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Old 07-08-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Hi,

My husband and I are about to purchase a new home, which is a new construction, and our inspectors identified an issue with the cladding - the nails are hammered too deep into the clapboard and water could get in and rot the wood over time. (See picture - the pink tinge is an artifact of the phone camera.)

I looked around the neighborhood for this on other houses, and it's not uncommon to see these dimpled nails.

Our inspectors say every single hole should be caulked off and painted over.

The developer who is selling the property claims this is a cosmetic issue, and overkill. In addition, it is a huge job!

What's your take?

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


The nails are very slightly overdriven. It is not a structural concern, but could eventually lead to damage of the siding if water repeatedly infiltrates. Your inspector is right, the nails should all be caulked and painted. It is a cosmetic issue, but an issue that could create problems down the road.

This is a very, very common issue. In my opinion it is nothing to be concerned about, provided the caulking and painting is done and maintained.

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Old 07-08-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Thanks for your quick reply. It seems inevitable that water will infiltrate repeatedly, with every rainfall.

Pretty much the entire surface of the house will need to caulked off, and I think the seller is trying to get out of doing that. I believe it'll be a lot of work!
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:29 PM   #4
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


If it is a new home, you need to make the builder take care of it with no exception. If they won't deal with it before you take posession, what else will they back away from their responsibility on down the road?

If it a "used" home, it is up to you whether or not it is a big deal. I'd certainly ask for labor and materials costs deducted from the selling price, or have the current owner do it. Just know that it needs to be taken care of before too long.

FYI...
The reason for this is that they didn't correctly set the pressure on their nail guns when installing the siding. Too much pressure and you drive the nail 1/4" below the face of the siding. Too little pressure and it doesn't go in all the way.
All builders have to deal with this, and all face-nailed siding has to have its nails caulked and painted.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #5
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


I agree with Teck. back in the fifties we use to use glazing putty to fill all our exterior nail holes, My personal opinion is that most of the old style quality of workmanship has gone by the way side. Because mostly labor costs. And hacks.
How is the interior trim? are those nail holes filled or did they rely on paint to fill them.
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Old 07-08-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


I totally agree with Thekctermite. They should of been filled, we use glazing putty and then spot prime . and then let the painter take it from there.
Good luck Bob
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:35 PM   #7
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Well, what do you know, the developer is having them done! We checked the house today, and the lower half of it has already been caulked off. The worker who was doing it said he'll do the rest tomorrow, and then sand it down, and paint.

I'm very pleased that we were persistent about this.

As for what he would support after the closing - we're not expecting him to support anything, once the house is in our hands. This wasn't something we had built for us, but rather we purchased the finished product.

Thanks for your answers, I no longer feel we were nit-picking when we insisted on this!
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:33 PM   #8
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


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As for what he would support after the closing - we're not expecting him to support anything, once the house is in our hands. This wasn't something we had built for us, but rather we purchased the finished product.
You were smart to advocate for yourself and I'm delighted that it turned out well. But, the above statement really is shocking to me. You should absolutely expect the builder to warrant his product for a year from the date of closing. If he won't do that, and hasn't done that in writing in your contract with him, you're buying the wrong house from the wrong builder. I work with builders all day every day, and have never met a decent builder that didn't stand behind his product for the first year of ownership. Warranty callbacks are inevitable, and should be accepted by the builder as part of the process of building a home.

Perhaps I misunderstood what you're saying...I hope I did.

Sorry for getting off topic and butting my nose in where advice wasn't asked for, but whether you build a custom home or buy a spec house, the same level of post-purchase service is paid for and deserved.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:04 PM   #9
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


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You should absolutely expect the builder to warrant his product for a year from the date of closing. If he won't do that, and hasn't done that in writing in your contract with him, you're buying the wrong house from the wrong builder. I work with builders all day every day, and have never met a decent builder that didn't stand behind his product for the first year of ownership. Warranty callbacks are inevitable, and should be accepted by the builder as part of the process of building a home.

Perhaps I misunderstood what you're saying...I hope I did.

Sorry for getting off topic and butting my nose in where advice wasn't asked for, but whether you build a custom home or buy a spec house, the same level of post-purchase service is paid for and deserved.
Well, you've taught me something I didn't know at all.

I'm going to look over the paperwork and see what it says. But I do know it's up to us to do the inspection and make sure all is in order, and once we close the purchase it's out of the seller's hands.

I will certainly inquire with the realtor representing us, and also our attorney about this, so once again, thanks for bringing this important point to my attention. I do believe this developer is proud of his work and stands behind it.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:03 PM   #10
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Good to hear you're looking into it. You're smart to have your buyers agent and your attorney check into it for you.

Another thing I really suggest when shopping for homes...And I know you're past that stage...Is that people go door to door in the evening in the neighborhood that the house that they like is located in. Find other homes that the same builder has built. Ask those folks how long they've been there, how they like their house, how was their buying experience, what problems they've had with the house, and how their problems were addressed. An added benefit is that you get to meet your potential neighbors.

I'm not saying you did this, but it never ceases to frustrate me that people will research new minivans and flatscreen TV's for months before choosing one, but will buy a house after walking around in it for a few minutes. Same thing goes for builders. You're giving him more money than you'll probably ever give anybody else, and a commitment like that justifies really doing your homework on him.

Another thing worth doing is getting on your county's courts website. Many counties have a search feature on their site that allow you to see past and pending litigation that a builder (or anyone) is involved in. It is staggering how many of the builders that I'd consider decent builders have literally pages of court cases against them from homeowners, subcontractors, and suppliers.
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Old 07-08-2008, 11:45 PM   #11
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


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it never ceases to frustrate me that people will research new minivans and flatscreen TV's for months before choosing one, but will buy a house after walking around in it for a few minutes. Same thing goes for builders. You're giving him more money than you'll probably ever give anybody else, and a commitment like that justifies really doing your homework on him.
You have a great point, but the thing about real estate purchases is that they tend to happen under a lot of time pressure - you see something that seems perfect after a couple dozen disappointing properties, and you don't want to miss the opportunity. Usually things move with lightning speed because what you are buying seems unique, there is a strong emotional element to it as it's your future home, plus everyone around you is pressuring you to buy it - the listing broker, the buyer's agent, maybe even the seller directly, and all you're thinking is you need to act fast if you don't want to lose this perfect place and forever regret it. Realtors work all hours precisely to encourage this sense of urgency.

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Another thing worth doing is getting on your county's courts website. Many counties have a search feature on their site that allow you to see past and pending litigation that a builder (or anyone) is involved in. It is staggering how many of the builders that I'd consider decent builders have literally pages of court cases against them from homeowners, subcontractors, and suppliers.
That's a great tip, still worth checking even now we've signed the Purchase & Sale agreement.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:14 PM   #12
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Okay, we do have a year's warranty on the new construction. Phew!

Thank you for mentioning it! Our real estate attorney wasn't even going to say anything!
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:45 PM   #13
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Dimpled nails in cladding - should this be fixed?


Glad to hear it! Glad someone took my advice for once and checked into something!
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:25 PM   #14
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Glad to hear it! Glad someone took my advice for once and checked into something!
Well, I'm really grateful for it, it's no small matter!

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