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Hays County to require residential inspections starting this week

by BRAD ROLLINS
Managing Editor

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.

4 Comments (Open | Close)

4 Comments To "Hays County to require residential inspections starting this week"

#1 Comment By Winchester On 10/06/2009 @ 2:40 pm

Price of homes just went up. Large scale home builders will have their pet inspectors do the reports. Small scale builders will just pass the cost along to the buyers. But the bottom line is by adding a step to the process, homes got more expensive.

#2 Comment By Jeff On 11/10/2009 @ 11:20 am

This isn’t going to suddenly cause the price of houses to rise! This law has been in place for several years and certainly didn’t effect the price of homes. Given the market control of prices, it will have no effect. It will help control unsafe self contractors and corner cutting by shady contractors. A couple hundred bucks for peace of mind is worth it.

#3 Comment By Chris Coughran On 11/09/2015 @ 5:01 pm

Please clarify…

(original statement) “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.”

Should it read like this:…

(#1) “The rule does not apply to manufactured housing. It does not affect construction within city limits or residents who build their own home and intend to live in it, which is already covered by municipal building codes.”

or was it intended to read like this:…

(#2) “The rule does not apply to manufactured housing or residents who build their own home and intend to live in it. It does not affect construction within city limits, which is already covered by municipal building codes.

The way its written can be construed to mean either way, #1 or #2 but then end up having two separate meanings. The way its written, it appears to be part of the ‘construction within the city limits’. Because of it’s location in the statement, “…or residents who build their own home and intend to live in it.” If DIY residents are building within the city limits, aren’t they already included in “… construction within city limits…already covered by municipal building codes.” simply because it’s ‘construction’ in the city limits? Thus making the end of the second statement actually, non-applicable to the rule (as rewritten in #2)?

Thanks.

#4 Comment By Brad Rollins On 11/09/2015 @ 7:48 pm

#2