What I'm Seeing Now

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"Shouldn't The Door On My House Be Like The One In The Model?"

In this case "Shouldn't the door on my house be like the one in the model?" was the question, but anything could have been substituted for the word "door." 

Unless the contract stipulates differently, I think what comes in the model should be the example of what comes with another house.  I think the quality of work that is done on the model should be the example of the quality of work that comes with another house.

FYI - this same door in the model home was large, metal and had two difficult-to-manage handles controlling a substantial locking mechanism built into the metal frame.

Incredibly the door installed on this house was not only different than that, but silly.  AND EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL.

After a long climb to get to a little roof balcony housing the AC compressor, this is what I found while up there:

  • The door itself is an interior door, with a Masonite covering, a thin coat of paint only on the outside covering, and it was already swelling and rotting.  That door has been in place just over a month.
  • The doorway turned out to be too small to get the compressor back through should this newly-installed compressor need to be replaced.  AND ONE DAY IT WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED!
  • The door itself was installed with four interior finish nails on the sides.  The threshold was never screwed into place.  The existing, unused holes are water vulnerable as are the sides of the threshold.  It is obvious that water is getting in.
  • There is no weather stripping on three sides of the door, so water is getting in all around.
  • A lovely grouping of screws (three different kinds of screws!) were left on top of the thin, 60mil EPDM roof.  Stepping on any of them likely would puncture that roof surface.  Yours truly did not arrange this!
  • The hole where the AC lines enter back into the house was not sealed, making it also water vulnerable.
  • AND LASTLY, THIS DOOR IS SIMILAR TO ALL THE OTHER DOORS ON THIS GROUP OF 10 TOWNHOUSES.  WHAT'S MY PROBLEM WITH THAT?  ONLY A CHEAP BEDROOM DOORKNOB WAS INSTALLED ON THIS DOOR WITH A CHEAP LOCK.  HOW EASY WOULD IT BE FOR SOMEONE TO BREAK INTO THIS HOUSE, OR ANY OTHER HOUSE ALONG THIS ROW OF HOUSES?  VERY EASY!  SIMPLE AND EASY!  EASY PEASY!   THIS IS A HOME SECURITY ISSUE WITH HUGE PROPORTIONS!

Would you install this door on your house?  I am not a betting person, but I would bet you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on your house in this way?  I am not a betting person, but I would be you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on your house and feel safe?  I am not a betting person, but I would be you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on SOMEBODY ELSE'S HOUSE and feel good about it?  I AM NOT A BETTING PERSON, BUT I WOULD BET, AND THEN HOPE, THAT YOU WOULD NOT!  Further, I would hope that the reason you would not would be the Golden Rule.

Then why would this builder/supervisor/installer, who almost certainly would not install this door on their own houses in this way, do it here?  That, my friends, is a huge question!  

We need more Golden Rule in our society!  It has nearly disappeared and we are the beneficiaries of that!

My recommendation:   NEVER buy a new home without a home inspection!  You don't know what you don't know!  Work like this is frightening!  It is indefensible!  And unfortunately it is common!  So be smart and get a home inspection!  And do for others as you would have them do for you.



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 43 commentsJay Markanich • August 24 2012 04:24AM

Comments

Buyers should  leave signs all over the model homes pointing out the upgrades and it would be nice to have one model with no upgrades so people can see the difference. .

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 6 years ago

That is not right to have the model be different - it's false advertising + shoddy workmanship.  It's very sad.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 6 years ago

Gita - I understand that the model can have upgrades that don't appear in homes unless they are paid for, but this door should not be an upgrade!  The metal door should come with the house!

Debbie - this is sad on so many levels.  The workmanship alone is false advertising!  This is the house with the vinyl (wood) floor you saw before.  And again we comment on each other's blog at the same time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

During a final walk-thru inspection of a new construction home with the buyers, we noticed all the closet doors and only on the inside part had repaired holes in them.  When the doors are open the repaired holes were hidden inside the closet.  You had to go inside the closet and shut the door to see the repairs.  The buyers would not accept the home with the repaired doors and the builder had to replace they will new ones.  I think the builders was using seconds at a lower cost.

Posted by Richard Burge Realty/ Burge Homes, Broker in Charge/Owner (Richard Burge Realty/Burge Homes) about 6 years ago

And you may be right Richard!  Once on a new home I noticed the "new" heat pump was manufactured 8 years earlier.  The builder put in a reconditioned unit!  They thought nobody would notice...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Great point - You should expect and get the same quality construction as the model home "sells!"

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 6 years ago

Agreed Gary, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

You know what is really another stupid part of this? The builder, I mean the actual money man investor that pays the contractor that does the work, probably has no idea that this was done. His investment will be literally rotting away when the water starts coming in. The lawsuits that would follow if a home was broken into and a family was attacked or worse would be fast and furious. My bet, and I'm not a betting man either are that this is a "SUV Builder". One of those builders that never used a hammer before and but has a bunch of money and drives by his crews once a day and sits on his cellphone. The recession was supposed to clear out the deadwood builders like this, but it lloks like they may be coming back. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

And builders wonder why we need to inspect new construction. Way too often the inspectors for the city. county and state simply say, "It's not my job to point out defects, I'm here to inspect for code violations only".

Sad but true. We as inspectors need to keep the builders honest.

