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nikeair 08-27-2007 11:59 AM

Am I out of line?
My wife and I are currently having our house built by a national builder and almost none of the walls are square. Several corners I cannot even fit one side of the square, the walls are so off on both sides. Am I just completely out of line and off my rocker to want square walls? :confused1:

Big Bob 08-27-2007 01:26 PM

YES and NO !

it is sad what passes for good practice of the trade these days.

Take your square and go to your builders models. You have every reasonable expectation to receive the same quality level (pun intended).

At what stage is your construction?

nikeair 08-27-2007 01:29 PM

They just put the appliances in, 4-6 weeks until close, but they just finished the dry wall work not too long ago. The builder's models have rounded dry wall, don't know if that will work as well.

Cole 08-27-2007 02:40 PM


Originally Posted by nikeair (Post 59972)
Am I just completely out of line and off my rocker to want square walls? :confused1:

Hell No!

It may be too late now, that they are putting appliances in.

I would def let them know that you are not happy.

fhivinylwindows 08-27-2007 02:57 PM

Drive yourself nutty, go buy a 6' level and see how level the walls are.

Big Bob 08-27-2007 02:58 PM

When finishing drywall, corners sometimes are loaded with mud and a crisp 90 degree corner is lost. Place your square on the floor... drywall may not be touching the floor. If your base molding is in check it there.

You may need to measure rooms diagonally or the old 3,4,5 right triangle thing... to really see how out of square you are. If a bunch and the room is to be tiled.. get the foreman there and ask now what. If carpet you may be the only one to know. Pick your battles.

:no:Don't tell your wife the walls are out of square. You will be house shopping inside of three years if you do.

"Rounded Drywall"?:huh:

nikeair 08-27-2007 03:26 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone...I used a square on multiple points in the corners, I'll try the base board next. I would like them to at least correct the major ones, some are 1/2"-3/4" off just using a 12in square. My thinking is that if it is that far off on just 12 much 3-6 feet down the wall...or what about after the house settles?

By rounded drywall I mean the corners have a rounded instead of straight edge.

Clutchcargo 08-27-2007 05:09 PM

63 Attachment(s)
Wow, this happens on new construction? I thought it was just old and settled houses (read my house) that had out of square issues. Maybe your house will settle into square.

AtlanticWBConst. 08-27-2007 06:21 PM


Originally Posted by Clutchcargo (Post 60043)
Wow, this happens on new construction? I thought it was just old and settled houses (read my house) that had out of square issues. Maybe your house will settle into square.

It's a "national builder".....They whip these things (homes) up cheap and quick with often, very little quality control. Sometimes these homes are panelized structures that are "supposed" to be all square and straight when delivered, but are not always that way. They get rushed to be put up and never checked (because they are supposed to be square and straight:whistling2: ).

Many of the natuional builder companies have a high turn-over rate with their project managers and are forced to sometimes hire very inexperienced people to supervise the work (inexperienced - in terms of "hands-on" background experience and time in the field). When problems are discovered, they are usually found too late to make inexpensive quick changes to fix them.

Cookie Cutter homes....

skymaster 08-27-2007 07:06 PM

Cheap illegals!!!!!!!! Not even the "higher" level crew:no::eek: Some can read and speak 'CARPENTER"

jiggyjack 08-27-2007 07:26 PM

A half inch in 12 inches?

Even a retarded Monkey could do better, are you sure that your square is square?

Also check the Baseboard, mud gets troweled pretty thick in corners.

Use the 3,4,5, to check the longer runs. Looking at the corner measure 3' to your left and put a mark, then measure 4' to your right and put a mark. Make sure you start your measurements from the corner.

Once you have 2 marks (The 3 and 4 foot) measure in between your marks. It should be 5'. Plus or minus an eighth inch is acceptable since that is about 1 degree.

Since the average room is 12' x 12' you should be OK. Even tile would barely show this.

Now if you really are out what would be 2 inches in four feet than I would raise Holy Hell. (How the hell did they get the trusses to work if it's that bad?).


Tscarborough 08-27-2007 10:02 PM

No, you are out of square. My guess is that you will have to get in line to have your problems resolved.

warnerww 08-28-2007 06:05 PM

Should they be square? Yes. However the rock must be finished and most likely painted. This problem should have been addressed before electric, plumbing and Hvac. I really do not think your builder is going to fix anything. Sorry:( . I hope I am wrong for your sake. But square is not a requirement for some builders now days and the inspectors don't seem to care either.

Kraze 08-29-2007 09:53 AM

Totally agree with warner on this...Why did you have a national builder build your home? they are the ones who you see in the mold lawsuits because they put them up so dang fast. the lawsuits on these people are crazy, and there is nothing that will be done. These people will collect thousands, get loans from banks then default. They will get sued by you and the city, then they will file bankrupsy after costing you 10 of thousands of dollars. Did they give you a promotional deal or something? Let me tell you my experience with these people

