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-   -   How strict might this inspector be? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/how-strict-might-inspector-71974/)

ovahimba 05-24-2010 10:29 AM

How strict might this inspector be?
 
I just wanted to get a general sense of how strict this inspector might be from those with experience with these dealings. He seems like an easy going guy and probably wouldn't notice if I didn't point it out.

Because of design considerations and aesthetics, I will end up with 4 1/8" spaces between my balusters on a few sections of my deck railing. Maximum allowed is 4". The deck is as high as 12' in one corner.

Its hard for me to see this as a serious offense since I can point to three neighbors who have horizontal 2x4s for balusters with at least 6" gaps.

md2lgyk 05-24-2010 10:35 AM

No way to tell, they're all different. Don't point it out to him and see what happens.

12penny 05-24-2010 12:05 PM

Its not a question of wether he notices or not. He's going to measure them because thats what they do.

I've already had to remove them and reinstall because of an 1/8". One of the guys here carries a 4" sphere. If it passes thru, it's not to code.

Now I dont screw around with it...all balisters are closer than 4". Then theres no worrying about it.

Gary in WA 05-24-2010 12:39 PM

Ever wonder why it's 4", used to be 6"? They found toddlers would get their heads stuck between the pickets, some died.

This is the minimum safety code from your Inspector, which your Homeowner's Insurance wants to see to pay a wrongful death policy, or not, when they find this paper trail or measure the spacing later..... FIX it.

Be safe, Gary

Willie T 05-24-2010 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ovahimba (Post 446354)
I just wanted to get a general sense of how strict this inspector might be from those with experience with these dealings. He seems like an easy going guy and probably wouldn't notice if I didn't point it out.

Because of design considerations and aesthetics, I will end up with 4 1/8" spaces between my balusters on a few sections of my deck railing. Maximum allowed is 4". The deck is as high as 12' in one corner.

Its hard for me to see this as a serious offense since I can point to three neighbors who have horizontal 2x4s for balusters with at least 6" gaps.

I have to ask just how precise and accurate your "designing" can be if there are varying spaces between balusters. Doesn't something like that equate to sloppiness... or at least carelessness?

ovahimba 05-24-2010 04:08 PM

Thanks all for the feedback,

If I had known before about the sketchup software, I might have spent a month ironing out all these details. Lumber however doesn't always cooperate and house dimensions aren't always square and consistent. I may not even get the full 1 1/2" on the 2x2 redwood balusters which would make the point moot and require me to plan the spaces tighter.

The deck has 9 corners that I have to deal with so I had no expectation everything would come out even. My immediate goal was to evenly space the posts which was sometimes difficult where they interfered with the joist ends which were dictated by the house joists, being connected by hold downs.

Having the balusters evenly spaced would have been nice but that was only secondary. As most have indicated, I think I'll play it safe and keep the spaces under 4".

Snav 05-24-2010 04:13 PM

Well, it sounds as if you haven't built it, yet - so why be concerned? Plan for the proper 4" or less and be done with it.

you can double up certain balusters - like single double double single double double - to give it a pattern.
Or you could intentionally place these 1/8" at the top and bottom and then fill in the area with a decorative but safe wood-carved design of some nature.

You're right about the sketching-being-off point. They are. Are you using a program or just crunching numbers by hand? Unless you're using a higher end program with ultimately care in the details you won't get perfection. Also, when doing the work, your balusters might be slightly different in size as well as off-center holes and so on, so forth.

If you finish it and then realize you have 4-1/8" every now and then you can fix it post-construction. I wouldn't slit wrists and cry in a corner over a program.

bluejeans 05-24-2010 05:18 PM

I don't gamble,...but,...i've got a pepperoni/shroom pizza and an ice cold 12 pack that this is a,...don't tell,don't ask situation.You don't tell,he don't ask.He'll scope out bones,decking and support.He eyeballs the 4" gap and measures one.Maybe.Try not to act like your anything but a good person.I would love to play poker with you.Bring along 3 friends.$40 chips buyin.LOL

tpolk 05-24-2010 07:19 PM

whats the big whoop about laying balusters 4" on center and fudging the diff in the field so you will have an 1-1/2" between balusters to play with and always be to code

Scuba_Dave 05-24-2010 07:32 PM

I think a better question is:

Do you really want to risk having to rip them all out & do it all over ? :no:

firehawkmph 05-24-2010 10:10 PM

Ovu,
When I layout spindles, I make up a story stick that is slightly longer than my largest spacing between posts. Measure your ballusters and then layout the stick from one end to the other with 3 7/8" spacing between each balluster. When you go to fill in between posts take your story stick and hold it up horizontally and you can shift it back and forth to even out the spacing of your last balluster on each end. Clamp it down and mark your railings. Very simple way to do it and your spacing should remain consistent.
Mike Hawkins:)


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