Have a great day in Bristow, and good find my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 6 years ago

Nationally-known company Scott.  Big in this area too.  I could look across the way and see the doors on the units over there were the same.  The doors on this row were all the same because I could go across 15' and see them!  The supervisor(s) know(s) these doors are here!  He has to.  The builder ordered them.

You give this builder too much credit my man!  Like Santa (the line from that Christmas movie) he knows, he always knows.

I told the client to tell the builder that with the first break in he would be out of business. 

It takes a guy like me to point this out?  THAT IS WHAT IS SHOCKING ME!  IT TAKES A SCHMUCK HOME INSPECTOR?  I'm not a cop or federal agent.  And I am thinking this way.  Why me?

There, you can have your soap box back.  I feel better.  Thanks.

Agape smooch.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I'm not surprised about anything that you find in new construction anymore . . . reminds me of a 4 year old townhouse I sold a few years back. . buyers inspection showed. ."insulation missing in the attic". .(not part---there was never any insulation installed!) 

My client told me later. . that was a cold house!

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 6 years ago

Jay  I would assume the door really is a code violation - not the handle, but the weatherability

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) about 6 years ago

Thanks Clint.  And how often still does the builder try to convince people that my inspection is not needed because of all the other "inspections" that have gone on?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Fernando - I have seen that a half a dozen times!

Karen - I don't know about the County, but it sure is a Markanich Code Violation big time.  It is also against the Moron Code.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, looks like this builder is cutting expenses. After all, a door is a door, right! Unless the buyer hires a home inspector who knows the difference. Buyers need an advocate more than ever today.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

I bet a thousand dollars you don't have a gambling problem.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 6 years ago

Another amazing story, Jay. Keep being "the schmuck"! Your clients are a whole lot better off because you're good at what you do and you care.
Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 6 years ago

Interior grade door used for an exterior entry?! Say it ain't so. Condos seem to be, as a rule, more cheaply built than houses. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

Just one of the many ways people are cutting back on quality

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 6 years ago

Mike - there are dozens of houses in this neighborhood with this same door.  You know the area - near the Vienna Metro.

Andrew - I bet you are right.

Bruce - I had a builder call me a schmuck once.  You should have seen the subsequent report!  With photos!

It is so Jim!  I know the photo isn't the best, but look how much that door has swollen!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Many ways is the right statement Harry.  MANY ways.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I guess you have a great deal of job security with construction like this! Your point about the Golden Rule is right on the mark!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 6 years ago

Thankfully, not all builders are created equal! Curious, did the buyer's purchase the home after all this?

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) about 6 years ago

It wouldn't have passed code here for several reasons, but the obvious one is it was too small for the unit to pass through. That is a no no anywhere.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) about 6 years ago

It is a rule fading fast Kathryn.  That's what prompted my post Caveat Omnia.

Judy - things are still in process.

Than - my feelings or knowledge about this are outside the code.  This is moronic in any case.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Site agent should have been more pro-active when it came to explaining what was included and what was not.

Posted by Nan Jester, Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery (Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL ) about 6 years ago

No kidding Nan.  There were a WHOLE lot of things not explained!  A WHOLE lot.  Some would say that might just be intentional.  Or that they were sure nobody would notice the difference between the model home and this one.  A certain home inspector checked.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay -- looks like this builder is going to have to come up with another way to cut corners, and raise his profit ratio. 

You obviously are not talking about the golden rule that says "he with the gold gets to make the rules." 

Obviously their plan is to have the failed unit lowered over the side of the house, and the new one lifted into place; since who would want to carry them on those stairs.

Have a Fantastic weekend!!

 

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

Nicely detailed post.

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) about 6 years ago

Steven - how ridiculous to go to all that problem to get a unit off and then on to the roof!  Those stairs are dangerous and the subject of another post.

Thanks Kevin.  These kinds of things are important to document.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay:

I have seen signs at models saying that certain features were upgrades.  That should be standard.  People need to know what they are actually getting and just in the fine print. 

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) about 6 years ago

I agree Evelyn.  If there is no stipulation that the model has a different door than the other houses, they should come with what is on the model.  I could get into this door with a pocket knife.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

We see this all the time in new construction. Read your contract.

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) about 6 years ago

Good evening Jay. Sad when builders try to curb costs at their buyers expense. If it was in the model it should be in the home. Period.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 6 years ago

It is apparent that the only people in the neighborhood who noticed the door on the model home is the builder Erica!  And me of course...

Randy - unless otherwise stipulated!  And when the first break in or worse happens, I wonder what would happen then!?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

We see this sort of thing in apartment communities that have a model unit. If it's in the model, it is expected that each unit has the same features and workmanship.

Great post Jay!

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 6 years ago

Thanks Tom.  Again, unless otherwise stipulated.  My client couldn't find anything in his literature saying that a metal door was an upgrade.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Great post - one more reason why buyers need a home inspection even on new construction! Regards Dave

Posted by David Grbich, Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484 (Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com) about 6 years ago

Thanks Dave.  I think new construction inspections are essential.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, You have to love that. You must of just had a grand time on this project. 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

That door is a piece of trash Don.  This house had a total of probably 50 concerns between the pre-drywall and the final.  The builder is going to ban me from his properties I bet...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

It's sad to see home buyers basically being ripped off.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 6 years ago

Rob - that's a silly door all around.  It's masonite!  The security implications for me are huge too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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