Installing a handrail along a backyard flagstone path.

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Posted by: from Markham, Ontario
7/11/2021 at 1:51:56 PM

Good day everyone.

I've been asked to install a handrail along a 7 to 8 ft long run of flagstone steps in a friend's backyard. It slopes downhill slightly and would have to be free-standing. What would the best spacing be for the vertical posts and how deep would I have to go?

I've read some of the questions in regards to fence posts and it looks like I would need 3 to 4 feet of the post in the ground. Is this the same situation?

Thanks for the help in advance, Don Hawley.

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Date/Time7/14/2021 at 11:56:37 PM

A flagstone path/stairs by the very nature of install unless imbedded in concrete? has nothing to support a rail, you will have to utilize a fence type install for rail posts if you want them to last, spacing is whatever you want and would depend on how sturdy the posts are and what sort of material you are using..6ft spans max. is usually advisable on most installs. personally I would put 3 posts in for 8 feet. One each end and a center.

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Ian in Edmonton
Date/Time7/16/2021 at 4:11:34 PM

To answer your question about post depth: the 3-4' you mention is a typical depth whether for a fence or a railing as in your situation where it is free-standing (nothing adjacent to attach to).

Best to be at or near depth of frost penetration and to embed post in some concrete at the bottom to avoid frost-jacking. There are no Code requirements in this case as these steps do not require a railing.

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