Residential Street Aerial View

Located in Harker Heights serving Killeen, Temple and Copperas Cove

(254) 690-1186


Texas Accessibility Standards

As of March 15, 2012, the 2102 Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS), will be enforced in TX. This document contains scoping and technical requirements for accessibility to sites, facilities, buildings, and elements by individuals with disabilities. The requirements are to be applied during the design, construction, additions to, and alteration of sites, facilities, buildings, and elements to the extent required by regulations issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation under the authority of Texas Government Code, Chapter 469. These standards are intended to be consistent to those contained in the 2010 Standards of Accessible Design.

Registered Accessibility Specialist

A Registered Accessibility Specialist is a professional licensed with a state of the United States to determine if a part of the built environment (building, park, sidewalk, parking lot) is compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws. A RAS reviews construction documents to determine the accessible design and inspects finished buildings to verify accessible construction.

Currently, Texas contains the most stringent accessibility laws. The Texas Accessibility Standards go above and beyond (in some cases) the expectations of the ADA. The TDLR (Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation), for example, requires that all commercial construction projects over US$50,000 submit to a RAS for verification of compliance.

Training Page Information

Air Sealing Materials

Use a combination of these different air sealing materials.

  • Caulk: Seals gaps of less than ½". Select grade (interior, exterior, high temperature) based on application.
  • Spray foam: Fills large cracks and small holes. It can be messy; consider new latex-based foams. DO NOT USE near flammable applications (e.g., flue vents). DO NOT USE expanding types on windows and doors.
  • Backer rod: Closed-cell foam or rope caulk. Press into crack or gap with screwdriver or putty knife. Often used with caulk around window and rough door openings.
  • Gaskets: Apply under the bottom plate before an exterior wall is raised or use to seal drywall to framing instead of caulk or adhesive.
  • Housewrap: Installed over the exterior sheathing. Must be sealed with housewrap tape or caulk to form an airtight seal. Resists water but is not a vapor barrier.
  • Sheet goods (plywood, drywall, rigid foam insulation): These materials form the air barrier. Air leaks only at unsealed seams or penetrations.
  • Sheet metal: Used with high-temperature caulk for sealing high-temperature components, such as flues and chimneys, to framing.
  • Polyethylene plastic: This inexpensive material for air sealing also stops vapor diffusion. All edges and penetrations must be sealed entirely for an effective air barrier. Poly is fragile, and proper placement is climate specific.
  • Weatherstripping: Used to seal moveable components, such as doors, windows, and attic accesses.
  • Mastic: Seals air handlers and all duct connections and joints.
  • UL181 or foil-faced tape: Temporarily seals the air handler.

Air Sealing Checklist


  • Seal bottom plate of exterior walls with caulk or gasket; seal inside edge with caulk after walls are up.
  • Seal band joist with caulk, spray foam, or gasketing between the top plate and band joist, and between band joist and subfloor.
  • For bathtubs on outside walls, insulate the exterior wall and air seal behind tub with sheet goods or plastic before the tub is installed. After the drain is installed, seal the tub drain penetration with sheet goods and caulk or spray foam.
  • For dropped ceilings or soffits, duct and flue chases, and open partition walls use sheet goods and sealant to stop air leakage from the attic into the soffit and then insulate. Alternately, install framing and drywall for the soffits after the taped ceiling drywall is installed.
  • Caulk the backsides of window flanges to the sheathing during installation.
  • Use caulk to seal between door thresholds and subflooring with caulk.
  • Seal window and exterior door rough openings with backer rod and caulk, or use non-expanding latex-based spray foams that will not pinch jambs or void window warranties.
  • Seal all electrical wire, plumbing, and HVAC penetrations between any conditioned and unconditioned spaces with caulk or spray foam.
  • Seal wiring and knockouts in electrical boxes with caulk. Also, seal outdoor mounted boxes to the exterior sheathing.


  • Seal drywall to top and bottom plates using gaskets, adhesive, or caulk.


  • Seal electrical switch, outlet, and circuit breaker boxes to drywall with caulk or foam.
  • Seal the light fixture boxes, medicine cabinets, and bath and kitchen ventilation fans to drywall with caulk or foam for larger openings.
  • Seal all duct boots to floor or drywall with caulk, foam, or mastic.
  • Seal any plumbing or electrical wire penetration through drywall with caulk or foam.
  • Seal gaps at infare fan with spray foam or housewrap tape (ensure louvers function properly).
  • For attic hatches and kneewall access doors, weatherstrip and include a tight latch. Add rigid insulation.
  • For attic pull-down stairs, make stairs airtight using latch bolts and weatherstripping. Add an insulated cover.
  • The seal between a masonry chimney and the attic framing using sheet metal or other noncombustible sheet goods and high-temperature (450°F), fire-rated caulk.
  • Seal around the metal flue of combustion equipment using a UL-approved metal collar and high-temperature (450°F), fire-rated caulk.
  • Use only UL-approved airtight, IC-rated recessed light fixtures (that meet ASTM E283 requirements); seal between fixture and drywall with caulk.


