The home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and one of the scientific hubs of the world, Houston is one of the most important cities in the world.
Named after the first President of the Republic of Texas, the city houses 6 million people And covers an area of approximately 2300 square miles, making it the 4th largest city in the United States. Houston is also one of the oldest cities in the country, having been intended to be a city since 1836.
From the point of view of building styles, Houston is a very interesting city, with mixes of Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial revival styles amongst others prevailing, especially in the theatre and museum districts. If you’re considering building a home in this beautiful Texas town, we’d recommend talking to an architect about what your options are, before deciding which way to go.
- Whether you want to create a modern home or are renovating an older building, architects are going to be your go to person to give you insider knowledge about the spaces, designs and engineering of what you want to build. On top of this, they create the blueprints which you will need to get work started.
- Houston sits in a region of humid subtropical climate, meaning that while it isn’t in “Tornado Alley” is does experience supercell thunderstorms which can bring tornadoes into the city. Summertime in houston is hot, with temperatures between 90 °F and 100 °F. Milder winters are the norm, with little or no snow. Architects are going to be aware of this, and will know how to build around the humid climate.
- Architects will charge you uniquely, so you could be quoted in any way, be it per square foot, per entire job or by the hour. In the case of work which is specific or bespoke, you may pay more, but the national average in the U.S is between $2100.00 and $8000.00.
- Architects spend time on site when building, meaning they have relationships with work crews and contractors. They will often be able to give building crews specific instructions on what needs to be done where. This means they will have you money in the long term by saving time on the project.
- Because of this relationship with contractor or subcontractors, your chosen architect will have a crew which they trust and who they understand well, making the work process easier. They will also be able to relay information to the work crew which you may need or want specifically, helping the process of building or renovating move forward more smoothly.
- The current national averages for building a new house is between $150,152.00 and $425,893.00, depending on the scope of the building you want to erect. Building averages in Houston are significantly higher due to the living standards of the city, with the low end being in the region of $235,00.00 and $650,00.00. The average median range of housing prices stands at $404,00.00.
- Houston is right on the curve with national home sizes, with the average being 2184 square feet. This is larger than homes on average in any other city in Texas, including Austin and Dallas.
Houston building codes are permitted by the Houston Building Code enforcement department. As with any cities building regulations, there are many, which architects will know. This is one of the many reasons we suggest you consider hiring one.
Permits—The department will want to look at your building plans, and your chosen architect will be able to ensure that these are done as seamlessly as possible, which will hasten the process.
Inspections—The city municipal department inspects all of the housing proposed or already built in the greater city limits, and thoroughly inspects spaces for occupancy. They will do spot checks on the electrical, plumbing, fire safety, and mechanical aspects, as well as gas lines if you have them.
Windstorm protection -The city dept. will also check on your wind protection because of the chance of tornadoes or hurricanes. This is done by checking wind straps on the building or planned building. They will also inspect building frames for strength.
Demolition Permits—If your plan is to rebuild, you will need to obtain a demolition permit, for breaking down wall and interiors to rebuilding entirely. Be aware that the more you want to do with an older structure, the longer the process will take.
Taxation—Taxes for building are issued by Harris County, and amount to an average of 0.005%. (or $0.005195 per $100.00) This is far below the national average, and is part of the reason the Houston is so populated today.
Regulatory authorities in each state assign taxes differently, and also have various restrictions for building. Architects have a unique knowledge of these, and will create blueprints in accordance with the laws and regulations of each state.
There are quite a few well-known buildings which exist in Houston, each with individual styles and appeal. There are the Caroline Wiess Law Building and the Audrey Jones Beck Building which for 2 part of Houston’s Museums of fine arts and are built in postmodern styles with glass and stonework prevailing. Houston’s skyline is filled with distinctive architecture, especially in the Northern parts of downtown. Examples of Classic 19th century styles still stand around the Market Square historic district,
Classic revival—Part of the cotton trade in the 1800s, this style is one which you can see dotted around the city. It encompases beautiful pillars and arches with classic stonework and whitewashed walls, large windows and thick wooden floors.
Contemporary—The largest building in the city right now is 1500 Louisiana Street, with wide curved glass exteriors and clean lines. This style is characterized by these clean, open spaces without too many intricacies. Williams tower is another example of this.
Highrise—Highrise apartments and buildings in the business district are a mix of postmodern and contemporary, with some art-deco revival in buildings like the bank of America Center.
Homes—Homes in Houston have very similar to common styles to most homes in America. Interestingly enough, styles are area dependent in Houston, with the eastern part of the city showing Craftsman, Arts and Crafts, Foursquare and Mission Revival architecture, and Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial Revival showing in the Heights. Mixes of these can be seen throughout the city, and many of these buildings are very old.
Houston is quite a mixed city, and having this mix means that there are many styles and therefore many more materials which apply to house building. What we suggest is looking at the area you're planning on building in, and finding and architect to assist you in making the best of your build.