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Houston Texas residential construction

4435 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  JobSuper7
Hello everyone, I'm curious what residential construction is like in Houston, TX. I'm currently a project superintendent for a large commercial construction company and formerly a high-end custom home builder. I would of never made the switch to commercial if it weren't for my hometowns economic conditions and I have been doing commercial for the last 2 years and I'm finding that I miss building custom homes. From what I have read online it seems Houston's Residential market continues to stay strong and is the strongest in the US. Are there any Houston area contractors on here that can fill me in about: How busy you are? Do you think the strong market will continue? How do you manage working in the heat during the summer months? What you like and dislike about the area?Anything else I should know I'm considering a move and any information would be helpful!
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I don't work or live in Houston, but have family there. There is always new construction going on. No chance in the world would I live there.
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is it that bad or is it crime
I don't work or live in Houston, but have family there. There is always new construction going on. No chance in the world would I live there.
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Too many people, too much traffic, too much crime. My brother lives in a nice middle income neighborhood, won't leave his garage door open or his doors unlocked while he is at home. Won't even answer the door at night without his sidearm ready. Not the kind of life I want to live. It got considerably worse after Katrina.

Best I can tell, there's a lot of work and plenty of people spending money, but I'll take country/small town living any day.
is it that bad or is it crime
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I'm not the type to live in the middle of a big city but suburbs of houston or another 30-45 minutes out would be fine with me as long as I don't have to be armed to open the door for the pizza guy! I'm just fed up with my town the politicians here don't have a clue, schools are terrible, infrastructure is worse, we went from building almost 2,000 homes a year to around 30. All the big companies have left and the few still around I would be surprised if there here in the next 5years if things don't change. I've been waiting since 2008 to see some commerce improvement and I'm convinced it will never happen here. Yes I'm frustrated lol!
My sentiments are much like TxElectrician, no way I'd live in Htown. There is money to be made there tho & if you like coastal living you may like it if you can live in the outer burbs.

With all the oil money down there & big plants there's always new contruction going on.
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Come to Dallas, plenty of work, much better then that crap hole city. Just don't take my customers.
Ok I'm convinced downtown isn't where I'd live definitely the burbs. A big adjustment for me would be the summer weather where I live we probably only have 1-2 months of hot humid weather from what I've been reading it's more like 6-7 months of hot humid weather. Question I would have is does most people get use to the heat eventually? Do you adjust your start times? How do you get drywall and paint to cure, massive de-humidifiers? Do you water down the concrete to slow the cure process or are additives or certain mix-designs common?
I live in central Texas, about 225 miles NW of Houston (if you move here, you will learn that 200 miles is just down the road) and it's not as humid here as Houston, but just as hot. I am 52, lived here all my life and haven't gotten used to the heat-you just deal with it. When possible we start at 6-630 in order to finish the day earlier. Not that bad until it starts getting over 105 for ten or so days in a row.
I'm a country boy through and through. I live right up the road from TxElectrician. Getting to urban here with 40k people in 3 counties.

I keep a shotgun in my bedroom, but leave my doors unlocked and my truck keys in the cup holder of my unlocked pickup. I have a considerable amount of tools in my truck box and it is unlocked. Never had an issue. I like it that way.

Guns are locked in my fire proof safe though. I have priorities :whistling

Only ever been to Houston a dozen times. The only place worse than the 5th ward of Houston I've been to is New Orleans. Went once, when I was 18 for Mardin Grai. Some rude sobs there. I almost went to the pen on that trip and got my nose bent and a broken finger. :no: Dirty city.

Might of had something to do with being 18.....

I'll stick to the Hill Country. Good hunting, a lot of lakes with fish. Fresh air. Still got a lot of good country folks. :thumbsup:
is it that bad or is it crime
The hill country sucks big time. What ever you do, don't move here.:laughing:
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Houston

Super:

I’ve lived in Houston all of my life (I’m 62), my wife and I live close to downtown, raised a family here, have kids/grandkids. I love Houston and would not want to live anywhere else and I don’t think crime is any worse here than other cities, honestly I seldom think it.

The market here is great, the best I’ve seen here in 40 years of building new homes. I build a handful of rather expensive homes (2 million$ and up) each year, both custom and spec. I think the prognosis is the market will be good here for 4-5 years, but who knows. I really don’t know what the job prospects are for superintendents here but I assume strong. I have a very experienced project manager and actually hired a young man 5 months ago to train as his future replacement.

Good luck if you decide to come here, Houston is a very vibrant City.

Allan
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The houses you are building ain't in the 5th ward, hoss.:laughing:

I imagine there are some nice parts of Houston. I just don't like crowds.

I trekked up there to judge the Prism awards this year. 700 entrys. Building everywhere for sure.
Super:

I’ve lived in Houston all of my life (I’m 62), my wife and I live close to downtown, raised a family here, have kids/grandkids. I love Houston and would not want to live anywhere else and I don’t think crime is any worse here than other cities, honestly I seldom think it.

The market here is great, the best I’ve seen here in 40 years of building new homes. I build a handful of rather expensive homes (2 million$ and up) each year, both custom and spec. I think the prognosis is the market will be good here for 4-5 years, but who knows. I really don’t know what the job prospects are for superintendents here but I assume strong. I have a very experienced project manager and actually hired a young man 5 months ago to train as his future replacement.

Good luck if you decide to come here, Houston is a very vibrant City.

Allan
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Is the Houston area as dominated by the corporate tract home builders as the DFW area is?
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Houston is the only City where I had 25' trailer busted into and half the tools stolen (brand new in the box that was purchased in Biloxi) while catching some shuteye at a motel. SOB's got caught when they rolled their box truck on a freeway loop and spread THEIR new tools all over the road.

Houston is the plague in my opinion :(
Allan thanks for the reassurance and best of luck to you to on the new hire! As well as everyone else it's good to hear the ups and downs I guess you will have that no matter where your at. The opportunity in Houston is intriguing, from what I hear construction didn't slow much during the downturn speaks volumes to me. A couple more questions I have is :
Does OSHA make a lot of residential site visits? There on just about every other commercial job I do just because there aren't many going on right now, and there for the wrong reasons, I'm all for making safety a priority and OSHA isn't there to help you be safe but to write citations which is wrong!
Secondly, can you submit prints to the building dept. in houston for a house without an architect and MEP stamps or is it a requirement?
I highly doubt you'd be able to submit plans without an archy' & or engineer's stamp, but can not say for sure.

A couple of nice things I can say about Houston is I have met some awful nice folks that live there, great saltwater fishing at your doorstep & you can shoot a thief dead no problemo if he's on your property or even your neighbors (long as he says you can) which happens about once a month it seems.
Almost all 700 of those award entrys were tract builders.

Being from a rural area, I had never heard of an 800k tract home.
Houston is the only City where I had 25' trailer busted into and half the tools stolen (brand new in the box that was purchased in Biloxi) while catching some shuteye at a motel. SOB's got caught when they rolled their box truck on a freeway loop and spread THEIR new tools all over the road.

Houston is the plague in my opinion :(
On residential here OSHA comes and goes, I've gone years without seeing or hearing from or about them. In 2012 they were hitting builders sporadically, I actually had an inspector on one of my homes and framer was fined $12,000.

You can submit plans drawn by a building designer, they do not have to be registered architects, do not MEP stamps, but structural engineer stamp and design are required.

Allan
Does OSHA make a lot of residential site visits? There on just about every other commercial job I do just because there aren't many going on right now, and there for the wrong reasons, I'm all for making safety a priority and OSHA isn't there to help you be safe but to write citations which is wrong!
Secondly, can you submit prints to the building dept. in houston for a house without an architect and MEP stamps or is it a requirement?
Allan,

Do you feel that the city not having zoning helps growth?
On residential here OSHA comes and goes, I've gone years without seeing or hearing from or about them. In 2012 they were hitting builders sporadically, I actually had an inspector on one of my homes and framer was fined $12,000.

You can submit plans drawn by a building designer, they do not have to be registered architects, do not MEP stamps, but structural engineer stamp and design are required.

Allan
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