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Staircase safety

My wife is having a baby in October and we have a finished basement that we spend a lot of time in. But the stairs down are open on one side so of course I am worried about the kid down the road. I was thinking of using deck railing materials a railing top screwed into the ceiling and the stairs and deck rails less then 4 inches on center apart, but the only ones I can find are pressure treated and I don't like the idea of using that in the house, any good ideas?

Bob H
Re: Staircase safety
Bob H

Well, you could make your own ....

The spindles could be 2x2s that have top and bottoms cut at 45 and screwed into a bottom board and a top board that another board on the top that can have a 2x4 for a top plate (maybe a 2x3 could be gripped better for a top).

Use regular pine -- it could be painted. I had a staircase built like that in FL -- it was from the living room to the upstairs.

Re: Staircase safety

Congratulations, [email protected].

My wife is also expecting at the end of September, and I am doing some hard core nesting by preparing the house for a larger family.

There are a number of kits, parts and hardware available out there to do any level of handrail project from fancy and spiraling to fast and affordable.

Check out the stair parts in the finish lumber section of your local home center, usually in the same aisle as all the trim and molding.

A decent lumberyard will generally stock newels, hand rail and balusters. There are oak and pine handrails that have a slot underneath that readily accept 2x balusters and even wrought iron baluster that fit into brackets you fasten directly to your treads.

Here's an online store that sells much or what I'm describing:


Another quick easy and affordable solution would be to close of the open side of the stairs by running a series of thick dowels or 2x slats a few inches apart from tread to ceiling. On the wall side mount a stock hand rail being sure to attach your brackets to the framing.

One last note on stairways and babies. The best advice I ever got with our first child was to teach her how to descend stairs backwards on her hands and knees, as soon as, she began to crawl. We never had an accident because she never tried to stand facing downstairs in that top heavy unstable position.

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