View Full Version : Exterior steps

dan orourke
05-30-2007, 08:51 AM

Jerry Peck
05-30-2007, 02:42 PM
Sort of correct.

Handrails must be returned.

To the wall, guardrail, floor, or a newel post.

That handrail was not originally returned, someone tried to 'return' it and did a hack job.

Not good the way it is in the photo.

They had the right idea, but their execution of it was was off. Besides, those are "handrail brackets', not "handrail returns".

Jerry Peck
05-30-2007, 04:14 PM
Yes. And when you do, refer to those as "handrail brackets", adding that the "handrail is required to be returned in addition to being supported by brackets" or something like that.

Thom Walker
05-30-2007, 04:16 PM
I'm not Jerry, but what should be done and what the builder has to do are different animals. Depending upon the location of the stairs, he MAY not have been REQUIRED to even place a handrail.
Go to a thread under Exterior systems, started on 4/16 "Docks and Decks." I asked a question from a similar scenario.
Of course you know how it should be done and that reporting what you have is the right thing to do. But if the stairs are off a deck or dock, you may not find support.

Jerry Peck
05-30-2007, 04:30 PM
but what should be done and what the builder has to do are different animals.

True, BUT, if the HI does not tell the builder to correct the problem, what are the chances the builder will take it upon themselves to do so? No chance.

When working for our clients we must remember that code is only the absolute crappiest one is legally allowed to build, and HIs should be looking for/at code, not as a destination to arrive at, but as the starting place from which nothing should be worse than. Better is good.

I always had fun with builders who would try to hide behind the 'it meets code because it was signed off', even though I was showing them that the item in question did not meet code. I would then turn to my client and ask if they bought minimum housing and if their house was advertised as being minimum housing, when they said no, I would explain that code is only the absolutely crappiest the builder is legally allowed to build to, and that if their house was advertised as 'custom', 'upgraded', or, heaven forbid "LUXURY", then the builder has not standing to stand on code, even if something does meet code, because code IS NOT 'custom', 'upgraded', or 'luxury' - code is minimum housing.

Now, as you are explaining that to someone who is purchasing a $5 mil house, they kind of get red in the face and some even go into a rage ... at the builder of course, "HOW DARE YOU try to defend yourself on code ... ". The best part is, the builder has no respond he can make without digging his hole even deeper.

That also works with people who are having $250k homes built, although they cannot afford to go into a rage with the builder, they (and the builder) now know who has the upper hand (the client) when it comes to 'what was delivered versus what was promised'.

I once had a client whose builder thought they had more money than god and could do as they wanted, until they learned that god borrowed from the client's piggy bank.