There's a pretty small hallway and I would like to make it a bit more visually spacious by trying to convert the regular solid railing into a banister one. I'm looking into reusing as much material as possible. (E.g. the tread could become a 'base' for the banister.)

Is there something I should be aware of before disassembling the existing one? Are there any gotchas about installing banister railings?

It's about 40''x40''

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  • To be clear, you're taking about removing the half wall and installing a banister?
    – Tester101
    Mar 20 '15 at 13:07
  • Yes, correct. Sorry for not being clear.
    – Nikita R.
    Mar 20 '15 at 20:26

No easy way. The half wall is going to be built like a wall, with studs and a top and bottom plate.

You'll have to rip it out, and install a banister in its place.

  • Thank you. But there should be nothing to worry about tearing down that half of the wall, right? (Code wise or structure wise.) Obviously, it's not load bearing or anything like that. Just wondering why the builders put it there at all.
    – Nikita R.
    Mar 20 '15 at 20:28
  • The builders put it there so you don't fall down the stairs. There has to be something there, and a half wall was probably the cheapest/easiest option. (I guess technically, the builders put it there because the Architect put it in the blueprints. But the Architect put it there, so you wouldn't fall down the stairs).
    – Tester101
    Mar 20 '15 at 20:32
  • Sure, what I was trying to say was why didn't they put there something less visually distracting, which would still keep people from falling down. Like, a banister railing.
    – Nikita R.
    Mar 20 '15 at 20:38
  • Styles change, maybe it was in style when the house was built. Maybe the person who the house was built for wanted it that way. Maybe it was just the cheapest/easiest method. It would be complete speculation to say why they chose that method.
    – Tester101
    Mar 20 '15 at 20:40

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