FHA Building Specs

The Federal Housing Administration does not lend money directly to home buyers. On the contrary, it insures the mortgages accepted lenders supply to ensure low- and medium-income borrowers can have access to much more flexible and affordable mortgages. However, the FHA requires that all properties meet its minimum property standards (MPS), that are made to protect the FHA’s investment in a mortgage. Most of these criteria are contained in national and local construction codes. The main difference between general building codes along with the FHA’s minimum property standards is that the MPS regulate the sturdiness of a house’s fixtures. FHA loan applicants for properties which don’t meet FHA construction specifications can apply under HUD’s 203k application for financing to finance necessary improvements.


FHA homes must supply users with an adequate amperage for the appliances in the home. The FHA urges 200 amps, although 60 amps are permitted for existing houses. If a house requires several breakers to disconnect the power, a new panel has to be set up using a single main shut-off breaker.


Wood has to be treated with a chemical barrier against termites and damage by corrosion. This includes the use of pressure-treated timber and soil treatment.

Energy Efficiency

FHA-approved homes need to comply with energy-efficiency principles. These regulations change with changes in the law and advances in technology. You can find more information on specific guidelines by place and construction method in the National Association of Home Builder’s Manual on Insulation for Homes and Apartments.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors should possess appropriate weatherstripping, provide adequate insulation, maintain good working order and lock securely. Doors must also be rated as safety doors.


Properties with FHA-insured mortgages must comply with FHA durability criteria. This is the main difference between FHA minimum property standards and standard building code specifications. For example, roofs and attics should have a remaining physical life of two years, according to FHA minimum standards.

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