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Old 08-15-2017, 12:45 PM   #1
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How do crews get away with such poor work?


I have two lots 20 minutes East of the city I work in. On the way out there are several new housing Developments. There is one where I noticed they just started building the houses. They have got up the bulk of 3 houses in this newly Developed neighborhood.

I am very curious when it comes to building techniques and exactly how people choose to do things. Plus I plan to build a shop soon and like to see how others did things as research.

One evening this past weekend I was on my way back to the city and decided to check out one of the houses they were building in this new development. I never mess with anything or touch anything. I visually inspect and leave. And I have noticed a pattern with all of these houses and how they are built. First off they are built cheap. Just the lumber, materials, etc.

But my concern is the overall craftsmanship. These people just don't seem to care. Like they just want to get the house up and onto the next house. There were studs that were just horrible pieces of wood. Just missing chunks off the back. There were couple where they had knots that were knocked out on their edges. So you had these first floor studs with big open Cs on their edges. Not small, but good sized C shaped missing sections right on the edge of the stud about 1/3 the width.

On the outside perimiter they hadn't really properly proteced where the sheathing met the slab. (These are all slab foundations. I'm assuming to cut costs.) The sheathing is flush with the edge of the sill. Doesn't overlap. And they just have the this plastic sheathing behind it to keep the water out. It's just a thing strip of plastic they ran around the slab and then nailed the sheathing over the sill to hold it on.

This house needs to last years and this is the one oppurtunity there is to do things right to ensure it lasts. i understand time is money and the builders don't have to live in this house.. And maybe the people in charge pushed them to do it like this.. But they have one chance to do a lot of this stuff properly and they just don't care. I mean take the extra 2 minutes to do something the best you can before you don't get the chance to again..

I'm not a professional by any means, but I do know enough to know the houses in these developments are built poorly. But they go all out on the outside. The masonry is incredibly done and the details are seen to when it comes to the exterior. These houses just have bad bones.. They make them look all nice and slap a high price on them.. They are all crammed together too.

One of the worst things was the job site. It was a mess. The house has a garage and they haven't hung the door yet. They could have just stacked up their stuff and sat it neatly inside. They knew the rain was coming... They had wood scattered all over the yard and street edge. Good sheathing panels were ruined. Brand new just scattered around soaked. There were boards with nails in them just laying around and trash every where. I couldn't get over all the good wood they just had sitting in pools of water. It just rained in the morning. No heavy winds or anything. They just decided to leave it like that Friday..

And this is Oklahoma.. They used next to no hardware in the house. They framed it in a way they should have used ties in places they didn't..

How do crews get away with this nonsense? Some of these lots are sold before the house is built and the owner has say in how they want things. Are the owners not walking it and seeing this poor work? I understand the ones who come in after and see the house from the street and think ohhh nice... But people paying to have a home built?
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


A little apathy can go a long way in such situations.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


A lot of buyers are clueless when it comes to how a house is constructed. Many only seem concerned about how the finished product looks. Having lesser skilled carpenters and then rushing them to get done doesn't help either. That is one of the reasons most locales have framing inspections to make sure it at least meets minimum standards.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:12 PM   #4
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


A lot of county building inspectors are clueless as well.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


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Originally Posted by wagoner View Post
There were studs that were just horrible pieces of wood. Just missing chunks off the back.
That's called wane and you'd be hard pressed to get a framing package without any studs like that these days. On the bright side, it doesn't affect the structure much and it won't show when it's all drywalled in.
I'd be more concerned about the house being plumb, level, square, and having the proper structural supports where they need to be than fussing over the visual appearance of the studs.
The flashing is a real concern though. I hope they're being adequate there and it's just not in place yet.
Keeping a job site clean won't affect the house in the end, but it does make working there safer and often faster.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


Sadly pride in one’s work often takes a backseat to demands for increased productivity and profit, especially when you are working for someone else.

Unfortunately this is nothing new. My house was built in 1973 (I bought it in 96). There were no shut-off valves installed under any of the sinks, the dishwasher was hard coppered in place, the electrical panel was a spaghetti mess of wiring (all of which has since been remedied) and the pantry door is not centered in the opening which makes installing new molding around the door a PITA. Clearly these were attempts to save time and money. There are about 300 hundred homes in the various developments built at the time. Each one is at least a 2 bath with many being 2.5 bath. So along with the kitchen that is as much as 8 valves per home. By eliminating the shutoff valves, the builder saved almost $5000.

I think the only way homeowners can curtail this “shortcutting” is by frequently making inspections (if possible) and not be afraid to question the work. No, we are not all knowledgeable on construction but there are many things that simple common sense will tell you is just not right. The internet is a treasure trove of information on construction and what to look out for. It just takes the effort to find and use it.

I know people who while having their homes built would make periodic inspections and make the tradesmen correct shoddy work. In one case the painter came in and while he did remove all the electrical face plates, he painted over every switch and outlet instead if taping them up. The homeowner was furious. The painter said he could clean them but the homeowner was not having it and made him pay to replace every one of those fixtures.

In another case a homeowner fired their contractor. He was building a house for them in another state. When they would ask him for a status, he would email them pictures of various phases of construction. After a couple of months, they visited the site expecting to see walls and a roof based on the photos they were sent. What they found was a foundation and little else. The contractor had been lying to them and sending carefully framed photos of another house he was building. They fired him on the spot and made him return the balance of their deposit. At first the contractor balked but when it was made clear he was facing possible fraud charges (they had pictures to prove it), he caved.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


I was charged for new drywall but it seem like they just patch up holes and paint over it...
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


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Originally Posted by CantVo View Post
I was charged for new drywall but it seem like they just patch up holes and paint over it...
This is why you never pay in full upfront for any work being done.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:07 AM   #9
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Re: How do crews get away with such poor work?


I assume it was an insurance job - http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/these-...ok-old-535025/
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