How is this legal...?

(Brian C. Cook) #1

2017 build, 3rd floor exterior deck. Inspected by the city and not in violation of any codes. If I had a small child it would get torn out immediately.

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #2

Wow, no sh*t!

(Joshua L. Frederick) #3

Legal? Who knows and who cares? Maybe someone didn’t like the look of the original one and wanted this one put in for a better view of the neighbors…again who knows and who cares?
Write it up in the report just like anything else…horizontal, climbable balustrades…child may climb and plummet to the earth below …blah, blah, blah.
Buyer’s may not care. Buyer’s may care. If the buyer’s want to find out if it’s “legal”, tell them to contact the local building officials.
Out of your hands…next.
BTW, if you tore it out it would be more unsafe :wink:

(Jeffrey R. Jonas) #4

Agree… also, I personally don’t know of any parents that would allow their small child to ‘play’ around a three story balcony without adult supervision.

(Brian C. Cook) #5


I’m fully agree with the assessment, the comment has been made and report submitted. I’m just venting on how this could be allowed as legal…

This is how it was when it passed the city inspection, and there is no code violation.

I’m merely stating that I’m shocked that there is no code to prevent this.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #6

So! We have regress back to the subject of as to what is safe or not…Again! Huh?
Especially , when it pertain to vertical as opposed to hazorinal railing spindles/balusters…
Please ! Not again…
It appears some are shocked! Wow!

(Brian C. Cook) #7

Thanks for your overwhelmingly insightful input!

(Bradley K. Toye, CMI) #8

It is code compliant. You can note it as a safety item, but nobody is going to make them change it.

(Jeffrey R. Jonas) #9

If anybody had real concerns, they would simply attach glass or plexiglas panels. Having it “torn out immediatly” is a fools overeaction to a minor problem.

(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #10

Thank you ! I try my best! :smiley:

(Mike Pagozalski, CMI) #11

When I built my first home ( 2004, 3 story duplex) I just zip tied chicken wire to my horizontal stainless steel cables ( horrible choice fyi, impossible to get enough tension to prevent it from spreading) to get my CO :D…next day I tossed it

(Barry Adair, TREC#4563 EIFSTX#39) #12

how to create an inspector
deny childhood climbing
after many years of therapy the repressed need to climb reemerges as a professional outlet

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #13

I share the OP’s incredulity, especially in view of the things that are required by code protect children, i.e. the tamper-proof outlets.

Safety requirements for fences around pools require that they can’t be climbable from the other side. Why any less a standard for a third-floor balcony.

Parental supervision should be a given, but who here has not had their child by their side one minute only to look down and see they have disappeared?

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #14

That might be due to the Liability and the fact that the pool is not always monitored, and protection from outside neighbors.

I agree.

Supervising Children in areas of danger goes a long way to the safety of a small child. :slight_smile:

(Jeffrey R. Jonas) #15
  1. The Red Flag in a parents head doesn’t always get raised on a ground level patio/yard situation. They are in the kitchen preparing dinner, while the child plays with his toys on the slab with the door open “right there”!

  2. A third story patio should always have the door/screen door closed at all times unless the parent is physically on the patio with the child. A parent who doesn’t get the Red Flag warning in this scenario, should not have children.


(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #16

International Building Codes and “The Ladder Effect/Climbability”

(Robert Young) #17

Morning Troy.
Hope you are in good health and spirits today.

As for compliant, or a violation of the/to the building code regulations for that municipality. I look at this guardrail installation, as a violation; ‘the action of violating someone or something.’ The something being building compliance. Compliance; the action or fact of complying with a wish or command.

Furthermore; You can demonstrate Building Code compliance through different means. One means of demonstrating compliance is to follow an ‘Acceptable Solution’ or ‘Verification Method.’

‘Acceptable Solution/s.’
Changing the guardrails or addressing the climbability. 2 separate solutions.

The building likely had the guardrails installed when erected. Either the AHJ missed this blatant safety violation, or it is not a violation within that municipality, to which would be a head scratcher IMO.

The climbable horizontal sections can be made moot by adding plexiglass, as Jeffrey stated, or other solid board material, between the posts, or a woven fabric material attached on the top and bottom most inside horizontal rail, from post to post, to impede climbability.
A less expensive fix than starting from scratch, which would be in effect making an ‘Acceptable Solution’ for the guardrails in my opinion, but I am not an AHJ.

(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #18

If the inspector has not noted this and a child gets hurt you can be sure the home inspector will be in court .

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #19

That statement is in error.
Read my lips;

Current IRC 2015 (“ladder effect” wording still gone)
R312.1.3 Guard opening limitations. Required guards shall not have openings from the walking surface to the required guard height which allow passage of a sphere 4-in (102 mm) in diameter.

You can call it a safety recommendation if you want, but you can’t mention it is not Code compliant, nor how a client needs to repair it. That is not your purpose here.

(Robert Young) #20

Hard to read your lips when I can not see them moving. LOL.

Thank you. Poor narrative.

IRC is not NBC.

I avoid code, persay. Although all codes as simulaure, I may reference with distance.

I always measure opening distance. Do not quote me on the but in Quebec, 3.5 " from the bottom rail.

Have a great day.