Window Installer

Harris County Community Services Department Harris County, Texas Minimum Acceptable Standards for Residential Acquisition, Construction and Rehabilitation 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Minimum Acceptable Standards TABLE OF CONTENTS Section 1 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Multi-Family Rental Housing Section 2 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Minor Home Repair Section 3 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Rehabilitation Section 4 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Substantial Rehabilitation/Reconstruction Section 5 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Acquisition-New Construction Section 6 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Acquisition-Resale (Existing) 3 Introduction Purpose The standards contained in this document establish the Minimum Standards for single-family and multi-family home inspection for housing programs that receive federal assistance through the Harris County Community Services Department.

 

 

The intent of these requirements is to establish minimum standards and criteria for the health and safety of the home’s occupants. The inspection is of conditions that are present and visible at the time of the inspection and all of the equipment is operated in normal modes. The inspection is intended to provide you with information concerning the condition of the property at the time of inspection.

Additional requirements: All units built before 1978 are required to comply with the lead based paint regulations as described in 24 CFR part 35. Units built before 1978 shall be tested by certified lead based paint professional, if visual cracking, scaling, peeling, chipping, or loose paint is discovered during the inspection. All new and reconstruct homes must meet the International Energy Conservation Code 2000 or latest edition. In addition to HCCSD property standards, all units must meet and comply with state building codes, which have been adapted by Harris County. The state codes are the International Residential Code (IRC 2000 edition) International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code and International Energy Conservation Code, or the latest editions. Other governing entities such as Home Owner Association, Local and Federal regulations pertaining to the particular zoning, traffic, drainage, floodplains and fire will also be observed. 4 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Multi-Family Rental Housing

DOCUMENT SUMMARY

This document consists of the minimum acceptable standards for multi-family rentals

APPLICABILITY

This minimum standard applies to multi-family rental housing units that currently receive federal assistance or was acquired/developed/rehabilitated using federal assistance.

