Results 1 to 31 of 31

Thread: Attic "Ladder"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Attic "Ladder"

    Just inspected a 5 year old, well-built, 3800 square foot home. Home has a walk-in attic where two water heaters are located as well as one of the HVAC systems. The other is in an upper attic that is only accessible by this built-in "ladder".

    The treads are simply 2x4's and the height between them is 10 inches. As you can see from the photos, they are pretty steep as well.

    Does anyone know if this is application is proper???

    Greg

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Greg,

    No mechanical equipment or other appliances in the upper attic?

    If not, that stair is "not needed and should be removed", it then becomes the clients choice to do with as they wish.

    If yes, then, no, that is not a suitable access to the upper level equipment and appliances.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Yes, as stated in post (but not clearly) there is a smaller HVAC system in the upper attic. Sorry about that.

    Greg


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Subick View Post
    Yes, as stated in post (but not clearly) there is a smaller HVAC system in the upper attic. Sorry about that.

    Greg

    Then that is a no-go.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    I think there is a approved ladder design for that angle. Handrails on both sided extending up through the hatch so you descend facing in.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    People have to be careful when they make blanket statements that something is not allowed. It all depends on the code that is in efect in the particular jurisdiction. Some versinos of the code allow pretty much anything to access non-habitible spaces. Otherwise, pull-down stairways would not be allowed for attic access, and fixed ladders would not be allowed for access to rooftop mechanical units, but we see them all of the time.
    Other versions require a code complying stairway anytime a fixed stairway is constructed.
    If it's only a five year old house, and they had a certificate of occupancy, it likely was approved by the AHJ. A call to them would confirm if their code allows this.
    Some versions of the code allow an alternating tread stairway as an option, when a stairway is required. This is not an alternating tread stairway.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    People have to be careful when they make blanket statements that something is not allowed. It all depends on the code that is in efect in the particular jurisdiction. Some versinos of the code allow pretty much anything to access non-habitible spaces.
    Greg is in TN, maybe they even allow notched trees to be used for that purpose.

    Hey, Steve, that's why most of us reply based on ICC/IRC codes.

    Otherwise, pull-down stairways would not be allowed for attic access, and fixed ladders would not be allowed for access to rooftop mechanical units, but we see them all of the time.
    Many pull down stairs are NOT allowed for that use.

    You need to think about what you are saying, read the code, and measure some of those ladders.

    If it's only a five year old house, and they had a certificate of occupancy, it likely was approved by the AHJ. A call to them would confirm if their code allows this.
    That is the kind of thinking that a non-home inspector uses. Are you a home inspector?

    Clients, builders, real estate agents all use that thinking: Hey, it passed inspections and it's got a Certificate of Occupancy .. what could be wrong, why on earth does it need to be inspected?

    Unless you are a real estate friendly inspector who sees nothing and all is okay, you will have seen enough to know that thinking like that is completely false and that builders keep home inspectors in business ... BECAUSE they do stupid things like that stairway.

    I think we must have a real estate agent among our midst ... at least that seems to be your thinking.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Jerry,

    You need to read my comment more closely. I didn't say that it was okay because it is new and was inspected by the AHJ. Far from it. I merely said to check with the AHJ to determine if the code in effect in that jurisdiction allows fixed ladders to be used for access to non-habitible spaces.

    My point was simply a caveat that many people on this board tend to make blanket statements that something is wrong without knowing what code was in effect in that jurisdiction. Some do qualify their response by citing IBC/IRC, but many do not.

    No, I'm not a realtor-friendly HI or a realtor. I'm a P.E. and a code consultant. I work with codes from all over the country. Very few seem to use IBC/IRC without at least some amendments, and even when they do, what version was in effect at the time of construction? Some states (my home state is a prime example) lag several years behind the 3 year code adoption cycle.

    I'm called in constantly because a HI stated that something was "not to code" and must be fixed/replaced, when a code review indicates that it in fact met code. Thus, the caveat.

    I also constantly run across code issues in new construction that have a C.O., so no, I don't lean in any direction. I've also been a municipal inspector for 24 years. Believe me, I know they're not infallible. Many have to do 15-20 inspections per day, so they're forced by time constraints to just look for the obvious. They don't have 2-3 hours to spend on each inspection, and they can't catch everything. Also, often things are changed after the inspector has been by and issued the C.O. So I agree, don't rely on the C.O. to tell you everything is fine.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    I'm called in constantly because a HI stated that something was "not to code" and must be fixed/replaced, when a code review indicates that it in fact met code. Thus, the caveat.
    I see where the problem lies: "because a HI stated that something was "not to code" and must be fixed/replaced"

    HIs reports *are interpreted as something* "must be fixed/replaced" - HIs cannot require anything to be fixed or replaced.

