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Sunday, April 24, 2016

How To Replace Painted Wood Balusters With Iron Balusters Blue Bell PA

How To Replace Painted Wood Balusters With Iron Balusters in Blue Bell PA. Tip #1.Call your local professional. Ok here goes a little rant I'm going to apologize in advance as I start this blog post, I'm remembering the last job I went to measure down near the Jersey Shore. The poor homeowner hired what she believed to be a competent carpenter. He "installed" all the posts, handrails, and iron balusters, but this being new construction when the inspector came in he gave her a big fail sticker. Now I have to undo everything he did and start over. The only parts we can salvage are the iron balusters. So here's a partial list of what he did wrong.
1. He set the posts too high and secured them to the floor with trim screws....result: very weak, very crooked newel posts.
2. He then cut the nosing in but didn't secure it to the sub floor correctly...result:very loose nosing that the balusters have to sit in.
3. He used wrong measurements for the baluster spacing....result: erratic spacing and baluster spaces that are bigger than 4" apart. Very big no no to inspectors.
4. He placed the volute posts too close to the edge of the bullnose tread...result: the balusters can't encircle the newel posts as they're supposed to.
5. He connected the rail fittings together using trim screws instead of rail bolts....result: really ugly rail joints that he didn't chisel or sand at all.
6. He didn't know where to cut the volute upeasing....result: the ugliest volute connection of all time.

I could go on and on but you get the idea. I know I got maybe a little too technical here but I was trying to make a point. Handrail installation is a very technically challenging project and not to be tackled by amateurs or DIY types. That is not to say no one can figure it out. I've seen a handful of jobs done by amateurs over the years that were really good. But that's only about 5 out of the dozens in I've seen in 35 years of life in construction.
With the homeowners permission I'll post some photos once I've started her job.
This job with photos above, however was a job we completed a few months ago in Blue Bell, where we removed the existing painted wood balusters and installed their new powder coated iron balusters in about a day and a half. We had to remove some carpeting and replace it with what we call "false ends" which are basically miniature tread ends that cover up the edge of your existing open stair treads that were covered with carpet and full of staples and not too pretty. So we installed the end caps then installed the iron balusters and they had new carpet installed up to the edge of the end caps and it looks like a new stair for a fraction of the cost of a new stair.  

So, if you're in need of a new rail, new stair, or just new wood or iron balusters and you don't know How To Replace Balusters With Iron Balusters and you live in Blue Bell, Ambler, Abington, Jenkintown, Lafayette Hill, Wyndmoor or surrounding towns, be sure to call Ron, your very own local stair and rail professional to schedule your FREE consultation: he can be reached at 215-694-5046 or email him at