What I'm Seeing Now


Framing The Problem

On new construction there are times when you can look at something and not be able to tell what the problem is!  At times you have to look at things a long time and still can't see exactly what is going on.

Things look out of whack, but sometimes, when many things ALL look out of whack, it is hard to determine what it is.  Such was the case on this now-famously-popular new construction!



This is one wing of the upper level of this house. 

You can see two types of siding materials used here - vinyl siding and wall shakes or shingles.

Look around.

What's askew?

Is it the small horizontal roof on the upper right?  (Yes...)

Is the lower roof bowed?  (Yes...)

Or are the windows not level?



So, how about a little quiz?

A.  The window is not level.

B.  The wall shingles are not level under or over the window.

C.  The arrow-shaped detail at the top is not level.

D.  B and C because the framing of the lower roof dictates how level things are above.

Hint:  That window is DEAD level.

The answer, of course, is D.

What you are looking at in both pictures things that appear as they are because the rough framing underneath is not plumb or level.

And the materials that go over that framing, therefore, are conforming to that.

Could this have been done to that things don't appear out of line?

Sure, by working off of the level thing - the window.  It would have meant fitting (called scribing) the lowest course abutting the roof to that roof so that when it met the window it was level.  That would have corrected a lot of it, but that would require



That arrowhead thing at the top is just ridiculous.  If the window is level THAT surely is not!

One problem leads to another - the initial framing goes a long way toward what follows!  Even on a pre-drywall inspection, which we conducted, that would be very difficult to detect.  Defined lines aren't so visible when things are skeletal.  And, as you can see, something only needs to be off a little bit, like 3/4" from one side of a window to the other, for a defined line to look a little funny.

My recommendation:  It's hard to do, but look to see how things are fitting together.  Because sometimes alignment, placement, or out of plumb and level can be framing the problem!



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comment balloon 29 commentsJay Markanich • November 29 2010 07:39AM
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