The Staircase Railing Mock-up is a Failure + Answers to Your Questions

Hi Everyone,

Oh my! I have zero discipline.


WHAT? Are you kidding, Miss-Blog, 2- 4 times a week for a decade without stopping? ;]


Well, that’s because no show, no dough. Haha, Money is a powerful motivator.


Therefore, it’s true. I’m still looking at gorgeous antique wall murals instead of getting this post out.

Of course, they’re not in the budget. We’re talking at least 100k for a Joseph Dufour 19th c. mural that’s been restored by fine artists. There are companies that make reproductions. I’ve had many of them on here. And, they’re fantastic. That is, until you compare them to the originals.


However, that’s only a little teaser. That’s not what this is about.


This is a fairly brief part 2 from the stair railing post. While I answered some of the comments down in the comments, some of them, I’m answering here.

If I didn’t answer your comment, it doesn’t mean I dislike what you said. It just means I was too busy looking at wallpaper to answer all of them. lol

There were a lot of questions in the comments for Sunday’s post about the new staircase railing.

So, tonight, I’m going to go over them.


***However, the HUGE Serena & Lily sale (up to 35% off!!!) and with FREE SHIPPING is ending at 2:59 AM ET and 11:59PT – tonight, so please head over there, if you wish to take advantage of the deep discounts.



Okay, that was a long preamble.

If you haven’t read part 1, it’s below the link. and the rest of this post is below that. So, if you’ve read part 1 please click the link below to skip part 1 and go directly to the comments and answers. Please scroll to the end because there’s a fantastic surprise at the end.


Part 2 Begins Here



Part 1 is directly below.


Yes, we are back to the staircase railing because, folks, the show has been in rehearsals and is scheduled to open by the end of next month!

But first things first. A very happy birthday to Wolfgang Mozart. He was born 200 years, almost to the day, before me in 1776.

Please enjoy the incredible piano prodigy Alexandra Dovgan (age 9 here, but she’s about 16 now), playing one of my favorites, Piano Concerto #23. (I’ve cued it to the start of the concert.)


YouTube video

My darling contractor, Robert, brought on the delightful Jerry Kenneally, who I mentioned the other day. We call him “the steel guy.”

He will make the custom guard rail upstairs and handrail covering the last 11 steps.  A wooden handrail will be on the opposite wall, going all the way up.

lower level stairs


stairs - x railing hidden doors January 24-2024


I adore the design of this rail with the classic X pattern. It’s been around for thousands of years, and for good reason.

It’s beautiful.




I cannot do this railing as a guardrail or a handrail without adding a barrier. Those openings are way bigger than 5 inches, and the building code says a 5-inch ball cannot pass through any opening.

Is it possible that a young toddler could wriggle through a 6 or 7-inch opening in a staircase?

Well, I don’t know. I kept my children on a tight leash. ;]

I mean, those tiny tots could also drown in the toilet if they tried hard enough. (Please forgive my sick sense of humor.)


For those of us raised in the 50s through 70s before safety was a thing, do you remember how it was?


There were no baby gates, seat belts (except for Mom’s arm, lol), or difficult-to-open cabinets.

True, a lot of us got hurt. Seriously, my sister and I have often said it’s a miracle that we survived our childhood. When I was four, I got sick with a bad cold and felt wretched. Before anyone else was up, I went into the bathroom, stood on a chair, took down the bottle of baby aspirin, and began munching on dozens (!) of the little chalky orange-flavored pills. I finished the entire bottle.

Never mind that I shouldn’t have been taking that stuff in any amount. (Reye’s syndrome, you know).


Laurel, granted, you were only four, but why on earth would you do such a thing?


My four-year-old reasoning, which I remember like it was yesterday, was that if two would help me get well, the entire bottle would help me get well a lot faster.

My mom woke up soon after, and now I was feeling REALLY sick and threw my guts up. But, then, after screaming at me, my parents rushed me to the hospital, where I enjoyed getting my stomach pumped.

Ahhh, those were the days.

Look, I’m ALL for safety. However, remember the Massachusetts State House?

Oh, and the exquisite Boston Athenaeum.


Boston Athenaeum - quiet reading room

Do you see the lovely X railing on the catwalk? There are vast expanses of this gallery, some seven feet off the ground, with absolutely nothing underneath the handrail. Oh, there’s my X behind the books, thank God!  However, there’s no glass. You’d think their insurance company would demand that there is glass. It appears not to be the case.


