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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

What to do with out dated banisters?

krampDecember 21, 2012
We just bought our first home. It is the perfect starter home for us, however not only are these banisters out dated they are also not up to code. I need an affordable option that is stylish and safe enough for my 5 month old daughter. Thanks in advance.
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Most big box hardware stores and lumber suppliers have stair systems you can order to replace. It looks almost like the kind of thing you would see on a deck. Wedding net or a similar mesh can be lashed in place to provide some safety until you make changes. or you can tack in lattice panels.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:12AM
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Baby gated will be a necessity, even with new railings.
    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Portland Stair Company
From looking at what you have you could have several options. Budget wise you can remove the balusters, handrails and leave the stair posts. It looks like the carpet would have to go also because once the balusters get removed you'll have to do something about the hole in the carpet where the old balusters where. You can't patch it, it will look like a patch. You can use a bottom shoe rail with wood balusters (see picture) and re-carpet the stairs and landing area. This proceed is fairly easy to do if you a DIYer.
2d option is a little more involved. Remove posts, rails, balusters and carpet. Replace with tread & riser cap sometimes called a false tread cap. They can go over the existing tread or step. Then install you new posts, rails and balusters.

To find somebody who can do this try the following: Angie's list you can sign up just for a month or a year. Great resource for finding reliable trades people.

http://www.nari.org/ or http://www.nahb.org/ These are also licensed trades people

You want someone who has done stair work before and knows what they are doing. Stair contractor or finish carpenter.

For more ideas and pictures check out our site Portlandstaircompany.com

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Wouldn't it be easier to add some acrylic panels that could be easily attached to the tops and sides of the stair rails?
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:13AM
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The bottom shoe rail is a toddler trap!
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 3:55AM
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Until you can do a good update you could do the acrylic panels suggested already or attach horizontal panels to the existing verticals and paint the rail in a contrasting color.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:08AM
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Su Casa Designs · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:10AM
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This is a focal point of your entrance. If you can't afford to replace it , then for now, I would add mesh or slats to the posts to keep your daughter safe. That is the main goal. When the time comes, I would invest in a new wrought iron system.
    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 5:57AM
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Summit Stairs & Millwork
Whatever you do, get someone who knows stairs and how they should be built to code compliance. I have seen too many "jack of all trades" who attach the handrails to the newel posts with sheetrock screws or worse, pin nails. You can do the plexiglass panels or you can do it right the first time and have a quality looking stair that is safe and will enhance the value of your home.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 12:16PM
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LM Designers
With a young child I would not do the wrought iron system. No matter how careful you are little ones will eventually bump into some part and that will hurt a lot more than wood.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 12:28PM
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Add more balusters between the ones that are there.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 12:49PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
You could take out the balusters and run dowels or conduit pipe horizontally. You need them to be not more than 4" apart. You can paint them or in the case of the pipe leave them as they are. The pic below is an outside version but it will give you an idea of what I'm trying to describe.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Interiors International, I like the look, but a child is likely to use that as a ladder.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 1:29PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Man, never thought of that. I'm sure glad my son has 4 legs. He much easier to handle. ;-)
1 Like    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 2:09PM
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I would not recommend horizontal styles as kids love to climb! I can't tell if you already have netting up, but for a temporary solution, maybe a safety net type product would work:

If your carpet/flooring needs replacing, this would be an opportune time (because your carpet is likely cut for the existing spindles). Here are a few photos from my staircase renovation. To save money, I didn't use fancy spindles or expensive wood since it would be painted, and I like it just fine.
    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Wow. I really appreciate everyone's comments and ideas. Definitely a lot of help here. I agree the horizontal styles probably wont work for our growing family, but I do like how they look. The shoe rail is a good idea, but I appreciate the comment that they are a toddler trap, and I can see how, and my husband probably wants iron, but I agree with LM Designers that it may be too dangerous with small children. The photos from /by daytimedesign looks like a good compromise for us at this point.
Again, I appreciate everyone's comments. When we update I will repost pictures. Thanks so much.
Jen Kramp
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Luciana Muratori
Thank you so much "daytimedesign" for recommending our product!
I am Luciana Muratori, the owner of Safety Nets For Life.
Jen Kramp, our safety nets are a great solution to protect your bannisters. The safety nets are transparent and the system can be removed when your baby grows up. If you would like any more information, please visit the website or send me a message. We are based in Sydney, Australia, and we can ship our products worldwide.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 6:01PM
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