PURPOSE

This is the minimum standard for multi-family rental housing

MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR BASIC EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
  1. KITCHENS – Every dwelling unit, except for Single Room Occupancy (SRO) shall have a kitchen room or kitchenette equipped with the following:
  2. Kitchen Sink – It shall contain an approved kitchen sink, properly connected to both hot and cold running water lines, under pressure, and maintained in working order.
  3. Stove – It shall contain a stove (gas or electric), properly connected to the source of power, maintained in working order, and capable of supplying the service for which it is intended.
  4. Refrigerator – It shall contain a refrigerator, properly connected to the source of power, maintained in working order, and capable of supplying the service for which it is intended.
  5. In properties – where tenants are required to furnish their own appliances, the landlord shall furnish sufficient space and all required electrical/gas hookups, properly installed, to facilitate the user of said appliances.
  6. TOILET ROOM REQUIRED – Every dwelling unit, except as otherwise permitted for rooming houses, shall contain a room, which is equipped with a flush water closet and a properly installed lavatory. All lavatories shall be properly connected to both hot and cold running water, under pressure, and shall be properly maintained in working order. All flush water closets shall be properly connected to the water supply, under pressure and shall be maintained in working order.
  7. SHARED TOILET FACILITIES – Shared toilet rooms shall be equipped with a flush water closet and lavatory basin and shall be connected and maintained as provided in Section 2 above. In rooming house type structures, at least one (1) toilet and one (1) lavatory basin, properly connected as set forth above, shall be supplied for each eight (8) persons or fractions thereof, residing within a rooming house, including members of the operator’s family, whenever they share the use of said facilities; provided, that in rooming houses where rooms are let only to males, flush urinals maybe substituted for not more than 1/2 of the required number of toilets.
  8. BATH REQUIRED – Every dwelling unit shall contain a bathtub and/or shower. Potable water supply piping, water discharge outlets, backflow prevention devices or similar equipment shall not be so located as to make possible their submergence in any contaminated or polluted liquid or substance. Said bathtub and/or shower may be in the same room as the flush water closet and lavatory or said bathtub and/or shower may be in a separate room. In all cases, these facilities shall be properly connected to both hot and cold running water lines, under pressure, and shall be maintained in working order. In rooming house type structures, at least one (1) bathtub and/or shower, properly connected as set forth above, shall be supplied for each eight (8) persons or fraction thereof residing within rooming house, including members of the operator’s family whenever they share the use of said facilities.
  9. PRIVACY IN ROOM CONTAINING TOILET AND BATH – Every toilet and every bath shall be contained in a room or within separate rooms, which affords privacy to a person within said room or rooms. Toilets and bathrooms shall have doors with a privacy-type lock and such doors, lock and hardware shall be operable and maintained in working order.
  10. LOCATION OF COMMUNAL TOILETS AND BATHS – Every communal bath required to be provided in accordance with other provisions, shall be located within a room or rooms accessible to the occupants of each dwelling unit sharing such facilities, without going through a dwelling unit of another occupant and without going outside of the dwelling. In rooming houses, said room or rooms shall be located on the same floor as the dwelling unit, or on the floor immediately above or below the dwelling unit whose occupants share the use of such facilities.
  11. HOT AND COLD WATER LINES TO BATH AND KITCHEN – Every dwelling shall have supplied water-heating facilities which are properly installed; are maintained in working condition and free of leaks; are properly connected to any required hot water lines; and, are capable of heating water to be drawn for every bath as well as general usage. Hot water storage associated with water heating facilities shall be not less than the following minimum capacities: 6 a. One (1) dwelling unit 30 gallons b. Two (2) dwelling units 40 gallons c. Three (3) or more dwelling units and rooming houses 50 gallons or more Sizes and/or number of water heaters shall be based upon the number of units served. No water heaters shall be allowed in bathrooms or closets. All water heaters shall be properly vented and sealed and shall be equipped with a pressure relief valve and drip leg. The local rehabilitation division/department and or the applicable local building inspection division/department may adjust the above-required capacities upwards or downwards based on the type and recovery time of the water heater being installed.
  12. CONNECTION OF SANITARY FACILITIES TO WATER AND SEWER/SEPTIC SYSTEM – Every kitchen sink, toilet, lavatory basin and bathtub/shower, shall be maintained in working condition and be properly connected to an approved water and sewer or septic system.
  13. EXITS – Every exit from every dwelling and/or dwelling unit shall comply with the following requirements:
  14. It shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair;
  15. It shall be unobstructed at all times;
  16. All stairways and steps of 2 or more risers shall have at least 1 handrail, and all stairways and steps, which are 5 feet or more in width, or, which are open on both sides, shall have a handrail on each side;
  17. Every dwelling unit shall have two (2) independent means of egress;
  18. All handrails shall be not less than 30” vertically above the nose of the stair treads and not less than 36” above the stairway platform;
  19. All balconies and platforms, which are 30” or more above grade, shall have a protective railing not less than 36” in height above the balcony or platform level;
  20. All multiple dwellings, one and two family residences exempted, shall have a second exit stairway or approved fire escape available to all occupants from the second floor and above of all such structures;
  21. All stairs and steps shall have a rise height of not more than 8” and a tread width of not less than 9”. This requirement may be waived on the local level if in an existing structure, it would be impossible or cost-prohibitive to meet this requirement. In such cases, new stairs could be installed which have the same rise and run as the old.
  22. SMOKE DETECTORS – All residential structures shall have U. L. approved “hard wired” smoke detectors or battery operated smoke detectors, properly installed in all bedrooms and in area adjacent to bedrooms. All smoke detectors shall be operable.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR LIGHT, VENTILATION, AND HEATING
  1. REQUIRED WINDOW AREA – Every habitable room, provided such rooms are adequately lighted, shall have at least one (1) open air space. The minimum total window area, measured between stops, for every habitable room shall be as follows:
  2. 1/12 of the floor area if two or more separate windows exist, or;
  3. 1/10 of the floor area if only one window exists;
  4. A minimum of 12 square feet of window area is required in habitable rooms other than kitchens;
  5. A kitchen may pass without a window area, provided, there is a mechanical means of ventilation which is maintained in working order. Whenever the only window in a room is a skylight type window at the top of the room, the total window area of such skylight shall be equal to at least 15% of the total floor area of such room. Skylight type windows, if less than 15% of the total floor area, shall be increased to 15% of the total floor area unless another window is to be installed which will provide adequate light and ventilation.
  6. ADEQUATE VENTILATION REQUIRED – Every habitable room shall have at least one window or skylight which can easily be opened, or other such device as will adequately ventilate the room. The total operable window area, in every habitable room, shall be equal to at least 50% of the minimum window area size or minimum skylight type window size as required above, except where there is supplied some other device affording adequate ventilation.
  7. LIGHT AND VENTILATION REQUIREMENTS FOR BATHROOMS, TOILET ROOMS, AND KITCHENS – Every bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, and other similar rooms (i.e. laundry room) shall have a window area of not less than 4 square feet. Every bathroom, toilet room, and kitchen shall comply with the light and ventilation requirements for habitable rooms contained above, except that no window shall be required in adequately ventilated bathrooms, toilet rooms or kitchens equipped with a ventilation system installed in accordance with the current building code.
  8. ELECTRIC OUTLETS AND SERVICE REQUIRED – Where there is suitable electricity available from supply lines, which are not more than 300 feet away from a dwelling, all existing dwellings shall be supplied with electrical services.
  9. Every habitable room within such dwelling shall contain at a minimum, two (2) separate and remote wall type electric convenience outlets. Habitable rooms over 120 square feet, shall contain, at a minimum, three (3) separate and remote wall type electric convenience outlets. All newly installed outlets shall be of the grounded type. Temporary wiring or extension cords shall not be used as permanent wiring.
  10. Every habitable room shall have at least one (1) ceiling or wall type electric light fixture, controlled by a wall switch, or a wall type grounded electric convenience outlet controlled by a remote switch.
  11. Every toilet room, bathroom, laundry, furnace room, and hallway (hallway where applicable) shall contain at least 1 supplied ceiling or wall type electric light fixture, controlled by a wall switch, and at least 1 wall type grounded electric convenience outlet. Wall type convenience outlets used in bathrooms and kitchens shall be the GFCI type.
  12. Every kitchen shall be wired to meet the requirements of the N. E. C., based on the size and layout of each individual kitchen. GFCI’s should also encompass the counter top area.
  13. All heavy-duty appliances, i. e., window air conditioners, freezers, refrigerators, 8 electric stoves, washers, electric dryers, microwaves, etc., shall be supplied with their own proper outlet(s) on separate circuits, as applicable.
  14. Receptacle convenience outlets installed on the exterior of the structure or on open porches, breezeways, garages, utility rooms, etc. shall be of the GFCI type.
  15. A wall switch shall control all wall and/or ceiling type lighting fixtures, except that porcelain type fixtures such as those used in attics may be controlled with a proper pull chain. All old pendant type lighting fixtures shall be removed and replaced with properly installed non-pendant type fixtures.
  16. All electric lighting fixtures installed on the exterior shall be of the type approved for exterior use. i.e. All broken and/or missing switch plates and / or receptacle plates shall be replaced. All outlets and fixtures shall be properly installed, shall be maintained in working condition, and shall be connected to the source of electric power in a proper manner and shall be in accordance with the electrical code of the city and / or the N. E. C., as applicable.
  17. If a unit does not have a central air-conditioning system and central air will not be installed, at a minimum a proper grounded outlet shall be installed under one (1) window in each habitable room to allow the occupant(s) to install window air conditioning units.
  18. All electric panel boxes shall be properly labeled.
  19. The minimum electrical service for each dwelling and/or dwelling unit shall be 150 amps, (in one bedroom unit, 100 amps is acceptable) or as adjusted and approved, in writing, by the Chief Electrical Inspector of the City.
  20. HEATING FACILITIES – all heating facilities shall be properly installed, be maintained in working condition and be capable of adequately heating all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms contained therein, or intended for use by the occupants thereof, to a temperature of at least 70 degrees F. (21 degrees C.) at a distance 3 feet above the floor when the outside temperature is at or below 0 degrees F. Every supplied central heating system shall comply with all of the following requirements:
  21. The central heating unit shall be safe and in good working condition;
  22. Every heat duct, steam pipe, and hot water pipe shall be free of leaks and shall function so that an adequate amount of heat is delivered where intended;
  23. Every seal between any of the sections of a hot air furnace shall be airtight so noxious gases and fumes will not escape into the heat ducts;
  24. If there is no existing flue liner, a double-walled metalbestos liner shall be installed. The liner shall meet or exceed the requirements of the local building code and shall be installed according to same;
  25. All fuel burning heating systems shall be inspected by a qualified furnace inspector to determine if the unit is safe, free from carbon-monoxide leakage and capable of supplying heat as required above. Each dwelling and/or dwelling unit shall be supplied with its own heating system. Any dwelling and/or dwelling unit having as its only source of heat, space heaters or floor furnaces shall have such units removed and replaced with a proper central heating system. All mechanical work shall be inspected and approved by the City’s local mechanical inspector and/or the building inspection department or by a person knowledgeable in 9 mechanical heating systems.
  26. LIGHTING OF PUBLIC HALLS AND STAIRWAYS
  27. Public halls and stairways in every dwelling containing two (2) to four (4) dwelling units, shall be provided with convenient wall-mounted light switches controlling an adequate lighting system that will provide at least two (2) foot candles of illumination on all parts thereof, and which may be turned on when needed. An emergency circuit is not required for this lighting.
  28. Public hall and stairways in every dwelling containing S or more dwelling units shall be lighted at all times with an artificial lighting system. Said system shall provide at least 2 foot candles of illumination on all parts thereof at all times by means of properly located electric light fixtures, provided, that such artificial lighting may be omitted from sunrise to sunset where an adequate amount of natural light is provided. Whenever the occupancy of the building exceeds 100 persons, the artificial lighti ng system as required herein, shall be on an emergency circuit.
  29. The required intensity of illumination shall apply to both natural and artificial lighting.
  30. SCREENS REQUIRED – Every window opening to outdoor space, which is used or intended to be used for ventilation, shall be supplied with screens covering all of the window areas required for ventilation. The material used for all such screens shall be not less than 16 mesh per inch and shall be properly installed, maintained and repaired to prevent the entrance of flies, mosquitoes or other insects. Half screens on windows may be allowed, provided, they are properly installed and are bug and insect tight.
  31. SUPPLIED HEATING TO DWELLINGS OR PARTS THEREOF – Every owner or operator of any dwelling who rents, leases, or lets for human habitation, any dwelling unit contained within such dwelling, on terms either expressed or implied, to supply or furnish heat to the occupants there of, shall maintain therein a minimum temperature of 70 degrees F. (21 degrees C.) at a distance 3 feet above the floor at all times when the outdoor temperature is at or below 0 degrees F. Whenever a dwelling is heated by means of a furnace, boiler or other heating apparatus under the control of the owner or the operator, in the absence of a written contract or agreement to the contrary, said owner or operator shall be deemed to have contracted, undertaken, or bound himself/herself to furnish heat in accordance with the provisions of this section to every dwelling unit which contains radiators, furnace heat, duct outlets or other heating apparatus outlets, and to every communal bathroom, communal toilet room and/or communal laundry room located within such dwelling.
  32. Every central heating unit, space heater, water heater, and cooking appliance shall be located and installed in such a manner so as to afford protection against involvement of egress facilities or egress routes in the event of uncontrolled fires in the structure (s);
  33. Every fuel burning heating unit or water heater shall be effectively vented in a safe manner to a chimney or duct leading to the exterior of the building. The chimney duct and vents shall be of such a design as to assure proper draft, shall be adequately supported and shall be kept clean and in a state of maintenance 10 and repair;
  34. No fuel-burning furnace shall be located in any sleeping room or bathroom unless provided with adequate ducting for air supply from the exterior, and, the combustion chamber for such heating unit shall be sealed from the room in an airtight manner. Gas water heaters are prohibited in bathrooms, sleeping rooms, and closets;
  35. Every steam or hot water boiler and every water heater shall be protected against overheating by appropriate temperature and pressure limit controls;
  36. Every gaseous or liquid fuel burning heating unit and water heater shall be equipped with electronic ignition or with a pilot light and an automatic control to interrupt the flow of fuel to the unit in the event of failure of the ignition device. All such heating units with plenum shall have a limit control to prevent overheating.
  37. ENERGY CONSERVATION – All structures shall comply with energy conservation measures to the maximum extent feasible. These measures include, but are not limited to:
  38. Installation of insulation or the installation of additional insulation, especially in the attic/ceiling areas: The recommended level for ceiling insulation is to an R-30, wherever possible;
  39. Weather-stripping;
  40. Caulking;
  41. Replacement of ineffective or inefficient heating/cooling systems;
  42. Replacement of single pane window units with thermal units or, the installation of combination storm windows if the single window units will not be replaced.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR MAINTENANCE
  1. MAINTENANCE OF FOUNDATIONS, EXTERIOR WALLS, ROOFS, SOFFITS & FASCIA – Every foundation, exterior wall, roof, soffit, fascia and all component parts shall be weathertight, watertight, rodent proof, and insect-proof and shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair.
  2. All exterior surface material shall be protected from weather and the elements by lead-free paint or other protective coatings i.e., stain, in accordance with acceptable standards. The exception to painting shall be all types of exterior materials acceptable to weathering without deterioration, i.e., siding. All siding material shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair.
  3. In units constructed on or before 1978, treatment of all applicable surfaces, (interior and exterior) will be in full compliance with the Lead Base Paint regulations, as found at 24 CFR Past 35, including all future amendments as published by HUD.
  4. MAINTENANCE OF INTERIOR WALLS, FLOORS, CEILINGS, DOORS & WINDOWS Every interior partition, wall, floor, ceiling, door, window, and all component parts shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair, and shall be maintained in such a manner so as to be capable of being kept in a clean and sanitary condition. All interior doors shall be capable of affording the privacy for which they were intended.
  5. RAINWATER DRAINAGE FROM ROOF – All rainwater shall be so drained and conveyed from every roof so as not to cause dampness/ damage to walls, ceilings, or floors of any habitable rooms, bathroom, toilet room, laundry room, or any other type of room therein. If present, all rainwater draining devices such as gutters and downspouts shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair. Ground areas around buildings shall be sloped away from the foundation walls to eliminate low areas where standing water may collect.
  6. MAINTENANCE OF WINDOWS & EXTERIOR DOORS – Every front, rear and side door shall be not less than 2’ 4” in width and not less than 6’ 6” in height, except where larger doors and doorways are required to accommodate handicapped access. In existing structures, if replacement to meet these requirements would be impossible or cost-prohibitive said requirements may be waived, in writing. Every window and exterior door shall be substantially tight and rodent-proof, and be kept in a state of maintenance and repair. In addition, the following requirements shall be met:
    1. All exterior doors to the outside or to a common public hall shall be solid core and be equipped with adequate security locks. All windows accessible from ground level without the aid of mechanical devices shall have a security device/lock;
    2. Every window sash shall be fully equipped with glass windowpanes, which are without cracks of holes, and all panes shall be secured with an adequate amount of putty. Said putty shall not be cracked, broken or missing;
    3. Every window sash shall be in good condition and shall fit tightly within its 12 frame;
    4. Every window, other than a fixed window, shall be capable of being easily opened and shall be held in position by window hardware, not broom handles, sticks or other such items;
    5. Every exterior and interior door, when closed, shall fit well within its frame;
    6. Every exterior and interior door, door hinge, and door latch and/or lock shall be maintained in good working condition;
    7. Every window, door and frame shall be constructed and maintained in such relation to the adjacent wall construction, so as to exclude rain, as completely as possible and to the maximum extent feasible substantially exclude wind from entering the dwelling or structure, i.e., it must have adequate weather-stripping.
  7. MAINTENANCE OF STAIRWAYS AND PORCHES – Every interior and exterior stairway, every porch and every appurtenance thereto shall be so constructed as to be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon; and, shall be kept in sound condition and in a state of maintenance and repair, including compliance with the Lead Base Paint Regulations, if applicable.
  8. MAINTENANCE OF SUPPLIED PLUMBING FIXTURES – Every supplied plumbing fixture and water and waste pipe shall be properly installed in accordance with the plumbing code of the City and maintained in safe, sanitary working condition, free from leaks, defects and obstructions.
  9. MAINTENANCE OF BATHROOM, TOILET ROOMS, KITCHEN AND UTILITY ROOM FLOORS – Every bathroom, toilet room, kitchen and utility room floor surface shall be constructed and maintained so as to be substantially impervious to water and so as to permit such floor to be easily kept in a clean and sanitary condition. Indoor-outdoor type carpeting, when properly installed, shall be allowed in bathrooms, toilet rooms, kitchens and utility rooms.
  10. SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF SUPPLIED FACILITIES – Every supplied facility, piece of equipment, or utility which is required under this section, shall be constructed or installed so it will function properly and shall be maintained in working condition.
MINIMUM SPACE, USE, AND LOCATION REQUIREMENTS
  1. MINIMUM CEILING HEIGHT – Wherever possible, no habitable room in a dwelling or dwelling unit shall have a ceiling height of less than 7’6”. At least 1/2 of the floor area of every habitable room located above the 1st floor shall have a ceiling height of 7’6”, and the floor area of that part of any room where the ceiling height is less than 5’ shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the total floor area of the room for the purpose of determining maximum floor area; A ceiling height of a minimum of 7’ is acceptable in bathrooms, toilet rooms, hallways, utility rooms, and kitchens. All rooms, except kitchen and/or kitchenettes and baths, shall have a minimum width of 7’.
  2. MAINTENANCE OF SLEEPING, BATH, AND TOILET ROOMS – No dwelling or dwelling unit containing 2 or more sleeping rooms shall have such room arrangement that access to a bathroom or toilet room intended for use by the occupants can be had only by going through another sleeping room or bathroom or toilet room.
  3. OCCUPANTS TO HAVE ACCESS TO SANITARY FACILITIES – Every occupant of every dwelling unit shall have unrestricted access to a toilet, to a bath, and to a kitchen sink and lavatory basin located within that dwelling unit.
  4. MINIMUM STORAGE AND COUNTER AREAS – Each dwelling unit shall have at least one (1) closet with a minimum of 6 square feet of floor area and a minimum height of 6’-0”, located within the dwelling unit. Dwelling units with two (2) or more bedrooms shall have a storage floor area of at least 4 square feet per bedroom. This storage requirement does not necessarily have to be located in the bedrooms. All kitchens shall have a minimum enclosed storage area of eight square feet with a minimum vertical clearance of 12” and a horizontal width of at least 12”. Each kitchen shall have a minimum of 4 square feet of counter area.
  5. PEST CONTROL/EXTERMINATION– Units with visible infestation should be properly exterminated
MAINTENANCE OF NON-DWELLING STRUCTURES, FENCES, AND PREMISES
  1. MAINTENANCE OF NON-DWELLING STRUCTURES – Every foundation, wall, roof, window, door, hatchway, and every other entryway of every non-dwelling structure shall also be so maintained as to prevent the structure from becoming a harborage for rodents, snakes, vermin, and insects, and shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair.
  2. PROTECTION OF EXTERIOR WOOD SURFACES – All exterior wood surfaces of all non-dwelling structures shall be properly protected from the elements and from decay and rot by lead-free paint or other approved protective coatings. If units are constructed on or before 1978, treatment of all applicable surfaces shall be in full compliance with the Lead Base Paint regulations as found at 24 CFR Past 35, including all future amendments as published by HUD.
  3. MAINTENANCE OF FENCES – Every fence shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair or shall be removed. Replacement is optional. If a fence is to be removed and replaced said installation shall be in conformance with all local requirements.
  4. GRADING AND DRAINAGE OF PREMISES – Every premises shall be graded and maintained so no stagnant water will accumulate or stand on the premises, or within or around any building or structure located on the premises. Ground areas around buildings shall be sloped away from walls to eliminate low areas where standing water may collect.
  5. MAINTENANCE OF RETAINING WALLS, SIDEWALKS, DRIVEWAYS & PATIOS – All retaining walls shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair. All sidewalks, service walks driveways & patios shall be kept in a state of maintenance and repair, free from obstructions, defects, uneven joints, tripping hazards, etc.
  6. MAINTENANCE OF PREMISES – All areas and all parts of the premises upon which any dwelling or dwelling units are located, and all areas adjacent thereto and a part of the premises, shall be maintained and kept in a clean and sanitary condition. This shall include, but not be limited to, the cutting of grass/weeds; removal of dead trees and brush; removal of abandoned and junked automobiles; automobile bodies, chassis and parts, trailers; removal of inoperable machines and appliances; lumber piles and building materials not being used in actual construction; tin cans; broken glass; broken furniture, boxes, crates and other debris; rubbish, junk and garbage.
  7. WATER SUPPLY – CONNECT TO WATER MAIN – Every owner of a dwelling situated on property which abuts any street or alley in which a water main is laid, shall cause the water service system of his/her dwelling to be connected to such main.
  8. ABANDONED WELLS AND CISTERNS – Every owner of a dwelling, which contains an abandoned well, or cistern on the premises, shall close and fill them in a proper manner.
Minimum Acceptable Standards for Minor Home Repair
DOCUMENT SUMMARY

This model document consists of standards for minor repairs for single-family housing, in a form that might be used by an affordable housing agency that is doing the work and/or providing special financing. It is applicable only to “selective” housing repairs (sometimes called emergency repair) as opposed to partial or moderate rehabilitation. The standards are health and safety; for example, specifying repairs needed to remove or reduce hazards as distinguished from work specifications, which might dictate the materials and methods to be used for installation.

STANDARDS AND PURPOSE

This is a minimum standard for all minor repairs for single-family housing in our service area. Where it is economically feasible, we want all housing to:

  • Protect the health, safety, and security of the occupant and his/her family,
  • To preserve or restore the structural integrity of the building to assure its continued fitness for use as a single-family dwelling, and
  • To improve the energy efficiency of the dwelling in a cost-effective manner
  • Related repairs deemed necessary to accomplish work items identified under (1), (2) or (3). Because financial resources for rehabilitation will be hard to obtain for the neediest families, this standard does not require such work as converting safe space heat to central heat, “modernizing” functional kitchens and bathrooms, or doing purely cosmetic treatments to exteriors, floors, windows, etc.
COMPLIANCE WITH CODES AND OTHER STANDARDS

This standard is intended to remove or reduce hazards and not necessarily designed to meet or exceed HQS or local expected building codes. PRACTICAL EFFECT This organization will make rehabilitation grants and/or loans to qualified families for improvements in conformance with this standard. Unless another standard or policy statement of this organization permits it, no work items may be undertaken during a repair project that exceeds this standard in terms of the scope of work. CRITERIA Repairs normally eligible for Program funding, provided that in each particular case the repair requested meets one or more of the above guidelines mentioned in the STANDARDS and PURPOSE paragraph.

