QuestionsCategory: QuestionsDwelling code imposition on landscape stairs
Handyman Staff asked 1 year ago

I just had a retaining wall and patio installed in my back yard. There is a stairway set in the retaining wall with nine steps. We just had what was supposed to be the final sign-off, and got a different inspector who is new to the town. She is telling me I need a handrail, and cited 2015 IRC R311.7. I read this as requirements for egress stairs attached to a dwelling, which this is not. I'm pretty ticked off because there was never a handrail in our plan that was approved by the town, and we've had 5-6 intermediate inspections where the previous inspector never brought it up. So now that the project is effectively complete, I'm scrambling to figure out how to integrate some sort of handrail. I know this is kind of a gray area as far as code application…I'm looking for some sort of argument to take back to the town to make a case that it's not required in this application. Has anyone had luck in doing this sort of thing?

edited to add a photo of said steps – blue line indicates proposed handrail (would be on both sides)

wall stairway