Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Basement Rails and Steps -- Common Safety Issue

Around here most of the houses with basements are older homes. My house has a three-quarters basement and it is a typical older home. It has a common building design, a flaw have you, that I would cite as a safety concern at a paid home inspection.

In this field, there are some things that are just so predicable that an inspector can almost imagine the problem prior to arriving on the site. For example, if you are booked to inspect an older home with a basement, the handrail will, almost never, meet modern safety guidelines.

You see that handrail above? By today's standards, the gaps between the spindles shuld be of such a size that a four inch sphere will not pass between them. That keeps a headstrong child from taking a big fall. Now, that said, I have to tell you that there are even fewer spindles on the rail going down to my basement. After all, if the spindles were too close together the boys would have trouble jumping between them from the top step down onto the floor below.

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith

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Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 10 commentsSteven L. Smith • December 03 2009 06:52PM
Basement Rails and Steps -- Common Safety Issue
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