  1. HEALTH & SAFETY REHABILITATION – Repairs allowed are:
  • Electrical repairs needed to correct defects in wiring or fixtures, remove or reduce hazards, or bring the property into compliance with local codes applicable to existing housing;
  • Plumbing repairs needed to assure availability of hot and cold running water and sanitary disposal of waste, including replacement and installation of hot water tanks. 16
  • Repairs to or installation of water wells and septic systems offering safe water at least 20 pounds pressure at each faucet. In compliance with TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)
  • Repair or proper installation of furnaces installation of new system needed to insure adequate heating of the dwelling. All heating equipment will have a minimum expected useful life of 10 years, if pre-existing, or 20 years, if new. Installation of flooring in baths and kitchens when the surfaces have deteriorated and cannot be adequately cleaned. Damaged wood floors will be repaired and painted. Seriously damaged tile or vinyl flooring should be replaced.
  • Repair of floor structures, stairs, and porch decks, where hazardous; and repair or installation of handrails and guardrails where insecure or missing;
  • Installation of locks and window sash locks
  • Installation of operable smoke detectors the smoke detector must be wall mounted in unit 12” down from the ceiling or must be mounted 12” from nearest wall.
  • Installation of wheelchair ramps, grab-bars, and other safety devices required by a handicapped occupant that comply with ADA standards;
  • Repairs to or installation of kitchen base and wall cabinets, including countertops, when necessary to provide adequate space for sanitary food storage and preparation. New cabinets may be installed in the same configuration, and to the same extent as the existing cabinets, provided that the cost of new installation, excluding countertops, will not exceed the cost of rehabilitating the existing cabinets. If less than 8 lineal feet each of kitchen base and wall cabinets exist in the home at the time of the survey, additional base and wall cabinets may be installed, as space permits, up to those minimums.
  • Request for testing, abatement of lead-based paint hazards will be referred to the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services Department

2. STRUCTURAL REHABILITATION- Repairs allowed are:

  • Replacement of the roof of the dwelling when deteriorated or near the end of its service life, and roof repairs when cost effective.
  • Exterior carpentry repairs as required providing weather protection, or restoring architectural details.
  • Repairs to the foundation or other portions of the support structure of the dwelling, including treatment for and correction of damage caused by termites or other organisms, and correction of inadequate earth-to-wood clearances.
  • Repairs to walls and ceilings as may be needed to eliminate air and moisture infiltration and provide sound painting surfaces.
  • Exterior painting of the dwelling when necessary to restore protection of exterior surfaces against the weather, or re-siding of the house when the existing siding can no longer provide an effective weather barrier.
  • Detached garages may also be resided and painted if sufficient funds are available
  1. WEATHERIZATION – Improvements allowed are:
  • Installation of insulation to finished walls, attics, water heaters and floors above unheated areas
  • Installation of storm windows/doors, and replacement of broken glass;

 

  • Replacement of entry doors as necessary to insure weather tight and secure entrances to the dwelling;
  • Installation of insulation or heat tapes as necessary to protect water and drain pipes against freezing
  • Caulking and weather-stripping as necessary to reduce air penetration of the dwelling
  1. INCIDENTAL REPAIRS – Other repairs may be made when necessary to properly 17 accomplish repairs allowed under headings 1-3 above, or to correct unavoidable damages caused to other parts of the home in making allowed repairs.
  2. ESSENTIAL REPAIRS – The HCCSD or its sub-recipient agency may identify certain repairs indicated by the survey, which are essential to remove an immediate threat to health or safety or preserve the integrity of the structure. Connecting a dwelling to the city sewer system, when a sewer lateral is available within 200 feet of the property, is also deemed an essential repair. The HCCSD or its sub-recipient agency will explain to the owner the importance of completing identified essential repairs. If the owner declines to authorize completion of essential repairs, the matter will be referred to the sub-recipient’s agency. The sub-recipient’s agency will request the owner to explain his/her decision, and after weighing the importance of the repairs and the owner’s explanation, the sub recipient’s agency may deny assistance to make other repairs or improvements desired by the owner unless identified essential repairs are made.
  3. GENERAL IMPROVEMENTS
  • All dwellings that qualify for program funds shall have HUD Section 8 Housing Quality Standard requirements met first.
  • Other repairs or improvements identified in the surveys or desired by the owner may be made when requested by an owner eligible for a lender loan, after consultation with Program staff. Requests for these general improvements may be approved if the requested repair satisfies one of the following criteria:
  1. a) Helps to place the home in a sound and readily maintainable condition,
  2. b) Enhances the convenience and livability of the home with respect to the particular needs of the occupants and in view of contemporary standards of housing quality prevailing in the community.
  3. NON-ALLOWABLE IMPROVEMENTS
  • The following improvements may not be financed with lender or CDBG funds:
  • Conversion of a single-family dwelling to a two- or more-family dwelling;
  • Erection of new structures on the site;
  • Construction of new additions to the home;
  • Provision of or repairs to moveable appliances;
  • Use of materials, fixtures, or equipment, which exceeds in cost that customarily used in the locality for properties of similar type;
  • Construction of driveways or carports;
  • Demolition of detached accessory buildings when hazardous may be required as a condition of participation but program funds may not be used for this purpose.
  • Landscaping;
  • No repairs shall be made to accessory buildings 18 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Rehabilitation
DOCUMENT SUMMARY:

This model document consists of standards for rehabilitating single-family housing, in a form that might be used by an affordable housing agency that is performing the work and/or providing special financing. It is applicable only to “selective” rehabilitation (sometimes called “partial” or “moderate” rehabilitation) as opposed to substantial rehabilitation. The standards are performance standards–for example, specifying that there be two electrical outlets per room–as distinguished from work specifications, which might dictate the materials and methods to be used for installation. In many respects, the standards are similar to codes governing the quality of existing housing–such as, the International Residential Code for One-and Two-Family Dwellings.

LIMITATIONS OF DOCUMENT:
  • Many of the standards are not appropriate for substantial rehabilitation, in which a building is being “gutted out” and there are opportunities to closely conform to current new construction standards.
  • The standards are not entirely appropriate for less common types of construction such as adobe walls.
  • Energy conservation standards are not extensive. Based on local climate and building types, it may be advisable to incorporate more specific and extensive energy standards.
  • The document does not govern all aspects of construction, but refers to other codes.
  • Other appropriate local standards for hazard abatement, especially lead hazard abatement, should be appended.
PURPOSE

This is a minimum standard for all single-family housing in our service area. Where it is economically feasible, we want all housing to be:

  • Reasonably free from fire and other hazards
  • Comfortable, healthy and well ventilated
  • Decent appearing inside and out
  • Inexpensive to heat and maintain
  • Solid structurally and weather tight
  • Reasonably equipped for current handicapped occupants Because financial resources for rehabilitation will be hard to obtain for the neediest families, this standard does not require such work as “modernizing” functional kitchens and bathrooms, or doing purely cosmetic treatments to exteriors, floors, windows, etc.
COMPLIANCE WITH CODES AND OTHER STANDARDS

This standard equals or exceeds the Housing Quality Standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This standard meets the requirements of the local building, plumbing and electrical codes as they pertain to existing housing, but not as they pertain to new construction. When a single room has its interior finish (panels or wallboard) removed, the rehabilitation in that single 19 room will meet new construction standards for plumbing, electricity, heating and fire ratings. When such removal occurs in over 50 percent of the rooms in a freestanding building, this rule will apply to the whole building. Otherwise, the code for existing housing will prevail. Local and federal regulations pertaining to zoning, traffic, drainage, flood plains and fire will be observed.

PRACTICAL EFFECT

This organization will make rehabilitation grants and/or loans to qualified families for improvements in conformance with this standard. Unless another standard or policy statement of this organization permits it, no work items may be undertaken during a rehabilitation project that exceeded this standard in terms of the scope of work. If proposed improvements meet a lesser standard (e.g. emergency repairs, weatherization or “staged” improvements), they will conform to standards for that program or standards negotiated on a case-by-case basis by this agency and local code authorities.

EXTERIOR AND STRUCTURAL STANDARDS DEBRIS, JUNK, AND UNWANTED TREES – Debris, junk and dead or dangerous tree growth will be removed.

WALKS AND DRIVEWAYS – Badly deteriorated essential paving will be repaired or replaced to result in at least a five-year useful life after rehab.

EXTERIOR REQUIREMENTS – Every dwelling unit will have a mailbox or mail slot and minimum 3″ high address numbers placed on unit and visible from street

STEPS, STAIRWAYS AND PORCH DECKS – These will be reasonably level, even surfaces and have an expected useful life of five years or more after rehab.

PORCHES – Unsound, unsafe or unsightly porches that are unwanted or infeasible to repair will be removed.

HANDRAILS AND GUARDRAILS – These are required on one side of steps or stairs with more than two risers, and around porches or platforms over 30″ high. Portions of stairs or platforms over 42″ above grade or above another floor will have guardrails or balustrades.

SIDING AND TRIM – These will be intact and weatherproof. No component will have an expected useful life less than 10 years. All components shall provide full coverage of one prime and two coats of paint or bonded finish with an expected life of at least five years. Siding requiring over 40 percent replacement will be re-sided entirely with vinyl or hardy plank panels.

FOUNDATIONS – These will be sound, reasonably level and reasonably free from movement for an expected period of 1 year.

STRUCTURAL MEMBERS – Structural framing and masonry should appear to be free from deterioration, rot or serious termite damage, be adequately sized for current loads and have a 15-year expected useful life after rehab.

INSULATION – Attic areas and floors over cold crawl spaces will be insulated to R-30 or to cavity capacity if less than 3 inches of insulation is currently in place. Walls will be insulated only if the panel or wallboard is removed. Plastic ground covers will be placed in crawl spaces 20 under insulated floors. Recessed ceiling light fixtures will be covered, leaving an air space, before insulation is placed over them.

ATTIC AND CRAWL SPACE VENTILATION – Attics and crawl spaces will be ventilated to remove excess moisture at a minimum ratio of one square foot of vent for each 300 square feet of enclosed space.

EXTERIOR DOORS – Doors and hardware must have at least a five-year useful life after rehab. All hollow-core exterior doors will be replaced. Locks will tightly secure doors. Install single cylinder deadbolts with keyed lockset at all exterior doors.

ROOFS – Roof covering will be replaced if blistered and the mineral covering is substantially deteriorated. Missing or leaking shingles and flashing on functional roofs will be repaired. Roofing material shall have at least a five-year expected useful life after rehab. In cases where age or visible expected remaining life of roofing material cannot be determined, the age of the unit will be the determining factor.

HEATING SYSTEM STANDARDS HEATING SYSTEMS – Inoperative, hazardous or inefficient (under 60 percent efficiency per test) heating systems will be repaired to perform at 78 percent or better efficiency or replaced. All heating equipment will have a minimum expected useful life of 10 years, if preexisting, or 20 years, if new. Ductwork may be exposed. Habitable rooms must be provided with 68-degree heat when the outside temperature is at the average yearly minimum for the locale. In cases where model and serial number is missing and exact age of unit cannot be determined, the age of the unit will be the determining factor.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM STANDARDS ELECTRICAL OUTLETS – Every room will have at least one duplex receptacle and one light fixture or two duplex receptacles. Large rooms or those with heavy current electrical loads may require three or more outlets, as determined by the program inspector. Kitchens will have at least two GFCI outlets on separate circuits, one of which must have 20 amperes capacity, and one of which may be 15 amperes. Bathrooms will have at least one grounded GFCI outlet.

ELECTRICAL WIRING – Recessed ceiling light fixtures will be covered before insulation is placed over them.

GROUND FAULT CIRCUITS INTERRUPTERS – Electrical outlets within four feet of a bathtub must be removed, or replaced with a GFCI protected outlet. Any newly wired outlet in a bathroom or within five feet of a kitchen sink area must be GFCI protected. At least one GFCI wall receptacle outlet shall be installed in bathrooms and such outlet shall be located within 36” of the outside edge of lavatory basin. All 125-volt single-phase 15 and 20 amperes receptacles that serve countertop surface shall have GFCI protection.

LIGHT FIXTURES – Every habitable room must be provided with a light fixture or one outlet controlled by a wall switch. Existing wall or ceiling lights with their own internal switches are acceptable. Common or internal stairways from one floor used as a living area to another must have at least one light controlled by a three-way switch, or in the case of public hallways, a three-way switch on an automatic switching device. Exterior stairs with five risers or more will have a light fixture.

APPLIANCE OUTLETS – Safe electrical outlets must be provided for all existing appliances or those proposed installations during the rehab. Appliances requiring 120 volts may be on a circuit with other outlets so long as there is no obvious evidence the circuit is overloaded. Only essential motors requiring 240 volts must have a separate, dedicated circuit and outlet.

ELECTRICAL SERVICE ENTRANCE – The service entrance (whether new or pre-existing) shall be in good condition and sized to safely service all outlets, fixtures and appliances proposed to remain or be newly installed during the rehab. In no case will it be less than 100 amperes. Any service entrance replacement will have a minimum capacity of 150 amperes.

SMOKE DETECTORS – A smoke detector shall be installed in every room used for sleeping. The smoke detector must be wall mounted in unit 12” down from the ceiling or must be mounted 12” from nearest wall.

PLUMBING SYSTEM STANDARDS KITCHEN PLUMBING – Every dwelling unit will have at least a single bowl kitchen sink with hot and cold water located in the kitchen.

BATHROOM PLUMBING – Every dwelling unit will have an attached bathroom containing a lavatory (basin) a toilet, and a shower or tub. Toilets shall be 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush)

PLUMBING FIXTURES – The essential fixtures named above will be in good repair with an expected useful life of 10 years after rehab. Faucets will be free from leaking for an estimated five years after rehab.

WATER SHUTOFFS – Malfunctioning existing shutoffs will be repaired or removed. There will be at least one accessible main shutoff interior to the structure for each dwelling unit after rehab.

WATER SUPPLY LINES – All installed/replaced hot and cold water lines will be expected to have a 15-year useful life after rehab, without major leaks and maintain a three gallon per minute flow.

WATER WASTE LINES – Existing drain lines must safely and adequately carry away waste water, and must be vented well enough to prevent significant breaks of the water seal in fixture traps. Existing traps that are broken may be replaced with similar devices unless the entire waste water system is being replaced in that room in which case the requirements for new construction will govern. Exposed piping, PVC and ABS are allowed. Minimum expected life of waste systems is 15 years after rehab.

WELLS – Every house not connected to a public water system will have its own system offering safe water at least 20 pounds pressure at each faucet.

HOT WATER HEATERS – Each dwelling unit shall have a minimum of one 30-gallon hot water heater (or a shared water heater with similar capacity) in good working condition with an expected life of five years. Durable insulating jackets will be provided if this does not require relocating the water heater and results in a safe condition. Water heaters should produce at least 120 degrees F water at all taps. Relief valves and overflow pipes will be properly installed. Water heaters installed in a garage with an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18” above the garage floor.

NEW PLUMBING SYSTEM – Where plumbing lines and fixtures are being torn out in a room or entire dwelling unit, new construction codes will be observed to the extent practicable for that room or dwelling unit.

SHOWERS – This standard does not require the installation of a shower where a workable tub with no shower exists.

SHOWER AREAS – Showers in operation must have a watertight wall with an expected useful life of at least five years, or an enclosing circular shower curtain/rod apparatus.

OTHER INTERIOR STANDARDS FLOORS – Bathroom and kitchen floors will have a water-resistant, easily cleanable surface. Damaged wood floors will be repaired and painted. Seriously damaged tile or vinyl flooring should be replaced.

INSECT SCREENS – Every habitable room having windows must have insect screens free from defects and securely intact.

BATHROOM VENTILATION – Natural or mechanical ventilation is required.

KITCHEN VENTILATION – A window which can be opened or vent fan must be present in working order.

KITCHEN CABINETS – One-and two-bedroom dwelling units must have one base and one wall cabinet at least 42 inches long. Three-bedroom units must have 72″ base and 48″ wall cabinets.

STORAGE AREAS – A built-in storage device at least two feet wide with a shelf and clothes rod are required in or near each bedroom.

WALLS – Walls and woodwork should be free from peeling paint and loose or cracked plaster. Rooms with deteriorated or stained paint or wallpaper will be repainted. Panels or wall board that has uneven but sound surfaces will be left alone.

INTERIOR DOORS – Any doors that are damaged and beyond repair will be replaced. Slide bolts are allowed. All bedrooms and the bathrooms will have operable doors with a privacy lock.

WINDOWS – Each habitable room, excluding the kitchen area or bathroom, will have at least one operable window with a working device to hold it open. All windows will have locking hardware.

STORM WINDOWS – Where practicable, every single-glazed window will have an outside storm window in good condition.

WEATHER-STRIPPING – This will be installed in a prudent manner, recognizing the oxygen requirements and pollution production of heating devices that may be in place. Homes that are heated exclusively with electricity or well-vented furnaces or stoves will be tightly weather stripped.

ROOM SIZES, LAYOUTS, FIRE RATINGS AND FIRE EXITS – The dwelling unit, after rehab, will conform to the requirements in these areas of the BOCA Existing Structures Code/1987, unless unusual conditions merit consideration of a waiver.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS – Asbestos, radon and lead paint, when positively identified, shall be addressed in conformance with applicable local, state and federal law. 24 Minimum Acceptable Standards for Single Family Substantial Rehabilitation/Reconstruction

DOCUMENT SUMMARY:

This model document consists of standards, which must be met for reconstructing a single-family home, in a form that might be used by an affordable housing agency that is doing the work and/or providing special financing. It is applicable only to “selective” reconstruction as opposed to a new MAP home. The standards are performance standards–for example, specifying that units must be habitable and in functional condition with maximum life expectancy. The performance standards are similar to codes governing the quality of new housing.

PURPOSE

This is a minimum standard for all MAP New single-family housing in our service area. All housing to be:

  • Free from fire and other hazards
  • Comfortable, healthy and well ventilated
  • Decent appearing inside and out
  • Inexpensive to heat and maintain
  • Solid structurally and weather tight
MININUM STANDARD FEATURES IN ALL HOMES

Exterior Features

  • Clay brick at front and side exterior walls
  • Fiber cement siding on rear and 2nd floor level exterior walls
  • Composition Roof Shingles -Class “A” Fire Rated
  • Metal or Fiberglass clad exterior doors
  • Keyed lockset and deadbolt at all exterior doors Construction & Energy Features
  • Foundation (above base flood elevation)
  • R-13 (or above) fiberglass insulation in exterior walls
  • R-22/R-30 fiberglass insulation in ceiling areas
  • 10 SEER (or above) air conditioning system with programmable thermostat
  • Double pane aluminum frame Low E windows with screens on all operable windows
  • Adequate roof ventilation
  • Smoke detectors in all bedrooms Interior Features
  • No-wax vinyl flooring in Kitchen/Breakfast, Baths, Entry Ways, and Utility rooms
  • Carpet flooring in all other rooms
  • Ice maker connection in Kitchen
  • Two (2) pre-wired telephone Jacks
  • GFCI wiring in wet Areas 25
  • Two (2) pre-wired cable TV connections
  • Laminate kitchen countertops
  • Ceramic tile tub and shower surround
  • Cultured marble vanity tops in all Bathrooms
  • Ceiling Fans with Light Kits (2) in Living Room and Master Bedroom
  • Shower over Tubs • Fully painted walls and ceilings when funds are available
COMPLIANCE WITH CODES AND OTHER STANDARDS

This standard exceeds the Housing Quality Standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Properties must meet all local codes, rehabilitation standards, and zoning or other ordinances such as The International Residential Code, IRC – 2000 Edition, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code and International Energy Conservation Code, Version 3.0 – 2000

SITE TREES– Trees that are too close to the structure or threaten the structure shall be trimmed or removed

LANDSCAPING– The entire yard must be soiled PAVING AND WALKS- Essential walks and drives shall be installed

EXTERIOR SURFACES EXTERIOR STEPS AND DECKS– Steps, stairways, and porch decks will be structurally sound, reasonably level, with smooth and even surfaces

EXTERIOR RAILINGS– Handrails will be present on one side of all interior and exterior steps or stairways with more than two risers, and around porches or platforms over 30” above ground level. Railing repairs will be historically sensitive.

EXTERIOR CLADDING– Siding and trim will be intact and weatherproof. All exterior wood hardy components will have full coverage of paint

EXTERIOR HARDWARE – Every dwelling unit will have a mailbox, or mail slot, and minimum 3″ high address numbers visible from the street.

FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURE FOUNDATIONS– Foundations will be sound, reasonably level, and free from movement.

STRUCTURAL WALLS– Structural framing and masonry shall be free from visible defects. Be adequately sized for current loads.

WINDOWS AND DOORS EXTERIOR DOORS– Doors shall be solid, weather-stripped, operate smoothly, and include a peep site, a dead bolt, and an entrance lock set. 26 WINDOWS- All windows shall meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code. Operable windows shall have a locking devise and mechanism to remain partially open.

INTERIOR DOORS/PLACEMENT– All bedrooms, baths and closets shall have well operating doors with locksets

ROOFING PITCHED ROOFS– Fiberglass asphalt, 3 tab class A shingles with a prorated 20-year manufactured warranty with adequate ventilation.

FLAT AND LOW SLOPE ROOFING– Built-up roofing flashing and accessories shall be installed to provide a 10-year warranty from a certified roofing company.

INSULATION AND VENTILATION INSULATION– Attic areas and crawl space will be insulated to meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code. The goal for attic insulation is R30; framed exterior walls will be insulated.

ATTIC VENTILATION– Attics will be ventilated with a minimum of 1 square foot of free vent for each 300 square feet of roof area.

KITCHEN VENTILATION – Range hoods or exhaust fans shall be provided.

BATH VENTILATION – Exterior ducted with separate switch in all full baths

INTERIOR STANDARDS FLOORING – Bathroom and kitchen floors shall be covered with water resistant material and rendered smooth and cleanable.

CLOSETS – all bedrooms shall have closets with a door, clothes rod, and shelf.

INTERIOR WALLS AND CEILINGS – All holes and cracks shall be repaired to create a continuous surface and any deteriorated paint should be stabilized using lead-safe measures. Walls shall be plumb, ceiling level with a consistent finish on at least ½” gypsum. Walls shall be free of visible defects, such as poorly taped seam and nail dimples.

ELECTRIC SERVICE – 150 amp, main disconnect panel with at least 16 circuit breaker positions

EXTERIOR ELECTRIC – all entrances will be well lighted and either switched at the interior side of the door, or the light will be connected by a photoelectric cell. All dwelling units will have at least one exterior, GFCI protected, electrical receptacle

INTERIOR ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION – Every room should have a minimum of two duplex receptacles, placed on separate walls and one light fixture or receptacle switched at each room entrance.

GROUND FAULT CIRCUITS – Kitchen receptacles at countertop, all bath receptacles, and at least one exterior receptacle shall be protected by a GFCI.

KITCHEN ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION -Permanently installed stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers and disposals, washers and dryers shall have separate circuits sized to meet the 2000 International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings. Two separate 20-amp counter circuits are required with each kitchen area.

STAIRWELL LIGHTING – all common halls and stairways between living space must be well lighted with a fixture controlled by 3-way switches at both ends of the hall or stairway.

ALARMS – directly wired fire and smoke detectors shall be installed in all rooms used for sleeping and outside of each room.

PLUMBING SYSTEM (reference: International Plumbing Codes 2000)

WATER SUPPLY – all fixtures must be: supplied with 3-gallons/minute water flows.

DRAIN, WASTE, VENT LINES – Waste and vent lines must function without losing the trap seal. Lines shall be installed in accordance with the most recently approved version of the International Plumbing Code.

PLUMBING MINIMUM EQUIPMENT – Every dwelling unit shall have a minimum of one double bowl sink with hot and cold running water in the kitchen and bathrooms containing a vanity with a sink, and a shower/tub unit, both with hot and cold running water, and a toilet.

PLUMBING FIXTURES – Metal faucets and shower diverters, ceramic toilets, double bowl stainless steel sinks, fiberglass tub and steel enameled 5’ tubs.

WATER HEATERS – Each dwelling unit shall have a gas-fired or electric water heater. The minimum capacity for units with two bedrooms or less shall be 30 gallons; larger units shall have a minimum capacity of 40 gallons. The discharge pipe shall be installed so as to drain by gravity flow and shall terminate atmospherically not more than 6” above the floor. The end of the discharge pipe shall not be threaded. HVAC (reference: International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings)

HEATING PLANT – Gas and oil fired plants shall be rated at 78 AFUE or better. Heat pumps shall comply with the requirement of ARI-240 and UL-559. Units shall be tested, rated and listed accordingly.

DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM – Duct coverings shall not flame, glow, smolder or smoke when tested in accordance with ASTM C 411 at the temperature to which they are exposed in service. The test temperature shall not fall below 250 degrees Fahrenheit. External duct installation and factory installed flexible ducts shall be legibly printed or identified at intervals not greater than 36” with the name of the manufacturer; thermal resistance R-value at the specified installed thickness. All duct insulation product R-values shall be based on insulation only.

AIR CONDITIONING — Air conditioning equipment shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Unless the equipment is listed for installation on a combustible 28 surface such as a floor, or unless the surface is protected in an approved manner, equipment shall be installed on a surface of noncombustible construction with noncombustible material. 29 Minimum Property Standards for Single Family Acquisition New Construction

DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (DAP) FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION

The Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) administered by Harris County Community Services Department (HCCSD) assists income eligible and first-time homebuyers achieve the “American Dream” of owning their own home by providing down payment assistance for new single-family residential units. The following property standards apply to newly constructed units. New modular units are acceptable for participation in DAP and must conform to the same standards and requirements as units on slab foundations.

OVERVIEW

The standards contained in this document establishes the Minimum Standards for a single family home inspection for the DAP housing program that receives federal assistance through the HCCSD. The Minimum Property Standards (MPS) require compliance with:

The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) Minimum Property Standards (MPS) 24 CFR 200.926. These standards establish certain standards the units must meet to be eligible for assistance under DAP.

