How to Secure HUD Homes: Window and Door Boarding Instructions for Foreclosure Cleaning Businesses


Securing of Homes Lucrative for Foreclosure Cleanup Services

Simple securing of homes can be a lucrative aspect of foreclosure cleanup business services. See HUD requirements for boarding windows and doors below.

Foreclosure cleaning businesses offer many services, including debris removal, trash-outs, cleaning, lock changing, lawn maintenance, vehicle removal, pool cleaning, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, repairs, inspections, boarding windows and doors, and more. But one of the primary services banks are requesting these days is the boarding of windows and doors. Simple “securing of homes” can be a lucrative aspect of your foreclosure cleanup business.

Below is an overview of some of the requirements from HUD in what they expect when you board windows and doors on a HUD home.

Boarding Windows & Doors on a HUD Home

When boarding is necessary, all doors and windows about the first floor, including those basement area doors and windows, should have ply covering the full opening and the full frame. The plywood covering should be secured using carriage bolts. Eliminate any possible hazardous conditions that may be produced by protruding bolts used to secure boarding. The use of nails is not allowed — prohibited.

Boarding is not required above that first floor, unless, of course, entry can be obtained by an intruder without using of a ladder, and the opening is big enough for a body to pass through without difficulty.

Any openings above that first floor not meeting this simple test should be “secured” but not boarded up. Openings on the 2nd story and above are generally accessible only from attached dwellings, stairwell entries or fire escapes. If security bars are located on windows and/or doors, boarding up isn’t required. Those openings that are too small for a person to pass through — particularly pet openings in doors — should be secured but not boarded up. To make sure no hazards are in existence, remove any and all broken glass from windows and those surrounding interior and exterior areas.

All dwellings should be boarded up in accordance with local municipal codes. If local municipal codes differentiate from HUD requirements, local municipal codes supersede. For the purpose of this document, the definition of united inch is length plus width.” (Excerpt from the Pricing Guide via HUD.)

Specific Requirements & Local Variations

More specific requirements, including plywood specifications and more, are required by HUD. Also, in many instances, there are specific “local variations” (based on your geographic area of the country) which can be slightly different from the general requirements outlined above.


Query Your Property Preservation Company


Always query the property preservation company you’re working with for clarification if you’re not sure about what they’re requesting on a specific work order.


Tons of Specific Instructions Available


Remember, you can always find specific information on HUD’s website about how to perform specific property preservation duties on HUD homes.

Specific requirements and local variations are discussed in detail in the Pricing Guide (for not only window and door boarding, but for other foreclosure cleanup services, such as inspections, photographs, debris removal, lawn maintenance, winterization, and more). Before you begin work on a HUD home, ensure you know the rules so you are doing the jobs correctly. Larger property preservation companies will expect you as a foreclosure cleaning company to abide by HUD guidelines when they send you out to work on the HUD homes.

Continued success with your foreclosure cleanup business.

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