Pre-drywall inspection things you really like to see - 1 of 2. These things all represent BEST PRACTICES. They are wonderful to see!
For me, pre-drywall inspections are crucial. They are the only time to see the house in a skeletal state. There is no other time to see these things!
I think the most important thing to look for is weight transference. Do load-bearing walls line up on top of load-bearing walls or other support, like a foundation wall or steel beam? Do load points line up on top of proper support? Are headers properly sized and properly supported on each side? Pre-drywall is the ONLY time to see this.
It was a pleasure to do a pre-drywall inspection not long ago where the house could have been used to train home inspectors on what things should look like! Here are a few examples of what was seen:
Drywall screws were used to attach drywall!
This was the first thing I saw in the garage.
You laugh, but drywall screws are often used by subcontractors for EVERYTHING EXCEPT drywall!
And their depth was properly set! They didn't go INTO the drywall, but only slightly dimpled the paper.
And, the drywall used was Type X, which is a 5/8" thick fire-resistant product, required for garages.
Insulation was stapled high and low, with the flaps OVER the studs!
This is what the flaps are for!
Again, usually what I see is insulation jammed in beside the studs, which is improper and reduces its
And more often than not there are NO staples. They say the drywall will hold the insulation in place over time. As a thermographer I can tell you that this is incorrect - gravity works over time and draws insulation down.
The front porch was adorned with four columns.
They have special, and decorative, headers and footers, not seen here.
They are structural, waterproof so they won't rot, and look, they were caulked to keep moisture out and SECURED to the front porch concrete!
Each column has two anchors!
And notice that each column is measured and centered in its space. This is not haphazard placement. It is thought out in advance.
This house is equipped with the best attic ventilation - called soffit and ridge venting.
And it is properly done!
Good air flow is provided for by using proper materials.
Improper material placement would look like this.
The good soffit material is set so that insulation can be blown right to the edge of the roof.
The plastic is such that it will never rot and will always be a proper 2" from the roof sheathing, allowing enough air to enter through the soffit vents under the gutters.
In this photo you can also see a proper window header, with caulked gaps, stapled insulation, hurricane straps securing each roof truss, and the HVAC register has been taped so there is no air leakage.
Notice on the left that a ruler is stapled in place so the insulation installer can see the depth he is dealing with as he blows it in. Not only is it green (which I have never seen before), but it begins at the ceiling drywall!
I have seen blogs by other home inspectors in which this same kind of rule had been intentionally bent by the installer so that instead of getting 15" or 18" of insulation, much less would be blown in yet look the proper height. In other words, the installing company was lying about the depth of the insulation, to "save" themselves money, and overcharge their client.
SUCH IS NOT THE CASE HERE! This is an honest installation, so the insulation depth the buyer sees is the real depth! They will be getting what they are paying for.
One final thing.
In this last photo another green insulation ruler can be seen. That is one of seven that were placed in the attic space.
The insulation installer will be able to blow a consistent amount of insulation into the area, stated to have an R-38 value.
Also, each bedroom is equipped with a ceiling fan location.
Each is centered into the room where it should be.
Notice two things:
1. The very strong support can hold any fan made, and me!
2. The electric box is a "flush mount" box. This means that it anchors two ways, and only sticks down 1/2" so the fan is flush with the ceiling and does not encroach downward, but yet retain its strength. The box is screwed into the wood from below and onto the side. It is very secure.
I enjoy being able to explain things like these to buyers. They feel good about the home they are building and the inspection too!
My recommendation: it's the little things that add feature to the house. Certainly the big things are important - like weight and load transference! But when there is a multiplicity of little things that add up to careful construction and value the buyers always benefit.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560