    That is not a failure with the HI or the HI report, that is a failure with those INTERPRETING those reports, usually real estate agents freaking out over something which was written up as being incorrect.

    Do you actually find a lot of HI reports which state something is "not to code" (your words)? I ask because most HIs shy away from those words, or at least say they do, so I am curious as to how many actually do refer to code (either as "not to code" or give code sections). I gave code sections and reported items not to code, along with the applicable code section - made those types of arguments and discussions go away.

    I also constantly run across code issues in new construction that have a C.O., so no, I don't lean in any direction. I've also been a municipal inspector for 24 years. Believe me, I know they're not infallible. Many have to do 15-20 inspections per day, so they're forced by time constraints to just look for the obvious. They don't have 2-3 hours to spend on each inspection, and they can't catch everything. Also, often things are changed after the inspector has been by and issued the C.O. So I agree, don't rely on the C.O. to tell you everything is fine.
    Quite correct.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    I do see it quite a bit. Saying something is "not to code" is either going too far or not going far enough, unless they're also willing to cite the code that was in existence at the time of construction. For example, 9" spacing on guardrail balusters might not meet current code (again, depending on what code is being used), but it very well could have met the code that was in effect when it was constructed.

    If my memory serves me, the old BOCA code allowed 11" spacing, then 9" then 5", etc.

    Better yet, I saw a report on a 200 year old house with a 24" high guardrail around a second floor balcony that was noted as being "not to code," when it clearly pre-dates the code (unless we're talking about the code of Hammurabi.... Hammurabi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ).

    It might be better (from a semi-HI perspective) to say something to the effect that it's not to current industry standards, it could present a safety issue, but that it might have met the code at the time of construction.

    My original post was intended to just be a caveat to HI's to be careful when they cite code violations. It's more complicated than it might seem at first. Even that "ladder/stairway" that was the subject of this thread might be to code.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    I do see it quite a bit. Saying something is "not to code" is either going too far or not going far enough, unless they're also willing to cite the code that was in existence at the time of construction. For example, 9" spacing on guardrail balusters might not meet current code (again, depending on what code is being used), but it very well could have met the code that was in effect when it was constructed.
    Ha ... but from the home inspectors stance, it does not matter when the house was built, "codes" have changed to keep up with improvements in safety, and "accidents" do not read code books to find out whether or not they are allowed to happen ... 'Oh, dang, this is an old home and the spacing was allowed to be 12" when this house was built ... man, I was just going to fall through - guess I am not allowed to fall through now, shucks.'

    Unfortunately, accidents do not read those old code books, so home inspectors write things like that up which are 'not safe and not to code' *at this time* and *for good reason*.

    You come in and try to get the seller from doing what they should do: make the dang this safe to live in. [/quote]

    That ladder is not to any code I have seen, and to defend it as being safe, I ask you to provide the code which says it is safe (whether or not the code at one time 200 years ago said it was THEN, that ladder *IS NOT SAFE* today).

    That is the opinion of the professional home inspector and that is what the professional home inspector is getting paid for: their opinion.

    You are, it seems, getting paid to try to save sellers money, so be it, in which case you will always be conflicting with home inspectors as you have an entirely different force driving what you are doing, and that force is exactly the opposite of what drives the home inspector.

    Did that rail on that 200 year old house meet code at the time? Was there even a code at the time? The home inspector *DOES NOT CARE*, current safety standards recognize that 24" high railing as *UNSAFE* ... and that is precisely what the home inspector is reporting on, not whether or not it met some code which was obsolete 500 years ago.

    Heck, let's go back to what is considered the oldest building code: the Code of Hammurabi. The Code of Hammurabi / EAWC Anthology: Hammurabi's Code of Laws


    228. If a builder build a house for some one and complete it, he shall give him a fee of two shekels in money for each sar of surface.
    229 If a builder build a house for some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.
    230. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that builder shall be put to death.
    231. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.
    232. If it ruin goods, he shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means. 233. If a builder build a house for some one, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.

