A Blind Man Could See This Was Not Right

Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

There are somethings that real estate professionals happen upon that not only defy logic, but are just obviously wrong. Take for example this large deck. There is something missing, namely a guardrail. The deck measures about four feet from grade, well over the 30" requirement for a guardrail. But forget that rule for a moment, what about good sense and safety? The entire perimeter is lined with a bench! 

What's more interesting was the set of plans for the deck left in the house by the sellers. The plans specify no guardrails! Needless to say permitting and inspections were almost assuredly not part of the construction. 

You can't make this stuff up.





Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Wow talking about an accident waiting to happen

Oct 04, 2014 11:05 PM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Wow that is incredible.  Not safe at all and amazing that the plans specified no guard rail.  Wow.

Oct 04, 2014 11:06 PM #2
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I love that they have a nice guard on the area of the deck that does not "require" one

Oct 04, 2014 11:12 PM #3
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Joe, It sure is.

Debbie, Wow indeed.

Charlie, The irony! 

Oct 04, 2014 11:17 PM #4
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning James. You're right you can't make these things up. While most homeowners, me included, are not happy with permits and inspections, they do serve a purpose in keeping us safe. 

Oct 04, 2014 11:37 PM #5
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

But if you fall while sitting on the bench, aren't you closer to the ground?  So, that's okay, right?

Can a blind man see that?

I'm betting yes!

Oct 05, 2014 12:44 AM #6
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

It does seem pretty obvious to me James, certainly an inspector would have caught it.

Oct 05, 2014 01:46 AM #7
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

James: Great blog post. I wonder; did the plans on hand specify that the occupants of the home wear hard hats when on the deck? It would seem to me they could have integrated a comfortable backrest into the benches to double as the guardrails.

Oct 05, 2014 03:10 AM #8
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim, They just needed a wrap around pool and then you have a great diving platform.

Oct 05, 2014 03:47 AM #9
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

I hope their Insurance Policy is up to date... although it wouldn't matter, because the Adjuster would probably deny the claim based upon the code violation.

Oct 05, 2014 06:55 AM #10
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jim some times common sense is on vacation and this is a good example of it.

Oct 05, 2014 11:05 AM #11
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Sheila, Yes they do. They also keep you from having to deal with a big headache when you sell. 

Jay, That depends on which side of the bench you fall from 

Tom, Obvious to everyone it seems, except the homeowners. 

Sandy & Norm, A back rest would not comply with the requirement. 

Don, Yeah, that's the ticket 

Fred, That's probably correct. 

George, For sure!

Oct 05, 2014 11:08 PM #12
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