Okay, I’m sure you’ve heard enough the last umpteen months of me kvetching about the draconian building codes that only apply to some people and not others.


I’m one of the “some people.” ;]

And, to reiterate, it means *I* cannot have any opening large enough to put a 5″ ball through it.

Now, the good news is my contractor told me that the building inspectors never measure anything.

However, I have enough trouble sleeping as it is.


Laurel, can you get to the point? I have to shop the Hot Sales before the Serena & Lily Sale ends. ;]


Yes, I am right now.

The other day, Jerry brought over a sample of one of the panels for the guardrail.


railing sample failure

Here it is, partially hidden in my room.


And, not hidden, but on an angle. Please be assured that my railing will not be shiny!

This piece has an X, but other than that is lightyears away from what I want.

I mean, aside from the X, it has all the charm of a bike rack.


ugly thing to hold glass


Not to be (too much) of a snob, but that u-shaped thing is there to hold the glass.

Oh dear.


These guys are the sweetest, but getting them up to speed takes a bit of doing.

So, I got to work and did a drawing for more like what I’d like to see.


Of course, I’d rather there not be any glass at all!


This is not exactly to scale, but close enough for our purposes.


Stair railing implementation plan January 2024

I dunno. While I think it’s an improvement, the glass makes it too contemporary no matter what we do. Before Jerry came over the other day, I told him maybe we should come up with an alternative plan. He said he wanted to try because he thought he had figured it out.

He’s a dear to have done this, but now I know for sure.




Can’t you rig up some plexiglass and then take it down after the inspection?


You mean break the law? Cool.


Sure, we could, but I’d rather just have the steel guy focus on making me a railing that looks like it’s been here for 150 years, not one that looks like it’s for crowd control at Disney World.


English Garden via Antique Wallpaper Joseph Dufour
English Garden via Antique Wallpaper Joseph Dufour


Okay, I’ve spent many hours on this, but even more hours looking at the glorious antique wallpaper of Joseph Dufour. Never mind. That’s a separate topic.


almet wrought iron-x stair railing design copy


Above is a modified design with a box in the middle. That’s what we need to make this Ferkakta (messed up) railing work without glass.

However, the gaps are at least six inches. If we make the inner box bigger, we’ll have too big gaps inside the inner square.

Fascinating stuff, ain’t it?

Therefore, we would need to put in more pieces.


Below are my top three variations on a theme.


Code compliant Versions (2 and 3) for Guardrail
Number one has fewer pieces, but the gaps on the inner squares are too big to pass inspection.

Number 2 takes care of that. This one is code-compliant.

Number 3 is the same, but I put the boxes closer to each other, thus elongating them.


Laurel, can’t they match the new wainscoting?


new wainscoting design January 2024 - 32 -33 high


I get your thinking, but it’s impossible because of perspective. Plus, even if they did line up, if you move half an inch, they won’t. So, it’s not worth even trying.

However, in number 3, the boxes are elongated, which looks better with the wainscoting.


When I was looking at the thumbnail in my folder, the clear winner popped out at me.


Code compliant Versions (2 and 3) for Guardrail

Can you see it?


What do you think?

I think it should be number 3. It’s funny, but somehow, number 3 looks a little lower than the other two. But it’s not. I also like number two, but number 3 has the edge. Number one looks a little like Home Depot.


Oh, wait. I almost forgot. Hang on a sec. I have the staircase, too!

Please ignore the newel post. I’m pretty sure we will be doing a volute handrail like at the Mass State House.


brass handrail Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber
Only mine won’t be gold. :]

stairs doors railing open stringer glassless handrail no cross
This is the one without the center cross.

It’s interesting, but this and the version below don’t have the corresponding horizontal bar about four inches from the handrail. Going down the steps, the handrail seems lower. It’s not. It’s actually 38″ up from the step in these drawings.

Alas, we need the cross to make the railing code-compliant.


Could you eliminate the bar four inches down on the guard rail upstairs?


Code compliant Versions (2 and 3) for Guardrail

That’s a great question, but no, and it’s the same problem. We’re barely making it impossible to get a five-inch ball through any of the gaps as it is. They don’t specify whether that’s a soft or hard ball. ;] In any case, we won’t make code if we have another four inches we need to work with.


stairs doors railing open stringer glassless handrail modified X railing - code compliant


Above is the corresponding handrail to the number 3 guardrail. I’m fine with this.

I was downstairs today and am dying for the mouldings to start going up. The space already has such a nice feeling.

