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Posted: 5/2/2011 8:31:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 8:49:46 AM EDT by strat81]


I'm buying the house above and the inspector said I have to add a railing to the front porch.  I don't want to spend very much since I plan on replacing the steps anyway in the next year.  I need something up in two weeks.  I'm going to call some contractors, but I don't think I'll be able to get something scheduled that quickly.

What do you recommend for something that's simple and cheap?


ETA: By railing, I'm referring to a hand rail for ascending/descending the stairs.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 8:45:55 AM EDT
You can buy that metal railing and cut and install it yourself from Home depot.  

What's wrong with your front yard?  Is the soil up there that sandy?
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 8:47:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 338winmag:
You can buy that metal railing and cut and install it yourself from Home depot.  

What's wrong with your front yard?  Is the soil up there that sandy?


Pic was taken with snow on the ground.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:02:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 9:08:27 AM EDT by Winn]

Do you only need a single handrail?

If so, for a very quick, easy solution you could simply pick up some 2X4 material along with a few 4X4s for newel posts ...

Anchor one 4X4 to the house at the door opening, and attach the other two to the stair risers (one at the top of the stairs, and one at the bottom) then use the 2X4 stuff to "cap" it ... if that makes sense.

Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:19:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Winn:

Do you only need a single handrail?

If so, for a very quick, easy solution you could simply pick up some 2X4 material along with a few 4X4s for newel posts ...

Anchor one 4X4 to the house at the door opening, and attach the other two to the stair risers (one at the top of the stairs, and one at the bottom) then use the 2X4 stuff to "cap" it ... if that makes sense.



I think a single handrail will work - I don't have the inspector's phone number yet so I haven't spoken to him.

What do you mean anchor it to the house?  I'm trying to avoid drilling into the vinyl siding.  I was considering using those metal brackets to anchor the 4x4s.  You often see them to anchor 4x4 and 6x6 posts into concrete.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:24:13 AM EDT
Frankly, I'd look to see what other similar houses in the neighborhood have.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:48:45 AM EDT
Builder here,

Usually a home inspect just tells you, the buyer, what would be needed to bring the home up to code.  In general, there is no government body that comes in and forces you to make repairs.  Is your bank requiring that everything on his report be completed?

If you do need to do a railing, make a template of the stairs out of ply wood or even cardboard.  Take the template around to 2-3 metal shops for a quote.  The can make you a reasonably priced railing that you can just paint and bolt to the concrete/house.

Make sure to put a strip of asphalt roofing or self-adhesive underlay between the concrete and the metal bracket or moisture will soak into the slab and migrate to the metal.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:52:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jhark123:
Builder here,

Usually a home inspect just tells you, the buyer, what would be needed to bring the home up to code.  In general, there is no government body that comes in and forces you to make repairs.  Is your bank requiring that everything on his report be completed?

If you do need to do a railing, make a template of the stairs out of ply wood or even cardboard.  Take the template around to 2-3 metal shops for a quote.  The can make you a reasonably priced railing that you can just paint and bolt to the concrete/house.

Make sure to put a strip of asphalt roofing or self-adhesive underlay between the concrete and the metal bracket or moisture will soak into the slab and migrate to the metal.


Correct, the bank wants the items corrected before closing.  


Thanks for the suggestions, guys.
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 9:54:46 AM EDT



Originally Posted By jhark123:


Builder here,



Usually a home inspect just tells you, the buyer, what would be needed to bring the home up to code.  In general, there is no government body that comes in and forces you to make repairs.  Is your bank requiring that everything on his report be completed?



If you do need to do a railing, make a template of the stairs out of ply wood or even cardboard.  Take the template around to 2-3 metal shops for a quote.  The can make you a reasonably priced railing that you can just paint and bolt to the concrete/house.



Make sure to put a strip of asphalt roofing or self-adhesive underlay between the concrete and the metal bracket or moisture will soak into the slab and migrate to the metal.
This step costs literally nothing to do, but will save you time, effort and money for as long as you own the house.





 
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 10:05:19 AM EDT
same problem when selling a house
inspector required it
buyer didnt want anything there or to damage the siding on the house
we ended up putting together some scrap 2x4 and made it look like it was attached when it was actually just anchored behind the steps to the ground
was all sort of crappy and total junk but the inspector gave it a pass and all was well
Link Posted: 5/2/2011 10:09:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2011 10:12:04 AM EDT by Winn]
Originally Posted By strat81:
Originally Posted By Winn:

Do you only need a single handrail?

If so, for a very quick, easy solution you could simply pick up some 2X4 material along with a few 4X4s for newel posts ...

Anchor one 4X4 to the house at the door opening, and attach the other two to the stair risers (one at the top of the stairs, and one at the bottom) then use the 2X4 stuff to "cap" it ... if that makes sense.



I think a single handrail will work - I don't have the inspector's phone number yet so I haven't spoken to him.

What do you mean anchor it to the house?  I'm trying to avoid drilling into the vinyl siding.  I was considering using those metal brackets to anchor the 4x4s.  You often see them to anchor 4x4 and 6x6 posts into concrete.


Ah, vinyl siding ... that changes things just a bit. Also IMHO, a metal bracket would only be necessary for the bottom post.  

Anyway, after looking at the photo again it appears that you might be able to attach two posts to the left side of the highest riser.  Both post sitting on the middle tread with one placed at (or near) the house, and the other near the front of the steps.  Then locate the third in line with those two but positioned at the bottom of the steps ... again, if that makes sense.

Attach the bottom post to the front of the lowest step and include your metal bracket between the post and the concrete.  Once the posts are in place then simply top it with some 2X4 so that you have something to hold on to.


ETA: The other replys have good suggestions too.


Link Posted: 5/2/2011 11:05:37 AM EDT
Same thing happened to me when my home was completed... the bank wanted a railing.

4x4 post at the top on the step.
2 metal "L" brackets on the base of it screwed to the concrete.
1x2 railing coming down to second 4x4 post at the bottom step.
Enough balusters to meet code.

Closed on the house.
Told builder to get rid of that the next day during the post sale inspection.
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