Present on a balcony, a terrace, or as a handrail on an open staircase, the guardrail is a barrier that allows securing the occupants of a house. Do you wish to install one very soon? You should know that certain regulations must be respected in order to guarantee maximum protection for your home. Whether you are installing a guardrail indoors or outdoors, the techniques used and the rules applied remain the same. We have prepared this guide for you to ensure the proper installation of this woodwork.
Installing your own guardrail: is it possible?
Yes! It is entirely possible to install your guardrail. This allows you to use your DIY skills and reduce the work’s cost. In fact, this is one of the reasons for the sale of guardrails in kit form.
In order to successfully install a railing, it is essential to follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer. Under no circumstances should you play around with the steps to ensure the durability and stability of the work.
Installing a guardrail: what standards should be followed?
Guardrails are a guarantee of safety and are governed by regulations, including the NF P01-012 standard. This standard covers the dimensions and layout of the guardrail.
- The minimum height required is 1 m, an applicable height, even for guardrails whose thickness is less than or equal to 20 cm.
- In case the guardrail is more than 50 cm thick, the minimum height can be reduced to 80 cm.
- If the structure has horizontal elements, the maximum space required between the bars is 18 cm.
- The first 45 cm of the guardrail must be equipped with a protection zone to prevent a child from climbing and slipping under the guardrail.
- For a guardrail with vertical bars, the maximum distance between them must be 11 cm.
- To optimize safety, the guardrail to be chosen must be able to withstand a force of 400 N/m.
- A minimum thickness of 8.76 mm is strictly recommended for a glass railing with a surface area of less than 0.90 m². Between 0.90 m² and 1.10 m², this thickness increases to 10.76 mm. Beyond 1.10 m², the installation requires the approval of a design office.
If it is a staircase railing, the filling of the lower part is not necessary.
Installation of guardrails: steps to follow
The installation of this work should not be done unannounced. It is mandatory to be well prepared for the tasks that await you. If you have little knowledge of the subject, it is better to entrust the work to a carpenter. However, if you are confident that you can do the installation yourself, here are the steps to follow:
1. Prepare the floor
Before installing your guardrail, you must first clean the low wall to which it will be attached. Make sure there are no cracks or other imperfections.
2. Measuring and drilling
This step allows you to ensure that your guardrail is placed in the right place. Using a pencil, draw several marks along the wall, then connect them using a string or a metal ruler. Next, you’ll need to drill holes with a hole punch (if the surface is concrete) or with a drill (if the surface is wood). The guardrail posts will be screwed into these holes. Depending on the slope of the surface, it may be useful to put beveled wedges under each post to keep the guardrail straight when drilling is complete and dust each hole.
3. Installing the posts
Now it’s time to install the posts. Use a lag bolt, expansion plugs, and bolts to do this. Note that the bolting must be done with a wrench. Use a spirit level to make sure the railing is straight. When the locking of the posts is complete, cover the bolts with caps.
4. Installing the handrail
Use an electric drill to drill the handrail. If necessary, block it with clamps. Attach the fasteners directly and screw the handrail to the posts of the railing.
5. Fixing the horizontal bars
Depending on the guardrail model chosen, the protective bars’ placement may or may not be complex. Take the measurements and cut the elements according to the necessary dimensions.
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