Tear-down projects aren’t as common today as they were during the last building boom, but they’re still causing problems in some communities. According to the Austin Chronicle, building officials in the Texas city have tightened up the rules to prevent builders from performing what are in effect complete tear-down-and-rebuild projects after pulling a remodeling permit. Under the revised rules, no more than 50 percent of exterior walls can be removed and demolished under a remodeling permit, and foundation work can’t change a home’s elevation by more than a foot. Previously, only one wall — or a portion of a wall — had to be left standing for a project to qualify as a remodel.

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