Cheyenne Homeowner Housing Rehabilitation

Habitat for Humanity, manages a homeowner rehabilitation program in Cheyenne.  If you are a low-income homeowner living within the Cheyenne city limits contact them to see if you quality.

Habitat Repairs is a program that helps homeowners with their home repairs.

situation. Habitat coordinates the repairs required to make a house.

Low-income homeowners often need to be safe, secure and healthy.

Elderly and/or disabled. The homeowners pay back a portion of repair costs on a schedule which does not burden their monthly budget. Habitat tries to keep costs low by using volunteer labor whenever possible and asking for discounts from contractors when appropriate.

Minimum Housing Rehabilitation Standards

These standards are intended to set guidelines, define when Cheyenne will undertake rehabilitation projects, and to specify what must be done to qualify the project for success, as dictated by Uniform Housing Code. 

HUD regulations stipulate that all houses undergoing major rehabilitation must be brought up to an acceptable standard. This document represents Cheyenne’s effort to meet HUD requirements. 

The City’s Minimum Housing Rehabilitation Standards were derived from standards established by Cheyenne, in January 1993. These standards are based on provisions of the Uniform Housing Codes (UHC), the Uniform Housing Codes and HUD Section 8 Minimum Housing Quality Standards. For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:

Rehabilitation: A way to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for low- and moderate-income people. It is not a way to provide remodeling or renovation. 

Standard Housing: A well-maintained residential structure built on a permanent foundation that is weather tight and provides insulation from the elements. It also incorporates the basic mechanical system of plumbing, electricity and heating.

Sub-Standard housing: A residential unit that does not have a permanent solid foundation; does not exhibit structural integrity or weather tightness, lacks minimal insulation; has deficiencies in basic mechanical systems, in that they do no meet the current UBC, and/or shows signs of deferred maintenance, to the extent that the structure is subject to increased decay. 

The following standards are only minimum standards. They should be reviewed by contractors and developers, homeowners, and city officials to provide guidance when undertaking rehabilitation projects. Before beginning any rehabilitation work, the City of Cheyenne Building Department and Fire Department will be consulted. 

Some of the standards are higher than the minimum code requirements for the Uniform House Codes, but they are presented to meet the minimum quality standards required by HUD. 

I. Site conditions must meet the criteria below:

Positive Drainage: All drainage should drain away from a house and any accessory buildings but not towards any adjacent houses or structures. Drainage should drain toward the street, easement, or alley. This can be facilitated by constructing swales or elevating structures. 

Splash Blocks: All houses should have splash blocks, aprons or gutter extensions installed to divert water away from the foundation. Splash blocks are not needed if concrete patios and sidewalks already exist. 

Architectural Barriers: In recognition of the Americans with Disabilities Act it is important to remove all barriers for the elderly or handicapped. Handrails will be installed on staircases that have more than three levels, and the tread width of each step should not exceed nine inches. Ramping should be considered an alternative to stairs when pouring new sidewalks or stoops. It is important to remove any tripping hazards caused by the uplifting of sidewalks or tree roots. 

Holes and Depressions: Holes and depressions larger than six inches should be filled in to eliminate safety hazards as well as correct drainage issues. 

Trees, bushed and grassed areas: Trees, shrubs and grassed areas that pose a safety risk because electrical wiring runs beneath them must be trimmed according to Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power’s instructions. Trees that may damage the structural integrity or foundation of an adjacent building should be removed. The City Forestry Department will prescribe how to trim all unsightly, overgrown trees on the property and in the right of way. The same method should be used to trim the bush and brush in your yard. However, any vegetation along the property line must be approved in writing by the adjacent property owner. The installation of grass will not be standard. However, the property owner must keep all ground vegetation, including flowers and other similar plants, below eight inches. Lawn maintenance is encouraged. 

Dilapidated or Accessory Buildings: Any structure in disrepair, or that has collapsed must be repaired. The same goes for any collection of materials. In the city, abandoned ash pits are common. They should be removed and demolished. Children playing in neighborhood easements and alleyways are at risk of fire and injury. As a condition for receiving rehabilitation assistance from the Cheyenne Housing and Community Development Office, all property owners are required to clean up any site deficiencies. 

