Can you identify?





A handrail is no longer considered “continuous” when 1,2, or 3 is installed at the bottom tread. True or False?

If you don’t know without looking it up,


Stair and Railing components


Bigger question is whether or not the client would even care.

Maybe it was the way the question was worded. These may all be utilized, providing they are supported vertically (downward/upward pressure) from the bottom tread. It is ususally the starting or ending point of the handrail, so what does “continuous” have to do with anything?

A more practical question having to do with handrails is in an older colonial, where there is a jog in the wall. My home is 9 years old, and I have such a jog ibn my wall. The handrail id not, continuous. The stair installer performed the installation, and it was inspected and acceptable to the AHJ.

Technically, the handrail should have curved around the jog to be continuous, but it doesnt. Why was this allowed by the AJH, who busted balls on almost everything else? Very experienced AJH. Nice guy, but was a stickler.

Here’s a point for discussion…

This is a pivotal moment for a student, yound or old. “Should I take time in learning something that may not be of apparent interest to my client?” “Why should I care about “continuous” handrails?” “What does a “nose” have to do with anything?”

I would encourage any inspector to know more than what simply interests your client. Much more.

Most home owners do not care about continous handrails, until there’s a problem - like when the volute ends on the 2nd tread instead of the bottom tread, and someone falls and gets hurt. Your client will care when they get hurt.

My goal in the stairway inspection video was to go over a stairway in great detail. So that when you’re on an inspection, you can recognize a defect quickly (I’m snapping my fingers) and accurately report it.

That defect, whether of interest to your client or not, whether your client presently cares about it or not, may have a impact on their safety later on.

Many of the viewers of the stair inspection video with Paige are not watching the entire video. I encourage you to watch the whole thing. Why? Why learn about “volutes?” Why learn about “continous?” Why learn about “illumination” of stairways? Why learn about things in detail that may not be of interest to your client at the time of their inspection? What does “continuous” have to do with anything?

The answer is simple. Knowledge is power. Power. Your power.

I encourage everyone reading this to learn - learn something - in depth. That’s why NACHI.TV took extraordinary measures (time, talent, money) to video something ordinary and commonplace - stairs. And produced a 10 minute, robust, informative, detailed video that I trust is thoroughly educational as well as entertaining. Maximum learning in minimum time.

I hear, “But the stuff in the video goes way beyond the InterNACHI S.O.P.! So therefore, it’s got nothing to do with me.” Oh yeah. Wait until someone falls down the stairs that you didn’t know how to inspect.

Don’t think that you have to learn the details of a stairway. Don’t sweat the memorizing of details, measurements, codes. Use a computer software program, and enter the narratives that NACHI.TV provided. It’s so easy.

If you haven’t seen the whole video in its entirety. I encourage you to play it again. It’s well worth your time.

It’s the pivotal moment of anyone learning anything. What should I learn? and Why?

Excellent post Ben.
Not sure where I got it from.

What am I supposed to do open an account and e-mail you for the info? :slight_smile:



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Perhaps he was trying to post this.

Visual Interpretation of the 2006 IRC Stair Building Code
From The Stairway Manufacturer’s Association

That’s a good document. Boring. But good.

It doesn’t come close to the information presented by Paige.

Recommend printing out and reading the companion checklist and stairway narratives while viewing

Thanks for the link Erby.

Visual Interpretation of the 2006 IRC Stair Building Code

This is a good stairway document too. Pretty concise.stairway doc.pdf (176 KB)

Whats the best way to link a PDF as when I go to attachments it says it is to large.?

Bob, download Adobe Reader…it’s free. That should solve your problem.

Chris I have Adobe or I would not have the PDF to begin with.
But I have it in my documents and I need to know how to link it to here for you to download…
When I go to attachmentds on the NACHI board the program say,s the 1.5 MB is to large though the PDF is only like 10 pages.

E-mail it over and I’ll see what I can do…then send instructions back to ya…

That’s why I upload it to the my file manager on my web server and then provide a link to it. No restrictions on file size that way.

One thing you can try is to print the PDF to another PDF using a lower quality setting that the original one.

I find that about 100 DPI (dots per inch) are satisfactory for documents, but my PDF printer goes up to 1400 DPI. Way to big for most stuff I do.


Your are right. It is a good document.

You’re right. Doesn’t come close. But I can’t carry Paige to the inspection in my pocket or briefcase. (Bummer) Good source, but no quick referral method.

Where are the links to the companion checklist and stairway narratives? Can you provide a link to all appropriate documents on the video page? That would be a big plus!

Thanks,I thought sending myself an e-mail and copying the short cut had worked in the past.
On some foums you can right click the thing in with a simple paste.
As far as uploading to my web server goes I was going to try that next.
Just seems like a lot of trouble for what should be a quick attachment.

“Where are the links to the companion checklist and stairway narratives? Can you provide a link to all appropriate documents on the video page? That would be a big plus!”


There is a quick referral method. Use the video-companion checklist. This link appears at the end of the video.

There, you’ll find all the details that Paige was going over, and more. And report narratives for each stairway component Paige inspected.

There are two ways to use the video-companion checklist. 1) import all of the information (component details and narratives) into your reporting method. 2) Read the checklist while the video is playing.

  1. In relation to my reporting method: I use PV Software on my PDA. That way I don’t have to remember all of the stairway component details. I simply scroll down on my PDA, choose the component, click the narrative. It’s easy to use.

  2. In relation to the NACHI.TV video: I recommend printing out the video-companion checklist, and read along while Paige performs a detailed inspection of a stairway. (The checklist is only 2 pages; the video is only 10 minutes long.)


Personally, I learn the most by watching others do. :shock: That’s one of the benefits of NACHI.TV. Somehow, for some reason, the brain can store and retrieve more relavant information via my eyes and ears. *[The most effective way to learn in this profession is hands-on, but that’s difficult to do over the Internet. :smiley: ] *

The next best thing to actually being there, is NACHI.TV! By reading the video-companion checklist while watching the NACHI.TV inspection video, you’ll be able to learn the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time.

Have you watched the entire video?