Residential Building Codes

Back to All Building Codes

The codes adopted by law are published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), the International Code Council (ICC), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

These publishers restrict online access to their publications. In order to view NFPA publications, you must first set up a profile and agree to their licensing restrictions. To view IAPMO documents, you may need to install Adobe Flash Player.

Section 214.212 of the Local Government Code adopts the International Residential Code as it existed on May 1, 2001, as the municipal residential code for the state.

This law also allows a municipality to adopt local amendments to the code and to review and adopt any amendments made after May 1, 2001, by the International Code Council.

For the correct version of the code for your municipality, please contact your local government officials.

In larger cities, you can usually find this information on the city website. Otherwise you may need to contact your municipality in person or by phone. Each municipality is different so this could be a planning department, a code enforcement department, or some other permitting office.

Section 214.211 defines “residential” as:

"Residential" means having the character of a detached one-family or two-family dwelling or a multiple single-family dwelling that is not more than three stories high with separate means of egress, including the accessory structures of the dwelling, and that does not have the character of a facility used for the accommodation of transient guests or a structure in which medical, rehabilitative, or assisted living services are provided in connection with the occupancy of the structure.

Section 233.153 of the Local Government Code adopts the International Residential Code as published as of May 1, 2008, or the version adopted by the county seat for certain residential structures in unincorporated areas of certain counties. Please read the text of the statute, the definitions in Local Government Code 233.151, and the applicability of the statute in Local Government Code 233.152 for more details.

Section 233.153 is only applicable if the county in question has adopted a resolution or order requiring it and meets certain other conditions. See Section 233.152 for details on its applicability.

Texas Administrative Code
Title 16. Economic Regulation
Rule §70.100 Mandatory Building Codes

Rule 70.100 adopts the International Residential Code, 2015 edition, for industrialized and modular residential buildings:

(a) Effective August 1, 2017, all industrialized housing and buildings, modules, and modular components, shall be constructed in accordance with the codes referenced in subsection (c) - (j).
[…]
(d) The International Residential Code, 2015 edition, published by the International Code Council, is adopted as the Residential Code for one- and two-family dwellings of the Texas Industrialized Housing and Buildings Program.

See the full text of the Rule 70.100 for the complete list of adopted codes applicable to industrialized and modular residential buildings.

Texas Administrative Code Title 16, Chapter 75 (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), Rule 75.100 (Technical Requirements) adopts the International Residential Code for certain residential buildings in municipalities where no code has been adopted. According to Texas Administrative Code Title 16, Chapter 75 (Air Conditioning and Refrigeration), Rule 75.110 (Applicable Codes), the 2012 edition of the IRC shall be used for work permitted or started before January 1, 2018. For work started after January 1, 2018, the 2015 edition of the IRC has been adopted.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
CHAPTER 388. TEXAS BUILDING ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Sec. 388.003. ADOPTION OF BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.

Section 388.003 of the Health & Safety Code adopts the International Energy Conservation Code as it existed on May 1, 2001, for all residential construction other than single-family. But this law gives the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) the ability to adopt and substitute a later published edition.

As of September 1, 2016, the SECO has adopted the International Energy Conservation Code as it existed on May 1, 2015, as the energy code for all residential construction other than single-family in Rule §19.53 of the Texas Administrative Code. See the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
CHAPTER 388. TEXAS BUILDING ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Sec. 388.003. ADOPTION OF BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.

As of September 1, 2016, section 388.003 of the Health & Safety Code adopts the energy efficiency chapter of the International Residential Code as it existed on May 1, 2015, as the energy code for single-family residential construction.

Prior to that, the energy efficiency chapter of the International Residential Code as it existed on May 1, 2001, was the state energy code for single-family residential construction.

After September 1, 2021, the State Energy Conservation Office may adopt and substitute a more recent edition of the energy efficiency chapter as the state energy code.

For some rehabilitation activities after January 5, 2017, of certain single-family homes involved in programs related to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), Rule 21.6 of the Texas Administrative Code requires that various chapters of the 2015 International Residential Code apply. Please see the text of the rule for details.

Texas Administrative Code Title 10, Chapter 80 (Manufactured Housing), Rule 80.26 (Registration of Stabilizing Components and Systems) adopts the International Residential Code regarding stabilizing components for manufactured homes. Please read the text of the rule for more details.

The Department adopts the applicable standards and publications set forth in Chapter 43 of the International Code Council, latest edition of the International Residential Code for materials used to fabricate stabilizing components and systems. The Department adopts the stabilizing component destruction test failure criteria of the FMHCSS (24 CFR, Part 3280) or latest edition of the International Residential Code, Appendix E.

Texas Administrative Code
Title 22. Examining Boards
Rule §367.2 Code Requirements

Rule 367.2 adopts the 2012 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code and the 2012 International Residential Code as incorporated by reference in the 2012 International Plumbing Code.

[T]he Board adopts the following plumbing codes:
(1) the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code, as published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; and
(2) the 2012 International Plumbing Code, as published by the International Code Council and the codes incorporated by reference within the 2012 International Plumbing Code, including:
[…]
(B) the 2012 International Residential Code.

Local Government Code
Chapter 214. Municipal Regulation of Housing and Other Structures
Sec. 214.103. International Swimming Pool and Spa Code

Section 214.103 adopts the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code as it existed on May 1, 2019. This law also authorizes municipalities to adopt local amendments to the code.

Please note that this law states it applies “in a municipality that elects to regulate pools or spas,” so it is important to know if your municipality has elected to regulate pools or spas. Many larger cities publish their ordinances online.


Disclaimer: The library's list of adopted codes is not exhaustive. We include only the adoptions that the library has found relevant as building codes. State laws quoted on this page are not the official versions of the law. See the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.

page last updated: 12 Oct 2020 5:42 PM