I do a lot of pre-drywall inspections on new construction. They are fun to do, not only from an inspector's point of view, but I learn a lot about the "new waves" in the construction industry.
Here may be a new wave and I have never seen this before.
You are looking at the future hall bathroom of a townhouse that you have visited before! What is new?
Well, aside from the drywall screws holding the tub into place, there is something else.
That is the back side of the electric panel box and two receptacle boxes on the wall - RIGHT BEHIND THE WALL BOARD OF THE BATHROOM.
To the left is the back side of the panel box. It is not exactly water proof!!
The back sides of those receptacle boxes is not much better.
I wonder about this! I wondered when they started using 17/32" oriented strand board for roofs. And when they began using Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for outdoor "wood" trim applications. And when they started spraying a very thin material onto foundation walls to help "seal" them, instead of the old thick tar with fiber and foam on top.
I have to say, I didn't like any of those changes. My disapproval is warranted. None of those products work well. So why the new wave?
IT ALL HAS TO BOIL DOWN TO MONEY. And so, expressing my concern to my client, I asked her to find out what they intended to use here for wall board. Durarock, which is a kind of cement board? Kerdi, in addition to the durarock? Greenboard, a slightly water-resistant drywall, is no longer permitted, fortunately. So, what will they use?
This installation has me concerned. WHEN YOU BUILD A HOUSE, YOU HAVE TO THINK LONG TERM!!
I have been around long enough to know how "long term" things such as polybutylene tubing, synthetic stucco and faux stone were. And all were supposed to be the latest greatest and would last forever!
But this is electrical behind a shower! Now, looking at the house there is no other place, at least on this level, for the panel box. But I really wonder about this one!
Now, obviously the county is going to approve this or they would not have designed it. But that doesn't mean it is okay, just permitted locally. I, for one, do not have a good feeling about it.
My recommendation: when you see something on new construction that maybe you have not seen before, or gives you a nag, ask! There is nothing easier than asking. And if you aren't satisfied, ask someone else!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560