• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

What's "safe" when it comes to deck railings?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Vermonter

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
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.
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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.
 

EDWARD BERRY

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
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
 

Vermonter

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
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?
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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.
 

Mr Rex

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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.
 

Vermonter

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Vermont
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?
 

David Beasley

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
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?
 

Couch Potato

Elite Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
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.) :rof:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks