At first my client and I thought this banister just needed a little TLC...
But within a few minutes, we discovered that it needed to be completely replaced:
Whoever built this used untreated lumber, and the concrete stairs were wicking water into the wood and rotting it. The wood was basically just compost held together by a coat of paint. Luckily that made it easy to remove, and I soon had it chiseled out.
Once the banister was removed, we were left with these galvanized threaded rods, which were fortunately in great shape to re-use!
If you think about it, building a wooden railing on concrete steps poses a major problem: how do you attach the railings to the concrete? Despite his oversight in using untreated wood, the original builder actually had a very sturdy and ingenious design for these railings.
He started with galvanized threaded rods drilled and set in anchoring cement. Then he added a base-plate that was glued, bolted and screwed into the concrete floor. He built the post around the base-plate and tightened it down.
I decided to copy his method, with a few improvements of my own. (For example, I used treated lumber!)
This system really does seem to work well for attaching wooden posts to a concrete floor. These posts are solid! Once the posts were finished, I installed the railings, trim and copper caps.
This was an enjoyable project to do. It was a "thinking man's" carpentry, with a lot of detailed design hidden inside.
I'll take some wood samples home with me to test the moisture readings. Once they reach around 15%, we'll be ready to paint.
Do you need a banister or railing repaired? If so, please get in touch. I'll be glad to help.
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