Author Topic: Spindle spacing?  (Read 1685 times)

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Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 838
Spindle spacing?
« on: January 30, 2017, 08:44 AM »
Thoughts on this please...

Old gatehouse/lodge for a large country house, not a listed building.

Currently I'm in the process of doing a number of "odd jobs" with a sympatheitc eye for the work to be in keeping with the older style of the house and original features.

The owners have recently moved in and are in the excited let's make this place perfect stage. They've asked me about the spindle spacing on the landing, which is currently at an average of 12.5cm some a little less some a little more (give or take 2mm). They have a 3 year old son. Obviously current regs if replacing would state max distance of 100mm or so that a 100mm sphere would not pass through.

They want to know if they should replace them from a safety perspective at the expense of a) the monetary cost and b) the loss or alteration/modification of an original hardwood feature.

My thought process is that as they are original features before the regulations there's no legal demand to change them and looking at the age of the child it's not like we're talking about a one year old and I don't think their head would easily fit between the spindles without a lot of force. But... what if a freak accident occurs?

Ultimately it's the homeowners choice, but if it was your child and your house would you change them because of an extra inch or do you think given the age of the child it's not a necessity?

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Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Spindle spacing?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2017, 09:29 AM »
I would probably leave it alone if it would affect the character of the house.  I mean you could have the kid try to get his head stuck just for confirmation, but that may be a tad extreme.

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Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Spindle spacing?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2017, 10:27 AM »
You and I live in different parts of the world.  Personally I wouldn't touch it unless it was truly a safety issue for the existing child or there was a local regulation mandating its change as part of a larger renovation.

My brother has been an architect for 40 + years.  This exact topic is one that we have discussed at length time and time again.  We always come back to and mutually agree that it would be so darn interesting to find out accurate statistics on how successful the code changes over the years in this area have been in the prevention of injuries or death and also what have the compliance costs been since inception.


Offline bobfog

  • Posts: 838
Re: Spindle spacing?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 12:44 PM »
Thanks for the input gents.

I've left them width my advice that if it were me I'd leave them, but change if another bundle of joy comes along and the real world danger of a younger child getting trapped could be more likely.

Offline GarryMartin

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Re: Spindle spacing?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2017, 06:07 PM »
Perhaps a couple of pieces of board either side bolted to each other through the gaps in the spindles would be a temporary safety measure they could live with without damaging the original fabric and authenticity of the spindles? You can make it look "pretty" with some moulding and paint.