first off expect the foundation to crack within a year, they use alot of water in their mix to get it to flow faster and easier to work with. Then they pack up their forms while its still curing and head 3 houses down, why 3 houses because they can pour 2-3 PLUS foundations a day, I seen this done. kinda like leap frog if you get what im trying to say here. Expect to see alot of honeycombing in the finished work, they dont' bother vibrating it, extra hour isnt' worth their time.
1. the framing will always be out of square, floor will not be level and the walls not plumb. When finished a soccer ball will roll on a sloped floor. Expect there to be inadequate bracing and poorly secured sheathing, the sheathing will be 7/16 osb, 2' o.c. , without the use of H-clips, oh yeah expect to see ALOT of exposed nails that didnt' hit its mark the first time. And since it cost extra to glue the subfloor to the floor joist expect there to be alot of play/sag and squeaks, they will use nails not screws.
2. electical will be the most conviently ran for them, there will be no room for expansion if you want to add on a addition later on. The ceiling fans will be out of balanced and switch covers will be the $.22 piece of crap you buy from the big box improvement stores. They will over cut joist/framing members to run their electrical needs
3. hvac will be out of balanced and the CHEAPEST condensor/coil will be used. as long as it meets minimum standards such as 13 seer. Like electrical they will overcut framing to meet their needs.
4. plumbing-will notice spilled primer, over primered pipes, flux and solder splatter everywhere, oversoldered joints(which is not good) pipes will be the most convenitently placed for them with the minimum shutoffs that are allowed. the sewer will back up and the drain tile installed WILL FAIL! You will get dampproofing NOT WATER PROOFING theres a difference, and it will leak into your basement. So dont' finish it. like electrical and hvac they to will overcut framing to meet their needs.
5. drywall will have overcut outlets, and overmudded corners, more likely the ceiling and EVEN walls for most part be textured to save on 3rd coat of mud and hide imperfections which later will ONLY be highlighted by the paint. if you want flat it is almost always considered an add-on. they will use nails instead of screws and 1/2" drywall on the ceiling instead of 5/8". Bathrooms I seen them NOT use green board, the tile backing will be drywall instaead of backerboard. Oh yeh expect them to drywall over lights, outlets and water shutoffs
6. Paint you will get primer and paint sprayed, your choice of color will be a light beige or off white. The baseboards, electrical wires, window/door trim will be painted the same color, if the ceiling isn't the same color consider yourself lucky. The cheapest paint will be used, and I have "heard" from others that some will even water this down. Everything will be caulked, to hide any imperfections no matter how big the imperfection actually is.
7. windows and doors will be tight, they will not open easily and will not have the room to expand with temperature changes. As soon as the house settles 3+ years down the road you will notice cracks along doors and windows, you will notice that the cheapest hardware was used and has a cheap finish on it that soon begins to fade, good luck getting that key to work also. The trimwork will not be square the 45's will not be tight, the baseboard will be caulked in instead of tightly fit, most cases it will be cut short and if this happens it will either be caulked or a 2' piece will be scabbed.
8. driveway they will pour it to minimum standards to save cost, use to much water to make it workable and use mesh instead of rebar, they will use minimal psi concrete allowed by city code. be lucky if they place the correct rock or even rock at all to help with drainage under your slab. expect 3-3.5 inches actual concrete which in reality should be 4.5 minimum to 6" thick depending on actual usage of the driveway. We'll not even talk about air entrained concrete or sealers that should be used.\
9. roofing- a 2nd choice roofing material will be used, 15lb tarpaper instead of 30lb, the nails will be over driven, the dripedge under nailed and poorly managed corners. flashing will be a light gauge and will be poorly installed though this is the most critical of all roofing. I pray they use architectural shingles on your home so you wont' see much the sagging sheathing, or the uneven waterline, expect 3 tab to be noticably bad, But most use architectural it hides alot of flaws.
10. Siding-it will be the cheapest material, thinnest gauge. No consideration will be made regarding what direction the joints will be facing. they will seam several pieces together to keep from having to cut a new piece to save $5.00 material cost. the nails will be overdriven and the corners will not be matched up to adjacent walls and the outside corners not plumbed. They will install tyveck all bunched up without the use of the proper tape, it will not be installed correctly around the doors and windows. this will be no concern to them as the window/door installers will have to deal with it. Expect after the good first wind storm to see your siding to come loose.
11. i can go on and on, but I wrote enough...but bottom line the house will leak, the streets will be bumpy, anything concrete will crack, the drywall seams will show and nails will pop, the door won't shut, and your builder will not answer your phone calls will blame the subcontractors in which will blame the trade before them. You will get the runaround, and Unless you have ALOT of money withheld you are screwed. You will not get help from the city, the inspectors are idiots and will side with the contractor, Mark my words you will sooner or later experience this. If you don't well found yourself a reliable contractor which none of the above apply...But I have YET to hear of a national builder that is reliable. Your best bet is hire individual to build you a house, get what you want in writing and don't pay for what is not there. Expect to see the problems start with the first wind or rain storm, you'll find out how good the house was built.


nikeair 09-04-2007 11:09 AM

Kraze...your post makes me sick...not because it isn't true...but because I've seen during the building phase just about everything you've outlined.

Update on my situation:
They basically admitted that most of the house is off square by quite a bit, even admitted that a 15 foot wall in the kitchen is bowed and is causing the cabinetry not to be flush with the wall. They also basically said too bad. They aren't fixing anything except for the coat closet by the front door that looks like a trapezoid. Very frustrated at this point and will not be closing on the house until they fix at least the major items...looking into a lawyer at this point as well.

I want to thank everyone here for putting in their thoughts on this...considering the update, what are your thoughts or advice now?


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