What I'm Seeing Now


So, What Can You Do Now?

On new construction, there are things going in that I would not know.  For example, which rooms should have ceiling fan locations?  Is cable TV to be put over the kitchen counter?  How many basement windows should there be?

In this house, after the foundation wall poured, my client noticed that the foundation walls had only five windows put into the foundation.  The plans called for six.  Not only six, but, looking at the plans, they were symmetrically arranged around the house, two on each side and rear, and spaced equally apart.

I didn't know about this five or six window mistake, of course, when we went into the basement.  It was explained later.  But...

Looking at this window, I said, "Why did they do that?"

"What?" my client asked.

"One day you will finish the basement.  When you do a bulkhead will have to be created around all those drain lines in the ceiling.  That is normal.

What isn't normal is that the bulkhead will have to extend outward to cover that drain trap, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW."

He hadn't noticed.  And he had been there many times.

What you cannot see in this photo is how close that trap is to the window!  About 10"!  So, when the bulkhead is framed and drywalled, not only will it cover up about a quarter of the window's end, but it will only be about 4" away from the window!

How could this happen?  This is the above-mentioned sixth window!  It was cut in later.  It should have been cut on the OTHER SIDE of that steel beam.  That would have placed it symmetrically on that side wall, and opposite the other window in the basement!

I'm going to bet that the supervisor told the foundation cutters to put it in on the "left side" of the steel beam.  And from the outside, that window is on the LEFT side!  Outside it is only three feet or so above grade. 

If you were cutting a hole in a foundation wall, using a huge, powerful saw with a 20" diamond blade, would you cut it from the side that's three feet high, or seven feet high?

Yeah, me too.

Nothing like a little communication to make a project flow perfectly!


My recommendation:  Some things a pre-drywall inspection can catch, and others it can't.  But the client has some responsibility in the building process too!  Some things need to be checked along the way.

By the way, what do you want to bet that the plans were not taped to the sun room window?





Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 16 commentsJay Markanich • October 09 2010 06:14AM
So, What Can You Do Now?
On new construction, there are things going in that I would not know. For example, which rooms should have ceiling fan locations? Is cable TV to be put over the kitchen counter? How many basement windows should there be? In this house,… more
Good Builder (rub the head), Good Builder
I love walking in to a house to perform a pre-drywall inspection and find the place cleaned, organized and ready for our inspection! And a builder that considers safety! Some people who walk into houses under construction are not familiar with… more
A Disaster Under Construction - Design Flaw
There are times on new construction when I see things that I call "design flaws. " And some of them are serious! The problem with them is that the builder or subcontractor or whomever is left to try to make them work. This little… more
Mosby And His Host
On a recent inspection, I was talking with the client for whom I was to perform a thermal infrared inspection of his house, which has experienced a variety of leaks. During the conversation he asked me what odd things I have found during… more
Pre-drywall Inspection With A Problem
I do a lot of pre-drywall inspections During new construction I only recommend two inspections - the pre-drywall and the final just before the walk through with the builder. It is interesting the things I find on both inspections. The pre… more
Not The Problem They Feared
I get calls from people all over the country. They have found my website and call with questions or for my advice with projects. It happens a lot. Sometimes they tell me where they are calling from, but I can see from the numbers on my phone that… more
Sometimes Late Is Better Than On Time
When things are done quickly to meet a deadline, or simply to get something done quickly, it lacks quality. And often it can lack safety! And its unprofessionalism can stick out like a sore, well, thumb would be too small… This water… more