It is difficult for me to have problems with “inventiveness.” After all, my ancestors invaded Connecticut in 1632. Fore better or worse, Yankee ingenuity is in my blood.
However, I have learned—-for the most part—-to channel my inventive impulses within the confines of the building codes. There really is no place for pure “creativity” when it comes to construction—-that is better left to Art.
Some of my readers will want to pounce on me for defining creativity so narrowly, but this is my blog and I get to say what I like. Anyway, this post is about where someone has crossed that line ——————–. And while this tree branch barrier is very cool looking, and one might say “creative,” it is totally inappropriate as a barrier against falls from the deck and/or stairs. Since the deck is relatively new it can be assumed that the structure was not done under permit or inspected by any ruling jurisdictional inspector.
For starters, there should be no openings greater than 4″—-and the barrier should be able to withstand the efforts of small children to ride magic carpets through them (not exactly a quote from the code—-but you get the idea).
In construction, just because something is “attractive” or “cool” doesn’t mean that it is going to be satisfactory.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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