Entrances, Steps and Porches
Entrances, Steps and Porches photos: P 160-P 162
Check all entrances, steps and porches for structural sturdiness and any tripping hazards. Make sure there are no cracks or uneven sections in any of the steps. The landing platform is the standing area in front of a door. Make sure that there is a large enough space to safely open the exterior doors while someone is standing in front of them. You don't want anyone to be knocked down the steps when the door is opened. (Unless of course it's an unwanted guest).
There should be handrails and closely spaced balusters for all stairs that are more than two steps in height. The balusters re the railing posts that run vertically under the handrails. Make sure the handrails aren't loose or decayed. Recommend that handrails be installed when they are not noted on stairs.
All steps should have even and uniform riser heights and treads so there are no tripping hazards. The riser refers to the vertical section of a stair step. The tread refers to the horizontal section of a stair step. If there are any wood stairs, the base of the wood should be resting on concrete supports above the soil. This will help to prevent rot and termite infestation. If there's an enclosed porch, tell the client to check with town hall to see if all valid permits and approvals have been obtained. Some homeowners will enclose an open porch area without knowing that most areas require building permits for this work.