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  1. #1
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    Default Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Contractor removed the wooden railings and updated with the iron for that improved look.

    He left the debris on the patio for me to see.

    Quess he didn't know the (4) inch rule.

    Those handymen keep the ink flowing on my reports.

    rick

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Rick, Maybe if you measure fromthe swirley thing?

    Paul Kondzich
    Ft. Myers, FL.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Swirley thing huh?

    So thats what they are called.

    rick


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    No pics there from me pics - I'm logged in and seeing pics in other posts.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
    Robert Runchey's Avatar
    Robert Runchey Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    I bought my home new three years ago and have the same metal railings and spaced @ 5" apart.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Robert,

    What did your inspector say about them when you bought the home?

    rick


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Yep, railings need to be redone. No question.

    RJDalga
    http://homeanalysts.com
    Kalamazoo, MI

  8. #8
    Robert Runchey's Avatar
    Robert Runchey Guest

    Cool Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    My inspector didn't say anything about the railings. But then again, he didn't say much of anything period.

    Hard to find a good inspector these days! I was not present at the time of the visit so I guess it serves me right.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Rick,

    The other thing I frequently found on those railings (besides them never being spaced properly) is that the balusters were seldom secured in place. I could grab the baluster and lift it up, pulling the bottom all the way out and allowing me to remove the balusters ... which made for a real nice photo.

    Yeah, 'they may have known' about the 4" rule and 'they may have measured from' the "swirley thing", but that would mean that what they did not know was that is not where they were supposed to measure from.

    Sorry guys, deconstruct the railing and reconstruct it properly.

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Dalga View Post
    Yep, railings need to be redone. No question.
    Hi Robert,

    Why do the railings need to be redone "No question". ?

    I don't disagree that they are incorrect and should be included in the inspection report. However, isn't it up to the buyer to decide if they care about the issue and if they want to do something about it or not? If they don't care, they don't have to be re-done.

    Just curious.

    Corey


  11. #11
    Robert Runchey's Avatar
    Robert Runchey Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    I typiclly report what I find and the customer can pretty much do whatever they want with the info. I don't ask if they mind or not, but inform they of the potentential safty hazards I find in and around the home.

    Bob.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Corey,

    We can only report what we find. If the buyer chooses to live with the defects, let them choose to do so.

    I always remind them (buyer) that the defects they choose not to have the seller fix and assume they can live with it will come back to haunt them some day when another buyer comes to buy their home when they do decide to move. Its either let the seller pay for the repair, allot the money for the repair, reduce the selling price of the home, but to totally ignore something noted as a defect is not good business sense.

    JMHO

    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Friedman View Post
    Hi Robert,

    Why do the railings need to be redone "No question". ?

    I don't disagree that they are incorrect and should be included in the inspection report. However, isn't it up to the buyer to decide if they care about the issue and if they want to do something about it or not? If they don't care, they don't have to be re-done.

    Just curious.

    Corey

    Corey,

    I'm not Robert, but ...

    I agree ... the railings need to be re-done ... no question.

    That is referring to "need", as in 'to meet minimum code' and 'to meet minimum recognized safety standards'.

    That said, you are correct in that the HI cannot determine for the buyer what they want to have re-done.

    That is referring to "want", as in 'no, I'll pass on the railings because I want a large flat panel TV instead.



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

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    In reality a good portion of the stuff we come up with never gets done... I've been called back to do listing inspections on houses I inspected years before... the report looks largely like the original, just with a more recent date.


  15. #15
    John Rusinko's Avatar
    John Rusinko Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Just a quick question out of curiosity. What if you did not notice the debris from the remodel? What code would have been not followed? Wasn't there a time when those railings would have been 'OK'?

    John


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    John,

    The previous railings were probably ok in appearance, but this realtor had suggested that if they were updated to the metal it might help the sale of the home.

    The problem lies in that the clearnaces between the balusters exceeded the 4" inch rule. The thing is that the 4 inch rule was present when this home was originally built but was ignored.

    The remodel person just took out the old and replaced with the new and did not take the time to install correctly.

    rick


  17. #17
    John Rusinko's Avatar
    John Rusinko Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    I see, Thanks.
    But a quick 'what if'.... if you will

    What if the 4" rule was not in place at time of original construction? Would you have to update because you worked on them, or could you just replace 'like in kind'?

    John


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    You should follow current code requirements.

    rick


  19. #19
    John Rusinko's Avatar
    John Rusinko Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    That's what I was leaning towards, but had to ask

    Thanks
    John


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    I'm with Rick on this one, I don't change my inspection standards for safety related items based on the code in effect at the time of construction.
    For the most part, codes change over time based on safety. I don't care if the stair railing was made last week, last year, or a century ago. Children's heads don't read code books!

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    You should follow current code requirements.

    rick
    Not wanting to let the cat out of the bag on this, but ...

    The requirements for stair railing guard are different than for that of landings and other flat walking surfaces (balconies, porches, etc.) in that the maximum size opening is allowed to be 4-3/8" ... shhhh ... don't tell anyone, if the builder does not know, and is too lazy to look it up, let him believe it is only 4" - I did that for years and no builder questioned it or thought about looking it up. Shhhhhh ...

    I know, *that* stair railing would still not meet the code.

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

  22. #22
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    I agree,and maybe can add that I've read or heard that all iron works shall be straight and not have the decorative curves and such which could be used as climbing enhancers?


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    I agree,and maybe can add that I've read or heard that all iron works shall be straight and not have the decorative curves and such which could be used as climbing enhancers?
    Hi Randy,

    Not anymore. I think it was the 2000 IRC that still used the wording "ladder effect" but it has since been changed. Some folks involved in the railing business were influential in getting it changed.

    Corey


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    From the 2003 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - R312.2 Guard opening limitations. Required guards on open sides of stairways, raised floor areas, balconies and porches shall have intermediate rails or ornamental closures which do not allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102 mm) or more in diameter.
    - - Exceptions:
    - - - 1. The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard at the open side of a stairway are permitted to be of such a size that a sphere 6 inches (152 mm) cannot pass through.
    - - - 2. Openings for required guards on the sides of stair treads shall not allow a sphere 43/8 inches (107 mm)to pass through.

    "intermediate rails"

    Rails are horizontal.

    The 2000 IRC did include "Required guards shall not be constructed with horizontal rails or other ornamental pattern that results in a ladder effect."

    Other wording was also changed.


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

  25. #25
    Michael Greenwalt's Avatar
    Michael Greenwalt Guest

    Default Re: Realtor advertises New Stair railings and banisters

    oh Rick, your such a Deal Killer


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