Railing Recommendations


  #1  
Old 12-07-06, 08:54 AM
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Railing Recommendations

Hello to all,

I'm currently selling my house, and needed to get a CO inspection. The township inspector came out and noted a few things here and there. The big one is that she is requiring a railing to be installed on the front porch. The porch is ~4'x10' with two steps down to the walkway. It's about 20-22" above grade.

A few questions:

1) Do you think the town can mandate a railing be installed on a porch that hasn't been touched in ~20 years? The previous owners got a CO 6 years ago without having to install a railing. Isn't there some form of Grandfather clause?

2) In other construction codes (UCC I guess), what's the maximum height for a porch/deck without requiring a railing? I've seen references to 30", but I'm not sure that it's UCC. I realize the township can override these codes, but I'm just curious.

3) Assuming that I will have to install a railing (which it looks like I'll have to), what would you recommend as the easiest/cheapest way to install a railing? My first thought was pressure treated wood, but how do you attach the posts (4x4) securely to the flagstone/cement?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

-Mike
 
  #2  
Old 12-07-06, 08:01 PM
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Different places mean different codes, and different jurisdictions mean different enforcement as well as different codes that apply.

Where I'm at, if it was legal when it was built, it's probably going to be 'grandfathered' in. (There are exceptions!) And, where I'm at, no handrail is required until you have more than 3 legal (8" max. height) risers. Deck railing isn't required as long as the deck surface is less than 30" above grade.
 
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Old 12-08-06, 12:19 PM
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Lefty,

Thanks for the response. I realize that each municipality can do what they want, but I'm not too happy about it.

I noticed you said _more_ than 3 risers. Do you know if there's something in the UCC that specifies this? There are 2 steps (3 risers) on this porch, and I'd like to be able to point to a clause in the UCC that says this, then let them say that the town has their own code on it.

Thanks again,
Mike
 
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Old 12-08-06, 01:04 PM
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Railing Recommendations

There is a difference between a code item and a safety item. Many cities and municipalities have safety items on the list for a disclosure inspection if it is required. - This may be the type of inspection you had.

If you try to sell and the buyer has a home inspection, he (the buyers inspector) will undoubtably point out the lack of a handrail as a safety hazard, whether the code requires it or not. This inspection is not a code inspection but an inspection of safety items, general condition and major anticipated future cost items. This is done for the buyer, who is paying the private inspector. He probably will also point out a maximum of 4" between verticals to prevent kids heads getting caught.

Dick
 
  #5  
Old 12-08-06, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
There is a difference between a code item and a safety item.
Understand. And yes, the buyers had a home inspection too, which pointed out nearly a million items. (a bit of an exaggeration) to include the gutters being "too small", etc. But I understand that's a negotiation point, not a requirement.

This inspection was from the township's building inspector for the required Certificate of Occupancy. So it seems no railing, no CO. No CO, no mortgage or sale. It just still irks me that 6 years ago, there was no issue. All of a sudden, a railing is required. That's why I'm trying to find a building code reference that states 30" or more than 3 risers, etc.

I'm all for code changes - I also had to install smoke detectors in each bedroom and a CO detector outside each bedroom area. Smoke detectors save lives... I don't recall the last news article I read about someone dying falling off a 22" stoop.

So enough with my venting and ranting. I'll keep looking, but if anyone has a reference to the UCC or similar, let me know.

Thanks again!
-Mike
 
 

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