How would you install a handrail on these stone steps?


I need to install a handrail on our back porch steps. They are constructed with paver bricks and, I believe, sandstone. The sandstone slabs on the steps, as well as the brick on the steps, are cemented together. I'm afraid of drilling and using expandable fasteners, will the stone fracture?? The pavers on the top and on the patio are simply set in paver base. Any ideas? I would really appreciate any help offered!!!

  10 answers
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 12, 2021

    You could build and attach it to a solid foundation (cement) that is close to the steps with a custom hand rail.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jul 12, 2021

    Pour a footing to the side of the steps and secure the posts in it before it completely dries. As small as this area is, you could probably build the entire rail and then set a form and pour with concrete sitting the full rail in it.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 12, 2021

    Or don't attach it to the steps at all. Attach them to the solid foundation (or in this case perhaps pour cement on the outside of the steps and put the posts in that) putting them really close to the steps. Custom shaped handrails would really do the trick.

    • JAMES JAMES on Jul 12, 2021

      This is how much room I have on the side of the stairs. I'm thinking about digging two holes, filling with cement, setting the posts in the cement before it dries.

      I would be removing a couple pavers on the patio to set the front post. Do you think this will work? If so, how deep do I need to dig??

      I'm thinking a very simple handrail made out of black pipe. I'm concerned that the back post is going to be mighty long! Am I on the right track? Any more awesome ideas??

      Thank you all for the suggestions so far!


  • Seth Seth on Jul 12, 2021


    This video may give you another option:

    • See 1 previous
    • Seth Seth on Jul 12, 2021

      The drills can be rented for sure. Try Home Depot if there is one near you. If you use the right bit, it should not crack the sandstone. If it is sandstone, it should be softer and easier to drill. However, cracking is possible with any type of rock, and how sound your mortar joints are will also have an effect on the outcome. Use a smaller bit to start and work up through larger bits to get to the size you need.

  • William William on Jul 13, 2021

    Sink posts in the dirt with concrete on the side of the steps for the handrail. The bricks and stones would not provide enough support.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jul 13, 2021

    Hello. I like William suggestion above to apply the railing outside of the perimeter of your establish rocks. I would hate to see the structural integrity destroyed or weakened by any kind of drilling or secondary attachments.

  • Catherine Deirdre Rodden Catherine Deirdre Rodden on Jul 14, 2021

    I would pick up two beach buckets at the dollar store. Then head to hardware store for some PVC pipe with angled connectors, concrete mix, and paint.

    Mix the concrete and put into the buckets as your base. Have the PVC pipe stick out of one bucket at lower height than the other. Use angled connectors to join the two - the length of the stairs. Paint to suit your decorative needs.

  • Dee Dee on Jul 14, 2021

    I would dig holes in the grass along the side. Pour concrete in the hole, set a post in the wet concrete, like you do with fence posts. let it dry and then attach the horizontal posts for a railing.

  • MoonBelly Boutique MoonBelly Boutique on Jul 14, 2021

    Buy two (or 3) Decorative Heavy Duty planters that are made of cement, ceramic, or any heavy duty material. Here's where you leave "Your Style Mark" by choosing a style that reflects you. Or, build some out of wood. If you choose to build, just make sure you seal the inside corners with a hot glue gun so the concrete mix doesn't ooze out of your joints. Then fill them with concrete and set your handrail in the concrete. If the handrail doesn't come with pre-made posts then You can use metal, a 4x4 of wood' or whatever you think is sturdy enough to support the weight of the rail plus the added weight of whoever is going to be using it. Then just buy some brackets and attach your hand rail to your post(s). Just make sure that if you choose to use the container(s), make sure they are big enough, to hold enough concreate to support the weight. Sorry if that is not grammatically correct.icon

  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 06, 2022

    Hi James, if you're worried about cracking the stone, you can put the handrail to the side, you can make it out of pipe, or wood or any other material you like, I attached a picture of how it would look planted in the ground beside your step