Bulk Trash: Bulk trash includes refrigerators, stoves or other appliances, unlicensed vehicles, and improperly stacked construction materials or wood. Bulk trash should be removed as per the City Nuisance ordinance. 

Sidewalks: All residential structures should be equipped with a three-and-a-half foot sidewalk that connects to other sidewalks or drives to allow access to the home in snowy weather. Sidewalks connecting the rear door to garages, waste disposal areas, or around to the front do not need to be provided, unless they’re needed to control drainage. 

Driveways and Storm Gutters: Driveways that are deteriorated or impede drainage should be replaced. This applies to driveway approaches. If the cost to repair an aging driveway exceeds certain thresholds, it may be possible to leave them as they are. Installation of driveways can be encouraged, but not necessary if the costs exceed predetermined thresholds. 

II. Foundations must meet these criteria:

Stability: the foundation must not sink, window openings should be level and the top of foundation base must be flat. For a one-story building, the foundation should be made of solid concrete that is at least six inches in width and 36 inches deep. It should also have a footing that is 12 inches wide and 6 inch deep. For two-story residential properties, the concrete foundation must be 8 inches wide and 36 inches deep on a 15-inch wide by 7-inch deep footing. The city’s foundation design must be followed when reconstructing foundations, including the installation rebar. Rehabilitation will not be possible if the foundations are unstable beyond a reasonable threshold. 

Collapsed Sections: Collapsed foundation sections must be rebuilt according to city code or stamped engineer’s blueprint. The remaining foundation should be evaluated to determine if it meets the minimum Uniform Building Code. 

Cracks: Inspectors should inspect foundations for cracks, especially at window areas. All cracks should be filled with epoxy or cement and rubbed down with appropriate cement materials. A licensed engineer must investigate all cracks that are larger than 1/8 inch and apply the appropriate treatment if it is economically feasible. 

Inappropriate construction: All foundations constructed from brick, unfilled concrete block, cinder blocks, mixtures of cement and rock, railroad ties and other treated wooden are unacceptable. They will disqualify the structure for rehabilitation unless they cover less than 25% of its foundation and it can be economically reconstructed. 

Spalling Foundation: This is a condition that can be exemplified in crumbling rock or gravel, decaying concrete and collapsed foundations. If these conditions are present, foundations should be treated with concrete and epoxy mixtures to correct major deficiencies. If the foundation surface is not a minimum of one inch deep, it may be left untreated. However, treatment is recommended if rehabilitation costs are not a concern. 

Waterproofing: Waterproofing is required for all foundations that show signs of leakage from outside. As described above, cracks will be sealed. Water leakage around foundation floors will also be sealed using a waterproofing compound. Leakage from foundation walls can be corrected with concrete aprons or, in more severe cases, by digging up the dirt around the foundation. A cost-effective solution is to remove dirt from around foundations, and then waterproof with tar materials. This should not be done for more than 30 percent of the foundation walls. 

III. Structural integrity must meet the criteria below:

Structural integrity: This means the exterior walls are weather-tight and do not allow entry of water, wind, or snow into the interior. There cannot be any exterior wall holes, separation of siding, collapse of siding, or deterioration to exterior siding materials. All exterior walls are required to be constructed with two-by-fours at 16 inches apart or 24 inches apart for new construction. When repairs are made, insulation sheathing must be installed on the exterior and covered with approved siding material. 

Weather Tight Exterior walls: In addition the above siding considerations there cannot be any cavities between the exterior wall, windows, doors, or openings in the rafters and rim joist. All deficiencies must be corrected. 

Additions: All additions must be built on a foundation that is properly constructed and not show signs of separation from the original structure. In Cheyenne, many additions are built on concrete slabs which can cause separation. These conditions can prevent rehabilitation. 

Siding Material: Asbestos siding can be used as a siding material, unless it is broken and exposed to the weather. Asbestos siding should be repaired whenever possible. The Cheyenne Fire Department considers asphalt siding to be an inappropriate product. When rehabilitation is done, it may be covered with a fire retardant material. This treatment will only be applied to older asphalt materials that are deteriorating. Interior paneling, untreated sheetrock, Sheetrock, and other materials that are not weather resistant in the area must be removed. 