I adore the layout and the new smaller bedroom. It’s much, so much better, and the ceilings appear to be higher because of the smaller space.


ugly soffit has to go


Oh, I don’t have a pic, but the radiator and soffit downstairs is GONZO, and the new wall over the pipe has been built! I have no idea why it was there in the first place. And yes, I measured, and the space is 86″, which is perfect for my 84″ bookcase. It’s going to look fantastic there.

Well, that’s all for today.




Part 2 Begins Here


Below are some of the comments and my answers from the post above.


Phyllis asked:

Why don’t you put up a temporary railing, maybe wood? Then, after you have the certificate of occupancy, remove and install the metal railing you desire. I know this is cheating, but at least you get what you want.



Putting up a stair railing of any kind is expensive. With materials, carpenty, painting, staining and installation, and then removal, it would be at least $5,000 for a stair railing I don’t want. Plus, they’d almost definitely have to repair or replace some of the treads and surrounding boards upstairs.

It would also extend the job by at least two weeks.

In addition, not having a staircase up to code could bite me on the back end if I go to sell this place.


Susan said:

Just curious. Can you superimpose numbers 2 and 3 against the wainscoting panels to see which looks best?


Hi Susan, I could, but like I said in the post, all one has to do is move one inch the boxes won’t line up. They’ll never line up. It won’t be a problem. However, I do think the horizontal design is more complimentary with the horizontal panels on the wainscoting.

Janet said:

Is there a problem with the distance between the bottom of the railing and the risers on the stairs? The riser is about 7 inches tall and treads about 23 inches wide; there are no spindles in the railing. I haven’t had enough coffee yet for geometry, but I thought it might be worth checking.

Love #3.



Hi Janet,

I’m sorry, but I’m not sure I understand your questions. I am working with a professional who will put the design into his computer, which will spit out the precise measurements we need. My drawings are only for design and conceptual purposes. The risers are 7-3/4″ tall, and the treads are 10″ deep x 36″ wide. With this design, there is plenty of support for the guardrail and the staircase handrail.


Linda said:

I am glad you have a design that pleases you. Admittedly, what I know about scale and design is negligible, but if the 5” rule was the issue, could the width (diameter) of the metal bars be enlarged 1/4” or 1/2” to offset the gap throughout? Please enlighten me before I attempt a project like this. Love your honesty and sharing.



That’s a very good question, Linda.  My idea with the railing is for it to be classical and appropriate in style. However, this neo-classical style was more popular in the early 19th and 20th centuries. But, I also don’t want it to be this huge design statement. It’s one of the pieces making up the whole, but it’s not meant to be the star of the show.

I don’t want to add any more elements than what I have in number three. I’m pretty sure that 1/2″ steel will be okay. If it needs to be 5/8″, that would be okay too. However, making the elements one inch thick won’t allow us to make any of the other designs work. The gaps will still be too large.


Ron Van Empel said:

Love to follow your reno. Also, you seriously dive deep into all the detailing and proportions….as one should.
Regarding the railings….have you thought of doing a Chippendale design? It is also timeless. It certainly would meet the codes.
It has the x as a central starting point.



Thanks so much Ron, and everyone, please do check out Ron’s fabulous lighting creations. I do love the Chinese Chippendale designs, and I considered it before. For example I love, love, love this image from the JK Place Capri designed by Michele Bonan.


However, it’s an entirely different situation.  It’s a different scale, space, and configuration.

via 913interiors - Chinese Chippendale Stair railing and grille cover - builder home upgrades

913 Interiors


Please check out the rest of the post about some of my favorite upgrades for the standard builder’s home in this post.


double x stair railing blue-gray chairs mirrored doors Sara Chandelier
Above is an old rendering from last year with the old too-high wainscoting.


No matter what, the staircase in the back of the room is not ideal.


I would prefer NO staircase. And, here’s the thing. It’s very difficult to keep it from looking like a cage. After all, it’s not a balcony. So, what is it? I mean, we know it’s for a staircase, but still, it’s rather odd having a staircase where this one is. Yet it was the only place it could go; by law, I must have a staircase.

Plus, even if it wasn’t. I’m sure it would quickly get old, me taking the common stairs in my bathrobe in order to access my bedroom. lol

Well, things could be worse. I could’ve had to deal with a kitchen built a foot away from the fireplace mantel.

There is no code for taste, at least not in this country.


Now, I have a special treat for you.


