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Thread: Decks and docks

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Decks and docks

    I recently wrote up a set of stairs leading to a dock for not having a gate with a lock mechanism. Turns out I must have pulled that from my false memory file. If that same set of stairs had been leading to a pool, I would have been correct, I think.

    Once I realized that I could find no code applying to that report mistake I've made hundreds of times, I decided to punish myself more. I also couldn't find where a barrier is required to keep one from walking off a grade area 7 feet above the same dock.

    Except for wind storm provisions, I found pretyy much nothing pertaining to outside structures. Any help out there?

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

  2. #2
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Re: Decks and docks

    Thom,

    Good point but I can't find anything on this either.

    What about all of the homes that are on the water. There is no fall protection along the seawalls to keep kids or adults from walking off and falling on a bed of razor sharp barnacles and getting cut to ribbons.

    The house I grew up in was on the water. One of my neighbors had a party one night and got a little drunk. Turns out she walked off the edge of the seawall at low tide. Got cut to ribbons. Those are dirty cuts too, jagged and full of nasty stuff. Took her a long time to heal. She looked like a mummy.


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Decks and docks

    As home inspectors we do not report on code, we use code to help us report on safety issues,unless we are a code inspector for the town that is.
    A safety issue is a safety issue. I always tell my client that I am going to recommend safety items. What they do with them is up to them.
    I always recommend a barrier at a drop off, wall, seawall, whatever. You know they are coming after you if they fall off and you didn't write it up, so why the hesitation.


  4. #4
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Decks and docks

    Codes do not address all issues nor do they address common sense items.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Decks and docks

    Thanks for the responses.

    Aux contraire! We may not report to code, but we sure do reference them (mentally if not in the report). Hopefully, that's where we all start. I'll keep reporting to common sense in those areas not covered. I was just checking to see if anyone had some hard copy to back up the common sense.

    I just need to change my wording. "The dumb %^& builder didn't place a barrier so that your pathetically alcoholic uncle Bob won't fall to his death." and " Sea water is just as hard to breath as swimming pool water. Place a gate at the top of the stairs so your three years old brat won't drown."

    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: Decks and docks

    Used to be ... (and I will need to see if it is still in there) ... that the SBCCI Standard Codes, and the South Florida Building Codes, did address guardrails along seawalls and docks.

    At one point, the codes referred to 'where the water was less than 3 feet deep', which would mean at and including low tide, for tidal waters.

    At another point, one of the codes simply stated something to the effect that 'if over water' no railing was required.

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Decks and docks

    The Florida Building Code, HVHZ, does cover this:
    - 1618.4.2
    - - Safeguards may be omitted at loading docks, truck wells and similar locations where it is apparent that the edge of the higher level is for loading, and on docks, seawalls and decorative fountains where the lower level is the water surface.

    As does the Florida Residential Code, HVHZ:
    - R4403.7.3.2
    - - Safeguards may be omitted at loading docks, truck wells and similar locations where it is apparent that the edge of the higher level is for loading, and on docks, seawalls and decorative fountains where the lower level is the water surface.

    I did not find it in the IBC or the IRC.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Decks and docks

    I had lost track of this thread and just rediscovered it. Thanks for your responses.

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

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