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  • Writer's pictureJohn@LiteHouse

Handrail Installation Issues


Handrails are a crucial component of home safety. They provide a place for you to grab if you lose your balance or have trouble walking, and prevent falls down stairs. But if the handrail isn't installed properly, it can be useless.

Here's what you need to know about handrail installation:


There are many types of handrails that vary in many ways. To make sure you have a proper handrail in place, it is important to meet the following criteria:

  • The handrail needs to be graspable.

  • Make sure it's at the proper height; if you're unable to hold onto it with both hands while standing upright, then it's too low.

Improper height

Between 34 and 38 inches is the recommended height for a handrail. It's important to get this measurement right so that it's properly positioned for people of various heights. The measurement is taken from the sloped plane of the stairway.

Handrails are required to have no more than 4 inches between their spindles, which is another reason why you should measure carefully when installing them.

Too close to wall

If your handrail is too close to the wall, you could bump your knuckles into it and hurt yourself. This can be especially dangerous if there are stairs with a lot of people using them all at once.

A good rule of thumb for keeping your handrails in the right place is to make sure that there's at least 1.5 inches between each side of the rail (the part you hold onto) and where it meets the wall. One way to ensure this measurement is correct is by making sure that when you run your hands along both sides of the handrail, they don't touch any walls or anything else that might cause injury if touched against accidentally. Another option is ensuring that if someone were to try grabbing onto one side of their handrail while walking down stairs, they wouldn't have trouble doing so because both sides are graspable and easy enough for anyone--even children--to hold onto safely even when moving quickly downhill toward an exit door.

The handrail needs to be graspable, at the proper height and be far enough away from the wall.

  • The handrail should be graspable.

  • The handrail should not have any sharp edges or splinters.

  • The handrail should not have any rough spots that can catch on clothing or skin.

West Chester Home Inspector

A home inspector can help you to identify the following issues:

  • Handrail installation issues

  • Handrail support issues

  • Handrail height and incline issues


Home inspection is a great way to ensure that your home is safe, functional and up to code. A home inspector can help you avoid many common problems by pointing out issues with your property before they become big problems. We hope this article has helped you understand some of the challenges associated with installing handrails on stairs!

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