Bearing Walls: Identifying and inspecting bearing walls in a building for proper construction is important. Basements that lack bearing walls must be reinforced with new walls, support beams and jacks to maintain structural integrity. When undertaking rehabilitation, no bearing walls can be removed unless the appropriate construction methods are used and required supports are added to compensate for their loss. 

Painting and Exterior Walls: While chipping, cracked and deteriorating exterior paint is not structurally problematic, the City’s rehab effort requires that these conditions be corrected. The City requires a lead-base painting analysis if the house was built before 1978, especially if there are children living in it. If lead-based paint is found on exterior walls, they must be covered with a suitable siding material. (See HUD lead-based paint regulation.) 

Historic Considerations: All structures located in historic districts, or with architectural features that are unique to the architectural style, must be given particular consideration. State Historic Preservation Office will be involved in specific decisions that affect these projects. 


Roofing Specifications: The Housing and Community Development Office developed a roofing standard which requires that, when replacing any roofs with more than two layers of asphalt shingles, the City of Cheyenne Building Department inspects all roofing materials to the deck prior to re-roofing. Re-roofing is required to use 30 lb. Felt paper and, depending on the slope of the roof, T-locks or three tabs, or roll roofing, as prescribed by the City Code. 

Trusses and Supports: On structures older than 50 years, the truss system and roof support system must be inspected for proper construction. If deficiencies are found, the truss and support systems must be rebuilt. 

Chimneys: All non-functioning fireplaces must be removed, and the cavity repaired using weatherproof plywood of at least a half inch thickness. All exhaust vents should be at least two feet above roof level. Attic spaces should be vented either through the roof or other suitable areas. 

Slope Requirements: All roofs are required to have a slope of at least four inches to one foot. Roof areas without a slope of this magnitude should be reconstructed to meet the minimum slope requirements. The reconstruction should be done when the reconstruction area is larger than nine feet in width on the stooped edge and leakage cannot be prevented with rubberized roofing membrane or rolled roofing. 

Fascia and Soffit Boards: All fascia and Soffit boards around the perimeter of a roofing system should be inspected and replaced if necessary. They can also be caulked and painted. Fascia and soffit boards do not have to be installed on houses with exposed rafters. Fascia boards should be installed when gutters are required. 

V. Interior Walls Must Meet the Following Criteria:

Fire Barriers: Fiveeighth inch Type X sheetrock is required on walls and under joists in garages with living areas above them. The five-eighths inch Type X sheetrock is required when another structure is located within five feet of a wall that is being reconstructed. No cardboard, paper, tarpaper, or exterior insulation materials such as fiberboard will be allowed in any wall. All interior walls must be 1/2 inch Sheetrock. Over the Sheetrock, you must place paneling. 

Damaged interior walls: Holes in Sheetrock should be repaired, and measures taken to prevent further damage by installing door stops and other necessary precautions. Sheetrock that has been damaged by water must be removed and replaced. In bathrooms, drywall that is water-proof, such as blue rock, green rock, or similar drywall, must be used. Installing new Sheetrock and texturizing the walls will repair interior walls that have decayed Sheetrock. 

Interior Baseboard Trim: All damaged baseboard and door trim must be removed and reinstalled. 

Paint: Lead-based paint analyses must be performed on houses built before 1978 that show signs of chipping, flaking or cracking paint. If lead-based surfaces are found, they must either be covered or removed according to HUD Lead Based Paint regulations. The City of Cheyenne provides paint to homeowners so that they can do their painting. The City will only hire contractors to paint when people are disabled, elderly or unable to do it themselves. 

Ceilings: All cracked ceilings or deteriorating ones require an inspection in order to determine the source of the problem. Before repairing the ceiling, every effort should be made in order to correct the issue. When the ceiling is treated, cracks must be filled in and retextured. The ceiling should also be completely repainted. If the ceiling material is not fire retardant or has a solid construction, it must be replaced by 1/2 inch Sheetrock. 

Tile and Waterproof Zones: If there are any deteriorating ceramic or waterproof tiles in the shower or bath area, they must be removed. Installing water proof Sheetrock, as well as reinstalling old or new tiles, grouting, and caulking, is required. Backslashes may be required in kitchens or above other sinks depending on the condition of the sinks and plumbing. 

