For our staircase, the location of the old newels determined place- ment of the new ones (to hide the old post stumps). At the top of the staircase, the landing newel connects to a guardrail which terminates at a half-newel that is mounted to the wall. A half-newel is just what it sounds like—a matching newel post that is cut in half lengthwise at the factory to mount flush against a flat wall. NEWEL INSTALLATION While the old newel locations worked fine for our stair design, they did require notching the newel bases to fit over the treads, which presented an extra hurdle during installation. For the upper newel (also called the “landing newel”), some dissimilar trimwork on each side of the post meant
Carefully measure the newel for placement and label all connec- tion points with painter’s tape. Building codes have specific guidelines for stair construction, including rail height and baluster spacing. The position of the newels required us to cut notches in the post base.