The National Energy Five Star Efficiency Performance Standards of 86. All new residential and gut rehab buildings up to three stories shall be designed to meet these standards and all procedures used for this rating (86) shall comply with the National Home Energy Rating System guidelines.

Energy Star is a system of certifying a certain level of building performance with respect to energy efficiency.

The International Residential Code (IRC) 2000 adopted by HCCSD or the latest edition of the IRC and any applicable code required by the pertaining Municipality.

The HCCSD DAP Minimum Property Standards integrated into this document.

The requirements from other governing entities such as Homeowners Association; Local and Federal regulations pertaining to zoning, traffic, drainage, flood plains and fire.

PURPOSE

The intent of these requirements is to establish minimum standards and criteria for the health and safety of the home’s occupants and to ensure the value and the durability of the home. Homes are the collateral for these loans and their lack of durability can increase the financial risk in the event of default. The inspection also provides information concerning the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. More specifically, the model codes do not contain any minimum requirements for the durability of such items as doors, windows, gutters and downspouts, painting and wall coverings, kitchen 30 cabinets and carpeting. The MPS includes minimum standards for these and other items to ensure the value of the home is not decreased by the deterioration of these components. The DAP inspection is of conditions that are present and visible at the time of the inspection including the assessment of all equipment that is present in normal operating modes.

CONFLICTING STANDARDS [Appendix K, MPS, for Housing, 1994 Edition, 24 CFR 200.926 (2) (b)]

The MPS requirements contained in 24 CFR 200.926 do not preempt Local or State standards, nor do they alter or affect a builder’s obligation to comply with any Local or State requirements. However, a property shall be eligible for benefits only if it complies with the requirements of this sub-part, including any reference standards. When any of the requirements identified in 200.96c are in conflict with a partially accepted Local or State standard code, the conflict will be resolved by the HUD Field Office serving the jurisdiction in which the property is to be located. Energy Star Qualified Certification The builder or other authority must provide an Energy Star Qualified Home certificate, certifying the home meets the Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency as established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Lending Services. The certificate should indicate a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of at least 86. See Exhibit No. 1.

PROPERTY AND SITE OVERVIEW

The property must be free of those foreseeable hazards and adverse conditions, which may affect the health and safety of the occupants, the structural soundness of the unit or which may impair the customary use and enjoyment of the property.

The dwelling unit must be provided with space necessary to assure suitable living, sleeping, cooking and dining accommodations, sanitary facilities, and facilities necessary to create a safe, functional, healthful, durable, and energy efficient living environment.

Defective construction, poor workmanship, evidence of continuing settlement, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, termites, or other conditions impairing the safety, sanitation or structural soundness of the dwelling shall render the property unacceptable until the defects or conditions have been remedied and the probability of further damage eliminated.

PROPERTY ELEVATION

A site survey with flood elevation noted shall be required.

All buildings and structures erected in areas prone to flooding and classified as either flood hazard or coastal high hazard areas shall be required to provide proper flood insurance documentation.

EXTERIOR MPS Streets

The property shall be provided with a safe and adequate pedestrian or vehicular access from a public or private street.

All streets shall have an all-weather surface and usable during run off.

An all-weather surface is a road surface over which emergency vehicles can pass in all types of weather.

Private streets must be protected by permanent easements and maintained by a Homeowners Association or joint maintenance agreement.

Streets on the site (private streets) shall provide access to all of the building for essential and emergency use.

Access

Dwelling units shall have a means of access in which it is not necessary to pass through any other unit.

The backyard shall be accessible without passing through any other unit.

For a row type dwelling, the access may be by means of alley, an easement, by passage through the dwelling or by other acceptable means.

Service

Dwelling units shall have the capacity to be maintained individually without trespassing on adjoining properties.

If a single drain line in the building serves more than one unit, the building drain clean outs must be accessible from the exterior. Exterior clean-outs shall be installed in an area and in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.

Utilities

Utilities must be independent for each dwelling unit except that common services, water, sewer, gas, and electricity, may be provided for the dwelling units under a single mortgage or ownership.

Dwelling units shall have separate utility service shut-offs.

Dwelling units shall have individual meters for individual utilities.

Individual utilities shall not pass over, under or through another unit.

Unless provision is made for repair and maintenance of utilities without trespass on adjoining properties

Or legal provision is made for permanent right of access for maintenance and repair of utilities.

Other facilities must be independent for each dwelling unit, except common services such as laundry and storage space or heating, may be provided for two to four living unit buildings under a single mortgage.

Power Lines

Power lines including low voltage power lines may not pass over the dwelling.

Power lines may have to be removed or repositioned.

Trees

Trees too close to the structure or threaten the structure shall be trimmed as directed by HCIS or the trees must be removed.

Generally, trees that require trimming shall have the branches cut back to the main trunk.

Trees that could damage an adjacent structure above or below the foundation shall be removed.

Trees that present a safety hazard because electrical wiring runs through them shall be trimmed or the trees shall be removed.

Lawn

Lawn shall be consistent with comparable units.

Sod (grass) shall be installed as necessary to establish consistency with comparable units.

At a minimum, it shall be required that the front and both sides of the unit shall be fully sodded up to the fence/property lines. Additional sod at other areas may be required to establish consistency.

Additional sod may be required to stop erosion. Eroded areas shall be filled as necessary before installing sod.

Lawn shall be appropriately mowed and trimmed at the time of inspection. Landscaping

Shrubs, trees, and other landscaping shall be installed in a manner consistent with comparable homes.

Shrubs, trees and other landscaping shall be installed as necessary to establish consistency with comparable units.

Backyard/Fence

The backyard shall be fully fenced-in and shall have a fence gate.

At a minimum, the required fence shall extend from the rear and side property lines to the rear of the structure.

The fence must completely enclose the backyard and any structure located at the back of the property, including detached garage, storage, and other structures.

The fence shall provide security and privacy.

The fence gate and gate hardware shall operate smoothly.

The fence and fence gate must be free of any irregularities.

The backyard (ground) must be reasonably graded.

Any holes or depressions shall be filled to correct drainage problems and remove safety hazards.

If sod/grass is not present in the backyard, it shall be fairly clear and free of weeds and other wild growth at the time of the inspection.

Trash and Debris

All trash, construction materials, discarded items and all other debris shall be completely removed from the interior and exterior of the premises prior to the inspection.

Drainage

Surface drainage shall be diverted to a storm sewer conveyance or other approved point of collection so as not to create a hazard.

Lots shall be graded so as to provide positive, rapid drainage of surface water away from the perimeter walls of the dwelling and prevent ponding of water on the site.

The ground on all sides of the unit shall be elevated and should slope away from all sides of the property for drainage.

Drainage shall be directed towards the street, alley, or easement, facilitated by elevation around the unit.

Drainage shall not be directed to any adjacent housing or structure.

The site shall be free of ponding.

Gutters, gutter extensions and downspouts must be operating as intended and securely fasten, and shall be located and installed in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.

Splash Blocks

When gutters and downspouts are present, splash blocks or gutter extensions to carry water away from the foundation shall be provided.

Pavestones, gravel or other materials or combination of materials must not be substituted for splash blocks or gutter extensions.

Splash blocks and gutter extensions shall be correctly installed.

Splash blocks, gutter extensions, and downspouts shall be located and installed in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.

Paving

The front entrance to the unit shall have a sidewalk that connects with other sidewalks or driveways to provide access to the dwelling.

Walks, driveways and other essential paving shall be consistent with comparable units.

Sidewalks around the dwelling to the front and sides of the unit are not required. However, these sidewalks may be required to be consistent with comparable homes in the area.

Stairways, Handrails, Decks and Guards (Exterior)

Exterior steps, stairways, and porch decks shall be structurally sound and reasonably level with smooth and even surfaces.

Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above the floor or grade shall have handrails/guards not less than 36 inches in height.

Stairways with three or more risers should have a handrail at least on one side of the stairway.

The handgrip portion of the handrail shall be rounded smooth and safe.

Mailbox

Units must have individual mailboxes.

Or on site cluster boxes.

Address Numbers

The unit must have a minimum of 3-inch high address numbers placed on the unit and plainly visible and legible from the street or road fronting the property.

INTERIOR MPS Kitchen Appliances and Countertop

Kitchens shall be equipped with a minimum of:

One double bowl sink with hot and cold running water in the kitchen. Hot water tap should be located on the left side.

Kitchens should have a refrigerator receptacle with an icemaker connection.

The kitchen must have laminate countertops or better and such countertops must be free of any irregularities.

Stove/range hoods shall vent to the outside and not to the attic, crawl space or any area inside the dwelling.

Kitchen stoves or ranges must be equipped with anti-tipping devices.

Special built-in spaces or compartments under cabinets and under countertops and in other areas shall be equipped with the appliance it was intended to house. Stove/Range and refrigerator are exempt.

Additional appliances installed must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and IRC.

Kitchen Cabinetry

Kitchen cabinets shall be leveled and securely fastened.

Space between cabinets and surfaces shall be appropriately filled.

Cabinet doors, drawers, and cabinetry hardware shall operate smoothly.

Cabinets shall be free of any irregularities.

Bathroom Standards

Bathrooms shall be equipped with a minimum of a vanity with a sink, a shower/tub unit with hot and cold running water and a toilet. Hot water taps should be located on the left side.

Bathroom fixtures shall have at least a ten (10) year manufacturer’s warranty. Builder or other authority may have to provide said warranty before the unit is rendered acceptable for DAP.

All bath or shower compartments shall have waterproof enclosures. These enclosures can include ceramic tile or fiberglass molded enclosures.

Enclosures shall have at least a ten (10) year manufacturer’s warranty. Builder or other authority may have to provide said warranty before the unit is rendered acceptable for DAP.

Shower compartment doors shall be intact and free of leakage.

Bathroom vanity tops shall be waterproof and free of any irregularities.

Full bathrooms shall be equipped with a bathtub and a shower.

Bathtub and shower compartments shall be adequately sealed with an appropriate sealant.

Bathrooms shall be adequately vented to the outside via ducts or by a bathroom vent window that can be opened. Bathrooms must not be vented to the attic, crawl space, or any area inside the dwelling.

Bathroom cabinetry shall conform to the same standards as kitchen cabinetry.

Bathroom mirrors shall be securely fastened.

Flooring

The kitchen and breakfast areas, dining area or dining room, bathrooms, entryways and utility rooms should be provided with no-wax vinyl flooring or flooring covered with water resistant material and rendered smooth and cleanable.

The living room, bedrooms, family rooms and studies/dens must be provided with floor carpet covering.

Carpet may not be provided to accommodate a handicap buyer.

And carpet may not be provided if a higher-grade floor covering is installed, such as ceramic floor tile or wood flooring.

All floor coverings must be free of any irregularities.

Interior Walls and Ceilings

Walls must be plumb and the ceiling must be level.

Walls and ceilings shall be uniformly painted and textured or have an appropriate covering (panel, wallpaper, etc.).

Walls, ceilings and wall coverings shall be free of visible defects, such as poorly taped seams, nail dimples, inconsistent paint and texture, buckling, or any other irregularities.

Utility Room Standards

Washer/Dryer connections shall be provided.

The water supply line housing shall be flush with the wall.

The hot water connection shall be located on the left side.

Dryer vents that pass through walls or other combustible material shall be metal and vented to the outside.

Enclosed washer and dryers shall be provided with an exhaust system, independent of all other systems and shall convey moisture to the outside of the unit.

Closets

Bedrooms shall have access to a closet located in the bedroom area for storage of clothing.

Bedroom closets shall have a clothes rod and shelf.

Closets designed to be accessed through a door shall have a door.

Closet light fixtures shall not be located too close to the shelves.

Light fixtures too close to the shelves may cause a hazardous condition and an impediment to the use of the shelves.

Interior Doors and Hardware

Bedroom, bathroom, closet doors and other interior doors and door hardware shall operate smoothly.

Bedrooms and bathrooms shall be equipped with privacy door lock.

Closet doors shall be equipped with passage door hardware.

Doorbell

The entry door shall be equipped with a doorbell or doorknocker.

The doorbell chime shall be located in a central location, such as a hallway.

Ceiling Fans

The unit shall be equipped with two ceiling fans with light kits located:

In the living room area.

And in the master bedroom.

Telephone Connections

The dwelling shall have at least two (2) pre-wired telephone jacks.

Cable TV Connections

The dwelling shall have at least two (2) pre-wired cable TV connections.

EXTERIOR DOORS AND WINDOWS

Exterior/Egress Doors

Exterior/Egress doors include all doors leading to the outside from the inside and leading into the house or garage from the outside. Connecting doors leading from the inside of the dwelling into the garage shall be considered an exterior/egress door. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered an outdoor egress door (exterior door).

All exterior/egress doors shall be readily opened from the side from which egress is to be made without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort. This applies to connecting doors leading from the inside into the garage.

Exterior/Egress doors:

Shall be solid core or metal/fiberglass clad.

Shall be weather-stripped and reasonably sealed.

Shall operate smoothly.

Shall be equipped with a single key deadbolt lock and entrance lock set. Lockset shall operate smoothly as intended.

Shall be equipped with a peep site (door viewer). May not be required, on glazed doors.

Shall have all six sides uniformly painted with an appropriate paint.

Glazed entrance doors including storm doors, sliding glass patio doors, and glazing immediately adjacent to these doors must be safe and securely fasten.

Windows

All windows shall meet or exceed the International Energy Conservation Code.

Double pane Low E windows shall be installed.

Windows designed to open shall have a locking device and a mechanism to allow the window to remain partially open.

Windows and window hardware shall operate smoothly.

Windows must be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools or force greater than normal operation.

All windows designed to be open shall have insect screens.

FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURE

Foundations (slab and continuous spread footing)

Foundations shall be engineered design.

Sound, reasonably level, and free from movement.

Free of any irregularities and visible defects.

Structural (Exterior) Walls

Structural framing and masonry shall be free from visible defects and adequately sized for current loads.

Exterior walls cladding/siding shall be consistent with comparable homes.

Wood cladding/siding shall have at least a ten (10) year manufacturer’s warranty. Builder may have to provide warranty before the unit is rendered acceptable for DAP.

Exterior cladding – siding and trim will be intact and weather tight.

Exterior wood and fiber cement wall components shall have a full and uniform coverage of paint. Roof Covering The roof covering shall prevent moisture from entering and shall provide future utility, durability, and economy of maintenance.

Roofing shall be fiberglass asphalt shingles with a prorated twenty (20) year manufactured warranty. Builder may have to provide warranty before the unit is rendered acceptable for DAP.

Flashing shall be installed at wall and roof intersections; and wherever there is a change in roof slope or direction; and around roof openings.

Installation of gutters and downspouts shall be consistent with comparable homes.

Chimney

Chimneys shall be structurally sound, durable, smoke–tight and capable of conveying flue gasses to the exterior safely.

Chimney cap must be present.

Proper flashing must be present.

Masonry must be free of any defects or any irregularities.

Fireplace damper shall operate as intended.

Fireplace hearth shall be free from defects.

Gas fireplace shall have a gas shut off value in proximity.

ATTIC

Attic Ventilation Natural ventilation of structural space such as attics must be provided to reduce the effect of conditions of excess heat and moisture which are conductive to decay and deterioration of the structure.

Attics will be ventilated through the roof or through other appropriate areas. Attic and Wall Insulation

An insulation certificate shall be posted and plainly visible in the attic at the time of the inspection, certifying the insulation has been installed in conformance with the requirements indicated on the certificate to provide thermal resistance.

In the absence of the Insulation Certificate, the builder shall provide a copy of said certificate before rendering the unit acceptable for DAP.

At least an R-26 rated insulation should be installed in the attic/ceiling area.

Ceiling over garage may not be insulated.

Exterior framed walls shall be insulated with R-13 rated or above fiberglass insulation.

Attic Access and Attics Containing Appliances

Attic access shall be located in a hallway or other readily accessible location with pull down stairs.

If the primary access is located in the garage, pull down stairs shall be provided. The pull-down stairs shall be readily accessible.

Secondary attic accesses located in the garage may have a lid or device (scuttle) that shall be easily removed or operated, in lieu of the pull-down stairs. Primary attic access shall have pull-down stairs regardless of the location.

At least one lighting outlet shall be provided and controlled by a wall light switch or integral switch. The lighting shall be located near the equipment to be serviced.

A convenience receptacle outlet shall be present to service appliances located in the attic.

Attic containing appliances and requiring access:

Shall be provided with an opening and a clear and unobstructed passageway large enough to allow the removal of the largest appliance, but not less than 30 inches high and 22 inches wide and not more than 20 feet in length.

The passageway to the appliances shall be continuous solid flooring and not less than 24 inches wide.

A level service space at least 30 inches deep and 30 inches wide shall be present along all sides of the appliance where access is required.

The attic shall have an opening of at least 20 inches wide and 30 inches high.

Electrical cables and wiring shall be securely fastened.

 

ELECTRIC AND LIGHTING

The dwelling shall contain sufficient electrical sources to permit the use of essential appliances while ensuring safety from fire. Each room shall have adequate natural or artificial illumination to permit normal indoor activities and to support the health and safety of the occupants.

 

LIGHTING OUTLETS HABITABLE ROOM (Light Fixtures):

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.

In other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall light switch shall be considered equivalent to the required lighting outlet.

Additional locations:

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages and detached garages with electric power.

At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of each outdoor egress door having grade level access.

Interior stairways: a wall switch at each floor level to control the lighting outlet where the stairway has six or more risers.

Exception:

In hallway, stairways, and outdoor egress doors, remote, central, or automatic control of lighting shall be permitted.

All common halls and stairways between living space must be well lighted with a fixture controlled by 3-way switches at both ends of the hall or stairway.

In attics, under floor spaces, utility rooms, and basements, at least one lighting outlet shall be installed where these spaces are used for storage or contain equipment that requires servicing. The lighting outlet shall be provided at or near the equipment requiring servicing.

 

RECEPTACLE OUTLETS IN LIVING AREAS

Generally, a receptacle outlet shall be installed every 12 feet. Receptacle Outlets in Kitchen Area

Generally, a receptacle outlet shall be installed every 4 feet.

Island and peninsular counter spaces should have at least one receptacle outlet installed on each space.

Receptacle outlets shall not be more than 18 inches above the countertop.

Other Receptacle Outlets Appliance Receptacle Outlets:

Appliance Receptacle Outlets:

Shall be installed not more than 6 feet of the intended location of the appliance. Outdoor Outlets: See GFCI Section. Laundry Areas: At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed to serve laundry appliances.

 

HALLWAYS

Which are at least 10 feet or more in length shall at least have one receptacle outlet. HVAC Outlet: See Attic Section. Ground Fault Circuits Interrupter (GFCI Electrical Outlets) GFCI electrical outlets should be provided in the following areas:

Ground Fault Circuits Interrupter (GFCI Electrical Outlets) 

GFCI electrical outlets should be provided in the following areas:

Bathroom: At least one GFCI outlet located on a wall that is adjacent to the lavatory basin location.

Garage: At least one GFCI receptacle in each attached garage and in each detached garage; including in each unfinished accessory buildings used for storage or work areas.

Outdoor: At least one wall receptacle outlet accessible at grade level shall be installed outdoors at the front and back of each dwelling unit having direct access to grade.

Kitchen: 15 to 20-ampere receptacles that serve countertop surfaces.

Bar Sink: 15 to 20-ampere receptacles that serve countertop surfaces and located within 6 feet of the outside edge of a wet bar sink.

Exempt receptacles:

Refer to IRC 2000 Sections E3802.2 and E3802.

Main Panel Board (Circuit Breaker Box)

The service entrance must be sized to safely service all outlets, fixtures, and appliances in the unit and appliances installed after the sale of the unit.

Electric circuit breaker panel box shall be appropriately labeled. The use or purpose of all panel board circuits shall be legibly marked and identified on a circuit directory located on the face or inside the door of the enclosure.

Panel box shall not be missing any knockouts.

The panel box shall be grounded at the service.

 

PLUMBING SYSTEM

Water Supply

The units shall be provided with a continuing and sufficient supply of safe and potable water under adequate pressure and of appropriate quality for all household uses.

Hot taps shall be located on the left side.

Water supply lines to the kitchen sink, lavatory basin, water heater or other water supply lines shall have a shut-off valve.

Drain and water line penetrations under kitchen sinks, lavatory basins, and other areas must be adequately sealed.

The main water shut-off valve should be located near the entrance of the water service into the unit.

Exterior hose connections shall be protected by backflow prevent devices (vacuum breakers).

This does not apply to water heater drain valves.

Nor water supply valves intended for connecting clothes washing machines.

The following water supply lines shall be appropriately insulated:

Lines located in the attic.

Water heater cold water supply line including water heaters located in the garage.

Exterior faucets and lines.

Water supply lines located on the exterior of the unit.

The water meter box shall be free of stagnated water and other evidence of possible leakage.

 

DRAIN, WASTE, VENT LINES

Units must have sanitary facilities and a safe method of sewage disposal.

The drainage, waste and vent system should be adequately sized to provide drainage and removal of wastes.

Vents should prevent pressure build-up and sewer gas from entering the unit. Water Heaters

Each dwelling unit shall have a gas-fired or electric water heater. The minimum capacity for units with two bedrooms or less should be 30 gallons; larger units should have a minimum capacity of 40 gallons.

The water heater shall be equipped with an appropriate sized temperature and pressure relief valve with a discharge pipe.

A shut-off valve to the water heater cold water supply line shall be installed to shut off the water supply to the water heater. The value shall be located at or near the water heater and shall be readily accessible.

The discharge pipe shall be installed to drain by gravity flow and shall terminate atmospherically not more than 6 inches above the floor. The end of the discharge pipe should not be threaded.

Water heaters shall be installed in a galvanized pan or other pans listed for such use if leakage of the water heater or connections will cause damage. The pan shall be 1.5 inches deep.

Water heaters located in the attic must have a drain pan.

Water heaters stored in the garage and having an ignition source shall be elevated 18 inches above the garage floor.

Ignition source: A flame, spark, or hot surface capable of igniting flammable vapors or fumes. Such sources include appliance burners, burner ignition, and electrical switching devices. HVAC Thermostatic Controls A thermostat that controls both heating and cooling should be located near the return air grill.

 

HEATING PLANT

Heating must be adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions.

Fuel supply lines shall have a shutoff valve easily accessible and all piping well supported and protected.

Gas supply lines should be black iron or steel pipe.

Distribution System

All circulating air ducts shall be insulated including those located in attics and crawl spaces.

Air ducts shall be supported above the rafters and insulation.

Metal straps or galvanized wire shall support metal ducts at intervals not exceeding 10 feet.

Nonmetallic ducts shall be supported in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

AIR CONDITIONING

Air conditioning equipment shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Unless the equipment is listed for installation on a combustible surface such as a 41 floor, or unless the surface is protected in an approved manner, equipment shall be installed on a surface of noncombustible construction with noncombustible material.

Unit shall be equipped with a 12 Seer (or above) air conditioning system.

Compressor and condenser unit:

The airflow around the unit must not be obstructed.

The unit must be level and well supported with the housing intact.

The unit refrigerant line (larger line) must have the insulation intact. ¾ The wiring and connections shall be intact.

An electric disconnect switch used for maintenance and repairs should be located within sight of the unit. Circuit breaker at the electric panel box is acceptable.

 

SMOKE DETECTORS

Single and multi-station smoke detectors shall be installed in the following locations:

In each sleeping room.

Outside of each sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms (hallway area).

On each additional story of the dwelling.

When more than one smoke alarm is required in an individual dwelling unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.

 

BEDROOM EGRESS

All bedrooms shall have adequate egress to the exterior of the dwelling unit. If an enclosed patio (solid walls) covers the bedroom window, it is possible the bedroom may not qualify as a habitable bedroom.

Security bars are acceptable if they comply with local fire codes.

Emergency escape and rescue windows with bars, grills, covers or screens must be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, or force greater than normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.

Occupants of a bedroom must be able to get outside the unit if there is a fire.

 

GARAGE

An attached garage shall have sheetrock completely installed and fully painted walls and ceilings.

Attached garage interior walls shall conform to the same standards as interior walls and ceilings.

A detached garage may not have sheetrock completely installed and fully painted walls and ceilings.

Vehicle doors and hardware shall operate smoothly.

 

Minimum Property Standards For Single Family Acquisition-Pre-existing Units

DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR PRE-EXISTING UNITS

The Down payment Assistance Program (DAP) for the Acquisition of Pre-existing Units administered by Harris County Community Services Department (HCCSD) assists income eligible and first-time homebuyers achieve the “American Dream” of owning their own home by providing down payment assistance. The following property standards apply to pre-existing units (not newly constructed units).

OVERVIEW

The standards contained in this document establishes the Minimum Property Standards for a single family home inspection for the DAP Pre-existing housing program that receives federal assistance through HCCSD. The DAP Minimum Property Standards (MPS) require compliance with:

The Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) Minimum Property Standards (MPS) 24 CFR 200.926; these standards establish certain standards the units must meet to be eligible for assistance under DAP.

The National Energy Five Star Efficiency Performance Standards of 86. All new residential and gut rehab buildings up to three stories shall be designed to meet these standards and all procedures used for this rating (86) shall comply with the National Home Energy Rating System guidelines. Energy Star is a system of certifying a certain level of building performance with respect to energy efficiency.

The International Residential Code (IRC) 2000 adopted by Harris County or the latest edition of the IRC and any applicable code required by the pertaining Municipality.

The HCCSD DAP Minimum Property Standards integrated into this document.

The requirements from other governing entities such as Homeowners Associations and Local and Federal regulations pertaining to zoning, traffic, drainage, flood plains, and fire.

The Lead-Based Paint regulations as described in 24 CFR, Part 35 for units built before 1978.

PURPOSE

The intent of these requirements is to establish minimum standards and criteria for the health and safety of the home’s occupants and to ensure the value and the durability of the home. Homes are the collateral for these loans and their lack of durability can increase the financial risk in the event of default. More specifically, the model codes do not contain any minimum requirements for the durability of such items as doors, windows, gutters and downspouts, painting and wall coverings, kitchen

 

CABINETS AND CARPETING

The MPS includes minimum standards for these and other items to ensure the value of the home is not decreased by the deterioration of these components. The DAP inspection is of conditions that are present and visible at the time of the inspection including the assessment of all equipment that is present in normal operating modes. CONFLICTING STANDARDS [Appendix K, MPS, for Housing, 1994 Edition, 24 CFR 200.926 (2) (b)] The MPS requirements contained in 24 CFR 200.926 do not preempt Local or State standards, nor do they alter or affect a builder’s obligation to comply with any Local or State requirements. However, a property shall be eligible for benefits only if it complies with the requirements of this sub-part, including any reference standards. When any of the requirements identified in 200.96c are in conflict with a partially accepted Local or State standard code, the conflict will be resolved by the HUD Field Office serving the jurisdiction in which the property is to be located. LBP

 

INSPECTION/CLEARANCE REPORT

Units built before 1978 shall be inspected and evaluated for the presence or absence of LBP in accordance with 24 CFR Part 35 requirements before submitting a request for the DAP inspection. Units built before 1978 must be inspected by a Lead Base Paint Inspector or Risk Assessor to evaluate and determine the presence or absence of lead-based paint on painted or coated surfaces. If the presence of lead is detected during the evaluation, the deteriorated surfaces must be corrected in accordance with the requirements of paint stabilization of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 35. A copy of the clearance report verifying the stabilization and other lead hazards reduction efforts have been completed to ensure a lead-free and safe environment for the occupants shall be provided to Lending Services.

 

PROPERTY AND SITE OVERVIEW

The property must be free of those foreseeable hazards and adverse conditions that may affect the health and safety of the occupants, the structural soundness of the dwelling or which may impair the customary use and enjoyment of the property.

The dwelling unit must be provided with space necessary to assure suitable living, sleeping, cooking and dining accommodations, sanitary facilities, and facilities necessary to create a safe, functional, healthful, durable, and energy efficient living environment.

Defective construction, poor workmanship, evidence of continuing settlement, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, termites, or other conditions impairing the safety, sanitation or structural soundness of the dwelling shall render the property unacceptable until the defects or conditions have been remedied and the probability of further damage eliminated.

 

REPAIRS AND INSTALLATIONS

All repairs, maintenance work, alterations and installations which are required for compliance with this MPS shall be executed and installed in a workmanlike manner to secure the results intended by the referenced standards.

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Residential Rehabilitation Inspection Guide 2000 shall establish the life expectancy of all household components.
  • All repairs, maintenance work, alterations and installation of household components must result in an extended useful life of the household component of at least 5 years.
  • Household appliances, mechanical systems and other household components with a remaining useful life of less than 5 years must be replaced with Energy Star labeled products, if available, and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and IRC.
  • If the age of a household component cannot be determined, the age of the dwelling shall be the determining factor in establishing the remaining life of the household component.

 

EXTERIOR MPS Streets

The property must be provided with a safe and adequate pedestrian or vehicular access from a public or private street.

All streets must have an all-weather surface and usable during run off.

An all-weather surface is a road surface over which emergency vehicles can pass in all types of weather.

Private streets must be protected by permanent easements and maintained by a Homeowners Association or joint maintenance agreement.

And (private streets) shall provide access to all of the property for essential and emergency use. Access onto Property

Dwelling units shall have a means of access in which it is not necessary to pass through any other unit.

The backyard shall be accessible without passing through any other unit.

For a row type dwelling, the access may be by means of alley, an easement, by passage through the dwelling or by other acceptable means.

 

SERVICE

Dwelling units shall have the capacity to be maintained individually without trespassing on adjoining properties.

If a single drain line in the building serves more than one unit, the building drain clean-outs must be accessible from the exterior. Exterior clean-outs shall be installed in an area and in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.

 

UTILITIES

Utilities must be independent for each dwelling unit except that common services, water, sewer, gas, and electricity, may be provided for the dwelling units under a single mortgage or ownership.

Dwelling units shall have separate utility service shut-offs.

Dwelling units shall have individual meters for individual utilities. Individual utilities shall not pass over, under or through another unit.

Unless provision is made for repair and maintenance of utilities without trespass on adjoining properties.

Or legal provision is made for permanent right of access for maintenance and repair of utilities.

Other facilities must be independent for each dwelling unit, except common services such as laundry and storage space or heating, may be provided for two to four living unit buildings under a single mortgage.

 

POWER LINES/OVERHEAD WIRES

Power lines including low voltage power lines may not pass over the dwelling.

Power lines may have to be removed or repositioned.

Overhead wires from the street to the electrical service panel shall be no lower than 10 feet above ground and shall not come in contact with tree branches or other obstacles and reachable from nearby windows or other accessible areas.

 

TREES

Trees too close to the structure or threaten the structure shall be trimmed or removed.

Generally, trees that require trimming shall have the branches cut back to the main trunk. Lawn

  • Existing lawn shall be consistence with comparable units.
  • Sod (grass) shall be installed as necessary to establish consistency with comparable units.

At a minimum, it shall be required that the front and both sides of the unit shall be fully sodded (grass) up to the fence/property lines. Additional sod at other areas may be required to establish consistency.

Sod (grass) may also be installed to stop erosion. Eroded areas shall be filled as necessary before installing sod.

  • Lawn shall be appropriately mowed and trimmed at the time of the inspection.

BACKYARD/FENCE

The unit must have a fully fenced-in backyard.

The fence shall extend from the rear and side property lines to the rear of the structure.

The fence must completely enclose the backyard and any structures located at the back of the property, including detached garage, storage, and other structures.

The fence shall provide security and privacy.

  • The fence gate and gate hardware shall operate smoothly.
  • The fence and fence gate must be free of any significant defects and irregularities.
  • Deteriorated fence planks, missing fence planks and other defective or missing fence components shall be repaired or replaced as necessary.
  • Fence planks and other fence components shall be securely fastened in place.
  • The backyard (ground) must be graded.
  • Holes or depressions shall be filled to correct drainage problems and remove safety hazards.
  • The backyard shall be fairly clear and free of weeds and other wild growth at the time of the inspection. Trash and Debris
  • The property shall be free from any accumulation of trash, rubbish and garbage, dead branches, discarded items, and other conditions conductive to infestation of insects, vermin, and other pests.

 

DRAINAGE

Drainage

The site must be graded to provide positive drainage away from the perimeter walls of the unit and to prevent standing water (ponding) on the site.

The ground on all sides of the unit shall be elevated and shall slope away from all sides of the property for drainage.

Drainage on site shall drain away from the house, but not directed to any adjacent housing or structures.

Drainage shall be directed towards the street, alley, or easement, facilitated by elevation around the unit. Splash Blocks

  • Gutter downspouts shall require splash blocks and gutter extensions to carry water away from the foundation. Gutters, gutter extensions, and downspouts must be operating as intended and securely fastened. And shall be located and installed in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.
  • Pavestones, gravel or other materials or combination of materials cannot be substituted for splash blocks or gutter extensions.
  • Splash blocks shall be correctly installed.
  • Splash blocks and gutter extensions shall be located and installed in a manner that does not create a tripping or accident hazard.

 

PAVING

Badly deteriorated walks, driveways, and other essential paving shall be repaired or replaced as necessary.

Non-essential deteriorated paving shall be repaired or removed.

 

STAIRWAYS, DECKS, HANDRAILS AND GUARDS (Exterior)

Stairways, decks, handrails, and guards must not present the danger of tripping or falling.

Exterior steps, stairways, and decks shall be structurally sound and reasonably level with smooth and even surfaces.

Deteriorated, damaged, rotten or other defective stairways, decks, handrails, guards, or other stairway components shall be repaired or replaced as necessary.

Porches, balconies or raised floor surfaces located more than 30 inches above grade or above another floor shall have handrails/guards or balustrades.

Stairways with more than three steps (risers) should have a handrail at least on one side of the stairway.

The handgrip portion of the handrail shall be rounded smooth and safe.

 

MAILBOX

Units must have a mailbox or community cluster mailboxes.

 

ADDRESS NUMBERS

The unit must have a minimum of 3-inch high address numbers placed on the unit and plainly visible and legible from the street or road fronting the property.

 

INTERIOR MPS

Kitchen Standards

The kitchen must provide suitable space and equipment to store, prepare, and serve foods in a sanitary manner.

Kitchens shall be equipped with a minimum of one single bowl sink with hot and cold running water. Hot water tap should be located on the left side.

Kitchen plumbing fixtures shall function as intended and free of water leakage.

Stove and refrigerator receptacles shall be present.

 

KITCHEN APPLIANCES AND COUNTERTOP

  • Kitchen appliances, fixtures, and other components shall be in good repair and function as intended.
  • Kitchens must have refrigerator and stove receptacles with appropriate appliance connections.
  • Garbage disposal shall be labeled and shall have a smooth sounding operating noise.
  • Stoves and ranges must be equipped with anti-tipping devices, leveled and free of movement.
  • A means to vent the stove to the outside shall be present, either by a stove vent hood or a kitchen window located in proximity to the stove.
  • Countertop shall be leveled, structurally sound and free of significant warping, deterioration or other irregularities.
  • Special built-in spaces or compartments under cabinets and under countertops and in other areas shall be equipped with the appliance it was intended to house. Stove and refrigerator are exempt.

 

KITCHEN CABINETRY

  • Kitchen cabinets shall be leveled, structurally sound and securely fastened.
  • Space between cabinets and surfaces shall be appropriately filled.
  • Cabinet doors, drawers, and cabinetry hardware shall operate smoothly.
  • Cabinets shall be free of defects, irregularities, and deterioration.
  • Cabinet decking shall be leveled and free of significant warping, deterioration or other irregularities.

 

BATHROOM STANDARDS

The bathroom shall be equipped with a minimum of a vanity with a sink, a tub, and shower with hot and cold running water and a toilet. Hot water taps should be located on the left side.

  • Plumbing fixtures and other plumbing components shall be in good repair and operating as intended. Water leakage shall not be present.
  • Bath or shower compartments shall have waterproof enclosures.
  • Bathtub and shower compartments shall be adequately sealed with an appropriate sealant.
  • Bathroom vanity tops shall be waterproof and free of any irregularities.
  • Shower compartment doors shall be intact and free of leakage.
  • Bathrooms shall be adequately vented to the outside by an exhaust fan or by a bathroom vent window that can be opened. Bathrooms must not be vented to the attic, crawl space, or any area inside the dwelling.
  • Bathroom mirrors shall be intact and securely fastened.
  • Bathroom cabinetry shall be consistent with the kitchen cabinetry standards.

 

FLOOR COVERING

  • Floor coverings must be free of any significant defects and defects and conditions that may cause a tripping hazard.
  • Complete replacement of existing floor tile may be necessary if some tiles do not match.
  • Floor coverings in the bathroom and kitchen area shall be of water resistant material rendered smooth and easily cleanable.
  • Carpet floor covering shall be reasonably clean and safe. Significantly damaged or worn carpet or defects causing tripping hazards shall be repaired or replaced as necessary.

 

INTERIOR WALLS AND CEILINGS

Ceilings and walls must not have significant defects such as bulging, leaning, holes, loose surface materials, buckling, missing parts or other damage that may result in air infiltration or vermin infestation.

Walls must be reasonably plumb and the ceiling must be reasonably level.

Walls and ceilings shall be reasonably clean.

Paint and finish shall be reasonably uniform.

Solid plaster or wallboard that is slightly uneven but sound shall be acceptable.

Cracks more than one sixteenth of an inch on existing walls and ceilings shall be repaired, painted and textured to match existing.

 

UTILITY ROOM/ WASHER AND DRYER CONNECTIONS

Washer and dryer connections shall be provided.

Existing washer water connections shall be free of water leakage, intact and securely fastened and function as intended.

Hot water tap shall be on the left side.

The water supply line housing shall be intact and flush with the wall.

Dryer vents that pass through walls or other combustible material shall be metal and vented to the outside.

Enclosed washer and dryer shall be equipped with an exhaust system, independent of all other systems, and shall convey moisture to the outside.

 

BEDROOM CLOSETS

Bedrooms shall have access to a closet located in the bedroom area for storage of clothing.

Bedroom closets shall have a clothes rod and shelf.

Closets designed to be accessed through a door shall have a door.

Door and door hardware shall operate smoothly.

Closet light fixtures shall not be located too close to the shelves.

Light fixtures too close to the shelves may cause a hazardous condition and an impediment to the use of the shelves.

 

INTERIOR DOORS AND HARDWARE

Doors and door components shall be free of significant defects, deterioration, and irregularities.

Bedroom, bathroom, and closet doors and door hardware shall operate smoothly.

Bedrooms and bathrooms doors shall be equipped with privacy door locks.

Closet doors shall be equipped with passage door hardware.

Doorbell

The unit shall be equipped with a doorbell or doorknocker.

 

CEILING FANS

Existing ceiling fans shall be intact, securely fastened and free of vibration. Telephone Connections

The dwelling shall have at least two pre-wired telephone jacks.

 

EXTERIOR DOORS AND WINDOWS

Exterior/Egress Doors

Exterior doors include all doors leading to the outside from the inside and leading into the house or garage from the outside. Connecting doors leading from the inside of the dwelling into the garage shall be considered an exterior/egress door. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered an outdoor egress door (exterior door).

All exterior/egress doors shall be readily opened from the side from which egress is to be made without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort. This applies to connecting doors leading from the inside into the garage.

Exterior/egress doors shall be solid core or metal/fiberglass clad.