Minimum Interior Height Condition: All interior living spaces must be at least 7 1/2 feet high. All interior door openings are required to be six feet eight inches (6’8″) tall. No rehabilitation will be done in rooms with less than seven (7) foot head clearance. 

VI. Kitchen Facilities must meet these criteria:

Minimum Cabinet requirements: All kitchens should have enough base cabinets to accommodate a kitchen sink, and at least 36″ of counter top space. Three feet of upper cabinets are required to store dishes. These minimum requirements can be increased to maximize kitchen storage, but within reasonable costs. Replace cabinets that are no longer functional or sanitary due to wear. Before ordering, all replacement cabinets must meet a minimum quality standard and be approved by the project manager. 

Counter tops: Any counter tops that show signs of wear, water damage or a lifting of the surface material are to be replaced. Replacement of counter tops is required. When walls are sufficiently square, replacement counter tops can include prefabricated laminated tops. Counter tops are required when walls are not square or constructed of plaster material and 5/8 inch plywood is used with formica laminated both on the plywood and the front lip. The backsplash must be made of the same laminated or ceramic tile, as specified by the homeowner and City. 

Faucets: All kitchen plumbing should be checked to ensure that the faucets and drain pipes are working properly. If the sinks are worn out, they must be replaced when new counter tops are installed. All new sinks are required to be vented according to the Uniform Plumbing Code. New sinks are required to be 20 gauge. (Not the cheapest sinks). New faucets must only be made of stainless steel Delta. P-traps, and any other drains below the sink must be made of metal and not plastic. 

Stoves (gas or electric) and Fans: Gas or electrical stoves should be inspected. The City does not provide appliances such as stoves or fridges, but will point out any deficiencies to the homeowner. They will then be encouraged to purchase functional appliances. The City does install new fans above cooking areas. Sometimes, installing fans requires the installation of a cabinet to attach the fan. 

Flooring: Old flooring with cracked or uplifted areas, tiles missing, or tiles that have been uplifted, etc. will require new flooring to be installed. Due to sanitation concerns, the use of carpeting indoors, outdoors, or in other areas is discouraged. Vinyl floor covering can be installed to address these conditions if the owner agrees. The City will not install wood, ceramic tile, vinyl tiles, indoor/outdoor flooring, or carpeting in kitchens. 

Lighting and Electrical: GFI outlet outlets will be required to be installed on all counter tops located within six feet of sinks. If the lighting in the kitchen is inadequate, one light fixture will be required in the cooking area of the kitchen and another in the adjacent eating/dining space. Fluorescent lighting is a good alternative. 

VII. Baths must meet these criteria:

Minimum Requirements: The minimum standard for a residential structure includes a functional toilet, a lavatory, a towel rack, a ring or hook and either a bathtub or a shower. All additional baths must have a lavatory, a towel rack, a ring or hook, and toilet stools. 

Sinks: All faucets should have both hot and cold water knobs, and be in good working condition. The sink must be equipped with a P-trap drain and vented to outside, as required by the Uniform Plumbing Code. When replacing sinks, shut-off valves must be installed at the water connection. Sinks must be replaced with medium grade vanities prefinished, cultured marble tops in one piece and Delta or higher faucets. 

Ventilation: Each bathroom must have a working window or an electric vent fan. Doors: All bathroom door must be at least 28 inches wide by 6 feet 8 inch in height. They also need to have locking doorknobs on the inside or other locking mechanisms (standard bathroom door knobs). The City Code requires that doors have sealing gaskets when bathrooms are next to kitchens. 

Tub Enclosures: All bathing or showering facilities must have waterproof enclosures. These enclosures may be made of ceramic tile, fiberglass molded enclosures, or plastic tile. Brick, linoleum or floor tiles, as well as other permeable materials, are not allowed. For baths without showers, a waterproof skirting of 18 inches high must be installed using any of the acceptable materials. 

Flooring: The bathroom flooring should be checked at the base of toilets for leaks. If the sub-floor has rotted and there has been leaking, it must be replaced with half-inch plywood. When a toilet has to be removed for any reason, new toilet gaskets are required. It is unacceptable to use any flooring material that allows water to seep through the subfloor. The City will replace substandard flooring in bathrooms with vinyl sheeting. In general, carpeting is not considered an appropriate flooring material for bathrooms. 

