Does FHA Allow Bare Wood? – A Tidbit for FHA Appraisal Inspections in the Sacramento Area

Here is one quick tid-bit for FHA appraisal inspections:

Does FHA allow bare wood on the exterior of a house?  No. Regardless of the age of the house (pre-1978 or newer), wood must not be bare and exposed directly to the elements. This goes for both the house and any structure on the property (outbuilding, shed, barn…). 

Regarding required repairs, it is common for HUD to require repairs when there is bare wood, a defective paint surface (chipping, flaking, cracking or peeling paint) or evidence of active infestation by wood destroying insects. In these instances, the first step is to cure the defective paint surface or replace the damaged wood if applicable and make sure to properly seal the structure (sealant or paint). 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am experienced with FHA appraisals and I am doing quite a few of them these days. Lenders, banks, loan officers, brokers and home owners can still choose their own appraiser for FHA deals and I would be very glad to be selected by you. Does FHA Allow Bare Wood? – A Tidbit for FHA Appraisal Inspections in the Sacramento Area


  1. Tony says

    is this still true and where can you quote FHA stating this to a lender who says that an old fence does not require paint or staining

    • says

      Hi Tony. FHA updated their manual last year. It is a long manual. I am not sure which section discusses defective paint, but I imagine it would be in that section. Bare wood is clearly an issue because it does not promote economic longevity for the property. In my mind, even if bare wood is not explicitly in the manual, this is clearly within the spirit of FHA as it represents what they want – safe, sound, and secure properties. Now imagine a house that was not painted at all. Would it be a potential threat to the house? Could it speed up wood decay or other issues? Absolutely. So why would we not call out the problem when there was bare wood elsewhere? Sorry I don’t have the answer in writing somewhere, but I would definitely continue to make this call in FHA appraisals unless someone told me otherwise. You can always call 800-CALL-FHA too, but be advised you may get varying answers depending on who you talk to.

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