New Home Construction, as well as additions and detached structures, require a plot plan to be submitted with the construction plans. The City of Abilene, or Tax Assessor's Office, can help you find the property information. Show the entire lot and dimensions requested. This information is filed as a permanent record and creates a ''history'' of your property.


    Setbacks are necessary for two reasons: fire separation and good neighbors

    • Columns in 3' deep 'post hole' piers
    • Columns on 2'x2'x2' spread footings, a minimum of 10" into bearing soil
    • Continuous perimeter beam, a minimum of 8" wide and 20" deep; a minimum of 6" into bearing soil, with 4 bars of 1/2" rebar in beam - 2 top, 2 bottom
    • Call for a foundation/pier inspection before concrete is poured

    Over 24' clear span requires Engineered foundation and structure

    Columns may be steel, wolmanized lumber, redwood, cedar, or a wood of natural resistance to decay.

    See "Span Chart" for wood framing.

    Check Zoning for maximum size; 600, 800 and 1,200 sq. ft. and height limitations

  • Foundation Inspection


    Prior to calling for inspection, check these items:
    • Depth of beams
    • Grade and size of reinforcing steel
    • Finish Floor Elevation requirements
    • Electrical grounding and/or Rough-In for electrical in slab, installed and inspected
    • Plumbing Rough-In installed and inspected
    • Any duct work, or Jenn-Aire duct in slab, installed and inspected
    • Anchor bolt spacing: ½'' or 8'' bolts at 6'-0'' on-center spacing


    Framing Inspection

    • Refer to ''Wood Span Charts'' for joist and rafter spans Bottom plates are treated lumber
    • Exterior walls - max 16", on-center spacing
    • Interior walls - non-load bearing, maximum 24'' on-center spacing, not to exceed 10' stud height
    • Double top plate - See International Residential code for exceptions
    • Wind bracing required at all corners
    • Attic ventilation required:
    • 1 square Foot of ventilation, per 150 square feet of attic space (1/50). May reduce to 1/300 when 50% of the ventilators are in the upper portion of the space vented, such as gable vents or turbine joints combined with soffit vents.
    • Heating & air-conditioning duct work inspected
    • Plumbing (over-the-top)
    • Electrical rough-in inspected
    • Roof decking
    • Exterior sheathing
    • Exterior doors
    • Windows
    • Fire-blocking
    • Windows installed and doors framed

    Sleeping rooms (any room served by a closet or bath) are required to have a way for emergency escape or rescue.

    Escape, or rescue windows, must have a clear openable area of 5.7 square feet and meet all of the following:
    • Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet (0.464m2)
    • Minimum opening height dimension: 24''
    • Minimum opening width dimension: 20''
    • Maximum sill height, above floor: 44''
    • Windows within a 24'' arc of a door must be safety glazing
    • One exterior door must be a minimum 3'0'' X 6'8'' hinged
    • Occupied rooms should have approximately 8% of natural light from window or skylights, per room.

    Final Inspections

    • Heating & air-conditioning final inspection approval; condenser set, attic walkway installed (if applicable)
    • Plumbing final inspection approval
    • Electrical final inspection approval
    • Smoke detectors are installed in each sleeping room, each area giving access to sleeping rooms, and at the top of stairways.
    • Construction material/debris cleared, and yard graded to drain away from foundation Exterior complete, wood painted
    • Landings/porches at exterior doors-minimum 36'' x 36''
    • Doors, swinging out, may not have more than 1'' from floor to landing
    • Doors, swinging in, may not have more than 8'' from floor level to landing

    Upon completion of the above items, call for a Final Inspection, prior to use or occupancy of the building/area.

    General Fireplace Inspections

    • Prefab- must be accessible to check clearances to combustible materials and vent connections
    • Masonry - inspection required, prior to capping chimney
    • Hearth extensions - (minimum) 6 square feet, or less - 16'' in front of, and 8'' beyond each side of fireplace opening
    • Over 6 square feet - 20'' in front of, and 12'' beyond each side of fireplace opening
    • Mantels and combustible trim -
      • None closer than 6'' to fireplace opening
      • Combustible materials greater than ¾'' thickness may project 1/8'' for each inch increase in distance, from 6'' to 12'' from fireplace opening


    • Install as per manufacturer's instructions
    • Check starter strip requirements
    • Vents to gas fuel appliances to be checked for safety. When installing or changing out collar flashings and vent caps, install in accordance with plumbing or mechanical code, or obtain services of a licensed registered mechanical or plumbing contractor

    Drywall (sheetrock)

    • Water-resistance gypsum wall board is required when used as a base for tile or wall panels for tub, shower or toilet compartment walls. Water-resistance gypsum board shall not be used on ceilings, above tubs and showers where joists exceed 12'' on-center

    Driveway Approaches (Approaches to the public right-of-way, street or alley)

    • Must be permitted through the Engineering Division, by a bonded contractor. Call 676-6281
  • Variances to setbacks and special exceptions are applied through the Planning & Zoning Division - - Call 676-6475

    State law and local ordinances require permit applicants, who wish to do their own plumbing and electrical work, to be a homeowner with proof of homestead at the property where work is to be permitted. All other properties are required to have the work performed by a licensed/bonded/registered electrician or plumber.

    • Proof of homestead
    • Description of work to be performed
    • Submit information of work to be performed
    • Obtain permits and inspections

    • Proof of homestead
    • Pass homeowner's electrical test
    • Submit information of work to be performed
    • Obtain permits and inspections

    • State law requires new installations to be done by a licensed mechanical contractor, or the property owner
    • Proof of homestead
    • Description of work to be performed
    • Obtain permit and inspections
    • No permits are required for fences not over 7' high that meet the setback requirements.
    • No permits are required for storage buildings, or playhouses, that are 200 square feet or less, and are not connected to any utilities.
    • Water heaters, in garages or closets which open into garages, must be elevated 18'' above the floor (both gas and electric).
    • Permits are required for spas and above-ground swimming pools having a depth of 24" or more.