With the exception of a missing handrail for the stairs, this installation meets “code” requirements.
The platform outside of the door is 29-3/4” above the patio surface. If it was over 30” a guard rail would be required to prevent falls from the platform.
This is one example of how the building codes should be considered “minimum standards.” Some times, for safety, we must go beyond the codes.
To me this installation represents a serious safety hazard and improvements are warranted. Besides the fact that most people would not want to walk off this platform in the dark and fall head-long into one of the planters, imagine trying to negotiate the stairs and wrestle the door open at the same time—-with no hand railing or barrier railing. Of course closing the door represents the same difficulty.
Another thing to consider is wind.
Imagine opening the door from the inside and having it be caught by the wind. Would you let go of the door and allow it to slam against the outside wall of the house? Envisioning the expense of broken glass, some would attempt to hang onto the door, and be dragged screaming into one of the waiting planters?
At the very least lets move the planters. 🙂
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector
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