What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Drywall Screw Happy - 2 of 3

This is the same new construction as was the previous post.  Remember, my beef is professionalism and longevity of work done.  Improper materials always cause things to fall apart or otherwise become damaged quicker than they should!  And often AFTER the warranty expires!

And as to pre-drywall inspections, which I do a lot of, I said this:  I have done enough of these to walk into a house and see where the professionals work and where they don't...

This is your basic shower stall pan.  Plastic, framed, plumbed and attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While at first glance this might not seem terribly egregious, this pan has been secured with drywall screws.  Screwing this pan to the wall studs the proper way to do it.  The pan must be screwed.  My problem is with the material used - the ubiquitous drywall screw!

Why is this a problem for me?

1.  They are 1" long.  That is not much security to the stud.
2.  Drywall screws are intended for applications where there is no moisture.  This area is very moist!  And, it gets hot and cold over and over, creating every day condensation.  That is moisture inside and out.
3.  The pan is the lowest and the hottest area in the shower.  It will expand and contract more than anywhere else.  That's why you cannot nail it!  Drywall screws are not intended for such movement.  As they get moist, they will rust.  As they rust, they will get weaker and weaker.  They can snap!
4.  As they rust they will drip pretty rust stains onto various points of the pan.  I have seen this during many inspections!  But certainly over time this staining will occur.
5.  As they rust, they will rot the wood behind.

What is best practice?  A screw that does not rust!  Stainless steel, or even a deck screw which is made for water applications and is certainly beefier than a thin drywall screw.  Also, something 1.5 or 2" is better security.

My recommendation:  New construction?  Got clients who want one?  Raise your antenna and call an experienced home inspector.  In my area I would insist on Jay Markanich, but that is just me...

 

 

 

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 36 commentsJay Markanich • February 07 2011 08:51AM

Comments

Good call Jay. You have a great eye for little things that can become huge issues. Wish you were closer to Michigan. Have a great Monday.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 9 years ago

 

 

Jay ...Good call ....!!!    That's why they call em Dry Wall Screws ...They are for Dry Wall.

 

Posted by San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hill Country (www.sanantoniotexasnewhomesforsale.com) over 9 years ago

Jay, 

Great info about shower pans and what leads to problems as it could here.  We have been amazed over the years with how poorly folks do their jobs or just really don't know what to do, causing more work when doing it the right way the first time would have taken less time, effort and money:-)

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Certainly important to educate realtors to insist on framing inspections, but also someone should educate plumbers on certain basics as well. Seems until they have replaced a bathroom fixture which failed for reasons in these first two posts, they don't know it.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 9 years ago

Thanks, Randy, again, for your kind words.  But this stuff is easy to spot!  That's why I post it for you guys!

Robert - that's what I hear!  I also hear that duct tape is for ducts, but don't believe that...

Michelle - you are right - there is not enough time to do it right the first time, but time to come back later to fix it?  Not!

Thanks Glenn.  You are right!  People don't know what they don't know.  Get a professional!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

As I stated earlier, give a guy a screw gun and a bucket of drywall screws, something is bound to get screwed up - big time. Kinda wish these had never been invented...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

I learn so much from you Jay. I had never heard of pre-drywall inspections. On new construction is this part of a "package" where you make several stops in different phases of the new construction? How many different inspection points would there/should be on new construction?

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor (Ward County Notary Services) over 9 years ago

If I were in your area I would can on you also.

When builders are building, installers or framers will grab whatever is in the pouch and it goes in the wall.

They really don't care who gets the screw lol

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) over 9 years ago

And, Michael, the ironic thing is this - builder's hardly ever use drywall screws on drywall!

Bob - I only recommend two - the pre-drywall, where the house is skeletal, and if I can get back to see the quality of the insulation installed I will, and the final, just before final walk through.  That way the buyers have a list of things to bring up with the supervisor at each phase.

Don - gee, that line about getting the screw just might (and prior to your post was planned) to go on my last post!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, another great example of what not to do in construction.  I wish we could call you to take a look at things here in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Posted by Menlo Park Real Estate and Homes for Sale, WendeByTheBay.com - 650.504.0219 - SF Peninsula (Wende Schoof) over 9 years ago

Jay, a trained eye knows the difference between right and wrong, that's why your job is SO important. I hope that someone changed these out before the drywall was put up.

Posted by Craig Snead, Real Estate Investor (Quality Home Investments, LLC / Dearborn Heights, MI) over 9 years ago

Wende - thank you very much.  While I hear many good things about the west, I am an easterner!  And probably always will be...  How about you come out here!

