Handrail stops short

Here is an example of a handrail that stopped short of reaching the top and a free graphic showing the correct start and stop points.P1050221 Handrail


Thanks Randy. Those type of handrails are a pet peeve of mine.

Great graphic and example.Thanks!

I realize it is not our job to tell them how to fix it but outside of being a home inspector how would you go about continuing the handrail? Would a carpenter just continue it up to the newel post? I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a design like that before.


Yeah that’s my thought also.

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Write it up, walk away. A Realtor at an inspection in Galveston told me yesterday that his attorney stated that existing “construction is grandfathered”. I explained to the Realtor that I would write up the stair and handrails then let the Buyer decide if their insurance provider would agree with me or his attorney. this property is a commercial four-plex, I am willing to bet the insurance provider will agree with me, they do not want the liability. The second weekend of inspector training in 1991, an attorney came to the class to advise the students of potential litigation when people are injured on a stair. Trial lawyers love stair injury cases, INSPECTORS - CYA.


James you mention stairway injuries and lawyers together that does sound a little scary to me as an inspector, your post just opened my eyes from here on out on how serious to take stairways

Yes the hand rail would continue up and return to the Newel Post, but due to the floor trim board under the spindles of the guardrail sticking out 3/4" from the wall, rosettes have to be installed behind the rail brackets in order not to encroach on the 1-1/2" clearance between the handrail and the wall.


This is how its done…built by yours truly.



Thanks guys good pics

@cdrew damn that’s clean! Good job!

Realtors love to make excuses to “downplay” any defects we may point out. Like “Grandfathered in”. Having a condition that was not required or Code at the time the home was built really makes no difference when I point out something in a report. If it is a hazard makes no difference when the home was built or what code it fell into at the time. Like when it comes to stairs, does a three year old kid know not to stick his head between the 6 inch spaces just because the home was built and passed Code in 1963? Does a Water heater without seismic straps know it is prohibited from falling over in an earthquake because it was installed as OEM in 1997?

What I hate is when Real Estate Agents downplay these defects and actually have our clients Not correct something, or negate our recommendations because “Their Agent(?)” tells them not to worry about it…was not required for this old of a home. (for 3-6% seems to be all that matters, to some)


Mr. Larry,

You are preaching to the choir. I have performed only 24 residential inspections this year because I am tired of fussing with agents even on new construction.

Here in Texas all commercial construction must be inspected for handicap accessibility, good source of income. All new commercial construction in a municipality must be inspected by a certified third party for energy compliance, good source of income.

I am one of a few in Texas that offers both inspections. Now I have less stress than when I was dealing with residential agents and for better money.

I am presently on a 750k sf warehouse project for Home Depot that requires code inspections almost daily. The contractor calls me if they think they are not incompliance, what a blessing.


James Southerland





What do you think of this handrail?

This handrail is in a home owned by a real estate agent. He believes it’s just fine!

Another angle

this is how it’s done in Humboldt County California boys!

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Is that stud shooting straight through to the floor or is that a little support block under the tread? If it’s a support block it looks like it shifted

Beautiful work, Christopher!

Thank you Sir. As far as compliance after the inspection, I just report it and move on. I let the realtors hash it out as needed. I give them my input if they ask for it. Otherwise I’m out, and on to the next. I could care less if they decide to fix it or not. Same goes for a safety issue. I’ll give them a report stating there is a safety concern, then its up to them to address it, barring of course any immediate risk to life. Those are few and far between.

Ok…i spiraled way off topic. Now what was that about railings again??