  • Repair any damaged sheathing pieces.
  • Seal all exterior penetrations, such as porch light fixtures, phone, security, cable, and electric service holes, with caulk or spray foam.
  • If not using housewrap, seal all sheathing seams with housewrap tape or caulk.


Act of God refers to damage caused by nature, not people. See Natural Disaster.

Anchor Bolts are bolts anchored in concrete or masonry which are attached to the building structure, usually using the sill plate.

Backfill is the replacement of excavated soil into a trench usually against or around a foundation wall.

Bedrock is the subsurface layer of earth that is suitable to support a structure.

A bond is an insurance contract by which someone is insured against loss by acts or defaults of a third party.

Performance Bond is a bond that ensures that the contractor or builder will complete the project.

Building Paper is a waterproof, heavy paper used in the construction of walls and roofs. It also provides insulation.

Built-up Roof is a flat roof consisting of layers of roofing materials sometimes covered with fine gravel.

Caisson is a cylindrical casing which becomes the structural support for a piling. The piling is inserted, and concrete is then poured into the casing.

Caulking is a flexible material used to seal gaps between surfaces to prevent leaks. Caulking must be maintained to assure its effectiveness.

Cement is a mineral powder which, when mixed with water, becomes a component of concrete and is used to make cement blocks.

Cement Block is a building block which is ordinarily hollow and made of cement.

Cinder Block is a building block which is ordinarily hollow and made of cement and cinders (ashes). Cinder blocks do not have the strength or weight of cement blocks.

Circuit Breaker is an electrical device that has replaced the use of fuses in buildings. They look similar to switches. When there is an electrical overload, the electricity is shut off (the circuit is broken). Circuit breakers can be reset whereas fuses must be replaced.

Civil Engineering refers to the broad field of engineering that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of building structures and public works.

The column is an important pillar or vertical support structure.

Column Footing is the foundation base for a column. These are generally constructed of reinforced concrete.

Compaction refers to the density of the soil.

Completion Bond is a bond that guarantees that a building will be completed on time. Completion bonds are sometimes required by construction lenders as a condition of providing construction financing.

Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, and water poured to the desired shape. When it dries, it gets very hard. Concrete can be reinforced with steel.

Condensation consists of drops of water that may accumulate on the inside of the exterior covering of a building. Vapor barriers are used to prevent condensation. Excess condensation can result in mold growth.

Control Joint is a tooled groove made on concrete slabs and sidewalls to control where the concrete slab will crack.

Contour Line is a line showing the shape of a parcel of land or a body of water. It also consists of a line on a topographical map connecting all areas of the property which have the same elevation.

Contour Map is a map that uses carved lines to outline the configuration and elevations of land surface areas.

Counter Flashing is flashing used on chimneys at the roofline to prevent the entry of water.

Crawl Space is the space between the ground and the bottom of the floor on the first level of a home.

Damp Proofing is the black, tar based waterproofing material that is applied to the exterior of subterranean foundation walls to prevent water intrusion.

Earthquake Strap is a metal strap used to secure water heaters to the frame of a building to prevent the water heater from shifting in an earthquake and causing a gas leak.

Expansion Joint is a joint that allows for expansion or contraction of the parts of a structure resulting from changes in temperature.

Expansive Soil refers to a soil that expands and contracts to depend on the amount of water in it.

Façade is the main face of a building.

Felt is another word for the tar paper placed under roof shingles.

Fire Block is a 2” x 4” horizontal wood member nailed between wall studs used for fire and smoke suppression. They are also referred to as fire stops.Fire Wall is a wall specially designed to slow down the spread of fire in a building. All door openings in firewalls must have fire doors installed in them.

Fire Wall is a wall specially designed to slow down the spread of fire in a building. All door openings in firewalls must have fire doors installed in them.

Flashing is sheet metal used in roof and wall construction to prevent water intrusion.

The flue is the opening in a chimney through which gas and smoke pass to outside the building.

The footing is a foot-shaped projection at the base of a foundation wall used to prevent shifting or settling.

Fuse is a device that prevents the overloading of an electrical circuit by containing a strip of metal which will melt at low heat and thereby break the circuit.

Geology is the science and study of the earth, including the processes that change it. Geologists study rocks and geologic features.

Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with soils, foundations, slopes, retaining walls, groundwater, and related areas. Geotechnical engineers are civil engineers. Geotechnical engineers also assess the risk to people and property from natural hazards such as landslides, sinkholes, earthquakes, and soil liquefaction.

GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a plug designed to shut off the current when a dangerous condition exists. A GFI protects people while fuses and circuit breakers protect equipment.

The grade is the ground level or elevation. It also refers to the process of leveling soil or the quality of manufactured wood.

Grade Beam is a foundation wall that is poured level with or slightly below the grade of the soil. It usually transmits the load from a bearing wall to a spaced foundation such as piles or caissons.

The gutter is a shallow channel of metal or other material installed on the fascia of a building to catch and carry away rainwater from the roof.

Indemnity Agreement is a contract in which one party agrees to reimburse the other for any loss suffered as a result of defined circumstances.

Landslide is a downward movement of soil, rocks and possibly mud, plant material, structures, and roads. Landslides can be triggered by defective construction or can result from the combination of ongoing construction and an earthquake.

Lateral Support refers to the right of a landowner to the native support of his or her land by adjoining land. The owner of the adjoining land has the legal duty not to modify his or her land to cause the support provided by his land to be lessened or eliminated.

Lath is the material upon which the first coat of plaster (scratch coat) is applied. It may be a coarse wire screen or solid material such as rock lath.

Load Bearing Wall is a wall that supports weight over and above its weight. All exterior walls are load-bearing walls.

Masonry is anything constructed of cement blocks, cinder blocks, bricks, cement or stone.

Metal Lath refers to sheets of metal that are cut to form openings. It is used as a plaster base for walls and ceilings.

Moisture Barrier is an insulating material used to prevent the transfer of moisture, or the build-up of moisture in walls from condensation.

Mortar is the material used in masonry construction to hold the bricks or other components together. It is made of cement, lime, sand, and water.

Natural Disaster is an Act of God.

Non-Bearing Wall is a wall that supports no weight other than its own. It is a partition.

Parapet Wall is a short wall constructed at the edge of a flat roof to prevent people from falling off the roof.

Partition is a nonbearing wall that is moveable. It is used to divide space.

Party Wall is a wall built on a property boundary. It may be part of a building or may be outside any building.

Percolation Test or Perk Test is a test to determine the capacity of soil to absorb water. These tests are made for both construction and septic tank systems.

Pier is a concrete column used to support other structures such as beams.

Piling is a column, usually made of steel or concrete, that is driven into the ground to provide support for a structure.

Plot Plan is an overhead plan prepared by a surveyor that shows the location of the buildings on the lot, all property lines, easements, setbacks, and dimensions.

The post is a vertical framing member that supports a beam.

Rebar refers to steel reinforcing bars placed into poured concrete to make it stronger.

Sack Mix refers to the amount of cement in a cubic yard of concrete. The higher the number, the stronger the concrete.

Scratch Coat is the first coat of plaster applied to the lath.

The scupper is an opening in a wall or roof for drainage. Scuppers are typically connected to downspouts.

The sheathing is the covering over roof rafters of wall studs. It may be plywood or wallboard.

The slab is the concrete floor and foundation used in homes without basements. It also refers to concrete poured for use as patio decks.

Specifications or Specs is the list of methods, materials, colors, allowances, model numbers and other details that supplement the plans to a building.

Stair Rise is the vertical distance between stair treads.

Structural Engineering is concerned with structural design and analysis of buildings and other structures such as bridges. It is part of the field of civil engineering. Structural engineers can design hospitals, schools, and buildings over nine stories, whereas civil engineers cannot.

The sump is a pit for collecting water to be pumped into a drainage system.

Sump Pump is a water pump placed into a sump that operates when water enters the sump.

The survey is the measurement of the boundaries of a parcel of land. Surveys indicate distances, angles, and usually topography.

Treated Lumber is lumber treated with a chemical pesticide to reduce damage from insects or wood rot.

Tred is the horizontal component of stairs between the stair risers.

Two Hour Wall or Door refers to a fire resistant wall or door that would take at least two hours for a fire to burn through.

Vapor Barrier is a moisture retarding material such as heavy, treated paper or plastic that prevents the transfer of moisture.

The vent is usually a pipe that permits gases or air to be released from a building.

Water Table is the depth from the ground surface, at which underground water is found.

Weep Holes are small holes in a retaining wall or planter used to drain water to relieve pressure build-up.

Weep Screed is a vertical metal lattice that reinforces stucco and the drainage of moisture. It is located at or below the foundation plate line.

Downtown Metropolitan Aerial View