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Old 05-04-2007, 06:51 PM
Jeff Le Monds Jeff Le Monds is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 20
Default Railings for front porch

I am appraising a 1910 ranch style home with a front covered porch which is 1.5 feet up from the ground. The front porch is accessed by two concrete steps. Is it a FHA requirement that there be railings for those two steps and railngs around the porch?
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:33 PM
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Workbox Workbox is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Rockies
State: Colorado
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 7,840

The new requirements indicate that is not required unless it is a health and safety issue. That much of a difference, common sense would say no, but UW may require it. I had cases where the stairs worked properly with handrails, but the underwriter did not like the way it looked and the way it angled a certain way and it was not attached securely. OK, it was her call. We did the new stairs, but Nope, the UW wanted them attached to the ground, so the owner tied them down with cement and bolts. For me it was OK, for the UW, nope. Other cases, no mention of it on the report or the UW after showing it on the report.

You just have to ask yourself. Is it safe for the purpose that they are intended for? I always see it this way. Can a little kid walk up and down, without hurting themselves. What about an elderly person who may need rails to assist them.

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Old 05-04-2007, 07:37 PM
xmrdfghap xmrdfghap is offline
Join Date: Jan 2002
State: Florida
Professional Status: General Public
Posts: 4,277

As I recall, building code (BOCA) requires railings around anything more than 30" off the ground.
Old 05-05-2007, 11:59 PM
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Terrel L. Shields Terrel L. Shields is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Springtown, AmeRica
State: Arkansas
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 40,680

I recall 30" or 36" was the standard years ago and the rails had to be close enough that a child couldn't slip through.
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Old 05-07-2007, 02:56 AM
Robert Hronek Robert Hronek is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
State: Nebraska
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 270

FHA used to say 3 stairs and then went to 2 stairs. With the relaxing of requirements I don't know what the requirement is. Although still on FHA appraiser list I havent had a request since going to the new forms.
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