Thursday, August 14, 2008

I hate the City of Houston

The City of Houston has really stringent building codes, and while I suppose that's a good thing to prevent shoddy building, it's a real pain when I want to incorporate certain designs or elements in our plans. It's made worse by the fact that many of the inspectors will err on the side of red-tagging you if there's any doubt in their mind (due to their lack of knowledge or familiarity with the product you're trying to use).

My latest gripe is that I had wanted to use horizontal cedar slats in lieu of traditional vertical balusters on the front and back porch, again drawing inspiration from the Gamble House. Since this could be potentially used as a ladder by a child, the City won't allow it unless I clad the railings in Plexiglas or other material. Besides being an additional cost, it would be ugly and completely contrary to the Arts&Crafts "one with nature" look we want with the exterior. Grrr.

1 comment:

Maria said...

I feel your pain. Our county stinks as well. They have so many silly rules that make things way too expensive.

We wanted to put a storage area in the otherwise useless sloped area of our closet. Because they would then require an additional sprinkler etc etc, it would have cost us about $1,000 for 15 or so sq ft of storage space!

We had to pay several hundred dollars for each rear door to have a gate blocking it, even though we want to put steps in right away anyway. Couldn't do steps because then the builder would hav eot jump through 10 hoops and do a bunch of useless, expensive stuff (that we don't want!) like putting in a concrete slab at each door of xx sq ft. On and on. Ridiculous I say!