What I'm Seeing Now

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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-drywall is particularly important because it is the only time to see the house while skeletal.  I am particularly interested in transference of loads, making sure that things are evenly distributed and that load-bearing structures rest on a proper platform or the steel beam intended.  Of course, there is a lot more to look at than that.  And I do!

 

 

This was a problem of a different kind. 

It is the dining room box window.

The roof over that box had not been finished.  This is not unusual. 

Sometimes the box or bay roofs get a different roofing material, like metal, that is not installed at the same time as the shingles.

What was unusual is that it was raining during this inspection, and that rain produced 5" in 36 hours!

Not surprisingly, this small roof leaked.

 

 

It leaked, dripped and splattered!

The builder is ready in the next little while to install the drywall.

We have siding underlayment, wood structure and insulation materials all wet.

If that moisture gets sealed in by drywall it becomes a conducive location for the development of mold or fungi.

What needs to happen?

Well, the roof needs to be finished!

The insulation should be removed, everything dried out and new insulation be re-installed.

Will the builder stall the schedule long enough to do that?

Hmmm.....  my client hopes so!  A Golden Rule builder would.

My recommendation:  I often see moldy areas during a pre-drywall inspection.  I certainly see areas that are wet and could become moldy areas!  All those problems should be mitigated prior to the installation of the drywall.  Any good builder would do that.  A builder wouldn't leave such problems should they build a home for themselves.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 31 commentsJay Markanich • October 03 2010 07:34AM

Comments

Thanks for sharing this example of another good reason to employ a home inspector when you are building a new home. A few hundred dollars of precautionary spending may save thousands in repair costs.

 Blooming in Maryland.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 10 years ago

That's the idea Roy!  Cheap at twice the price!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

From experience, I have come to believe that the pre-drywall inspection is the most critical and important investment a buyer can make.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

I think it is too Lenn.  Like I said, when else can you see the house in a skeletal condition?  There is so much to look at too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Ahhh the joys of building...I remember it well...weather is such an intrusive factor ...and one that builders don't often consider as often as the weather Gods/Goddesses demand.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 10 years ago

S&D - I wonder if in the weeks before when they put on the shingles, since it had not rained in months, they thought they had plenty of time for the metal guy to show up?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

OOPS! Looks like another bad hair day on the construction site... 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Jay - I agree with you with the importance of a pre-drywall inspections.  I have been in homes in the process of being built and it is amazing what you see.   Good post to help a buyer protect themselves when working with a builder on a new home.

Posted by Diane Williams almost 10 years ago

Jay ~ This is why you hear so many 'old-timers' make those across-the-board comments on staying away from box, bow, bay windows and how they leak!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 10 years ago

Jay, can you be cloned?  As always, great information.  It is almost where this should be mandated, as we are having fly by night contractor's and sub-contractor's out their that think 16" on center is a quarterback call.

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Great information Jay.  I have worked for a custom builder with an "A-type" project supervisor.  He ALWAYS took care of those problems.  I have also seen other builders who were in such a hurry they couldn't be bothered....such a difference to the homeowner!

Posted by Tammy Pearce, Tammy Pearce (Haute Realty 214-994-6474) almost 10 years ago

Great photos and example of why a pre-drywall inspection is critical.  And given the amount of rain that we had this past week, I am not surprised that these sorts of issues might arise!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 10 years ago

Well, Michael, maybe you can grant them three wishes!?

Diane - I think they are super important.  Most of the realtors around here are conditioned to understand that!  Ten or twelve years ago I did NO pre-drywall inspections.

Tish - but they are so pretty and add so much to the interior of the house!  We have a bay in our dining room that has become a fine feature and fits a buffet perfectly.

 

That's the dining room bay just after I installed hardwood flooring last summer.

Yes, I did it myself.

You can read about the process on my blog here on AR - I think they're called Jay's Floor, and there are 8 of them.

 

 

Don - most of the subs don't speak enough English to understand that would be something called in an American football game!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay, thanks for sharing and I hope buyers thinking about buying new construction read your message and follow through it.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Ritu.  I do many pre-drywall inspections and find them very beneficial for clients.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Yes, this step is super important.  If it's not done or not done properly, it can be extremely costly afterwards.  Amazing how much headache you can avoid if you do things in the right order and have check steps, esp from an objective observer.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 10 years ago

Tammy - you slipped in there and I almost didn't see you and Kathryn!  I actually say to people that the builders are mostly the same.  The differences lie in the supervisor on site every day and the subcontractors.

Kathryn - we had a bunch of rain here, but quickly, over a couple of days.  I heard that you guys on the coast got more than we did!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Debbie - that inspection is also a time for the buyer to check things like cable and phone locations, whether the rooms have ceiling fans or not, and other such things I would not know about.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Wish I could say I was surprised at the order in which the builder is scheduled to do the drywall, THEN finish the roof.  I have spent way too much money fixing leaky windows in a brand new home.  Why?  My windows were never flashed.  They weren't even done improperly.  They were just never done.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 10 years ago

Not surprising.  Unfortunately it is very common.  I had a house yesterday, Chris Ann, five years old, with rotten wood around and under every single window!   Um, gee, why?  You have seen those big, wide palladium windows over front doors no doubt.

This is what was under a corner of this house's front window.

Yes, that purple is wet.  Over 30%.  My device only goes to 30% because that indicates active moisture intrusion.

It's leaking from the window and the flat front porch roof! 

So, not only was the window not flashed properly, the roof wasn't either.

As I said, five years old!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

As Lenn said, I think the pre-drywall inspection is one of the most important inspections and one of the inspections most often overlooked by home buyers.

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) almost 10 years ago

Damon - hopefully that paradigm is shifting (that's a term I learned about 75 years ago in MBA school...).  It does require a certain mindset.  I think the realization is coming.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay - Your posts are always so educational!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jay,

You know darn well that, had you not done the pre-drywall inspection, those moldy areas would have been sealed inside.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Barbara-Jo.  Again...!

That's the idea isn't it?  And the whole purpose of AR.

Steve - fer sher.  The drywall guys are scheduled for whenever and it doesn't matter the condition of anything, they get paid by the square foot.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

This is a great example of why cellulose insulation is far superior to fiberglass. If it gets wet it dries out and does not become conducive to mold.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jim - the attic is slated for cellulose, 14".  It would have been wiser to simply finish and flash the bay roof!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

A quick infrared scan of that location after drywall is installed will let the buyer know whether the wet insulation was removed.

Posted by Bruce Breedlove (Avalon Inspection Services) almost 10 years ago

I'd think that with a heavy rain, the builder would have been scrambling to get the tarps up. 

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 10 years ago

For sure Bruce, but the client shouldn't have to pay me to come back to see that if the builder says it was done.  I did offer.

Reuben - ha!  He didn't bother!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay, Excellent advice to anyone wanting to have a home built.  The problems that can arise from a home that has hidden defects is scary.

Posted by Diane Williams almost 10 years ago

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