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Living space

I'm planning to build a new home on Houston city limit. I would like to build a 2500 sq/ft living space house, but for not be to hard on the budget I would like to live the live unfinished 2 bedroom. In other word take all the mechanical (AC duct, electric) to the room and noting else but just framing.
The builder told me that the city of Houston will not allow that but it also could be that the builder do not want me to save money.
Can you help me with that?


Asked by Rocco Locaso
Posted May 30, 2014 1:43 PM ET


3 Answers

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If I understand your question correctly, you want to live in an unfinished house. Unfortunately, the building departments in many cities and towns won't provide an occupancy permit -- that is, a permit that allows you to live in a house -- until the house has been substantially completed. If you have any doubts about the regulations in Houston, you should contact the building department.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 30, 2014 2:07 PM ET


Rocco, As Martin said most jurisdictions have rules around unfinished parts of a structure. Here the area has to be insulated with the electrical and plumbing roughed in. To protect these from mechanical damage the first four feet of the walls must be drywalled. The spaces can also only be used for storage, not as an integral part of the living spaces. At that point there is so little left to do to finish the rooms, while a pause means the work costs much more later to get all the trades back, that most people opt to do it all at once.
Building regulations aside, you might also want to check with your bank. Mortgage holders and insurance companies hate unfinished projects.

Answered by Malcolm Taylor
Posted May 30, 2014 7:26 PM ET
Edited May 30, 2014 7:27 PM ET.


Thanks a lot for your help.

Answered by Rocco Locaso
Posted Jun 2, 2014 1:14 PM ET

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