New Inspection Requirements Coming for Unincorporated Areas in Texas

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New Inspection Requirements Coming for Unincorporated Areas in Texas

Do you live in Texas? Is the home you are building or planning to remodel in an unincorporated part of your county or in a community that does not provide municipal inspections?

If you answered “YES” to both of these questions, a new part of the Texas Administrative Code goes into effect on September 1, 2008 that will apply to your builder or remodeler.

These changes are meant to protect consumers by ensuring that builders and remodelers perform work that is in greater compliance with the accepted residential building standards, is safer, and has fewer construction defects.

For those who like the nitty-gritty details, the changes apply to 10 TAC chapter 307, sections 307.1 – 307.7, Inspections of Homes in Areas Without Municipal Inspections, and can be read in its entirety here.

For the rest of you who just want the details, here they are.

  • As of Sept. 1, 2008, builders or remodelers who work on homes that are not located in an area that is subject to municipal inspection must hire a qualified fee inspector to inspect the construction for applicable code compliance
  • Inspections are performed at the following stages of construction: 1) the foundation, before concrete is poured; 2) framing and mechanical systems prior to the placement of insulation, wallboard, or other wall covering facing the home’s interior; 3) the home upon substantial completion and, if not occupied, prior to occupancy
  • Fee inspectors will also provide inspections to ensure windstorm insurance compliance.

Inspectors will use forms promulgated by the Texas Residential Construction Commission and will report their findings online.

To serve as inspectors, individuals must be one of the following:

  1. a professional engineer licensed by the Texas Board of Engineering;
  2. an architect registered with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners;
  3. a professional inspector licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission; or
  4. a third-party inspector registered with the commission

Within thirty days following registration of a home subject to inspection, the Texas Residential Construction Commission shall issue a certificate of completion to the homeowner and the builder, if the inspection reports have been timely received.

The commission will conduct random compliance audits at least once a year. Builders or remodelers will maintain inspection records showing proof of compliance for five years from the home’s registration date.

Builders or remodelers who do not comply with these requirements will be subject to disciplinary action under chapter 305 of this title.

These changes to the Texas Administrative Code are designed to protect homeowners from shoddy construction practices that some builders or remodelers might try to get away with in areas where inspections are not required. It adds some extra cost and work, but it makes sure that the builder or remodeler does a good job and that the homeowner is left with new construction or a remodel job that is safe and meets accepted building standards.

For more information about these changes, contact the Texas Residential Construction Commission or go to their website here.

If you need a referral to a licensed professional inspector or have any other real estate needs, please call Jason Johnston at Century 21 Beal, 979-571-3553 (cell).

2 Comments

  1. So glad there are now rules for county building.

  2. Joey Condon says:

    Great information and thanks for presenting it to us!!