Less than thirty days from now, all homes built or undergoing a major remodeling project in the state of Texas will be subject to new inspection requirements. The new home inspection requirements will require a minimum of three inspections for all homes built or remodeled in unincorporated areas or in cities that do not offer municipal inspections.
The Texas Residential Construction Commission has enacted the mandatory reviews. All projects started after September 1, 2008 will be subject to the new requirements.
Three Inspections Required:
- The foundation inspection must be conducted prior to the placement of concrete.
- The framing and mechanical systems inspection must be conducted prior to the placement of exterior wall insulation or interior wall coverings.
- The final inspection when the home is complete.
The inspections will have to be completed by a licensed engineer, a registered architect, a professional Texas Real Estate Commission inspector or a third-party inspector certified by the Texas Residential Construction Commission.
There will be fines levied against builders and re-modelers that fail to have their projects inspected.
What does the Foundation inspection look for?
- compliance with engineered drawings
- proper placement, support, sizing, and spacing of graded rebar
- ensuring proper beam depth, width, and placement
- vapor/moisture barrier placement check
- if drawings are not sealed by an engineer, then the foundation must comply with the building code
What does the Framing, Mechanical inspection look for?
- electrical systems must be properly grounded
- all connections in junction boxes
- proper gauge wiring is installed
- outlets spaced properly
- adequate access to machinery
- duct work should not be encumbered by other building materials
- ducts are installed to applicable building code
- roof is supported and sloped
- plumbing system should be reviewed
What does the final inspection certify?
- yard is graded properly for water flow
- HVAC is in complete working order
- HVAC exterior unit is located on a level surface
- all air ducts free of obstruction
- doors and windows operate properly
- finish materials are properly installed
- the flatwork around home is free of any structural cracks
- all roof cladding is installed to manufacturer's recommendations
- flashing is installed
- fixtures are correctly installed and working
- all appliances are installed and working
- there are no apparent safety issues.
This is not a complete list of everything the inspections cover. The inspector must also verify the project meets the applicable building code. You might hear some rumbling and grumbling from the contractors you know but the program is designed for the good of the consumer - you and me. Three inspections is really very minimal to require for a residential structure. The home builder I worked for required ten inspections before they would deliver a completed home to a new home owner.
Does it make you wonder what was required before the new program? Two inspections or maybe just one inspection to deliver a home. At least now the Texas Residential Construction Commission has stepped up the requirements to protect home owners. All homes built or remodeled must be inspected three times. Starting soon!