How to Install Outdoor Handrails

  • 4-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 250-1,000
What You'll Need
Prefabricated handrail set
Mounting brackets
Drill and masonry bit
Concrete adhesive
Lag bolts
Stud finder
Measuring tape
Safety glasses

Outdoor handrails are safety features installed along stairways to provide support and stability while walking. Even in the absence of stairways, outdoor handrails are extremely important in areas that are constantly wet or covered with snow. Handrails also help disabled and elderly people to roam around freely.

In many countries, it is mandatory to install outdoor handrails where a significant amount of public movement occurs. Most of the stipulations regarding handrails are related to their size and other safety features. It is necessary because properly designed and erected handrails reduce the number of injuries caused by unguarded stairways.

Handrails are usually made from stainless steel, wrought iron, aluminum, vinyl, wood, brass, or glass. Consider factors like budget, utility, and aesthetics before deciding the type of material you want to use for creating outdoor handrails. If the handrails are being installed in a public place, contact your local municipality and get the design approved from them. Follow the procedure below to create outdoor handrails.

Step 1 - Design Outdoor Handrails

Handrails can either be installed on posts, or they can be fitted to the walls. Taking into consideration these factors, create a design that can be passed on to the fabricator or manufacturer. Keep in mind that outdoor handrails with attachment hardware are easy to install and easily attached to the wall or the bottom of rail.

Step 2 - Clean the Surface

Neatly clean the surface on which outdoor handrails are to be installed. It can be done by using a pressure washer. Doing so will wash away debris, grime, and stains.

Step 3 - Mend Broken Surface

If any part of the surface is broken or loose, mend it using concrete adhesive or masonry bit.

Step 4 - Locate Studs

Pinpoint wall studs using the stud finder and mark the location with chalk. Keeping the stud in the center, mark points according to design and layout of the handrails.

Step 5 - Install Mounting Brackets

Once all the markings have been made, start installing the mounting brackets according to the layout. Drill holes in the wall or stair landings according to the size of mounting brackets. Draw lug nuts through them and reinforce them with silicone.

Step 6 - Insert Posts

After properly installing the mounting brackets, insert the handrail post in each one of them. Attach the handrail strip with screws to the handrail posts.

Important Tips

Since handrails come in various shapes and sizes, this article describes a generic procedure of creating outdoor handrails, ignoring specifications. It is also assumed that the handrails are being installed on concrete stairways.

If the outdoor handrail is being installed in a public place, make sure the designs are approved by local authorities. Outdoor handrails in open spaces should not be made out of metal. It's a good idea to have a helping hand, as there is a lot of work involved in outdoor handrail installation. Finally, don't work without safety glasses.