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Old 01-06-2009, 04:26 PM
Vermonter Vermonter is offline
 
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Default What's "safe" when it comes to deck railings?

The town I'm working in has no zoning/building officials and only very vague zoning bylaws so they're no help.

The subject property has a deck above 4' with top and mid railings but no pickets/ballisters. It's solid, but a little kid (or skinny adult) could dive right thru them. My client states his "FHA specialist" says it makes no difference since there is no local code.

I know they are supposed to withstand 200lbs horizontally and thought there was a limit on the size of the openings but can't find anything specific.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:33 PM
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Couch Potato Couch Potato is offline
 
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You have no building code at all? I know many areas have no zoning, but I did not realize we still had areas with no building code requirements. I thought the ADA put an end to that.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:42 PM
EDWARD BERRY EDWARD BERRY is offline
 
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Default

You Might Look At This Way.

Would You Leave Some Of Your Young Family Members Alone There.

It Only Takes Some Lattice Panels To Correct-require It And Let The Uw Worry About It.

Works In Arkie Land.
Ed
  #4  
Old 01-06-2009, 05:00 PM
Vermonter Vermonter is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Couch Potato View Post
You have no building code at all? I know many areas have no zoning, but I did not realize we still had areas with no building code requirements. I thought the ADA put an end to that.
I exaggerated...they have building codes, but nothing very detailed and little enforcement. I couldn't find anything specific about decks or railings.

Should I defer to the national codes?
  #5  
Old 01-06-2009, 05:11 PM
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Couch Potato Couch Potato is offline
 
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I suggest you simply describe what is there in detail and add clear pictures. You are not a code inspector. FHA has indicated railings are not a required repair item on stairs when they don't exist, so I don't think they intend for us to evaluate the quality of railing that do exist. Remember, you are not a building inspector.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2009, 05:15 PM
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FWIW, the rule of thumb in most current codes is that the pickets must be close enough together that a 4 inch ball will not pass through. It used to be a 6 inch ball. The idea is to keep little kids from sticking their heads through and asphyxiating themselves.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:36 PM
Vermonter Vermonter is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Rex View Post
FWIW, the rule of thumb in most current codes is that the pickets must be close enough together that a 4 inch ball will not pass through. It used to be a 6 inch ball. The idea is to keep little kids from sticking their heads through and asphyxiating themselves.
Wonder if our kids heads getting smaller?
  #8  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:54 AM
David Beasley David Beasley is offline
 
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Originally Posted by RobertJoseph2 View Post
Wonder if our kids heads getting smaller?
No, parents are getting worse. Younger and younger kids (toddlers) are now often left to roam alone around homes with little to no supervision.

I do agree though, I think the max-spindle opening is now 4" - and are typically closer than that in the average home. Contractors will often use the wide part of a 2x4 as their spacer, so that means they're more on the order of 3.75" apart.
  #9  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:56 AM
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Mike Garrett, RAA Mike Garrett, RAA is offline
 
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So now we are to carry around a 6" ball in addition to our ladder, test lights, GFI testers, tape measure, camera, disto, and clipboard?
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2009, 03:09 PM
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Couch Potato Couch Potato is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett, RAA View Post
So now we are to carry around a 6" ball in addition to our ladder, test lights, GFI testers, tape measure, camera, disto, and clipboard?
Don't forget your current copy of the building, plumbing and electrical codes. (Unless you have it memorized.)
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