On first glance this stair barrier railing appears to be “adequate.”
It meets current requirements as to the amount of space between the balusters as well as the space along the floor under the barrier. It is even of sufficient height.
Where it falls short is that it is not fastened in place—AT ALL! Some might consider the balusters and construction to be a little “wimpy” too, but that is besides the point compared to its not being attached.
The little ear, on the left side, that wraps around the corner is all that holds this barrier in place. Certainly leaning the requisite 200 lbs against it would see whatever that 200 lb object was go spiraling down the stairs.
I think perhaps it was designed to facilitate moving things up and down the stairs–or perhaps someone just never got around to attaching it properly. Since there was a door to the exterior at the lower level I am going to go with someone never getting around to properly attaching it.
This is another one of those house-warming-party tragedies waiting to happen.
Here is another nice looking staircase.
On this one, a large number of the balusters were not sufficiently attached.
These are not difficult fixes for someone that knows what they are doing–but they are good examples of how important it is for inspectors to check these sorts of guards at the time of inspection.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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