Brendan and Eugene have begun working on the custom hidden doors under the stairs. A few weeks ago, while researching this, I found a fantastic YouTube video. As we all know, there are zillions of terrible YouTube videos. However, this isn’t one of them. This guy knows what he’s talking about and does so in great detail about the intricacies of creating a truly hidden door.

YouTube video

Okay, that’s all for tonight. I have to get back to my murals. I found a new source and can’t wait to share it with y’all.



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49 Responses

  1. Lmao about the baby aspirin. I attempted the same stunt when I was 6 years old, but couldn’t get the damn cap off. You were so much more advanced!

  2. I’m so glad you’re going with conservative spacing. Several years ago, I rented a vacation house in Missouri with a deck cantilevered over a steep grade. I didn’t pay attention to the spacing of the guard rail posts, and before I knew it, my eight pound dog — who didn’t have great eyesight — stepped right off the deck, crashing 15 feet onto the ground and narrowly missing a concrete footing. She miraculously survived with only a sprained leg, but needless to say, it was a horrible 24 hours and I feel terrible to this day. Even though you don’t have a dog now, you don’t know what the future will bring for you, your kids, or your eventual grandkids, and you wouldn’t want an over-enthusiastic pup jumping through your balustrade. I’m enjoying your remodel journey and am learning a lot. Thanks for doing this.

  3. Oh Bless your hearts–you have CODES! Here in New Orleans they’re more of a suggestion than requirement. We don’t really even have a city Safety, Code & Permit city department these days. SO many contractors just laugh when I say “up to code”!

  4. Laurel,
    So far All the reno looks great. You have put countless hours into this project but, as always , it is worth the time and effort .
    One question, why through all the work and dust are your living room drapes still up??

  5. No. 3 is very nice. I am thinking that it looks right in the small rendering, and it will be excellent in the end state when installed in its real size. The chippendale would be too jazzy for the theme you are designing. It’s really interesting how you took these various design elements to a cohesive lovely Boston space.

  6. Be thankful you don’t have to deal with a smaller 4 inch ball! That’s the code in my neck of the woods, when I replaced the railing along my 2nd floor loft.

  7. Just watched both videos about building the hidden door. I appreciate quality workmanship, and watching it come to life. Whatever he was paid to do this, was not enough. Then, to find out it’s just for a child’s room!! Should be deducted from her college fund! LOL! I hope she watches
    these videos often to appreciate what was done.
    Watching anxiously to see the completion of this work of art that is your home.

  8. You are 100% right: Please do comply with building codes, they exist for a reason and if you ever went to sell your place you would have to be to code anyway. Just wanted to thank you for sharing the Capri stairs years ago, I’ve incorporated it into my remodel design/copying it completely lol.

  9. Laurel, after reading all the comments and re-reading post#1 – I like your #3 the best. However, my guess is seeing the mock up will be your deciding factor. So, watching the hidden door video reminded me of a wonderful old movie with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, “Mr. Blanding Builds a House”. Just watched it on Prime again. You probably know it? They buy a charming but ramshackle farmhouse in Ct. Despite all the problems, their old house turns out wonderfully. Made me think of your renovation journey.

  10. I don’t see why you don’t put classical wooden railing posts. I think it would look nice in your living room in the “cage area”, and on the lower stairs. Simple, classic, less expensive.

  11. Laurel,
    You are truly an inspiration to all us “wanna-bees” and ” know-it-alls” in he field of interior design!
    Love all your posts and found the pivot door option from the master trim carpenter extraordinaire so interesting and good points. Never knew there were better options than the exposed hinge……. and I love Cremona (sp) bolts in your kitchen….. keep posting so we can all be inspired to create.

  12. Dear Laurel,

    I KNOW you will figure out this dilemma and the results will be spectacular! I have faith in you! As far as the mural – of course the original is the very best – hence the price tag! But if a copy sings to you, that’s amazing! “Comparison is the thief of Joy!”

  13. There is a difference in “illegal” and non-code compliant. Once you have your Certificate of Occupancy after all work has been completed, you may redesign your bannister rails and stiles, e.g. by removing a piece or pieces of plexiglass, if that could make you code compliant, without a building permit as long as your “redesign” cost is less than $X which, in this case, it would be.

    Unless you decide to do other work later that requires building inspection, you are not “illegal” with a non-code compliant “remodeled” staircase. Putting the plexiglass back on would bring it back up to code if or when it would be necessary. When work is done requiring inspection, all items must be brought up to code.

