What I'm Seeing Now

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It's The Finish Work That Makes A New Home Sparkle

When finally the builder reveals your new home, he should be proud to show that it's the finish work that makes a new home sparkle.

These photos all come from the same condo.  This is not a cheap condo!  In my opinion it is very expensive - think somewhere between $500K and $1M.

It is my opinion that when you pay that kind of money for something the something should reflect your money's worth.

Let me share a few photos from a recent final walk through.  These aren't all of them!  But I will share nonetheless.

Amazingly I would said that 10% of the tiles in the kitchen splash block were cracked or broken.  And they simply glued them onto the wall and spread grout!  Well, you have to fill those holes with something!  And the tile panels should sit evenly side to side!  Notice how the tiles do not fit cleanly together three tiles to the left and five tiles to the right of the receptacle?

The home features dark hardwood flooring throughout.

With dark woods you have to pay attention to the finish work because everything shows up!

Spreading caulking unattractively to fill gaps shows up!  Paint drips show up!  Drywall joint compound powder that wasn't protected against shows up!  Not finishing the floor molding shows up!  Walls that are not square or plumb show up!

Some things might show up with lighter flooring too, but might not be so pronounced!

In my opinion long handles on the kitchen cabinetry are very good looking.

And in my opinion, if you're going to install them your jig should have them straight up and down, and parallel one to another!

Maybe I am just a purist, but when none of the abutting handles are parallel or the same distance from the edge of the door, I happen to notice.

When I point things such as these out to my clients and they bring them up to the supervisor the famous supervisor answer is "that's already on my list."

Okay, what's your plan on how to deal with them?

Oh, and please don't ask the original installers to try to make things better.  They obviously don't know what they are doing.

My recommendation:  you only get one chance to make a great first impression.  The final walk through should be the opportunity to really show off your sparkle!  You don't get a second chance.  So why not do things really well the first time.  If you do not, please don't get upset with a home inspector who happens to point them out!

 

 

 

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 30 commentsJay Markanich • September 21 2013 03:26AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay.... where do you find these homes???  those are pathetic photos boasting finishwork...sad.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 7 years ago

Yeah, that doesn't look good at all. The tile maybe the hardest one to fix. Oy vey.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

They aren't all Barbara!  And I don't find them!  My clients do!     ;>)

Cousin - could be!  The kitchen cabinets are hard to change.  The flooring, guardrails and moldings had paint drips on them everywhere!  The brick work on the front of the house looks like a drunk did it!  Um, could be!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Thanks, Jay, for sharing your experience and your photographs. We always recommend a professional home inspection.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) almost 7 years ago

Sad, sad.  I suspect that I'd have a lot of "BLUE TAPE" spread around. 

These are very costly and serious defects.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

As you should Roy.  In this case my client could not attend, so I took a lot of photos!

Lenn - you would have had blue tape in every room and on every wall!  I think this condo is a disaster.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Sloppy contractors build $100K and $1M houses. Craftsman ship seems to be a thing of the past.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

It's pathetic Michael.  This is the third post in a row on this one condo.  And not a cheap condo!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

An allowance to get the right craftsman for the job but many don't want to tamper with something they did not start that is out of whack. If they have a solid reputation and worry about even though they make it the best they can, it is still out of joint so to speak and looks cheesy, sleazy.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 7 years ago

I agree Andrew.  These are not craftsmen.  These are not professionals.  These are guys from where ever.  To put ceramic tiles on the wall in that condition indicates to me that the box was dropped somewhere and either the installer didn't recognize that this is abnormal (which wouldn't surprise me) or didn't give a fat flying one and installed them anyway.  Why should people be expected to pay money for that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Hi Jay,

I see this on flips especially all the time. Crappy work where the contractor wants to get in and out as quickly as possible without making sure every thing is correct. As far as the price for the Condo. At that asking price...well let's just say every little thing should be just right.

Have a great day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 7 years ago

Jay, these photos are painful to look at. At a final walkthrough? Time to delay this closing with that much work to do...and the fixes will be a mess!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) almost 7 years ago

Lots of blue tape on this one...yicks....first will be worn out on the "fix it" crew's punch list !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 7 years ago

Flips are not high end Clint, and you get what you pay for.  In this case there is no getting what is paid for.  This is trash work, and I'm sure you agree.

This buyer wisely wanted the final walk through 10 days before closing, Tom.  Perhaps he knew something I did not find out until I got there!

I hope the fix-it crew knows how to do things S&D.  These installers didn't.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

That looks like sloppy, pathetic, and just unacceptable workmanship.

Posted by Jeff Pearl, Full Service Full Time Realtor (RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA) almost 7 years ago

My last three posts have been about this condo Jeff.  It was the same all over.  The brick work on the front, abutting Jeff Davis Highway, looks like it was done by a drunk.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

"Attention to Detail"----would you rather remember in ten years how you did it right or did it wrong?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

They don't care now, obviously.  So in 10 years these guys won't care Charlie!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

It does sound like a high end condo Jay, but the photos haven't convinced me that it is a quality product. That's going to be quite a "punch list" to make this one right.

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) almost 7 years ago

That's some quality work there, isn't it Tom!?  It is a high-end condo - both because of location and because of products.  We'll see how this one unfolds.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, our home is not in that price range, but the tile work recently done in our kitchen and baths was far cleaner and done properly

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 7 years ago

That's because you hired a professional to do it Ed!  Day laborers are not professionals!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

If there is anything worse than people not holding themselves accountable it is when those that rule over them don't hold them accountable either.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Well, do you think it looks like the supervisor, there every day doing hundreds of inspections such that a private inspector like us is a useless placebo, cares or held anyone accountable for the past many weeks Charlie?

Yeah, me either.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I did a new construction yesterday where some of the trades were asleep for sure :)  Not the sparky though.  First report I have ever put out with no electrical concerns in the summary :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 7 years ago

I don't think it's that they don't know how to do it... they simply don't care! 

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 7 years ago

I agree Jay when someone pays that kind of money for a place it had better be in top notch condition with no or very little flaws. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 7 years ago

What's that about not buying a car made on Monday or Friday, Charlie?  Maybe that should apply to houses too.  On new construction here the builders will not let me go into the panel box.

That has to be Fred.  But a lot of ignorance surrounds that lack of care too.  Take the dryer vent (same house) on yesterday's post.

To me that seems like a lot of money James.  You'd expect something for it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, The ol devil is in the details. Now why someone would not use a jig is weird to me on handles. It is way quicker with one.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I think it's hard to drill holes when someone is dancing Don.

So that's probably why they didn't do a jig.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

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