Mirrors and medicine cabinets: In order to prevent children from easily accessing medicines, cabinets are required for most bathrooms. Mirrors are required when there are no cabinets. The City will not buy expensive and elaborate medicine cabinets with mirrors, unless the homeowner pays for them. 

Lighting: Each bathroom must have a light that can be controlled from the inside. Lighting that is switched from the exterior does not require moving unless the house needs to be rewired. In the bathroom, all receptacles should be GFI. 


Minimum Bedroom Sizes: The minimum bedroom size is 7 feet by 10 foot, but larger bedrooms should be encouraged. The minimum size for new construction will be 111/2 inches by 9 inches. Closets are required in all bedrooms for clothing storage. Closets in adjacent hall areas are acceptable for existing housing. 

Windows: Each bedroom must have a window for egress in addition to a door. Egress windows cannot be higher than 44 inches above the floor. They must also allow at least 5.7 square foot of egress space. Windows must be able to be operated and have locking mechanisms. A basement with living quarters must have an egress. 

Doors: Each bedroom must have a door that can be closed and locked from the interior. Bedroom doors are usually 30 inches wide, or even wider. A 32-inch door should be considered when building a new home. The door must be free of punctures and holes. The door can be made of hollow core material. 

Lighting: Each bedroom must have a switchable light fixture. This should be located in the interior, near the entrance. 

Outlets: There must be enough outlets to allow an appliance with a 6-foot cord to cover the entire room. Extension cords should not be used and extra outlets should always be provided to avoid their usage. 

IX. General Electrical must meet these criteria:

Service: Each residential property should have an adequate electrical service up to a mast that is 10 feet above the ground. Each house must be equipped with a 110 and 230 voltage service, and an electrical breaker panel that is accessible from the inside. Electrical switch boxes outside must be able to be locked. 

Knob and Tube wiring: Knob-and-tube wiring in attics must not be used if the insulation covers the wires. This type of wiring must be able to exhaust heat through the insulation. It is considered a fire hazard if it is covered with insulation. When insulation is being done, knob and tube wiring must be replaced by romex. In walls, knob and tube wiring can be left in place if insulation is not required. The City does not do a complete rewiring, as it is beyond their rehabilitation resources. 

Ground Faults: Ground fault outlets must be installed within six feet of any sink or toilet. They should also be installed to cover all outdoor outlets and garages. 

Safety considerations: All electrical connections should be contained in metal or plastic electrical boxes. No hanging wires allowed. All light fixtures must be checked to ensure they are firmly hung and the electrical connections are not loose. All electrical fixtures showing signs of wear must be replaced by new fixtures. All electrical outlets and switch plates must be tightly fitted. A licensed electrician must inspect and fix any electrical problems with switches or outlets that are not working. The light switches in basements, especially when there is a staircase open, must be switched twice, at the top and the bottom. It is preferable to have the entrances of living quarters electrically switched. Exterior lighting must be installed at both the front and rear doors. These lights must be waterproof and can be switched on from the inside at the entrance. 

Electrical Service to Accessory Buildings: The electrical service to large storage and garage buildings must be checked. If they are found inadequate or inappropriate, service can be provided but at a minimal level and the service should not be credited. Protection must be provided. 

X. General Plumbing must meet these criteria:

Policy: When rehabilitating housing with federal funds, the City has a policy that requires the minimum plumbing requirements:

Type of Pipes: All repairs must be done with standard copper pipes and soldered fittings. Plastic and galvanized pipes that need to be replaced can be repaired using similar materials. Copper pipes are used whenever galvanized or led pipe is found in a state of disrepair. 

Ventilation: The Uniform Plumbing Code mandates that all drains are vented. All drains which are replaced as a result replacing fixtures, must be vented according to the Uniform Plumbing Code. All drains should be equipped with P-traps, and vented according to the Uniform Plumbing Code. 

Faucets: All replacement faucets supplied by the City are made of stainless steel or metal with chrome plating. All faucets are required to be washerless. All faucets must be washerless. 

Floor Drains: All basements must have a functional floor drain. 

Functional Sewer Lines: Each residential property should have its own functional sewage line. Sewer line repairs must be made in all houses that have sewage backup problems. 