    Your insurance agent would like to see code compliancy on the staircase, but if you have a Certificate of Occupancy, he/she would assume everything is compliant at the time you are insured. Look at all the non-code compliant items found in your home, especially your old bannister and rails. Codes change over the years.

    In my city, a light fixture over a bathtub is non-code compliant, but every electrician will gladly prewire it for you and put a plate over the box so that it can be easily installed after the Final Inspection.

    Food for thought.

  14. Laurel, you are so smart and could easily be an engineer helping the energy transition (better than me). However, you remind me a bit of my former Shell collègues complaining that the Sulphur content in the gasoline had to go down because of the environment.

    In the 60’s, 600 people per weekend died in car accidents. Stairs are a major cause of death, because falling is.

    Imagine the stuff you would have to do, if your grandchildren came to your house and you hade unsafe stairs.

    If you are blessed with such creativity and design skill as you are, you can find solutions that are safe and beautiful.

    You can lead the way there.

    Remember 80% of the accidents is from falling: either the person or something drops on you.

    My daughter had a class mate whose mother fell down the stairs and died.

    Please inspire your readers to keep it safe and beautiful! You have the talent to do so, and I would take way more pride in that.

    All these people reacting like, can’t you cheat on your building code… Suppose they would do that, then surely one among your readers will have a terrible accident.

    Because the statistics of you and your sister don’t is the statistics of 2… Not a few thousand. Anyway, you might be glad to know they have child proof packaging for asperin these days.

    Building codes is progress!!! We just need interior decorators who are smart enough to handle them with beauty….

    That is why I follow you.

    Love a safety mother/engineer

  15. Laurel, I think that what Janet was trying to say is that it looks like a 5″ ball could fit under the bottom of the railing at the inner corner of every step of the staircase.

  16. Hi Laurel,

    Your original X design railing is understated and refined compared to the code compliant version 3, which I find busy and clunky.

    If you love version 3, please ignore me! Any chance for a rethink? Must the railing be wrought iron?

    The Ross Flinton Homes contact page shows a railing with straight balusters that have a smaller X design near the hand rail. Interesting alternative.

    You’ve posted such beautiful, timeless plans for your fireplace wall and put so much effort into how to best showing off your new staircase. I’m thinking you want the stair railing to complement those plans.

    I pinned several elegant stair rails under decor (Pinterest). Many are wrought iron. One is a wood baluster where the baluster base is a square for the first several inches, then arcs to a round turning with one small turned ring, then a simple round up to the handrail. The wood balusters are painted white, but the handrail is stained dark or painted black. I’m thinking of all your beautiful moldings and how wood balusters might be a nod to all that juicy woodwork.

    With you all the way!
    Donna Reich

    1. Hi Donna,

      I’m afraid you don’t know me very well, which is probably just as well. lol I have spent hundreds of hours thinking about this staircase and in research. I found your Pinterest and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I have seen all of those railings and am not fond of any of them.

      Unfortunately, I have to comply with the building codes. While I prefer the simpler design the most, my hands are tied.

      There have been numerous posts about the staircase and railing going back to 2020. I don’t expect everyone to read everything, but please understand that this is the best I can do.

  17. Well, we all agree it’s #3 for the win!
    I am impressed at your tenacity and refusal to just give in to the rules at the cost of classic design. All I could think of with the glass was keeping it clean around the wrought iron without smeary smudges all over the place..

  18. Laurel,
    You are a genius! Yes, number 3 is the best design. I really your tenacity to get the look you want while refusing to compromise. In the end, the glassless design will highlight the proportions and classic feel of the whole space. Often, glass has a tone of color that influences, negatively in my opinion, the surrounding wall and fabric color. So happy for you!

  19. Such a pity that the building code doesn’t allow you to use the initial design. But your n° 3 is the best of the bunch, the regret being that this version puts more emphasis on the vertical rather than the diagonal line. I wondered about dividing the inner box diagonally rather than horizontally and vertically, but that would still leave too big a gap for code. I too wonder about a Chippendale design with more diagonal lines, although it’s less period- and location-compliant. But that would make an altogether heavier look, and while this would look good for a railing sitting on a horizontal plane, the sloping plane is a different problem.

  20. Dear Laurel – I have been lurking here for ages and have followed along with your Boston apartment reno since the beginning. I can’t tell you how relieved I am for you that you will not have glass in your handrail. All I could picture was the nightmare of keeping that glass clean and that, yes, it feels too contemporary for your beautiful historical space. I was immediately drawn to your No. 3 railing pick. I can’t wait to see it finished. Your vision and research for your apartment looks to have paid off enormously. I appreciate your taking us with you on the way!