    If builders were that responsible today, there would be no need for the voluminous codes we now have ... do it right or ... you pay dearly for it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Wow, you don't seem willing or able to follow what I'm trying to say. Maybe it's my fault for not being clear. We seem to be almost on the same page.

    I agree that HI's should note what is not up to current standards of practice. I said that. The problem I have is with HI's who say something doesn't meet code, when they might have no idea what the code was when it was built. Even saying it doesn't meet current code is not entirely correct, because most current codes allow for existing structures to remain as constructed if they met the code in effect at the time of construction. That is to prevent presenting the homeowner with a moving target.

    If baluster spacing is wider than current code allows, it's not a bad idea (and recommended) to point out the hazards that are presented by the wider spacing. But saying it does not comply with code could be wrong and dangerous, because that implies (and many realtors, correctly or incorrectly surmise) that it must be corrected, when the code usually clearly says that it doesn't have to be corrected.

    I'm not in the business of protecting the buyer, seller or builder. As I said, I've seen (as I 'm sure you all have) errors on all sides. I'm in the practice of calling things as I see them, hopefully without overstating or understating anything.

    In my life as a municipal inspector, I was in the practice of enforcing the code. I often had realtors come into the department telling me that a HI said that their house didn't comply with the code, and "how did we let it be built that way? It's only 10 years old". More times than not, the HI was wrong. It might not have been up to his/her standard of practice, but codes are minimum requirements. The caveat to the HI's is to just be careful about your wording.

    Anyway, all I was initially trying to say is the "ladder" might meet code in the area in which it was installed. For example (and it might not apply in this case), IBC not only allows fixed ladders to be used, but requires fixed ladders to access mechanical equipment in certain circumstances. It's required so that the sevrice technician doesn't have to rely on a portable ladder, which can be unsafe. The ladder must meet certain dimensional requirements, but a fixed ladder is definitely not prohibited, and a code-complying stairway is certainly not required. I can't tell, and no one can, from the information provided, as to whether or not that ladder/fixed stairway complies.

    I think this topic has been worn out, and by the lack of postings, it doesn't seem to be interesting to too many people, except for you and me. I just had to respond to your last post, because I was getting exasperated trying to make a simple point that is getting so blown out of proportion; the point being that HI's are better off saying things are dangerous, not up to current standards of practice, etc. but are probably better off not referring to code violations unless they have the time and inclination to resaerch thoroughly which code was in effect when the structure was built. That's all. No more, no less.

    I'll let you have the last word. My brain is spinning and I'm not even on the clock


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Frederickson View Post
    Wow, you don't seem willing or able to follow what I'm trying to say. Maybe it's my fault for not being clear. We seem to be almost on the same page.

    I agree that HI's should note what is not up to current standards of practice. I said that. The problem I have is with HI's who say something doesn't meet code, when they might have no idea what the code was when it was built.

    Steve,

    That's the part you keep missing: "The problem I have is with HI's who say something doesn't meet code, when they might have no idea what the code was when it was built."

    I understand what you are saying, but "you don't seem willing or able to follow what I'm trying to say. Maybe it's my fault for not being clear.", although I tried to be quite clear about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ha ... but from the home inspectors stance, it does not matter when the house was built, ...
    To try to clear this up:

    *YOU* keep going back to: "The problem I have is with HI's who say something doesn't meet code, when they might have no idea what the code was when it was built.

    *I* keep going back to: "from the home inspectors stance, it does not matter when the house was built,"

    Thus, we may be in the same book, but we definitely are not "almost on the same page".

    You seem to think that the home inspectors job is to see if things 'met code at the time of construction', which is not the case.

    Home inspectors do not care whether or not a home met the code at the time of construction (unless they inspecting a brand new construction home, in which case that is what the home inspector is going by, code, basic construction practices, giving people what they order and pay for, giving people what they are told they will get, you name - "code" is simply the starting point are which all builders *must* meet), however, on a other-than-new-construction house, code is of little consequence other than a starting pointing for what is considered proper and good TODAY, not yesteryear or last century.

    Here you are falling into your own trap you are complaining about - under discussion is a house, you referred to the IBC, as a code inspector you would know that the IRC is applicable to a house, however, being as the IRC does not have that same allowance in it, you instead try to use the IBC, which does not apply:
    Anyway, all I was initially trying to say is the "ladder" might meet code in the area in which it was installed. For example (and it might not apply in this case), IBC not only allows fixed ladders to be used, but requires fixed ladders to access mechanical equipment in certain circumstances. It's required so that the sevrice technician doesn't have to rely on a portable ladder, which can be unsafe. The ladder must meet certain dimensional requirements, but a fixed ladder is definitely not prohibited, and a code-complying stairway is certainly not required. I can't tell, and no one can, from the information provided, as to whether or not that ladder/fixed stairway complies.
    I understand your premise and what you are dealing with, I am also a code inspector.

