Ask the Inspector: Handrails & Guardrails

Home Inspector with National Property Inspections

A handrail is a support that people can hold on to while going up or down steps. A guardrail is a barrier around decks, landings or balconies that keeps people from falling off.

For safety reasons, handrails and guardrails should be inspected to ensure that they are installed correctly. Inspecting the handrail and guardrail of all interior and exterior stairs is part of a general home inspection. During the inspection, a professional will check stairs for even rise and run, properly separated balustrades, adequate spacing on landings and sufficient headroom.

An inspector will assess each of the exterior and interior staircases for their safety and condition. An inspector will note any areas in need of maintenance and recommend repairs.

For more information on home inspections, commercial property inspections or to locate an inspector in your area, go to



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