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FHA Deck Railing Requirements

FHA Deck Railing Requirements

According to HUD, at federal level 1, for any home with a porch, landing, or steps 30 inches or higher, the FHA requires the following items:

  • Treated wood for both handrails and balusters.
  • The handrail height should be 30 inches.
  • Balusters should be installed vertically, 32 inches long and 6 inches center to center.
  • Steps need handrails and balusters on one side only.

For example, we have a conventional or manufactured home, with a fifty-inch deck, or for example, a raised deck, built to accommodate a hot tub. It requires handrails on at least one side of the stairs.

The appraiser indicated in the first appraisal that a handrail was required to advance with the FHA loan. The lender agreed immediately and the handrail is being installed. On a second visit, the appraisal might be approved and we could continue through until the closing phase.

FHA Deck Requirements

Not all the FHA deck requirements are related to handrailing and balusters.

Another FHA deck requirement can come in regards to the exposed wood.

FHA is not okay with bare wood on decks and porches and such, so there shouldn’t be any bare wood. I would personally call for correction if there was bare wood exposed. You can always contact 800-CALL-FHA to talk through your particular situation.

Normally, a treatment could be required, and a wood sealant applied to the affected surface should suffice.

Furthermore, there can be problems with chipping paint on the balusters and handrails. I explain thoroughly the FHA peeling paint guidelines in this article.

My experience says that it is better to agree and advance to the closing phase. However, after all, the lender has to decide.