Monday, November 28, 2011

Top-Shelf or (Hand) Rail? Our Homeowner's Insurance Saga

Last month we received a letter from our homeowners insurance company stating that they wouldn't renew our policy because our home wasn't up to code on certain things.  We were shocked to hear that since we had just moved in earlier this year.  What could possibly be wrong?  For one, our back stairs leading into the house didn't have a handrail.  It's only about four steps; however, since it was over 30 inches high, and more than three steps, it requires a handrail.  Because our policy was up at the end of the month, we needed to make sure this got done ASAP.  Justin (with me and Louie's moral support) went on to tackle the making of the handrail.  With some supplies and helpful instructions from our local hardware store, Frager's, Justin was up and running...

Here's Justin sawing the the 2x4's...He basically needed three 2x4's to be sawed to the right length.  Two would be the supporting posts and one would be the actual handrail.

Here's Louie doing his job, making sure the extension cord doesn't get tangled...

Here's Justin drilling holes into specific places in the 2x4's.  He drilled these holes so he could place long screws and bolts into the holds to secure the wood in place.


Here is an up-close shot of the screws and bolts.

And these are the places he put the screws and bolts in.  He also put them where the 2x4s meet the stairs to make sure that it was secure.

Here's the before (with my Redskins hoodie on the doorknob): 

And here's the after:


Here's Justin demonstrating its functionality.  Yay!

I know it's not much to look at, but honestly it's not like we really needed something to hang on to when going up those stairs (being two able-bodied and relatively "young" people).  We basically did it so we could keep our homeowners insurance, so now we are compliant!  We'll get around to painting it or staining it eventually.

Since Justin built the handrail, our homeowner's insurance has been reinstated; however, they also said that we needed to get rid of the bricks in our backyard, which were leftover from our kitchen renovation.  (You can see the bricks in question below.)  We'll probably try using them in our treebox or maybe as a small fence for our front yard, but that's for another day...

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