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posted
Ok, realtors went through the house and said we need a railing on the steps. They made it sound like a railing on the inside wall would be ok, but I always thought they had to be on the outside in case of certain loans. However, I have no idea how we could possibly put one up. The stairs are fairly narrow to begin with and there is really no place to attach a railing on the outside. Any suggestions?

 
Posts: 72 | Registered: Jan 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It appears one can be attached on the open side, you may need to attach another piece of wood. Do you want wood or metal railing? Call someone to give you advice, they will know how to create a nice looking railing.
 
Posts: 2489 | Location: Southern CA (Southbay) | Registered: Nov 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You certainly need a hand rail. Did your realtor say you needed a handrail or a railing on the open side. It would depend upon the code in your area but you at the very least need the handrail.

I would think for resale a rail on the open side would be good but we do not know your area or your house.
 
Posts: 7311 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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FHA requires safety features in a home including handrails before they approve the home for an FHA loan. Here in our area a bulk of the loans are FHA under $200,000 sales price.
 
Posts: 9317 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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put one up on the wall side...less expensive.
 
Posts: 9317 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Our oldest daughter has the same situation with the stairs going to her basement. Start with a hand rail on the wall side. If a potential buyer is using an FHA loan and you need to add a rail on the open side - take care of it then.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3613 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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I always thought that any stairs without rails were not up to code. but I guess it depends on the area. To me is a matter of safety. those stairs look very dangerous to me.
 
Posts: 5016 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Grapefruit
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In most instances the open side would need not only a railing but also "guards" every so many inches. I would think that this current set-up would not pass an inspection.
 
Posts: 3276 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The realtor made it sound like just a hand rail was needed. When we rented the house out a few years ago it had to have a rail on the open side, but when they moved out and we moved back in we took it down and slightly remodeled the ceiling I believe to open it up more. (I'm not quite sure what was done), but now it appears there's no place to put one. I just want something cheap. We're already going to barely break even on this house. We actually have an offer on it and the inspection is on Friday. I guess I could wait until then to see if we have to put one up and on which side. I just wanted to get everything set before he comes you know? Silly old codes. They look dangerous but none of my family has ever gotten hurt on them or fell off of them and I have a 10 yr, 3 1/2 yr, and 20 month old. but then again, I actually watch my kids and don't let the baby go up or down the stairs :-)
 
Posts: 72 | Registered: Jan 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Of course you also never have elderly people visit or anyone who is visually impaired or disabled. I am also glad to hear you have never tripped or lost your balance.

Sorry I didn't take a photo of the black eye I got when I slipped while shampooing the carpet on the stairs. I grabbed the hand rail that was improperly installed so it gave way and I took a header into the wall.

Silly old codes.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3613 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Actually, I have had disabled and elderly people go up and down my stairs. They managed just fine. :-) I'm sorry you got hurt. I've fallen down other stairs that have had proper and functioning railings on both sides and it hurt a lot. I'm not here to argue with you, I'm here to get ideas on how to install a proper railing so that it can pass inspection and that no one does fall. Thanks.
 
Posts: 72 | Registered: Jan 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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Wait for the inspection if you plan to install just one rail. Each locality has different building codes. What we say here might be quite different from where you live. Also, if it is sold FHA that is another whole inspection process.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3613 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Since the inspection is scheduled just wait and see what happens. Not all people are concerned with codes. They may even want to change it somewhat. Who knows.

Let us know what happens.
 
Posts: 7311 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mully4235:
The realtor made it sound like just a hand rail was needed. When we rented the house out a few years ago it had to have a rail on the open side, but when they moved out and we moved back in we took it down and slightly remodeled the ceiling



:-)


mully, this is a basic issue and typically a code requirement so I'm not surprised the realtors mentioned it. I'd be very surprised if it doesn't appear on your inspection report.

As a code issue, you should consult local contractors/tradespeople to make sure it's properly taken care of. You don't want the any future liability if someone does take a tumble or claims they did. (Yep, it happens, unfortunately.)

Because the inspection's already scheduled, at this point you can simply wait for that report and then engage a local professional to take care of any issues. Hopefully that's next to nothing!

When you remodeled, did you work with a contractor? If you did, it was technically their responsibility to make sure that the work was up to code. If they had good skills and qualifications (in spite of this apparent error) plus proper insurance (including workers' comp), you might consider engaging them to complete any inspection work.

I would definitely ask your previous contractor to source the appropriate material and install the railing, free of charge. In fact, I'd be surprised if they didn't make that offer upfront, i.e. with no negotiation. Naturally, I wouldn't bring them in again unless they bid any other work at reasonable rates and have good skills.

So, congratulations (again!) and best of luck to you -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
 
Posts: 537 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Should your home sell FHA, the FHA appraiser will note any contingencies (repairs, safety issues)..the railing being one. I would go ahead and install a handrail on the wall side now, to avoid that noted contingency and "wait for the FHA re-inspection"...before closing. Can FHA re-inspections hold up closings? You betcha.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9317 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How'd your inspection go, mully?

Please let us know - we love to celebrate successes around here!

Here's hoping for a smooth, uneventful closing! And move, BTW!

Take care -
 
Posts: 537 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The inspection went really well. Just a few minor things to fix. Some cracked windows in the basement which we've fixed, and some stuck windows upstairs which was pretty much from it being really humid that day and the windows are old withy multiple coats of paint. We will get them unstuck this week and make sure they don't stick again. He said not to worry about the railing. It's not a government loan and the buyers will put whatever type of railing they want up. If anything, just put a handrail on the wall side. So, that's what we will probably do.
 
Posts: 72 | Registered: Jan 16, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds like you were lucky and got off easily. In fact, that's surprising, to me. I trust that the inspector's insured. Good for you!

That's why I advised to wait for the inspection, above. No sense doing a bunch of work for no reason. I did hope you'd be ready to go (with your previous contractor) if any work was required.

Let us know how your closing goes. Always great to hear good news from sellers!

Take care -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
 
Posts: 537 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Congratulations. It is such a relief isn't it?

Be sure you take a utility knife and score the paint around the windows before you try to open. You don't want to cause more damage.

When is your closing? Do you have a place to go before you move into your new place?
 
Posts: 7311 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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