Shut-off Valves: All fixtures that are replaced or removed require shut-off valves. 

Water Meter Readout: If possible, a water meter reading must be placed on the exterior of the home. 

Gas Meters: All meters that are located inside the house must be moved outside. 

Vent Stacks: Each vent stack must be at least a foot above the roof, and sealed properly to prevent water infiltration. Water Heaters. In areas with high water pressure, water heaters are required to have expansion tanks. The eastern parts of the city are generally areas of high water pressure. 

XI. Weather Tightness must meet the following criteria:

Policy: The City’s policy is to ensure that residential structures are weather-tight and promote maximum energy conservation. The City understands that replacing primary windows can be expensive. 

Primary windows: should not be replaced unless the sills and trim are rotted or allowing air, snow, or rain to enter. To eliminate decay or cover lead-based paint, sills and trim that are rotted can be covered or replaced. All primary windows must have locking devices to ensure security. 

Storm Windows: The City will provide double-glazed storm windows at all exterior window openings. Storm windows can be made of aluminum, painted metal, or vinyl depending on the most cost-effective option. 

Doors: The City will provide steel insulated doors if the existing door frames and doors are in a state of decay. If the door jambs still look good or if the doors are unusually sized, solid core wood doors, prefinished or unfinished, will be provided. All exterior doors must be equipped with locking hardware, including deadbolt security locks. All doors, new and old, must be weather-stripped. A weather-tight threshold should also be installed if necessary. The use of hollow core veneer or panel doors is not acceptable.

Wall insulation: The City generally will not provide wall insulation until interior or exterior walls are exposed during rehabilitation. Fiber glass rolled insulation is required when framing is visible. If the siding is in poor condition or there is evidence of lead paint, 1/2-inch insulating Styrofoam can be installed under any new siding material. 

Roof Insulation: All ceilings in attics and roofs should be insulated at least to R-30. The most economical way to complete the project is by using blown-in insulation. The owner is responsible for any difference in materials if he proposes a different treatment. 

Exterior Siding Materials: Asbestos siding is acceptable and will not need to be replaced unless more than 25% of the exterior surface has broken or fallen siding. The City Fire Department considers asphalt siding to be a fire risk. Old siding of this type is best removed and replaced. In some cases the siding can be left on as insulation. To prevent weather infiltration, all holes in the wall must be repaired. Cracks should also be filled with caulking.

Exterior Siding Repairs: Exterior paneling materials such as unpainted plywood, Sheetrock, tar paper, cardboard, or metal patches are unacceptable siding materials.

Rim Joists and Crawlspace Materials: When basements remain unfinished, efforts will be made in order to caulk and insulate rim joists around the house. Crawl spaces can be insulated under floor joists, but this should only be done in new construction areas unless they are easily accessible and then only if the crawl space is unheated. 

XII. The re-roofing specifications must meet the following criteria.

Housing rehabilitation using Housing and Community Development Funds is usually for older houses which were not constructed properly. Contractors must do much more extensive roofing work on these houses in order to provide a satisfactory roof. These steps are necessary. 

When there are more than one layer or shingles on a roof, or if the section of roofing has been in place for more than 30 years, all roofing material must be removed to the deck. 

The contractor must then request an inspection by the City’s Building Department in order to determine if any decking repairs are needed. The Housing and Community Development Office prefers 1/2 inch CDX plywood to particle board. Before re-roofing, the City Inspector will sign off the decking. If the Housing and Community Development Office representative and roofing contractor cannot agree on a reasonable price, the City reserves the right solicit bids and to hire a new contractor to complete the re-decking. 

The contractor must then replace any rotted or damaged fascia boards, and cover the entire deck in thirty (30) pounds of felt. The contractor will install T-lock shingles, or roll roofing, over areas that do not meet the slope requirements required by City Code. Each T-lock tile must have at least 2 nails. 

Contractors are required to storm-nail shingles along the edge of the roof. All roof debris must be placed in a vehicle, or other suitable containers, and transported to the designated disposal area as required by the City Code. All debris must be removed after the tear-off portion of the work is completed. The contractor will ensure that the debris from the roof does not damage vegetation, or pose a danger to residents or others.