Houston - Galveston - Texas Coastal Home Inspections I Coastal Inspector I Infrared Thermography I IRC Code Certified
"Grandfathering" is a term used that tries to encourage an exception to a negative existing condition and convince another to accept it and continue the noncompliance.
Grandfathering can potentially kill people or exacerbate personal injury or cause damage to property.
The issue with grandfathering is that it is not allowed under the statewide inspection standards of practice or in any repair work under Texas SB 365 which adopted the International Residential Code (IRC).
The Texas minimum inspection standards were designed "to more accurately reflect current technology, codes, and practices that form the basis of many of the standards" according to the Texas Real Estate Commission. Nowhere in the inspection standards for the inspection process or in the rules of the Texas Real Estate Commission is grandfathering allowed that would exempt a disclosure of condition. No where is grandfathering allowed under statewide codification. All repairs, remodels, replacements, etc. of structures, appliances or mechanical equipment are required to be built and/or installed to current codification.
"One may hear that some item was not code when the home was built like it was only yesterday." They don't know. It's a common home inspector smoke and mirror claim for a soft sell report. Your home inspector is usually not code certified so he/she simply doesn't know.
It is amazing how fast historical code experts come out of the woodwork with these claims when the sale of something is involved. Can they provide anything in writing where it is was not required or "grandfathered"? No. Excuses come as fast and funny as the claim of "the city passed it" (by the third owner 16 years later). Cities do not do code inspections as you know it and they certainly do not follow the statewide TREC inspection standards of practice.
The Texas minimum inspection standards are extensive and are much tougher than other states and any inspector association. Some agents may bash inspectors for following the minimum standards so the inspection industry is basically punished for doing what is considered the minimum inspection.
Remember, all the bad stuff in used homes were there or caused many times from the time of construction. Yes, new homes need to be inspected and they should be inspected by full code certified inspectors. Builders or remodelers in Texas are not licensed or regulated. New homes are increasingly being buit by accountants and not experienced superintendents.
According to a homeownersoftexas.org article, "defective homes are now a national problem. Builders are selling defective homes with little regard for building codes. Builders can get around building codes and obtain certificates of occupancy on defective homes by simply filing an affidavit that the home meets the building code after an inspection by inspectors the builder hires. It is now impossible for local inspectors to inspect all homes being built. The result is a flood of defective homes, with little recourse for the buyers."
Grandfathering: The Great Excuse....... and it can kill