New, free product: Stairway Inspection Spheres.

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These spheres can be used while inspecting open risers and guards at stairways.

No 4 3/8 inch size?

What he said.

A 4" sphere doesn’t matter when the standard is 4 and 3/8’s.

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Only on the side of stairs…

4" leaves just 3/16ths of an inch on both sides. Perfect for quick checking.

And the code is 4" for guardrail openings.

So a 4" ball works well to check both.

So the answer to my initial question would be no then. Just use your eyeball instead of a proper sized tool? I guess it doesn’t matter if a 12 inch ruler is 13 inches cause you can just eyeball it… :roll:

Yes. It is silly to carry both a 4" Sphere and a 4 and 3/8th" Sphere. A 4" Sphere can do both tasks.

Interesting attitude. I carry a flat blade screwdriver, a phillips head, square head, and numerous star heads but with your attitude, I can just use any screwdriver because after all, they are all just screwdrivers. In my shop I also have rip hammers, curved claw hammers, ball peen hammers, upholstery hammers but that doesn’t really matter, cause I can use any hammer, right? :roll:

That’s what I thought we were talking about.

The thread title is called “Stairway Inspection Spheres.”

I use to carry around baby dolls for girls (named Gromicko) in my Ford Expedition and whenever young children accomanied the parents, I would give the girls the Gromicko baby dolls and the boys would get a few Hotwheel cars. This worked out great and costed me around $15.00 to $20.00 out of pocket, when I wanted to keep the youngins occupied. Kids will be kids and sometimes they wanted a black baby doll or a stroller. Boys would want toy guns, etc. and the situation got out of control. Long story made short … do whatever works, until it doesn’t work anymore.

No. Those tools won’t necessarily do the job of the others. A 4" Sphere can test the opening of both a 4" and a 4 and 3/8" opening.

The 4-inch sphere can also be used for checking open risers with openings more than 30 inches from the floor, and at window sills of an operable window opening less than 24 inches above the floor and greater than 6 feet above the exterior grade.

No, a 4 inch sphere can only test 4 inches. Just say it, you aren’t going to make a 4 3/8 sphere and that is fine. But don’t try the, “It’s close so you can eyeball it” BS. It isn’t the right tool for the needed job.

I understand your point, Stephen. But I disagree. The sphere works well, considering I’m a home inspector. As a home inspector, I did report as a safety hazard any guard that had spindles spaced more than 4 inches apart.

I disagree with the IRC R312. There should be no difference between fall protection at a guard or fall protection at a guard on an open side of stairs. In opinion, it makes sense that fall protection at a required guard should be at least as “tight,” if not "tighter, at a guard on an open side of stairs.

Therefore, the 4-inch sphere works great for home inspectors, because we’re not code inspectors.

This may be a little out there but I carry something called a tape measure. With very little effort and only a couple of seconds, I can accurately measure pretty much anything. I am also what you call “Old School”. My step-father an Army Vet and Army Engineer, taught me to measure with my knuckles, etc.

OK Ben. What would your comment be on the pictured stairs if the guards on these stairs are set at the code approved / allowed 4 3/8 spacing? Don’t know if they are or aren’t but for the purpose of this thread the premise is they are at 4 3/8. Just curious what you have to say about this staircase and railing that probably exceeds $20k in cost.

I use a tape measure.

Close enough!!

Me too.

I found some small compact tape measures at Harbor Freight. It clips on to my tool belt, and is right there to measure guardrail heights, spindles spacing, height of garage eye beam sensors, window heights, and anything else I might want to measure.


**** I love Harbor Freight tools. The first 1 that I ever went to was in Raleigh, North Carolina. Awesome store with good prices. You have come a long way over the years in our industry. Aside from being a Home Inspector (and I know the dedication and sacrifice), you have my respect being a man and a father to those kids. I have raised 5 myself:
3 boys - Phillip Michael, Christopher, and Dakota.
---- and —
2 girls - Jazzmine and Autumn.

