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Thread: Porch Guardrail

  1. #1
    Jeff Eastman's Avatar
    Jeff Eastman Guest

    Default Porch Guardrail

    Last edited by Jeff Eastman; 12-19-2007 at 07:48 PM.
    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance 2

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Porch Guardrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Should not the guardrail be bolted to the house, not nailed?
    That is nailed to stone?

    More than than I would be concerned if they can hold back the required load, what with only a toe nail holding the bottom rail to the end post.

    The code requires the guardrail to resist an applied load, it does not specify how it is to be attached.

    Also, the top of the stones should be a 15 degree slope, correct?
    Not out there on that deck/porch/whatever.

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

  3. #3
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
    Jon Randolph Guest

    Default Re: Porch Guardrail

    There may be anchors present and hidden in the post behind the top and bottom rails. Was the railing loose?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Porch Guardrail

    The main thing I see in the photo where the post is coming up through the stones is: a) if the post 'starts' there, there should be a post bottom anchor and to what is/would that be attached?; b) if the post 'starts' down at the deck and the stone is placed around the post, sloped top or not, that post *IS* going to rot out, what with that stone around it, allowing moisture/water in to the post and no way for it to dry out.

    If a) (which I doubt), then that would create a 'hinge joint' and leave the post support strength suspect.

    If b), how is the post anchored to the deck? Anchoring the roof to the post and not anchoring the post is worthless. But, how will you be able to confirm either anchoring at the top or bottom of the post? Answer - you can't.

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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Porch Guardrail

    I would not be surprised to find that the post was installed similarly to how you,ve seen many fireplace mantels installed in stone. He embedded two 2x's into the stone, the post is slotted on the back side. The nails go into the 2x's.

    As I was looking at the picture; Is it the angle of the picture or is that rail really low?

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Porch Guardrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Eastman View Post
    Would you recommend removing the stones or since there are weep holes, that would be sufficient?
    I would tell them that, although the stones "look pretty", there is very little chance of that post inside the stones not rotting out (presuming it is a solid post as it looks to be), and that replacing the rotter out post later could be costly. Then add that it's their choice to have the post enclosed in "pretty stones now and a costly repair later", or, "do away with the pretty stones and have the plain post last a lot longer".

    The choice is their, it is our job to find and advise - which you would have done.

    My guess is that they will 'keep the pretty stones' and think 'it won't rot out while I own the house', and they may be correct, but ... as I often say, when they become the seller and the buyers inspector points the same thing out ... that buyer may opt for tearing the stones off and exposing the wood post, and replacing it if rotted - all BEFORE they close.

    Yes, now it is the builders problem, later it will be their problem. Again, though, it is their decision. Advise them and let them decide - no matter how much you tell them about the potential for that to rot out, they will likely opt for "pretty now".

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

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