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  1. #1
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    Default Missing grippable handrail

    I consider this 4 risers, the 2012 IRC code states a handrail is required on 4 or more risers. Do you consider this to be 4 risers? ? (this is a new house) Thank you in advance

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Yes, needs handrail and probably meets guardrail requirement as well
    Make the cheap SOB developer put them in.
    Don't know if you are used to looking at NC or not. One of the things I do is request that the original stamped drawings be onsite during the inspection. Sometimes they are onsite, sometimes they make excuses.
    I'll skim through them a bit to look for obvious deviations and take pictures of the plans so that I can review on my computer if needed.
    If the plans aren't stamped I don't look at them PERIOD; won't even take a glance. I don't care what the developer says or how much the buyer begs me, I'm not looking at squat if it doesn't have a stamp. Keeps me from ending up in a trick bag.
    I don't know how it works down by you but up here it isn't unheard of for a developer to have legitimate stamped plans for the permit and then have a slightly deviating set that he keeps onsite for his guys and inspectors.
    The legit plans have all the details like fire separation, handrails, wall details whatever it should have. The job site plans are the same plans except with all those pesky details deleted.
    You gotta be careful out there.

    Last edited by Markus Keller; 03-19-2016 at 07:33 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    I don't know how it works down by you but up here it isn't unheard of for a developer to have legitimate stamped plans for the permit and then have a slightly deviating set that he keeps onsite for his guys and inspectors.
    The inspectors should only be looking at the stamped set too ... should ... being the key word.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  4. #4
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Morris View Post
    I consider this 4 risers, the 2012 IRC code states a handrail is required on 4 or more risers. Do you consider this to be 4 risers? ? (this is a new house) Thank you in advance
    As a corollary, if there is no handrail at steps where one is not required, I try to point it out in my report. I don't necessarily make a big deal of it (if it is not a required handrail), but it does get mentioned. My reason is that I know many folks who have mobility issues that need some help to get up even a single step. I believe it is safe to say that having a handrail is never a bad idea.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Timmins
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    29

    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Yes, needs handrail and probably meets guardrail requirement as well
    Make the cheap SOB developer put them in.
    Don't know if you are used to looking at NC or not. One of the things I do is request that the original stamped drawings be onsite during the inspection. Sometimes they are onsite, sometimes they make excuses.
    I'll skim through them a bit to look for obvious deviations and take pictures of the plans so that I can review on my computer if needed.
    If the plans aren't stamped I don't look at them PERIOD; won't even take a glance. I don't care what the developer says or how much the buyer begs me, I'm not looking at squat if it doesn't have a stamp. Keeps me from ending up in a trick bag.
    I don't know how it works down by you but up here it isn't unheard of for a developer to have legitimate stamped plans for the permit and then have a slightly deviating set that he keeps onsite for his guys and inspectors.
    The legit plans have all the details like fire separation, handrails, wall details whatever it should have. The job site plans are the same plans except with all those pesky details deleted.
    You gotta be careful out there.
    Well said, Interesting, to the point...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Handrail... yes.
    Guardrail...maybe. Is the porch 30" high?

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
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    89

    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Handrail... yes.
    Guardrail...maybe. Is the porch 30" high?
    Judging from the brick on the porch I would say it is less than 30 inches so it would not require a guardrail.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Western Montana
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    261

    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    As a corollary, if there is no handrail at steps where one is not required, I try to point it out in my report. I don't necessarily make a big deal of it (if it is not a required handrail), but it does get mentioned. My reason is that I know many folks who have mobility issues that need some help to get up even a single step. I believe it is safe to say that having a handrail is never a bad idea.
    Gunnar makes an excellent point, especially as the baby boom generation is getting older. My wife has developed severe back problems and NEEDS handrails at even short 2 or 3 tread stairways. She used to work as my partner, but had to quit once she couldn't handle stairs anymore. I often place a simple statement that suggests the addition of handrails where I see main entryways with three steps, not declared as a Defect or Safety item, but as simple common sense recommendation.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    I'm guessing that the rest of the new homes in the neighborhood were also missing handrails? This seems to be a common issue with new builds. In my experience, when my clients approached the builders about it, they usually decline to install one.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Cissell View Post
    Judging from the brick on the porch I would say it is less than 30 inches so it would not require a guardrail.
    Tom,

    A handrail is required based on the number of risers, not the height of anything. If there were four risers which were 4" in height, a handrail would be required (four or more risers requires a handrail).

    A guard (guardrail) is required based on height, no risers needed (30" or less does not require a guard ... 30"+a smidgen and a guard is required).

    You may be asking 'How much is a smidgen?' - a smidgen is anything over 30.000".

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

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    You may be asking 'How much is a smidgen?' - a smidgen is anything over 30.000".
    I'm too busy to have time to be my usual "wise guy", but wouldn't we have fun defining smidgen?

    BTW, remember that 30" height is within 36", so if it is 28" next to the porch but the grade falls away, and it is a smidgen over 30" at 36" from the porch, then a guard rail is required.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Missing grippable handrail

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I'm too busy to have time to be my usual "wise guy", but wouldn't we have fun defining smidgen?

    BTW, remember that 30" height is within 36", so if it is 28" next to the porch but the grade falls away, and it is a smidgen over 30" at 36" from the porch, then a guard rail is required.
    Correct. Think it this way - lay a 7 foot long 2 x 4 on the elevated floor (deck floor) with 3 feet of it hanging beyond the edge (the other 4 feet of it keeps it from tipping over the edge of the deck. Now measure down anywhere along that 3 foot part, measure down to the lowest part of the ground below ... 30" max is permitted to the lowest point.

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

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