Creative Handrail

Can anyone guess the material used to make this handrail.

Needless to say, I doubt it will hold up a falling person and noted such on the report.


Also, needs properly spaced vertical spindles.

Andrew Rook
Rook Home Inspections LLC

Those steps don’t require a rail to begin with, so step lightly (no pun intended) with your recommendation. . .

maybe it was installed to help an older person. If so, they should secure it better.

That looks like 1 1/2 pvc pipe, it should be 2 1/4 ha ha

Looks like 3 risers to me which makes me recommend that a railing with properly installed spindles be installed for safety.

How many risers do you look for?

Does the height of the steps look off as well (too small), or is it just the picture?

Andrew Rook
Rook Home Inspections LLC

I do think there should be a landing at there so you do not open the door and fall down the steps . Roy Cooke

From the 2003 IRC R311.5.6 Handrails. Handrails shall be provided on at least one side of each continuous run of treads or flight with four or more risers.

What standard would you base this recommendation on?

I agree, that if it’s in place, it should perform its intended function, and conform to the standard requirements of a railing.


Our code [1] [2] [3] [4]

You are correct if this is the main door of dwelling,however if this is a secondary entrance [side door] then the answer is no.

And Jeff is correct,hand rail not needed,however if one is installed it should be secure.

It looks to me like the tread is sloping and not level. They look like the first set of amateur steps my husband did. The kind where you fall forward when you start to go down them because they slope.


Sloping? Maybe it’s the angle of the shot.

Maybe it is. If I blew it up I could probably tell more.

From my own past experiance, I would call it out as requireing a proper handrail for any steps with more than 2 risers. The city of Mt. Clemens would not let me close on my first house because I had to pass their city certs.

I had to leave the closing & install a handrail on the steps, (2 6" tall steps & 1 3" tall step) have it inspected and then rush back to finish the closing. I was buying my grandmothers house.


I forget that every state is not like NJ. In NJ, we follow New Jersey’s version of the 2000 edition of the Internation Building Code (IBC/2000) and therefore, it’s not 4 risers, it’s 3 risers.

IMO, in situations like these it never hurts to recommend that a properly installed railing with balusters be installed for safety. Either way, I agree with you that if it’s there, it should be done right.

Andrew Rook
Rook Home Inspections LLC
Be Smart, Be Sure, Be Inspected TM

I recommend a handrail with 3 risers or more “for enhanced safety”.

That way I don’t have to bring “code” into it and they can do it or not…but I did recommend it. :wink:

If they could run warm water through it, it would be a heated handrail!

Would keep the ice off in winter.

In Texas?

yup. it’s gonna be a rough winter. :wink: