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What Your Inspector Inspects : Guardrails

Did you know that your inspector also checks out guardrails inside your home?

Guardrails, such as those along stairs, need to be secure, meet minimum height requirements, and meet baluster (spindle) spacing requirements:

You may see your inspector tug and pull on the guardrail as they test whether the guardrail is secure. Guardrails should not be loose and should be sturdy enough to withstand a 200 lb force applied anywhere along the top edge.

Your inspector may also measure the height of the guardrail. Guardrails around the top of open stairwalls should be 36-42" high. This helps prevent someone from falling over them.

Your inspector will also measure the spacing between the railings. Ideally, the spacing is less than 4" to prevent small children from falling through.

If you have concerns with the strength of your guardrail, the height of the guardrail or railing spacing, consider having the guardrail evaluated by a qualified contractor.


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