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I agree with @Isherwood: Either a stairway has four or more risers, or it does not. The former requires a rail; the latter does not. However, you can partially mitigate the visual intrusion of the rails into the space by using a starting step:


No. It's all or nothing. Imagine a visually-impaired person (or someone in the dark) coming down your stairs and the rail ends. What's the assumption? That they've reached the bottom. That can end badly.


It looks like Georgia revises its building code frequently. I didn't find a revision for 2005, but the 2006 edition was OCR scanned and published here. In section 1009.3, there is this: 1009.3 Stair treads and risers Stair riser heights shall be 7 inches (178 mm) maximum and 4 inches (102 mm) minimum. Stair tread depths shall be 11 inches (279 mm)...


For all of the questions you asked: Consult your town's building department (or equivalent if it goes by a different name where you are from). They should be able to pull the permit history for your home if requested and tell you what type of electrical work requires a permit. If you find the that work was done without a permit: If you are solely ...

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