I have done posts to my blog in the past about the stairs, and how as a component in the home, they are perhaps one of the most difficult things to get right.
There is tread width, riser height, riser/tread ratios, consistency of riser height, nosings, stair width, slope of treads and many other factors.
Side barriers and hand railings are more things to take into account.
On a recent new townhouse I found a hand rail that was not parallel to the run of stairs. As in this next picture “A” and “B” should be equal.
In this case the railing at the top of the stairs, from a point at the stair nosing vertical to the handrail, measured over 41.”
At the bottom the height was 37.”
This meant that “A” and “B” could not be equal.
Current regulations require the hand rail to be between 34” and 38” from the nosing vertical to the handrail.
While this might not be considered a “major” safety issue----it is new construction----and thus should meet the requirements at the time of construction.
PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)all pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board