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 gem jumped out at me before I got out of the SUV.
What you see is a steep roof and a valley right beside the adjoining wall. During heavy rains water rushes. There is little flashing above that small section of counter flashing and a smaller section of step and counter flashing at the bottom of the valley.
In favor of flashing is a wide valley made up of wrapped shingles.
That trim under the window simply has to go.
The wood trim around that triangular window is merely caulked. That wall will receive vinyl siding.
How good is that smaller section of flashing?
The larger "flashing" you see on the right is tar paper!
The metal flashing is ripped, has gaps and wraps erratically. It also extends over the brick window sill, which will only divert water there instead of into the gutter. There is no kick-out flashing to divert water away from the brick and into the gutter. Water is already staining the brick.
And many shingles have already been broken and torn by another unthinking "tradesman."
I had to see what they thought this should look like in the end. So I looked around the neighborhood to find a similar elevation and detail.
And I found it. It is not impressive.
Between the shingles and wood trim, from the very top to about the middle of the trapezoidal window is roof tar! ROOF TAR! That has been used to finish the siding job. I see no flashing anywhere above the middle of that window. The step flashing begins about the lower third.
The water is diverted to under the wood trim all along that wall. Remember, wood has six sides. ALL six need to be primed and painted. When a piece of wood is cut or mitered, those cut edges MUST be primed before paint.
They say to never say never. Well, I never, um, NEVER see those cut edges primed and painted! They squish in caulking, and often the WRONG kind. But even if those edges are primed and painted, wood trim is not intended to be underwater and this will rot quickly.
And the flashing that is present does in fact divert water under the window trim over the brick sill. And the counter flashing attachment to the house is just beautiful! It is glued on with silicone caulk, which is already hanging off in places. This house is only a couple of months old.
My recommendation: ALWAYS get a pre-drywall inspection! But even that sometimes cannot correct what will obviously be a disaster under construction when the house is finally finished!
A design flaw is a design flaw is a design flaw. An inspection won't change that!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560