    You apparently do not understand the role of home inspectors. It is quite common for real estate agents, sellers, and even buyers, to say "The HI said this does not meet code." when the HI did not write that, that was their interpretation of "how can I get this fixed" (the buyers) or "how can I get out of fixing this" (sellers and real estate agents).

    The sellers, buyers and agents are trying to use you to accomplish their goal of getting, or not having to do, whatever they want or do not want.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Just about every new house here has a pull down stairs with the hvac in the attic when there are two units. I thought as long as it met the measurments to get the unit out it would not be a problem. Also I see walk in attics with the hvac in the upper section that you have to access the top by walking up 2x4's nailed to the stud wall. New homes at that.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Mike,

    I agree, and that's what I've been trying to say. A code-complying stairway is not required for access to equipment located in uninhabitable areas. Otherwise, why would a hatch be allowed? Can the stairway lead to a hatch, or do we then need a code complying door?

    The ICC Mechanical Code (for other than 1 and 2 family) REQUIRES a fixed ladder to access mechanical equipment for heights of (I believe..I don't have the code in front of me) 16' or 18'. That is so the service technician doesn't have to set up a portable ladder. That implies that for heights less than this, no fixed ladder (and no access at all) is required.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Exclamation Re: Attic "Ladder"

    This attic ladder may or may not meet the code but it does not meet OSHA requirements for a worker to use. A ladder would have to be a 75* angle or a 4:1 ratio rise to run from the base to the point of contact at the tips. The ladder would also have to meet the duty rating. In the case of moving HVAC equipment, you have the weight of the appliance plus a man at the very least. If you use a hatch, there would have to be sufficient room for a suitable HD ladder to fit in there as well as room for the equipment passing through.
    Remember, you can report on functional items regardless if it is a code issue or not.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Lots of very good points made in this thread but.......


    It's so simple it hurts.........

    Unless you are a licensed code inspector you better stay away from certain reporting methods since your state could consider you "practicing an occupation you are not licensed to do".

    This includes the common use of phrases like "does not meet current standards" to try and get the "code" effect without using the actual C word.

    When you see something that you think is wrong or unsafe, just write it up, you are allowed to disclose your opinion.

    If you really want to be good at reporting, add this to the beginning of the statement - Safety Upgrade Recommended: or Upgrade Recommended: whichever fits the circumstance.

    When you imply a code violation you are actually hurting the client in many cases. Why? Because everyone knows how to counteract that by telling your client that "it does meet code and your inspector is wrong". Remember "the last man in theory"? The client will tend to believe the last person they talked to anyway.

    Even the AHJ will say its ok to prevent an ongoing issue in many cases but sometimes you have to tell your client to consult with the AHJ on new homes in order to get them to force the builder to make a correction.

    When the savvy agent calls you and asks you if item x is a code violation or just your opinion, tell them that you recommmend that they do their own research and act in the best interest of the buyer.

    When an agent makes that phone call to you, its not about what you say, they are only making the call so they can go back to the buyer and say "I called the inspector and....."

    The ..... portion will be fabricated to suit their needs that day.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Good advice Bruce.
    As you well know in NC they will hang you for using code terms or anyhting like it. I am guilty of using "standards" in my writings. I just can't figure out how to get the code statement out so they understand without using the code. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

    Until the Realtors and Builders quit saying "does it meet code" I have to defend my postion some how.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mustang
    Posts
    215

    Talking Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Greg, I agree with Steve here and believe Jerry is wrong. The AHJ is the key to the answer here. There is a code that requires a fixed access ladder to service equipment. I don't think that code specifies how it is to be built., if it did, I think Jerry would have posted it. Steve your are not saying anything wrong when it comes to Jerry understanding he is NOT a home inspector and is Wrong in his statement, "You seem to think that the home inspectors job is to see if things 'met code at the time of construction', which is not the case." It is the case! If the house that was built 200 years ago met the standard at that time we are under NO obligation to mention any thing that has changed, NOTHING, NADA, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE BALISTERS, or the KNOB and TUBE WIREING. We do not do codes period. We can go beyond the SOP if we choose and report things that may be hazardous but, that is at our own discretion. The ladder in the picture looks like it is performing its intended function and does not need to be mentioned in the report.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Just tell them "it depends on who you ask" which is the truth anyway.