Existing exterior/egress hollow core doors shall be replaced with solid core or wood/metal/fiberglass clad doors. All six sides of the door shall be uniformly painted.

Exterior doors shall be equipped with a single key deadbolt lock and entrance lockset and the door and door hardware shall operate smoothly.

Doors, door hardware and paint coverage on exterior doors shall not be deteriorated.

Exterior doors shall be weather-stripped and reasonably sealed.

Entry door shall be equipped with a peep site (door viewer). This may not be required on glazed doors.

Glazed entrance doors including storm doors, sliding glass patio doors, and glazing immediately adjacent to these doors must be safe and securely fastened.

Windows

Windows must be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools or force greater than normal. Window and window hardware shall operate smoothly.

Windows designed to open shall have a locking device and a mechanism to allow the window to remain partially open.

Defective, screw type or missing window locks shall be replaced with matching or locks similar to the original window locks. Window locks shall be securely fastened to the window.

Screw type devices are not acceptable.

Existing windows and window components shall be free of defects and significant deterioration.

Defective windows shall be replaced with double pane aluminum frame Low E windows.

Windows shall provide a reasonably tight seal.

Windowpanes (glass) that are broken or cracked shall be replaced. 50

WINDOW SCREENS

Windows designed to be open shall have insect screens.

Window screens shall be free of defects; shall be intact and properly fit; and must keep out insects, bugs and other pests.

 

FOUNDATIONS AND STRUCTURE

The dwelling unit shall be structurally sound and not present any threat to the health and safety of the occupants and must protect the occupants from the environment.

 

FOUNDATIONS

Foundations must be:

Sound, reasonably level and free from movement.

Must be adequate to withstand all normal loads imposed.

Free of any irregularities or evidence that could indicate safety or structural deficiencies.

Free of any defects that may result in air infiltration or vermin infestation.

Grade/ground should be below the foundation finished floor level. Structural (Exterior) Walls

  • Structural framing and masonry shall be free from defects and deterioration such as water damage, cracks, rotting, loose surface material and termite damage.
  • Walls shall be free of any cavities between the exterior wall and windows, door entries or openings at the soffit for a weather tight exterior wall. Wall Surfaces and Trim
  • Siding and trim, brick veneer and other wall components shall be intact and weatherproof.
  • Paint coverage on exterior surfaces and components shall be uniform.
  • Paint coverage and finish on existing siding and trim components must not be significantly deteriorated.
  • Siding and trim determine defective and deteriorated shall be replaced.

Siding exposing the bottom plates of the structure shall be replaced.

If over 40 % of the siding on an existing wall, is required to be replaced, the entire siding on the wall must be replaced. Siding on each wall shall be assessed individually.

  • Brick veneer shall be free of significant deterioration, cracking and loose bricks that may cause water penetration.

 

ROOF COVERING

The roof covering must prevent moisture from entering and must provide future utility, durability and economy of maintenance.

The roof must be structurally sound and weatherproof and must cover the entire unit.

Roof shall not have signs of leakage when observed from the ground (missing tiles).

If the roof cannot be observed from the ground, the roof shall be assessed from the inside of the dwelling including attic and shall be noted on the inspection report.

Missing or damaged shingles shall be replaced.

Roof covering will be replaced in its entirety if blistered and the mineral covering is substantially deteriorated.

Damaged shingles and flashing on roofs will be repaired or replaced as necessary.

All flat roofs shall require inspections by a licensed roofing authority.

 

CHIMNEY/FIREPLACE

Chimneys shall be structurally sound, durable, smoke tight and capable of conveying flue gases to the exterior safely.

Chimney cap must be present.

Proper flashing must be present to eliminate water penetration.

Masonry must be free of any significant defects or any irregularities.

Fireplace damper shall be operating as intended.

Fireplace hearth shall be free from defects.

Gas Fireplace shall have a gas shut off valve in proximity.

 

ATTIC

Attic Ventilation Natural ventilation of structural space, such as attics and crawl spaces, must be provided to reduce the effect of conditions of excess heat and moisture which are conducive to decay and deterioration of the structure.

Attics must have adequate ventilation to allow moisture and excessive heat to escape.

Attics will be ventilated through the roof or by other appropriate methods.

 

ATTIC SUPPORT STRUCTURE

The attic support structure must be structurally sound and not damaged; must not have evidence of leakage (visible daylight); and must not have significant water damage visible from the attic or the interior of the dwelling. Attic Insulation

Attic areas will be insulated.

Insulation shall be flush with rafters or at least 3 inches deep.

If the existing insulation is not flush with the joist the attic insulation shall be increased to at least an R 26 rated insulation.

Attic insulation shall not be required over the garage.

 

ATTIC ACCESS and ATTICS CONTAINING APPLIANCES

Attic access must be located in a hallway or other readily accessible location.

Attic access may have a lid or device (scuttle) that shall be easily removed or operated.

At least one lighting outlet must be provided, controlled by a wall light switch or integral switch. The lighting must be located near the equipment to be serviced.

A convenience receptacle outlet shall be present to service appliances located in the attic.

Attic containing appliances requiring access:

Shall be provided with an opening and a clear and unobstructed passageway large enough to allow the removal of the largest appliance; but not less than 30 inches high and 22 inches wide and not more than 20 feet in length. The passageway to the appliances shall be continuous solid flooring and not less than 24 inches wide. A level service space at least 30 inches deep and 30 inches wide shall be present along all sides of the appliance where access is required.

Exception:

On units built before 2000, a working platform need not be provided when the furnace can be serviced from the required access opening. The attic shall have an opening of at least 20 inches wide and 30 inches high.

Electrical cables and other wiring shall be securely fastened.

 

ELECTRIC AND LIGHTING

The dwelling shall contain sufficient electrical sources to permit the use of essential appliances while ensuring safety from fire. Each room shall have adequate natural or artificial illumination to permit normal indoor activities and to support the health and safety of the occupants.

 

ELECTRICAL SWITCHES AND OUTLETS

Every room shall have at least one duplex receptacle and one light fixture or two duplex receptacles.               Large rooms or rooms with heavy current electrical loads may require three or more outlets.

All electrical switches must turn on and off.

All electrical outlets must function.

Sparks or smoke should not be presence in electrical outlets.

Electrical wiring shall be free from hazards. Electrical switches, electrical outlets or other electrical components must not have any exposed or frayed wiring.

Electrical outlets shall be correctly and properly wired.

Light Fixtures

Every habitable room must be provided with a light fixture or one outlet controlled by a wall switch.

Existing wall or ceiling lights with internal switches are acceptable.

Common or internal stairways from one floor used as a living area to another must have at least one light controlled by a three-way switch.

Exterior stairs with five risers or more shall have a light fixture.

 

GROUND FAULT CIRCUITS INTERRUPTER (GFCI Electrical Outlets)

Electrical outlets that are not GFCI protected must be replaced as necessary with GFCI protected outlets to comply with the below referenced requirements.

Kitchens shall have at least two GFCI protected outlets.

Bathrooms must have at least one GFCI protected outlet.

Bar sink must have at least one GFCI protected outlet.

At least one GFCI electrical outlet must be present at the front entrance and one at the back entrance of the unit.

At least one GFCI electrical outlet must be present in the garage.

All exterior outlets shall be GFCI protected.

Appliance Outlets

Safe electrical outlets must be provided for all existing appliances. 53

Appliances requiring 120 volts may be on a circuit with other outlets so long as there is no evidence the circuit is overloaded.

Essential motors requiring 240 volts must have a separate dedicated circuit and outlet.

 

MAIN PANEL BOARD (Circuit Breaker Box)

The service entrance must be in good condition and sized to safely service all outlets, fixtures, and basic appliances.

Electric circuit breaker panel box shall be appropriately labeled. The use or purpose of all panel board circuits shall be legibly marked and identified on a circuit directory located on the face or inside the door of the enclosure.

Panel box shall not be missing any knockouts.

The panel box shall be grounded at the service.

 

PLUMBING SYSTEM

All plumbing fixtures and plumbing components must be in good repair and in proper working condition free of dripping.

 

WATER SUPPLY

The units must be provided with a continuing and sufficient supply of safe and potable water under adequate pressure and of appropriate quality for all household uses; and no significant drop or limitation in water pressure at all taps.

Hot taps shall be located on the left side.

One main water shut-off valve should be located near the entrance of the water service into the unit.

Hose connections shall be protected by backflow prevent devices (vacuum breakers).

This does not apply to water heater drain valves.

Nor water supply valves intended for connecting clothes washing machines.

Water supply lines to the kitchen sink, lavatory basin, water heater and other water supply lines must have individual shut-off valves.

Water line penetrations under kitchen sinks, lavatory basin, and at other locations must be adequately sealed. Clean-out penetrations located in the referenced areas or in other locations must be sealed.

Sinks, basins or pipes shall not leak; puddles (water) or wetness under plumbing fixtures shall not be present.

The following water supply lines shall be appropriately insulated:

Water supply lines located in the attic.

Water heater cold water supply lines; also applies to water heaters located in the garage.

Water supply lines exposed to the weather.

Electrical wiring under sinks/basins (usually from a garbage disposal) must not present a hazard or threat to the occupants. The wiring must not come in contact with water lines and possible water akage.

The main meter compartment shall be free of stagnated water and evidence of possible leakage. Drain, Waste, Vent Lines Units must have sanitary facilities and a safe method of sewage disposal.

Existing drainage, waste, and vent system should be adequately sized to provide drainage and removal of wastes.

Existing vents must prevent pressure build-up and sewer gas from entering the unit.

Existing traps or other plumbing components that are broken or leaking shall be repaired or replaced as necessary with similar components and installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and current IRC.

 

WATER HEATERS

The water heater (WH) shall provide an adequate supply of hot water at all taps.

Each dwelling unit shall have a gas-fired or electric WH with at least a minimum capacity of 30 gallons.

The WH shall be connected to an appropriate flue, exhausting its combustion gases to the exterior.

The WH shall be equipped with an appropriate sized temperature and pressure relief valve with discharge pipe properly installed.

WH discharge line shall be directed approximately 6 inches above floor or to the exterior.

A shut-off valve to the WH cold water supply line shall be present. The valve shall be located at or near the WH and shall be readily accessible.

A WH installed where leakage of the WH tank or connections will cause damage, shall be installed in a galvanized drain pan or in other pans listed for such use.

Gas WH located in the garage shall be elevated 18 inches above the garage floor.

The WH shall not be located in any room used or designed for sleeping purposes or in a clothes closet.

 

HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM

Heating and cooling systems must:

Be safe to operate.

Be protected from destructive elements.

Have reasonable future utility, durability and economy.

Have adequate capacity and quality. Thermostatic Controls

A thermostat that controls both heating and cooling should be located near the return air grill. Heating Plant The heating system must be capable of delivering enough heat to assure a healthy environment and a comfortable living condition.

Fuel supply lines shall have a shut off valve easily accessible and all piping well supported and protected.

Gas supply lines should be black iron or steel pipe or other approved piping.

 

DUCT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

Existing circulating air ducts shall be insulated including those located in attics and crawl spaces.

Existing air ducts shall be supported above the rafters and insulation.

 

AIR CONDITIONING

The cooling system must be capable of delivering enough cool air to assure a healthy living environment and a comfortable living condition.

Airflow around the existing condenser must not be obstructed.

Existing condenser unit must be level and well supported with the housing intact.

The unit refrigerant line (larger line) must have the insulation intact.

An electric disconnect switch used for maintenance and repairs should be located within sight of the unit. Circuit breaker in the service panel box is acceptable if located within sight of the unit.

 

SMOKE ALARMS/DETECTORS

Smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and provided in the following locations:

  • A smoke detector in each room used for sleeping.
  • Outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms or sleeping area (hallway area).
  • If bedrooms or sleeping areas are located on different (usually on opposite) sides of the unit, the reference above applies to bedrooms and sleeping areas on each side.
  • On each additional story of the dwelling.
  • The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed. • On units built after 2000, when more than one smoke alarm is required in an individual unit the alarm devices shall be interconnected in such a manner that the actuation of one alarm will activate all of the alarms in the individual unit. The alarm shall be clearly audible in all bedrooms over background noise levels with all intervening doors closed.

 

BEDROOM EGRESS

All bedrooms shall have adequate egress to the exterior of the dwelling unit. If an enclosed patio (solid walls) covers the bedroom window, it is possible the bedroom may not qualify as a habitable bedroom.

Emergency escape and rescue windows with bars, grills, covers or screens must be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, or force greater than normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.

Occupants of a bedroom must be able to get outside the unit if there is a fire.

 

GARAGE

An attached garage shall have sheetrock completely installed and fully painted walls and ceilings.

Attached garage interior walls shall be consistent with the same standards as interior walls.

A detached garage may not have fully painted walls and ceilings or sheetrock completely installed. Exposed wiring shall be intact, securely fastened and safe.

Vehicle doors and hardware shall operate smoothly.

 

TERMITES AND WOOD STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS

Termites can cause serious problems in the wood structural components of a dwelling and may go undetected for a long period of time.  A pest inspection shall be required if the dwelling unit or other structures on the property show evidence of termite infestation.

 

DETACHED STRUCTURES

Detached buildings (storage, sheds, or other structures) that have deteriorated and are unsound causing a hazard shall be repaired, replaced, or removed.