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Old 08-22-2008, 10:52 AM
Scott Brooks Scott Brooks is offline
 
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Default Hand rail height - the hand rail is only 2'2"

I haven't come across this before. The house as a curved stairway with a hand rail in an open foyer. I did not feel too comfortable at all with the rail only 2'6" tall (I am 6'3"). There was one more small step at the top landing which left the railing at only 2'2" (only a couple inches above my knee). At 6'3" I felt if I lose my balance at all I would topple over. Is it an overreaction because of my height? Should require a fix for this potential "safety issue"?
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Last edited by Scott Brooks : 08-22-2008 at 10:54 AM. Reason: thought of something
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:55 AM
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G-man G-man is offline
 
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Yes, it is. And no, you shouldn't.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:06 PM
Mark to market Mark to market is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-man View Post
Yes, it is. And no, you shouldn't.
Quite the contrary.

According to International Residential Code

Handrail height measured vertically form the slope plane adjoining the tread nosing, or finish suface of ramp slope shall be not less then 34 inches. and not more then 38 inches.
  #4  
Old 08-22-2008, 07:09 PM
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Anthem Anthem is offline
 
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This isn't just but about the handrail but also the lack of a knee wall at the landing, that landing in itself is a safety issue. I would let the DE UW decide,
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:01 PM
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G-man G-man is offline
 
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Default I've said it before.

And I'll say it again. FHA does not require the house be brought up to a certain building code, nor does it expect their appraisers to be code enforcers. If that handrail is improperly installed, or loose & wiggly, as it looks like it came out of the Lowe's exterior fencing and handrail department, then call for it to be replaced. If not, then, in my opinion, it does not rise to the level of being replaced. It is just hideous looking.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:08 PM
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A too low handrail might be more dangerous than none at all, even in a world with no codes. I would note the lower than typical height conspicuously and let the DEU decide if it needs to be repaired or not. That's what 2005-48 established as the proper protocol.
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:31 PM
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AJL118 AJL118 is offline
 
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Looks like the railing was ordered using take-offs from plans and not the existing stairway. The only way they could make it fit was to lower the upper end height to get it to anchor to the wall. And they got away with it. Hard to believe this wasn't caught during a walk-thru.

You are 6' 3" which is tall but not that tall. If you were afraid you would take a Lindy over the rail, common sense would tell you to mention it.

Last edited by AJL118 : 08-23-2008 at 12:46 PM.
  #8  
Old 08-23-2008, 07:56 PM
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I would mention it, but would not condition it to be corrected. ML 2005-48.
  #9  
Old 08-24-2008, 09:31 AM
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OK, you mention it, the underwriter ignores it. The homeowner has a guest fall over the railing and is seriously injured. She sues. Is the appraiser free from any liability or lawsuit? Or should he have considered it a safety issue and require replacement?
  #10  
Old 08-24-2008, 12:58 PM
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Marcia Langley Marcia Langley is offline
 
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The GSE letter removed the former explicit requirement to condition for handrails. It did not change the explicit general requirement to condition for safety items.

All that means is that the appraiser has to use his best judgement as to the seriousness of the safety issue.

IMO, a second level balcony with no handrail is a safety issue that rises to the level of requiring repair.

So one's judgement for a too-short rail might have the same safety hazard as a missing rail.

IMO this one does. I would condition for it.

If the lender and FHA disagree, they can waive my condition.

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