    Codes are the most misinterpreted thing on the planet, mostly because they are not enforced very well.

    Code to most builders and subs is simply "what they are allowed to get by with".


    You don't have to defend your position to realtors or sellers. The SOP's in NC and SC allow you to report anything you want in the (report body for NC) report as long as no extra license is needed.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charlotte NC Licensed in NC and SC
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Tony,

    If you leave out K&T wiring, a fire occurs and your client's insurance company denies the claim because they wrote coverage based on your report, you are in big trouble sir - SOP or no SOP.

    Research standard of care.

    Also, take an old 2 story house, all electrical appears updated......
    Guess what you will have most of the time? K&T wiring STILL running to the ceiling lights on the lower level.
    All evidence hidden from the inspector usually.
    Why is this? Think about how you would run the new cables for these lights/switches............

    Last edited by Bruce King; 04-11-2009 at 08:24 PM. Reason: added hidden k&t info

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Just about every new house here has a pull down stairs with the hvac in the attic when there are two units. I thought as long as it met the measurments to get the unit out it would not be a problem.
    Mike,

    Are you measuring between the two spring arms? Those reduce the size of that opening quite a bit.

    Also, have you looked at the rating on some of those stairs regarding weight limitations? Many of them will not allow a heavy worker on the ladder, much less carrying tools, and no equipment weight either.

    Also I see walk in attics with the hvac in the upper section that you have to access the top by walking up 2x4's nailed to the stud wall. New homes at that.
    A perfect example of something I state here frequently: I see people driving 80 mph on Interstates with speed limits of 70 mph EVERY DAY ... does that make them right?

    Just because you see an unsafe ladder installed every day does not mean that ladder is safe.

    How many of those do you see with proper flooring for that walkway?

    Oh, because they always install 1/4" plywood it is okay?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  23. #23
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    I thank it is a wonderful freaking ladder. Better than almost all I see for that instance

    Dang......I wish they were all that good. Like I believe Mike said, most are 2x nailed to the framing and that is questionable at best since they are 12 inch steps.

    Yes home inspectors base what they inspect on code but are not code inspectors and that is what I state in all my reports. We base them on codes of what we understand to be at the time the home was built but reflect further as to what the codes are now.

    I inspect constantly where the code for the electric is still based on 2003 and some items 2006 and some items such as Arc fault which are based on the latest code. It is almost impossible to quote what codes where used at the time of construction as even at that time they might have been based from five years earlier and how much of that earlier code was followed.

    Sometimes I envy new code inspectors because where they are inspecting they know exactly what that jurisdiction is following for code.

    Jerry is quite right about home inspectors not being code inspectors and thank God we are not. We would have to know what fifty different cities are following and what part of.

    Leave the code inspecting for the individuals that inspect strictly for the codes used in that area and leave the helpless home inspectors that inspect 50 different cities well enough alone on the code compliance and let us inspect on the generalization of what is right, good and safe for what we are inspecting.

    Like I said......That stair in an atttic for what we usually see is freaking awsome


  24. #24

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    If the house that was built 200 years ago met the standard at that time we are under NO obligation to mention any thing that has changed, NOTHING, NADA, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE BALISTERS, or the KNOB and TUBE WIREING. We do not do codes period. We can go beyond the SOP if we choose and report things that may be hazardous but, that is at our own discretion. The ladder in the picture looks like it is performing its intended function and does not need to be mentioned in the report.

    Tony,

    I agree with Bruce on this one.

    As another example:

    Take a 200 year old home. The home's deck is built 30 feet off the ground, yet lacks any type of guard due to the home's age. Should mentioning the lack of a guard being a safety issue not be necessary, because it was not required at the time of construction?


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Whitmore View Post
    Tony,

    I agree with Bruce on this one.

    As another example:

    Take a 200 year old home. The home's deck is built 30 feet off the ground, yet lacks any type of guard due to the home's age. Should mentioning the lack of a guard being a safety issue not be necessary, because it was not required at the time of construction?
    Brandon,

    For those, such as Steve, Tony, and a few others, who think that home inspectors should not be addressing code in any way, shape or form and thus should not apply current code safety requirements to older homes, here is another twist on your example above.

