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  1. #1
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    Default Hand rail required?

    This was on a new home. They had final occupancy approvals and AHJ approved these steps with no hand rails. Is it because there is less than a 30-inch rise or are they just wrong?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Around here, 4 risers = hand rail required.

    30" above grade is about guards, not hand rails, right?

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    That is what I think. Just wondering why they did not require it.

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    Just wondering why they did not require it.
    Didn't have their thinking cap on at the time?

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

  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    I always tell guys to forget about whether the AHJ signed off on it. It's irrelevant. You don't know what the guy did or didn't look at; how long he was there; if he even came in the house; or just stood on the front lawn, took his cup of coffee and little white envelope and left.
    Wrong is wrong, write it up and let them fight about it.
    There are AHJ inspectors around here who wouldn't know a Code book if it hit them in the head. There are also others who are expected to do +/- 20 permit stops a day. How well of an inspection do you think that can I can?

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  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Oklahoma City
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    I know that to be true. It still to this day surprises me sometimes and I have to wonder if I am missing some exception to the rule or something. They have gotten much better in the last few years and this home was in a normally strict jurisdiction so it just made me question myself.

    If it weren't for lawyers, we would never need them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Bombardiere View Post
    This was on a new home. They had final occupancy approvals and AHJ approved these steps with no hand rails. Is it because there is less than a 30-inch rise or are they just wrong?
    IRC 311.7.7 Handrails. Handrails shall be provided on at least
    one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four
    or more risers.


    I count 4 risers. Should have a handrail.

    Are the risers consistent? Kinda looks like it isn't, but difficult to tell from the pic.

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  8. #8
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    There are AHJ inspectors around here who wouldn't know a Code book if it hit them in the head.
    AHJ - Let's not throw that acronym around too freely.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
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    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Looks like a cap and pour over, i.e. there was originally one less stair/riser. Can still see form nails in the foundation. Paint will make those garage stairs slick, and conformity is lacking, last riser to threshold, and esp in slope of treads. Doesn't appear to be 11" treads either. Before you assume what was and was not approved, check the plans on file with the AHJ/permitting office. Looks shy width-wise too.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    they might have gotten around it because the rise of the steps is not standard and it is less than 30". the whole reason for a rail is to add safety for a flight of stairs. a short rise like that might not be enought to warrent a railing. I would suggest one be installed if the family or people moving in required it.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Point Richmond, California
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    That looks a lot like a threshold at the top step, which implies a door, hidden from view.
    Isn't a landing required?
    Thanks

    Bruce M Audretsch

  12. #12
    Bode Cavallaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Oregon residential code requires hand rail with 4 or more risers and does not require a landing on interior stairways, including stairs to the garage, as long as the door does not swing over the stairway.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Point Richmond, California
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Thanks Bode, the style of the threshold had led me to believe that it was an exterior door.

    Bruce M Audretsch

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
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    165

    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    Hi (ALL) &

    Dead-wrong -- so long as the Occupancy Permit has been issued...

    Careful and important to not just assume this point.


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  15. #15
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    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
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    Default Re: Hand rail required?

    I didn't know the code required 11 inch treads for residential stairs?

    Is that a photo of an exterior door or are those stairs serving the house to an attached garage?

    Besides requiring a safety handrail there may be other reportable items, such as an AWOL landing.

    Last edited by Jerry McCarthy; 07-20-2011 at 08:54 AM.
    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

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