How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rick Your Own Question

Rick
Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 14729
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
94766
Type Your Home Improvement Question Here...
Rick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I just read The Home Smithy posts and responses; very helpful;

Resolved Question:

I just read The Home Smithy posts and responses; very helpful; rails on landings must be 42 inches high. My question is:
My friend lives on the second floor in an apartment building that has landing railings that are very short; just about 31 inches high. I understand code requires 42" rails on landings (looks like at least a 40 foot drop from the second floor landing down to the first floor). The building was built in 1953; new owners bought the building in January of this year but never retrofitted the railings; when buildings that are not up to code are purchased or transferred, is bringing up to code/retrofitting required?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your issue

Rick :

Existing conditions are grandfathered unless/until modifications/additions are made

Rick :

There are exceptions such as immediate life safety systems like smoke and CO detectors

Rick :

However insurance companies may require safety upgrades to provide liability coverage

Customer:

Grandfathered meaning the low rail does not have to be brought up to code...

Rick :

Yes in your friend's case there is no requirement to bring the existing railing up to code.

Customer:

The "However insurance companies ...." is important to know. thank you.

Customer:

ok... "modifications ..." being just to the railings or other modifications to building...

Rick :

At least as far as the building code is concerned. If small children are in the household and the family is receiving government assistance the State could require changes.

Rick :

Generally any modification to the building

Customer:

I do not know of small children... but there are a number of "dependant adults" residing in the apartment building.

Rick :

But this is a gray area

Customer:

Good to know... I will look into if any modifications at all have been made that would "trigger" bringing the rails up to code.

Customer:

or rather should have triggered bringing the rails up to code.

Rick :

Some jurisdictions don't require upgrades unless a certain percentage of the building is modified but these railings are so below standard that I can see a code enforcement official requiring a fix with any building modification

Rick :

This is a local jurisdiction issue

Customer:

understand

Rick :

do you have any more questions?

Customer:

Not at this time; FYi, the location is Los Angeles; thank you for your input and info.

Rick :

You're welcome!

Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 14729
Experience: Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
Rick and 3 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Thank you for the expeditious answer. It's good to know you're out there and awake in the wee hours when I finally have time to ask questions about my Jenn Air. Jean Riverhead, NY
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • The Home Smithy

    Home Builder

    Satisfied Customers:

    2002
    #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TH/TheHomeSmithy/2011-8-13_11146_homesmithy.500x500.64x64.jpg The Home Smithy's Avatar

    The Home Smithy

    Home Builder

    Satisfied Customers:

    2002
    #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BS/bshull17/2011-2-11_04125_japic.64x64.JPG Brian's Avatar

    Brian

    Architect

    Satisfied Customers:

    1967
    Licensed Architect- 16 years, L.E.E.D. AP
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ST/Steve555/2013-6-14_144343_Depositphotos4247517S.64x64.jpg Steve G.'s Avatar

    Steve G.

    Handyman

    Satisfied Customers:

    135
    VP of electronic repair company and home theater advisor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/Erdaram/2011-6-21_14724_ANIEric4Pics.64x64.gif Eric M. Bright's Avatar

    Eric M. Bright

    We Don't Comprehend the Word Can't!

    Satisfied Customers:

    1734
    I've been been doing things for my clients that others have said cant be done for over a 1/4 Century
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Home Improvement Enthusiast

    Satisfied Customers:

    674
    Over 35 years construction and home maintenance experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AL/alumalite/2012-5-10_234018_shutterstock506249951forJA500.64x64.jpg Phil's Avatar

    Phil

    Mechanical Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    409
    Retired contractor, 51 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JE/jerrymassie/2011-1-15_45937_1111055.64x64.JPG Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    hearth products

    Satisfied Customers:

    317
    owned and operated stove retail and service 12 yrs
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Home Improvement Expert
Rick
Rick
Owner
3371 Satisfied Customers
Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.