I am afraid to have the inspector in my house//

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-12-05, 07:50 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 67
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unhappy I am afraid to have the inspector in my house//

I have some electrical work to do upstairs. Replacing some aluminum wiring.
I want the inspector to take a look and do the right thing. BUT, a couple of months ago I altered our stairs. I took down an iron hand rail and did not replace it so I put up a rail all the way up but it's an open staircase with the first 4 stairs open w/no rail (we don't have kids).

Question is: Once the inspector comes in for the electrical am I fair game to get in trouble on the stairs.
Thanks for any advice.

I'd post a picture if I could figure how to get it on here.

Jay
 
  #2  
Old 12-12-05, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,130
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I am afraid to have the inspector in my house//

If you are talking about the elctrical inspector, he should only be looking at the electrical since he is probably not qualified for other inspections. Technically, he should only be looking at the work the permit was for, but since he could be going back to the main, box most new things would be open for him to look at.

It may be different in you municipality.

Dick
 
  #3  
Old 12-13-05, 06:19 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 67
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks,
I just don't want to open up a can of worms. when he comes in to look at one type of work and leave with other things to do now on my list.
 
  #4  
Old 12-13-05, 08:36 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
jaybird20,

First, it's all going to depend on your municipality. Around here, we have building inspectors, and they each have areas. (Their division is more between commercial and residential rather than the TYPE of inspection involved.) One residential inspector's list for the day may include a gas line, 2 decks, an electrical conversion, a few framing inspections, a footing inspection, a patio cover, ...

Whether there are kids in the house or not is not an issue -- you HAVE to have a legal handrail on you stairway!! That's not a "kid" issue -- that's a SAFETY ISSUE!!!

Congrats on getting rid of the aluminum wiring. Except for 'knob & tube', that stuff is the most dangerous around! Do whatever you have to to bring the stairail up to at LEAST a recent code (4" between the ballusters is current, 6" is dated, and 8" is REALLY old), then INVITE the inspector in to look at your work.NOT having it inspected could very well void your fire insurance.

A $500 bill to take care of the railing or a $200K UNINSURED loss -- that's YOUR call!
 
  #5  
Old 12-14-05, 07:59 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 67
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Inspecting Insight

THanks for the insight.
I totally understand the pay now or pay 2X later idea. But I guess I didn't want to be forced to put the handrail up by him when I'm trying to work on something totally different. I'm planning on putting it up but at a later time.

BTW: If you replaced all your stair risers/treads and handrail would it likely require a permit?

Thanks
Jay
 
  #6  
Old 12-14-05, 08:19 AM
S
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 65
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The inspector is only there to look at the work on the permit. He doesn't know what other conditions may be 'grandfathered' to older codes.
In general, unpermitted modifications will NOT invalidate fire insurance coverage. Arson will.
Any inspector strutting about in my home like a little banty-rooster dictator is gonna have an extremely unpleasant day (if he survives).
 
  #7  
Old 12-16-05, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: santa Rosa, California
Posts: 194
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
jaybird20,

an inspector absolutely can bring up safety issues in a home. You have already admitted to removing a railing that provided protection from falling. If he goes up the stairs to look at the electrical he can bring up his concerns. You cannot "hide" issues just because he is there for a different inspection. The simplest, best solution is to reinstall a new rail system. Even though it is your personal residence any friend or visitor who is injured due to the lack of proper railing leaves you open to ligitation. You know it was there before so others obviously know. Lack of "life safety" does not get "grandfathered" in.

A few dollars for total peace of mind is to cheap a price.

Brian Garrison
 
  #8  
Old 12-16-05, 10:08 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: massachusetts
Posts: 67
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks,
But is his bringing up unrelated issues he spots vs. forcing me to fix them. That is what I'm most interested in.
 
  #9  
Old 12-16-05, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,140
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Jaybird:

You will not know this until he comes and leaves. We do not know. You have been given good advice. You know if something needs fixing, it must be fixed. Just call him up set the appointment. Show him your problem, listen to him and above all, keep quiet about anything he says. Do not give him excuses or someday I am fixing that. This throws up all sort of flags to them and then you are on the list. Have a good day. Good Luck
 
  #10  
Old 12-18-05, 07:03 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 9,238
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Brian, Jack --

Thanks for confirming what I said (at least in so many words!!)

Jaybird -- install some sort of legal railing (even if it's temporary) and be over it.

Jack --

Welcome back my old friend, and keep COMING back!!

Lefty
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: