Home Construction Standards, Warranties Now Effective in Texas

June 13, 2005

All homebuilders and remodelers in Texas must now offer new mandated warranties and building performance standards for home construction as outlined by the Texas Residential Construction Commission.

The new warranties and standards, adopted by the commission in January went into effect June 1, the TRCC said. The rules detail how the components of a newly built home or remodeled home should perform while under warranty. The new requirements for builders and remodelers are the first written minimum warranties and building and performance standards ever required in Texas.

The rules, for construction that begins on or after June 1, apply to work done by homebuilders and remodelers if the interior renovations exceed $20,000 or change the size of the home’s living space. The warranties are one year for workmanship and materials; two years for plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning delivery systems and ten years for major structural components of the home. There is also a 10-year warranty of habitability, which addresses defects that could not have been reasonably discovered during the one- and two-year warranty periods, but later become apparent and negatively impact the habitability of the home.

“For the first time in Texas, homeowners will know what to expect from their new home or remodeling project and how it should perform. By following these standards, builders will be able to improve the quality of construction,” said Stephen D. Thomas, executive director. “The commission’s goal is for all home buyers in our state to be satisfied and confident in their decision to purchase or remodel their home.”

The commission will use the standards when it considers post-construction disputes between builders and homeowners under the new state-sponsored inspection and dispute resolution process. This process must be undertaken before either party in a dispute can proceed with further legal action. The development and implementation of the limited warranties and building and performance standards is one of the primary roles of the commission, which was created by the Legislature in 2003.

The standards were developed after months of research and input from consumers, builders, remodelers, associations and government and industry experts. Additionally, Texas A&M University’s Construction Science Department assisted the agency in the development and review of the standards.

Copies of the standards are available on the commission’s Web site, www.trcc.state.tx.us.

Topics Texas Construction

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