  21. # 3! And hopefully the $$ saved on not having glass — does code require the glass to be TEMPERED??? If so, ouch on $!
    Aspirins, oh lawdy, who went for aspirins when BROWN’S MIXTURE–was available??? Years later (after it was banned) we found out it contained OPIUM! No wonder we loved it & the taste!

  22. I think your solution is a good one. On first glance #2 was my first choice, but #3 has edged it out. I’m not loving the angles when it’s on the staircase. I don’t see any alternative, though. It reminded me that I’ve been hoping to incorporate these lovely products in my home, maybe to replace my ugly turned red oak balusters in my 1990 track home.

  23. Oh Laurel, some of your comparisons crack me up. You’re on a roll today. 😂
    Your baby aspirin story was one I could relate to. My brother & I both got our stomachs pumped after getting into the baby aspirin while my mom was napping. Thank goodness drugs now have child proof caps.
    I’m happy you’re not needing to use glass in your railing. I think it will look cleaner without it.
    Maybe the 5” rule turned out to be a good thing.

  24. I too am glad you won’t have to use glass in your railing. Back in April 2022 (New Staircase Railing Design – Ugh, It’s Not Working!) you predicted you would probably have to go with a design like the one you’ve chosen now but I don’t think you said why – did you know about the 5″ rule then? The new design is going to be beautiful going down the stairs and I am wondering how it will look upstairs. Did the new rail design (that perhaps you realized would end up being the one used) influence how you have changed the upstairs panels behind the railing (fewer panels, not as tall, etc.) Did you make a new mock up of the upstairs railing with the new panel design on the wall behind it?

  25. I like number 3 the best too. I think I like it best of all the designs! I also think it will be easier to keep clean without the glass. Also think satisfying code now will be better if you ever sell, too.

  26. I am glad you have a design that pleases you. Admittedly, what I know about scale and design is negligible but if the 5” rule was the issue, could the width (diameter) of the metal bars be enlarged 1/4” or 1/2” to offset the gap throughout? Please enlighten me before I attempt a project like this. Love your honesty and sharing.

  27. I love the new railing design! I was always concerned that the glass would be impossible to keep clean, and that after you lived with it for a while, you would not like reflection. This seems to be a much better solution, one that will be easy to live with when you get the Design just the way you like it.

  28. Is there a problem with the distance between the bottom of the railing and the risers on the stairs? The riser is about 7 inches tall and treads about 23 inches wide there are no spindles in the railing. I haven’t had enough coffee yet for geometry but thought it might be worth checking.

    Love #3.

  29. Funny, the “safe” railings would have been a nightmare for me when my boys were small – they make exquisite ladders to climb right over the top.

  30. Cracked up about the bike rack!!!

    Love #3. It’s uncanny how often, in watching your design process, it just “feels” right, and “looks” right.

    That’s your genius, Laurel! Congratulations on the progress!

  31. Just curious. Can you superimpose numbers 2 and 3 against the wainscoting panels to see which one looks best?

  32. As a 60s kid I also climbed on the counter to reach the top cabinet where the orange aspirin was. I only took one or two as not to be noticed. Love the railing.

  33. Hi Laurel,

    Just some quick armchair-designing “what if” thoughts:

    What if a stained/finished wood handrail was attached to a flat iron bar(top of railing) recessed into the underside of the wood handrail? This might give your railing a warmer interior feel rather than something more commonly found on the exterior. It could also enable the entire railing design to be 3″ lower and less cage-like looking(?)… even lower if you wanted the top iron bar exposed under the handrail for aesthetic purposes. Three inches is little but every inch could help.

    Am sure you will be happier without the glass… cleaning the side against the railing would not be easy.

    Thank you for your past responses,


    Thanks for replying to my past earlier comments.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Iron and steel painted to look like iron are used extensively in interiors. I would either do a railing all metal or all wood. I’ve never seen the two mixed and thought it looked good. I explored the option of doing wood a while back and didn’t like any of the options.

  34. Why don’t you put up a temporary railing , maybe wood , then after you have the certificate of occupancy remove and install the metal railing that you desire. I know this is cheating but at least you get what you want.

  35. Love to follow your reno. Also that you seriously dive deep into all the detailing and proportions….as one should.
    re the railings….have you thought of doing a chippendale design? It is also timeless. It certainly would meet the codes.
    it has the x as a central starting point.

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