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1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

Our home was built in 1997-1998, in the Western ETJ of Houston, TX., has Post Tension foundation problems that follow through the framing.
We would like to know which code or codes should have been followed by the builder.

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

Call your local building / permits department.

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

There is no building/permit department in the County areas of Texas outside of City Limits, and no inspections. The Universal Building Codes probably would have been the only regulation for home builders in 1997 & 1998.

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

I'm assuming you're having problems with your house.  Could you elaborate?  It might be possible to get more specific with the code if you could tell us the dilemma.  

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

Thank you for your reply dirtsqueezer.
The Post Tension foundation on this model home was constructed in Nov. 1997.
To make a long story short, we have been in litigation since 1999, and not until 2003 did we find an unstressed cable, which led to our Geotechnical Engineer finding through core sampling, the one unstressed cable and one other at the depth of 5 inches.  The R meter could find no other cables, rebar, or mesh throughout the house and garage.
The builder and the post tension co., have 'lost' all the plans, and we are quite convinced there were no soil samples, design engineering, or inspections pre and post pour.
Our Geotech report states our foundation is "below industry standard and extremely non uniform.
We understand that the Uniform Building Code will be the basis all of the structural defects we have documented in this house.
Please reply back to me with any suggestions or comments.

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

Normally, the Uniform Building Code is not the code that governs residential (one and two-family) housing.  Usually, it is either the CABO code or the newer Internation Residential Code.  

I would find it hard to believe that there is NO code that governs your area.  Most states have provisions that cover out-of-city-limits situations - essentially a state code, or a county will adopt a building code.  Check with your county or state on this.

In any case, your attorney should get an engineer on your team to study the situation and provide expert guidance on the design and construction of the foundation.

Usually, with residential homes, there is no geotechnical report and a lot of engineers (both structural and geotechnical) get confused and insist that the Uniform Building Code or IBC govern the design.  Usually they do not.

Your geotechnical engineer that states that the construction was below "industry standards" is on the right track in that most litigation cases involving construction depend upon a reasonable standard....ie. what another engineer or building would normally do in the industry sets the standard by which others are judged.

RE: 1997 Code for Houston, TX ETJ

Thank you JAE for your reply.

Our structural engineer did say that the International Residential Code would cover our home.
I am still confused concerning the Uniform Building Code, and whether or not it was in effect prior to the IRC in 1997, concerning Post Tension Foundation Codes.
Our Fort Bend County Engineers have no adopted Codes, no permits, no inspections.

They are very frustrated that the only inspection they do for a builder is a road setback inspection for the Planned Area Development.

You are so correct concerning our geotech's report.  The exact wording our Geotech wrote is; "below TYPICAL industry standard," and "extremely non uniform."

Thanks again, I appreciate each and every message.

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