Being a father is without a doubt the hardest thing that I have ever done (especially raising Autumn-* my biological daughter). We are on different sides of the United States,* but I respect you both as a Home Inspector and a man in general.

This is going off topic, but I want to say it. InterNACHI is by far 1 of the best things to ever happen to me honestly. The friends that I have made here have touched my life and there are many. I don’t post a lot on InterNACHI for several reasons, but this is my home.

There are a lot of inspectors that have changed my life and I love every single 1 of you. Some inspectors have taken me off of my Facebook friends but I love them the same, like a Condo guy from Chicago or a bald guy in Virginia Beach. They had their reasons,* but I pray for them too and wish them the very best.

Then you have the Gromicko family. Nick, Ben, Erik and Nikolai,* have bent over backwards for me throughout the years. I will forever be thankful for everyone of them. I have only disagreed with Nick twice in 8 years and I have probably put some grey in his hair, but I love that man to no end. Last year when I had a short run with the other association, I thought Nick turned his back on me. I saw that it did just the opposite and it hurt him (he will not admit it, but it did). Nick and InterNACHI done more for me my 1st month than ASHI did in a year. Okay, now you have Big Ben Gromicko. I love this guy too. Ben made me feel 10 feet tall last year in a personal e-mail,* where he was talking me up. I have nothing but good things to say about any Gromicko and even with their busy schedules,* they always reply in a timely manner, with patience for me. I love the Gromicko’s.

I have watched our industry grow and change over the last 22 years and we have females and soldiers, coming in left and right. I have some favorite inspectors and there are way too many to list but before my battery goes dead on my phone, here are just a few inspectors, who care. If I get your name wrong, it’s probably because my phone sometimes auto corrects, when I hit post.
Dan Cavenaugh,* Brian Shriver, Pat Butler, Juan Jiminez,* Larry Frace, David Valley, Jeffrey Jonas, KC Bartley, Roy Lewis, Jeffrey Jonas, Stephen Stanczyk,* William Chandler, Joe Farsetta,Aubrey Kahn, Eric and Susan Richards, Mark Cohen, Keith Silvas, Paul Lister, Kevin Moore, Mike Scott, David Asselin, Herb Castle, Dan “the man” Bowers,* Russell Buchanan, Richard Ingalls, my good friend Michael Meeker, Megan Wilson, Greg Mathias, Jennifer Jones, Jason Coffman, Dave Klima, Mike Hazelwood, TJ Tolley, Wayne Wilson, Joseph Hagarty (I love this guy),
Rob Furloni (1 kick butt soldier), George Wells, my buddy from Baltimore: Bryant Wilkins, Ron Cleland, Mike Nelson, Willy Stambaugh, Roy Cooke, Blake Spann,
Desmond Thornton, Brad Bohen, David Michael Green, Garett Martell (1 cool dude), my buddy from West Virginia: Michael Clark (good man), and many, many more. It would take all night to list these wonderful people that I care so much for. If your name is not on the list, it doesn’t mean that I don’t care (because I do), I am just tiring out.

I am starting a new business in Virginia and it’s a christian church called: Jesus Christ Ministries. You all know what it’s like to raise a family and start a business. Please understand that I tried to list as many as I could early this morning. Here is the link to my Facebook business page (Jesus Christ Ministries):
Jesus Christ Ministries - Home | Facebook

and here is the new website for my Commercial Inspection Business:

Home | Altizer Property Services

As you can see, I am extremely busy but I love you all and pray for your safety, health, success, families,* and for your futures to be blessed. Thank you for everything InterNACHI. I will be checking in throughout the years. I am not permanently leaving the Home Inspection industry or InterNACHI. I am a Lifetime Member and my daughter is going to need me from time to time as she makes her legacy in our profession. I am fighting evil and I have been called to teach the word of our Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ. God bless you Brother’s and Sister’s. I love you all, even you.

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