by BRAD ROLLINS
Starting Oct. 1, homebuilders in unincorporated Hays County have to certify with the county’s Environmental Health division that new and substantially expanded single-family houses pass a three-part inspection for compliance with building codes.
In 2007, the Texas Legislature began requiring builders to report foundation, framing/mechanical and final inspections to the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which could fine builders who did not comply within 10 days of a home’s completion. But that agency was “sunsetted” out of existence by the Legislature this year and its authority to collect inspection reports delegated to counties that choose to require them.
Following suit with their counterparts in Travis and Bexar counties, Hays County Commissioners voted 4-1 on Sept. 15 to begin requiring homebuilders to report to the county before they begin building a new home, when it will be completed and which version of the International Residential Code they will use during construction. On Tuesday, the court finalized the program by adopting a reporting form.
Home builders will also have to file notice with the county within 10 days of a home’s completion verifying that inspections were conducted prior to laying the foundation, after framing but before sheet rocking and when the home is completed.
The builder of the residence must contract with a licensed engineer, registered architect, a professional inspector licensed by the Texas Real Estate commission, a plumbing inspector employed by a municipality and licensed by the State Board of Plumbing Examiners, a building inspector employed by a political subdivision or an individual certified as a residential combination inspector by the International Code Council. The same or different inspectors can be used for the three inspections.
Failure to comply will be a Class C misdemeanor.
The rule does not apply to manufactured housing. It does not affect construction within city limits, which is already covered by municipal building codes or residents who build their own home and intend to live in it.Email | Print