The Inspector's Journal Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Join TIJ Forums
Lost Password?
Subscribe to TIJ's Newsletter

All Forums > Technical Forums > Exteriors Forum >

deck bench

Previous Topic: Im thinking Darwin award. - Topic - Next Topic: Vinyl Siding Worksheet New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Posted By  
View Profile
Severna Park, Maryland
Posts: 3824
Joined: May, 2007
Currently offline offline
  
Thread Start First Page
[#1] Posted: 08/30/2009 - 9:45:15 PM
Reply with Quote
I wrote this deck bench up as a safety hazard. The drop on the other side is about 14 feet.

Do you write these up?



Click to View

75.54 KB



View Profile
Nazareth, PA
Posts: 1170
Joined: Apr, 2002
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#2] Posted: 08/30/2009 - 10:01:03 PM
Reply with Quote
Absolutely. I write it up if it's four feet.
View Profile
Samantha, AL
Posts: 1569
Joined: Sep, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#3] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 02:47:07 AM
Reply with Quote
I also write them up. Never seen anyone change them.
View Profile
Rochester, New York
Posts: 4414
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#4] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 04:26:49 AM
Reply with Quote
So, you guys think that the back of the bench should be 36 inches above the seat? What about the adjacent rail?
View Profile
Collins, NY
Posts: 3535
Joined: Apr, 2008
Currently online online
  
deck bench
[#5] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 07:42:51 AM
Reply with Quote
Someone was obviously concerned about that bench when they installed it. When I see these, the opening below the seat is never covered and there is almost always a gap in the back rest that violates the 4" sphere rule. I might advise my client to be cautious when there are children on the deck, but I wouldn't write up that bench in my report.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like those are metal bench brackets. All of the ones I have seen tend to be very bouncy, and I would be critical of the way they are attached regardless of how far above grade they are.

Tom

View Profile
Staten Island, New York
Posts: 1057
Joined: Mar, 2006
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#6] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 08:47:42 AM
Reply with Quote
I understand the concern about someone standing on the bench and falling over. But I wonder would it raise the same concern if it were not attached? How about if there was no bench, and there were chairs next to the railing? It is possible for someone to stand on a chair. Then again, it's also possible for someone to sit (or stand) on top of the rail and fall over. WHere does it end?

Is there code that would apply for this scenerio?

View Profile
Nazareth, PA
Posts: 1170
Joined: Apr, 2002
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#7] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 11:14:44 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by Chad Fabry

So, you guys think that the back of the bench should be 36 inches above the seat?

I do.

Quote: What about the adjacent rail?

The portion within reach of a kid standing on the bench.

View Profile
Nazareth, PA
Posts: 1170
Joined: Apr, 2002
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#8] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 11:27:14 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by StevenT

I understand the concern about someone standing on the bench and falling over. But I wonder would it raise the same concern if it were not attached?

If the bench looked like it was original to the deck and was going to stay after the sale, I'd write it up.

Quote: How about if there was no bench, and there were chairs next to the railing? It is possible for someone to stand on a chair.

A chair isn't part of the property. It wouldn't be there when the buyer took possession.

Quote: Then again, it's also possible for someone to sit (or stand) on top of the rail and fall over. Where does it end?

A kid would have to climb the rail or push something next to it to get up on it. THAT, I can't control.

Quote: Is there code that would apply for this scenerio?

Not that I've found. But if there's a reasonable possibility of something being a hazard, I write it up regardless - wouldn't you?

View Profile
Gaston, Oregon
Posts: 9006
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#9] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 11:35:14 AM
Reply with Quote
Quote: Originally posted by John Dirks Jr

I wrote this deck bench up as a safety hazard. The drop on the other side is about 14 feet.

Do you write these up?



Click to View

75.54 KB




I don't see no bench. I see a narrow deck without an adequate guardrail.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

View Profile
Chicago, IL
Posts: 10849
Joined: Dec, 2003
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#10] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 12:17:03 PM
Reply with Quote
I never thought about this stuff much until one day a few years ago I was doing a rooftop deck on the 17th floor of a downtown high rise.

There were all these multi-level decks and railings (designed by one of those celebrity designer types) that went right up to the edge of the roof; when viewed as decks they were amazingly cool, but viewed another way, they created a literal stairway up to the edge of the 17th floor roof.

As I was pointing this out, the customers young daughter starting running up the "stairs", and got within a couple "risers" of the roof edge before her paniced father caught her. Given another couple seconds, she'd have been at, or over, the edge.

There's no particularly good argument for not pointing out poorly designed deck guardrails.

Some law schools have entire curriculums based on deck litigation. There's a reason.

View Profile
Comer, GA
Posts: 1224
Joined: Apr, 2004
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#11] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 6:03:36 PM
Reply with Quote
This topic is well plowed ground over on the code forum.

It is not technically a code violation but is an obvious common-sense violation. Tag it, flag it, and flog it.

View Profile
Newberg, OR
Posts: 2882
Joined: Mar, 2007
Currently offline offline
  
deck bench
[#12] Posted: 08/31/2009 - 6:15:22 PM
Reply with Quote
I write them up whenever I see them. I tell my client why I am concerned, and let them know that if small children will occupy the home, they may want to do something about it.

Forteen feet is quite a ways to fall. Then again, kids bounce well compared to adults.

   
Previous Topic: Im thinking Darwin award. - Topic - Next Topic: Vinyl Siding Worksheet New TopicReply to TopicShare Topic
Jump To:
The Inspector's Journal Forums © 2002-2013 all topics or replies that are posted on The Inspector's Journal
are copyrighted material of the original author that posted the topic or reply.
Go To Top Of Page 
 
Pick an RSS Feed

The views expressed on this website are the views of the authors and
do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the sponsors.
© 2002-2013 Copyright DevWave Software Inc.
Find a Home Inspector

Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000