Stair railings can be standard and boring or striking and ornamental, and the latter type can dramatically enhance the interior appeal of your home. Rather than opt for a typical, contractor-supplied railing that looks similar to those found in millions of other homes, consider making your stair railing one of your home’s primary aesthetic draws.

Contrary to popular belief, installing a stair railing is relatively simple and is something that most any do-it-yourselfer can accomplish with minimal stress. Consider the following tips regarding installation when replacing or purchasing new stair railings.

1. Remove the old railing. Before you can update and upgrade your stair railing, you will, of course, need to remove the old one. This is done by unscrewing the rail from the balusters and newel posts and then removing the railing system to give yourself a blank canvas.

2. Invest in a stair railing installation kit. Found easily online through a variety of retailers, these kits offer everything you need to get the job done in one easy, convenient package.

3. Begin with the newel posts and spindles. The newel posts, which provide most of the strength, are the components that come first during installation, and they are followed by the spindles, which essentially serve as the railing’s pickets. Here’s where the components in that purchased kit will prove useful. Try, if possible, to rely on the same bolt and nail holes your old stair rails used to avoid doing additional damage to the wall.

4. Place the railing. This act involves moving at a diagonal and beginning at the bottom of the staircase, and then affixing the railing to the spindles using a drill with the proper bit. If you are using a square top wood spindle, you will want to use a wood railing with a plow in the bottom to accept the proper dimension square spindle. Standard spindle widths are 1.25” and 1.75.”

Be sure to take your time and be precise in your installation – we believe the entire process should take about a day’s time for a common staircase. The end result is well worth it, however. Not only will you save money and have a striking new staircase and focal point in your home, but you can also bask in the satisfaction that you performed the entire process yourself.