:

 

IRC R311.7.8.2 Continuity.  Handrails for stairways shall be continuous....blah blah blah....Handrails adjacent to a wall shall have a space of not less than 1-1/2" between the wall and the handrails.

 

The OP said it..." Stair rails inset into wall."

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1 hour ago, Alaskan_Son said:

To me, its clearly not meeting the intent of the code

Hmm... I dunno about that...I think the intent of the code was to have a specified amount of space between the back of the rail and surface it's mounted to so that a hand can easily grab the rail.  If that 1-1/2" space is kept between the rail and surface behind it there might be room for argument here.   Most likely code writers never envisioned a inset railing like this, but I think any individual building inspector would have a different take on it depending in this case on the space above the rail.  For instance if there was 12" of clearance above the rail in the inset... it would seem to me to be as functional as any other handrail.

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4 minutes ago, DzinEye said:

Hmm... I dunno about that...I think the intent of the code was to have a specified amount of space between the back of the rail and surface it's mounted to so that a hand can easily grab the rail.

 

I wasn't talking about the intent of that particular code section.  I was talking about the intent of the Handrail requirements in general. 

 

 

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I think its pretty clear that there shouldn't be any projections above the handrail.  Section R311.7.1 clearly differentiates between clear width above the handrail height and clear width below handrail height only ever listing the handrail projection as a positive number and only ever mentioning clear opening above the handrail as being greater.  Regardless of all that though, if I were the inspector on this project, I could very easily argue per section R311.7.2 that the handrails are part of the stairway and therefore any projections above the required handrail should be considered projections into the required headroom space.  39" headroom?  FAIL!!!

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2 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

I could very easily argue per section R311.7.2 that the handrails are part of the stairway and therefore any projections above the required handrail should be considered projections into the required headroom space.  39" headroom?  FAIL!!!

Whaaat... man you're really stretching there.  Any projection above a handrail less than the required 80" would probably fail almost all normal stair rail stairs where the stairs start under the 2nd floor.  Sorry...the builder took it up to the Chief Building Official and he over-rode your decision.  :P

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It's my limited experience that when a proposed design has some unique elements that are not clearly defined by the building code, that it is good practice to seek guidance from the authority having jurisdiction. The photos make for a great first stab at communicating that proposal and, if the authority is willing to explore it further, a real-life mockup can be used to examine the function for the purpose of identifying if the unique proposal will satisfy the intent of the building code. Some authorities are more open to new ideas than others, and often the client needs to be willing and able to pay the designers and tradespersons for these extra steps to fulfill their vision.

 

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40 minutes ago, DzinEye said:

Whaaat... man you're really stretching there.  Any projection above a handrail less than the required 80" would probably fail almost all normal stair rail stairs where the stairs start under the 2nd floor.  Sorry...the builder took it up to the Chief Building Official and he over-rode your decision.  :P

 

You missed what I was getting at.  I'm not saying you would need 80" above the handrail. 

 

I'm saying that the handrail is considered part of the stairs and should therefore be the outermost vertical plane and where the headroom height should (or at least could) be measured.  Using your logic, it seems perhaps these would both be perfectly acceptable stair cases...

367920459_Stairs2.thumb.jpg.829a439a1f22510d7ab6254f400b8c98.jpg2130336207_Stairs1.thumb.jpg.922e2df4df8dde6ec265ade1477d2649.jpg

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Technically speaking, and with regard to the intent of the code, I tend to think the required handrail could (and possibly even should) be required to extend out over the walking surface and that handrails mounted to the top of an adjacent pony-wall (something most of us do all the time) may not actually be providing the intended benefit..especially if there's a decorative wood border that nobody even walks on.  In fact, the code specifically states that handrails should be continuous from a point directly above the top riser to a point directly above the lowest riser.  If the handrail is centered on a 12" wide pony wall or inset into a wall, its definitely not directly above the riser.

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2 hours ago, Alaskan_Son said:

Using your logic, it seems perhaps these would both be perfectly acceptable stair cases...

367920459_Stairs2.thumb.jpg.829a439a1f22510d7ab6254f400b8c98.jpg2130336207_Stairs1.thumb.jpg.922e2df4df8dde6ec265ade1477d2649.jpg

LOL... gee thanks a lot for suggesting that's my sense of logic!   But actually you could do that... as long as you have another hand rail on the other side.  I like that you can slide down the one on the right...
 

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4 minutes ago, DzinEye said:

But actually you could do that... as long as you have another hand rail on the other side.


Hmmm...kinda sounds like you’re just pulling the ole switcheroo with that one.  Are you saying the inset handrail does not meet code after-all?  Cuz that’s what it sounds like.

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Here’s a question for anyone who truly sees nothing wrong with the inset rail:  How far back can it be inset?  Perfectly flush?  3”?  12”?  24”?  17 feet?  

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