Question From Todays Inspection

OK so today I did a 1969 split foyer home. The house was your typical flipper, new kitchen, siding, refinished hardwood floors, you know the deal, Everything old was covered…hahaha. OK so in the backyard is a brick paver patio and retaining wall with some very skinny steps (4 risers) No handrail. Do you call this out?


I would note it.
It does not appear to have been done when the wall was constructed as the steps appear to be constructed of scrap material left over and the wall cap stone overlaps the step.

So would you note the Lack of Handrail? to skinny of steps ? or both?


No handrail


If it was a path to the car or road I would say make it 3 feet wide if possible. But you are saying it is to the back yard and will most likely not be used to carry anything up and down.

Thats what I was thinking. Writing up report now and just called out the lack of a handrail.


No handrail, riser(s) look to be more than 7-7/8" high, riser heights vary by more than 3/8" from one to the next. May be a trip hazard for occupants and visitors, recommend improvements for safety.

I give my clients the information and they make their own decision.

Yup, I’d say no handrail.


If you set out to dig a hole in your backyard, and you dig and dig and dig, and you come to a point where you think “Hmm, maybe this hole is too large”, so you immediately start refillng the hole, but stop when it is half filled back in…

My question to you… “Is it still a hole”?

A staircase in any way, shape, or form is still a staircase (steps/stairs/whatever), so it should be scrutinized as any other. In fact, the one in your OP probably has a higher likelihood of someone getting injured because of it’s many unsafe conditions.


I agree 110% Jeff…:cool:


Was there a visible drainage system associated with the wall? I usually comment on the importance of a professional design with included drainage to prevent long term failure due to hydrostatic pressure.

All that stuff on the right side looks like it will wash onto the patio with a good rain. FYI.