    Those people *should not* be using code (that IS what they are saying) to defend a know safety problem and trying to allow it to continue to exist because it was not code ... oh, wait, *THEY* *DO NOT* *GET INTO CODE* do they?

    Yes they do, only when it suits them and how it suits them. *IF* they are going to hold the stance that "home inspectors should be be mentioning code" then that same statement holds true in "not mentioning code at something was built to code years earlier".

    Quite a nice Catch 22 they have put themselves in ... if they do not want "code" mentioned as that intones "current safety and building standards", then they also do not want "code" mentioned as a means of defense to ignore what is there ... guys, either you "do" or you "do not" mention code, and that also applies to using "well, it was code at the time of construction" as that now brings code into the discussion, and, once you have brought code into the discussion it is entirely fair and appropriate for the other party to continue with code in the discussion.

    *I LIKE THEIR POSITION*. They has just removed their only defense for allowing unsafe conditions to remain, as they themselves are now not allowed to use 'but it was always that way, it was grandfathered in' as that indicates it was 'grandfathered in' to what - why, "code" of course - and they are not allowed to mention code ... just ask them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mustang
    Posts
    215

    Thumbs down Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Jerry this whole post is nothing more than your opinion.
    Greg,

    No mechanical equipment or other appliances in the upper attic?

    If not, that stair is "not needed and should be removed", it then becomes the clients choice to do with as they wish.

    If yes, then, no, that is not a suitable access to the upper level equipment and appliances.

    Why should the ladder be removed? Why is it not needed? why is it not suitable to access the upper level equipment?
    Lets see it code man! You Got Nothing!


  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Mount View Post
    Jerry this whole post is nothing more than your opinion.
    That coming from a person who stated:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Mount View Post
    If the house that was built 200 years ago met the standard at that time we are under NO obligation to mention any thing that has changed, NOTHING, NADA, THE SPACE BETWEEN THE BALISTERS, or the KNOB and TUBE WIREING. We do not do codes period.
    "We do not do codes period."

    Then why are you trying to use an old code to defend you actions of not calling anything out?

    I just explained all that to you above - if you are of the opinion that "We do not do codes period.", then "We do not do codes period."

    Make up your mind Tony, either a) you do codes, or, b) you do not do codes.

    If you chose a) you do codes for all years and the current standard code.

    If you chose b) you don't do codes PERIOD which includes trying to hide behind they to try to defend on not calling things out. It means the word "code" should never pass your lips, not even to say 'Well, it met code back then.' because when you say that ... *YOU* *ARE* *DOING CODES* - plain and simple as that.

    Okay, so, is it a) or is it b)?


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mustang
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Jerry, you answer my questions on #26, and Then I will answer your questions on #27, You got nothing!


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Mount View Post
    Then I will answer your questions on #27,
    Tony,

    Trust me, I'm not not the one with nothing ... you stated "We do not do codes period." ... then you try to defend that position by stating that it met code at the time of construction.

    Either YOU DO ... or ... YOU DO NOT ... do codes.

    And, *if you do*, then you need to mind the current levels of safety in the current codes.

    And, *if you do not*, then you need to *not try to use codes as a defense* for ignoring current unsafe conditions.

    If you do not understand that, you are worse off than I have already imagined you to be ... Mr. Diamond Tony.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,519

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Here's my contribution of a few attic ladders from this week.

    The first ones are at a home where I found the attic pull down ladder to be in the down position when I came into the garage. As soon as I tried to shut it I figured out why it was down.

    Another attic ladder had the middle section of the ladder mounted upside down. Notice the metal braces on top of the steps.

    Last one an attic ladder that took you to an attic that was more packed out than a 49.00 U-Haul trailer. You couldn't even see the roof decking or anything wooden in the attic. Jimmy Hoffa could have been behind all of that and I'd never seen him.

    Rick

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Attic "Ladder"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Here's my contribution of a few attic ladders from this week.

    The first ones are at a home where I found the attic pull down ladder to be in the down position when I came into the garage. As soon as I tried to shut it I figured out why it was down.

    Another attic ladder had the middle section of the ladder mounted upside down. Notice the metal braces on top of the steps.

    Last one an attic ladder that took you to an attic that was more packed out than a 49.00 U-Haul trailer. You couldn't even see the roof decking or anything wooden in the attic. Jimmy Hoffa could have been behind all of that and I'd never seen him.

    Rick
    The homemade ladder don;t look that bad, after all..


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •