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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 9:35 PM
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Zero Lot Line homes?

I have no idea where to post this, but this was posted on another forum apparently shot in "The Heights" in Houston. How is this possibly permitted?


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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 9:56 PM
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i mean, do you literally mean how is this "permitted?" i would look to the local municipal codes, etc.

are you talking about the small gap and the fact that the firewall isn't closed? houston may be unique in that they are building new construction that leaves gangways like that, that can't be walked down. generally speaking new zero lot line construction closes that gap...it was common in the 19th century in the u.s. to leave varying width gangways like that smaller than what a man could walk down in the older cities of the midwest but not as common now...it's usually like 3 feet (or whatever) or completely closed.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:01 PM
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this is probably more typical (for new construction) in my area...theres a seam there but no real gap.


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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:43 PM
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In the first picture, what is going on in that gap? [rot, bugs etc] Reason I ask is that I honestly have no idea, I've only lived in stand alone SFHs, condos and high-rises where this is not an issue.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
i mean, do you literally mean how is this "permitted?" i would look to the local municipal codes, etc.

are you talking about the small gap and the fact that the firewall isn't closed? houston may be unique in that they are building new construction that leaves gangways like that, that can't be walked down. generally speaking new zero lot line construction closes that gap...it was common in the 19th century in the u.s. to leave varying width gangways like that smaller than what a man could walk down in the older cities of the midwest but not as common now...it's usually like 3 feet (or whatever) or completely closed.
Basically wouldn't a tiny gap like that mean that replacing the sheathing basically be impossible in the case of water infiltration?
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:44 PM
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In the first picture, what is going on in that gap? [rot, bugs etc] Reason I ask is that I honestly have no idea, I've only lived in stand alone SFHs, condos and high-rises where this is not an issue.
It's two SFHs built so close together than you can't access those exterior walls, but with a small gap so you can still get issues with rot, bugs, etc.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:52 PM
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I hope there's no windows on those walls. :-/
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 10:56 PM
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It's two SFHs built so close together than you can't access those exterior walls, but with a small gap so you can still get issues with rot, bugs, etc.
How? This is mesmerizing to me. Again, I'm totally ignorant here.

E] Wouldn't' it be better to just build like the second picture?
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 11:40 PM
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The thing I wonder about is how the heck do they do any maintenance? With there being a gap between there, how do they protect against water damage and subsequent mold?

I also wonder about what happens if wildlife or pets get stuck between there.

Also, that sort of situation would be a freaking disaster here. We have a big tree canopy here of Live Oaks that drop their leaves in the spring, and holy hell, do they drop their leaves. You'd have a vertical compost happening there up the roof in less than a decade. The crazy thing is, Houston being Houston, not only do they have pine trees and palm trees, but they also have some giant Live Oaks in their central neighborhoods. Not to mention that even in the absence of a tree on one's lot, Houston is a rather windy city, especially during storms that would blow leaves into that space. And then there's the flooding issue that Houston deals with pretty much every year.
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Old Posted Jun 12, 2018, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sun Belt View Post
How? This is mesmerizing to me. Again, I'm totally ignorant here.

E] Wouldn't' it be better to just build like the second picture?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
The thing I wonder about is how the heck do they do any maintenance? With there being a gap between there, how do they protect against water damage and subsequent mold?

I also wonder about what happens if wildlife or pets get stuck between there.

Also, that sort of situation would be a freaking disaster here. We have a big tree canopy here of Live Oaks that drop their leaves in the spring, and holy hell, do they drop their leaves. You'd have a vertical compost happening there up the roof in less than a decade. The crazy thing is, Houston being Houston, not only do they have pine trees and palm trees, but they also have some giant Live Oaks in their central neighborhoods. Not to mention that even in the absence of a tree on one's lot, Houston is a rather windy city, especially during storms that would blow leaves into that space. And then there's the flooding issue that Houston deals with pretty much every year.
Yes these are exactly my questions.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 12:00 AM
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I guess it's not so uncommon, more here

https://www.google.ca/maps/@29.79601...7i13312!8i6656
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 12:30 AM
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Typically this isn’t allowed per the IBC (not sure what they use in Texas) without a parapet between. What it tells me is that the entire roof assembly is likely 2 hour fire rated including wrapping the members. That’s what keeps the fire from spreading from one unit to the next. Aside from that, I echo the WTF comments on maintenance and upkeep. In California you would at least cover that with a seismic joint.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 3:24 AM
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either you have a much wider gap, at least 1 meter, but better be 2 or 3...

or you have NO GAP.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 12:09 PM
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i think the short answer is “it’s houston.”

i’ve wondered about this for years with older homes, though, like i said it was once pretty common practice. i think its probably not a good idea.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 1:25 PM
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 2:05 PM
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i've never seen frame construction zero lot line homes in chicago. when we do have zero lot line homes directly next to each other, they're always brick and built right next to each other (no absurd 8" gap like that houston example).

when there is a gap in chicago (and gaps are common), it's typically 3' or so to serve as a gangway from the front to the back of the property, a fire code regulation that harkens back to the days of the great fire.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 2:24 PM
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I've driven by these and I always wondered how you would deal with structural repairs. I believe these are done intentionally to exploit some kind of loop hole. They look like townhouses but are still technically SFH and qualify for something. Flood insurance, better loan rates..?
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 2:27 PM
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How did they actually build them and finish the siding? I can't imagine putting the siding on was very easy to start, let alone maintain as many have pointed out.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 2:33 PM
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I hope there's no windows on those walls. :-/
Windows in all the bedrooms are located in the gangway.
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Old Posted Jun 13, 2018, 3:26 PM
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The only thing I can think of is maybe there is actually a 5 ft gap but the front facade extends much further giving the visual of only a several inch gap?
Not sure what the point of that would be though, other than making a tiny fence between the two buildings unnecessary.
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