This is new construction, selling for well over $1 million. It should reflect that in its workmanship and material use. PROFESSIONALS should be working on this house (as they should on every house, but that is the subject of other blogs).
I have done enough of these to walk into a house and see where the professionals work and where they don't...
Not only should proper materials be used in their various applications, but they should be installed with best-practice techniques as well. Why put together something that is not going to last?
To get by cheaply and beyond the warranty period before things fall apart?
Yes, that was cynical. But, unfortunately, not far from the truth!
This and the next two posts will show three examples of unprofessional work, not employing best practice and using the wrong materials all found during one pre-drywall inspection of the same house.
THE PEOPLE WORKING ON THIS HOUSE ARE DRYWALL SCREW HAPPY. That reflects unprofessional work, done by unprofessional people, to get work done unprofessionally quickly and unprofessionally cheaply. You catch my drift...
Example #1 - the toilet flange. This plastic device is screwed to the floor directly under a toilet. It directs the flushed water into the plumbing drain, hopefully without a leak. It also houses the big brass screws you see on each side of the toilet to hold the toilet securely to the floor. These screws combine with bolts, and are gently tightened under the round plastic caps on each side of your toilet base. Go look!
Best practice - stainless steel screws! These are included with the flange in a small plastic bag. Why? Because there is water here and the water can leak. Stainless steel can handle some water, even over time. Also, the stainless steel screws intentionally come with larger heads which nearly fill the small bowl you see for them to sit in. You should use a minimum of four for each flange.
Why not drywall screws? Because --
1. they are weak and thin and the head can sheer off!
2. the heads are small and as people try to seat themselves on the toilet it necessarily rocks. These small heads can snap the plastic and it can literally pop off, as they break the plastic around them. As someone who has replaced toilets, I have seen this!
And 3. they rust! As they rust, they get weaker. As they rust, they quickly rot the floor around them. Those are two problems you don't want under a toilet! Leaking under the tile, and sometimes vinyl, can rot the flooring underneath and show no clue!
Drywall screws are meant for, um, drywall! I looked under each of the toilets (the house is skeletal at this point) and I did not see screws penetrate through the floor under any of the four upper-level toilets! Not only are they the wrong screws, but too short too!
But even if these screws were long enough to penetrate through the flooring, they are NOT the right product to use! EVEN IF YOU USE SIX!
My recommendation: whenever your clients are buying new construction, get a pre-drywall inspection every time. That is the only time the house is skeletal and such things as these can be seen. While we might hope or imagine that on OUR house The Golden Rule is followed, very, very often it is not.
Stay tuned for two more examples of similar unprofessional work, on this very house.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560