Deck stairs and railing movement

I am trying to find proper way to express concern in report of wobbly stairs and railing in this deck. As well as “contact a qualified, licensed…”, how can I wrote up why the stairs and two railings wobble? Once on the stairs, you can move stair railings about 1 inch to left and right, as well as the upper railing.

I hope the pictures can help you help me. It is about a 15 x 15 deck attached to ledger properly (from what I can see, basement is finished with drywall and bolts are visible under deck at least). And, every deck on two houses either side of this are constructed exactly the same way. Unknown if they wobble though. dosen-deck3.jpg


Any help is greatly appreciated!!

You basically said what to write in your post. Not exactly what I’d write, but close. “wobbly stairs and railing in this deck”

This is a safety issue. Corrective repairs by a qualified carpenter that specializes in deck construction is recommended.

"Limited framing support observed on wood deck. Although no immediate concern was noted, the stairs and railings were loose or wobbly, and could become a safety risk. Todays construction standards would require additional support (larger framing lumber, increased post diameter, etc.) Recommend upgrades by Qualified Contractor. "

The problem is over span of a ballustered railing and guardrail using ballusters for support.
Stair rails should not exceed 6 feet without a rail post for support and the guardrails should not exceed 8 feet without a rail post for support.
The open riser should not exceed 4".

It was observed the the construction of this stairwell along with it’s components were built in an amaturish trade fashion and recommend that a Qualified General Contractor repair the condition to meet the proper building standards for Decks and Stairs. :slight_smile:

I don’t believe I would write anything like the underlined above. If it needs repair, it is important to not put it off, IMHO, of course.

But, the inspector said there was no immediate concern so we went ahead and invited all the people over for the new house deck party, your honor. :shock:

I agree Larry and that deck would be a complete fail for me. I would never say anything like that in the report.
It is a serious safety issue IMO.

Good catch Larry.

Maybe it would be best to leave that particular line out. I will usually put that in there unless there is “imminent failure”, i.e. rotted steps, steps missing, no handrails, etc., where someone will, without any doubt, hurt themselves.

Improper support, or “wobbly handrails” are not signs of unreasonable risk or imminent failure, IMO, but something that definitely should be addressed soon.

Once again, time and time again, we HI’s must continue these CYA methods because of the scumbag lawyer “money whores” that sit waiting like buzzards for us to leave one word out…

Good catch, though, it would probably best just to leave that line out entirely.

Thanks guys