Craig - my clients will bring these things up with the supervisor.  Hopefully it gets changed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Hi Jay, the pre-drywall inspection is key.  Many sins are covered by rock and mud. 

Posted by Dale Ganfield over 9 years ago

They are Dale, and usually the window between my inspection and drywall is a thin one!  So the supervisor needs to be pressed to get things done!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay,

When my clients ask me which is the most important inspection, I tell them the pre-drywall inspection. 
Often they don't underestand the value of having someone look at an unfinished home.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

It sure makes sense to have an inspection done before all of this gets covered up!

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA over 9 years ago

Jay - I guess there's a reason they don't call them shower pan screws or toilet flange screws--just drywall screws. 

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 9 years ago

I agree with you Jay whole heartedly. If you're going to get screwed, make it a long one , and hold the rust.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 9 years ago

You know those screws come in large buckets, right? Probably thousands of screws in that bucket. That crew has to use those screws on something. Toilet flanges, shower pans, kitchen cabinets. Oh the list is endless.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

I always enjoy your posts, Jay; I will never look at drywall the same again :-)

Posted by Virginia Gardner, Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia (Roy Wheeler Realty Co.) over 9 years ago

Mike - I have thought about that and don't know!  I did a new construction inspection just yesterday for which I did not do a pre-drywall and it was pretty good!

Cynthia - literally, it is the only time to see the house skeletally.  Most important - weight transference!  You cannot see that otherwise.

John - and that reason is?  I hardly ever see them used for drywall!     ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Robert - long screws, like long knives!  They are used in ignorance or by vendetta!

Jim - they leave that bucket by the door so every trade knows where to find it!  And it's a biggie!

Virginia - and when you do look at that drywall, don't expect to see screws!  They hardly ever use them!   ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Gee all this time I thought drywall screws were just for drywall...guess not here...yicks !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Not hardly at all Sally!  I rarely see them used on drywall...  mostly nails are used.  Quicker and cheaper.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Always. Always highly educational. You are like reading Mike Holmes, up-north! I cannot say enough how much I appreciate your blogs. Thank you!

And if I was in your area, I would call that "Jay guy" you are talking about! ; )

Posted by Lydie Ouellet Dickinson, Realtor (Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA) over 9 years ago

That is very nice to say, Lydie, and WONDERFUL to hear!  And I would insist on the call...   ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, it's amazing the difference that little tiny things, like screws, can make in a house. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

In the long run, Pat, it makes ALL the difference!  Wait til the next one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Just one more reason I wish we could clone you and enjoy your home inspection services here in MD!

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 9 years ago

And we could enjoy your real estate services here in VA too Margaret!  You need to move to sunny Bristow!

By the way, we will be there for your party April 13.  Let us know where to go.  We will stay for the parade, have dinner and then go home late.  Can't deal with the traffic twixt here and there!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

I just installed a shower pan about three years ago, and now I can't even remember what I used to secure it.  I honestly think I may have just relied on the Durock.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

That's one of the best products ever made for bathrooms Reubs.  It probably has the guts to hold down a pan.  It would allow expansion and contraction.

You put a lot of glue underneath too, didn't you...?                    ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Tons and tons :)

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Good!  Ladies at church glue ribbons and bows and such onto babys' heads with Caro syrup.  You might try some of that next time.  I don't know if you should go with the light syrup or the dark.  You might want to experiment.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay , thanks again for a great post . I would have also liked to see solid blocking all along the top edge of the pan to have an additional place to secure cement board to & to prevent flexing . Certainly not necessary , but a good use of cutoffs & common sense . We have been using sheetrock clips , glue & screws for around 25 years . Originally we used glue for additional strength , but now also use continuous beads of glue to prevent air from circulating between wall cavities on our Energy Star & Green Homes . Alot of people give drywall screws too much credit in drywall , it is the glue that really makes the difference . After the glue dries , I could take out all the screws & the glue would hold just fine , if it is done properly . Most modulars only have glue and/or adhesive foam hold the drywall to the studs and it can goes 65 miles per hour down the highway . Keepin' it Green !

Posted by Edward D. Nikles (Ed Nikles Custom Builder , Inc. / Nikles Realty , Inc.) over 9 years ago

Ed - thanks, hearing that from a builder!  You should see post 3 of 3!  It'll turn you on!

Green means mo' money!  I used to give people energy audits while I was in their house.  Now they PAY me to do it!  That's why they call it green...     ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments