Is it me or did they change Railing requirement, they no longer required to withstand 200 lbs horizontal impact. The Local building inspector apear to be in bed with a couple of developers and allows them to install these type of railings no post or top rail cap. You lean against them and you can hear nails pulling. They also have no footings
I have installed these in days gone by. The actually work ok, and would hold 200 pounds, but you do need the occasional support post, and SCREWS not nails. I am of the personal opinion that nails do not belong in a deck, in the joist hanger only.
If you feel it is not safe. write it. “If the fat lady comes to sing, keep her away from the railings”!
Pickets only. Here’s what I say about them. They will get loose in the near future.
“Construction of the deck is considered sub-standard. Most, if not all, of the stair rail and guardrail structure is supported by balusters only (1.5 inch x 1.5 inch lumber). Standard construction consists of substantial supporting posts of 4x4 lumber as a minimum at corners and other areas. While the railing may be satisfactory today, our experience shows that they will become very loose and present a safety hazard. We recommend an evaluation and repair as deemed necessary by a state licensed general contractor.”
The handrail is not graspable either. No finger groove.
It also looks like, from this angle, that the deck support post are in direct contact with the soil.
I constructed my deck railings in a similar manner 19 years ago, and they are currently in great condition. The only difference, I did place 2x4’s at all intersecting corners, you cannot move the railings with 200lbs of pressure. Your footings are probably below grade, and yes the posts are in direct soil contact, as are 80% of the decks constructed in this area.
i really dont see any problems with that deck. If there were long straight runs the rails might be a little wobbly, but since its only a few feet to a corner or stair intersection i think it would hold up fine. Yes you have the earth/ post contact and yes you could have a better handhold on the stair rail but nothing that looks to be against any codes imo.
I’ve seen them a lot less than 19 years old and they are crap.
Not if they are properly constructed.