What I'm Seeing Now

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Can Wood Stairs Get Worn Down With Time?

So, did you answer?  Can wood stairs get worn down with time?

I love doing inspections on older homes, like this one just a block from the Capitol Building.  The city is crawling with cops and security, getting ready for next week.  They eyed me carefully walking around with the two bags of tools that I needed to do this inspection!

Older houses in the district, like this 1885 row house, retain lots of old features - drippy glass, beautiful and secure newel posts at the bottoms of stairs, skeleton keyed locks (called ward locks), and bricks that have moved left and right.

The narrow staircases were still all in place.  And this house has four levels!

Interestingly the treads are 10" deep! 

That is the BRAND NEW code for stair treads in the International Residency Code just this year!

A bit difficult to capture in a photo, as it's much easier to see 3D, I am always impressed at how the wood in these old staircases has responded to traffic for so much time!

The 128 years of foot traffic in this house has worn them down!

Well, for sure.  Which of us is not worn down with time?

Some would call that "charm."

I would!

Oh, the guardrails were all 30" high, in contrast to our 36" height today, even in the hallways around each staircase.

The people were shorter then!

My recommendation:  when you attend inspections on older, historic properties, expect to spend a little time in admiration for how things were done in the era the house was built in.  It's fun to see!  This home inspector loves to sniff around and look at it!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 30 commentsJay Markanich • January 18 2013 02:32AM
Can Wood Stairs Get Worn Down With Time?
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