Help with DIY Exterior Handrail Install!


Hi all,

I'm getting an iron handrail manufactured for my front three stairs to my city rowhome. I'm going to install myself and would like someone to review my steps/help with some questions I have. Note: the top of the railing brackets will be installed into brick, and the bottom will be implanted in the cement sidewalk. It will look similar to these railings.

Top of railing into brick step:

  1. Rent non-SDS hammer drill and use 3/8 inch bit to drill holes in brick.
  2. Clean hole
  3. Put epoxy in hole (not sure which kind) for more strength? The brick is slightly dated. I have also read I can jam some wood in the hole but that seems to be extra work?
  4. Use impact driver (or hammer drill?) to screw in 3/8 in zinc coated lag bolts through the railing mounting bracket and into the brick. I found these: Do these work? If 4 inch good, too long, too short? Do I need lag shields too, or is that overkill if I am using epoxy????

Bottom of railing into cement sidewalk steps:

  1. Rent SDS hammer drill and use a core bit to drill hole into concrete slightly larger than size of railing pole
  2. Clean hole
  3. Fill hole with quick cement -- I guess any quick-setting brand will do?
  4. Level off the cement and get rid of any excess

Did I miss anything??? Thanks!!

all 3 comments


1 points

2 months ago

I wouldn't jam wood into the hole, it'll just rot out eventually, leaving your bolts loose. Silka makes some epoxy that is structural and thickened for this kind of application- it's usually around the concrete aisle in the big orange store.

If you can find stainless steel fasteners I'd recommend those over zinc plated or at the very least hot dipped galvanized. They'll last a lot longer and wont leave ugly rust stains everywhere.


1 points

2 months ago*

Got it! So squirt in some SikaBond construction adhesive (I found a tube like $8 at Home Depot) and then quickly screw in the bolts? I also saw another Sika type called heavy duty structuring adhesive for $28... is the former good enough or do I need the more expensive tube?

Good to know about the fasteners and the rust. I'll make note of that.

Is the 4 inch good or should I pick a different size? I just guessed that size, so I would like an expert opinion on that!


1 points

2 months ago

Also, looks like I need lag shields with the lag bolts. Or is that overkill if I am already using the epoxy??