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New Construction Hardwood Floor - Is This "Cosmetic?"

Here we are standing on a new construction hardwood floor - is this "cosmetic?"

We are in the wide hallway leading from a grand entrance and into a sweeping kitchen opening to a very large, bright family room beyond.

This is a multi-million dollar house.

As you walk in the front door and walk down that hallway, a few yards in front you see a little dab of white.

From the distance it looks like it might be a piece of paper or swaddle of cloth laying on the floor.

The closer you get you realize it is something in the floor.

Looking closely you see it is caulking!

White caulking, filling what was apparently a ding or knot in the brown hardwood flooring!

It is dead center in the hallway.

Not only did the flooring "professional"  see a piece of flooring with an open gash, but rather than cutting off a small piece of the end he installed it!

Not only did the flooring "professional"  install it, he filled the open gash with white caulking!

Not only did the flooring "professional"  fill the open gash with white caulking, but when the floor was finished, the white caulking was covered with two coats of polyurethane!

The filled spot is 2 1/2" long!  It is 1/2" wide!

IT WAS NOT INSTALLED YESTERDAY! 

The flooring "professional" walked on it for many days if not weeks! 

The building "supervisor" walked on it for many days if not weeks!

It has been here for many days if not weeks!

When asked about the spot, and the professionalism of the flooring installer, the buyer was told the flooring "professional" has 20 years experience.  The buyer was also told this was a "mistake" and would be corrected.

My comment was that a "professional"  with 20 years experience would not make this "mistake." 
And if he does, he should not be installing hardwood flooring in homes of any price.

It would not have been out of line to suggest that a "supervisor"  would not let this installation last long.  And if he does, he should not be supervising construction in homes of any price.

WOULDN'T YOU AGREE?

 Is this simply "cosmetic," or worse?

My recommendation:  it's the little things!  New construction inspections are odd in that the weirdest things can pop up.  These buyers had not been in the house to see this and it certainly did not take a home inspector to find it.  But it did make for fun conversation!

 

 

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 26 commentsJay Markanich • February 14 2015 03:04AM

Comments

Urgh,....nt only unprofessional...color blind....bad piece of flooring gets recycled not used....

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 3 years ago

That does look really bad and should be fixed.  I'm skeptical if that was really a flooring person who did that (vs. someone who messed it up later and tried to cover it up.

A true flooring professional would have replaced the piece.  Or, if trying to cover up the spot, either resand the piece (if solid) or put wood filler in there to hide it).  This looks like something that a non flooring person would do (e.g. another contractor on site. 

Why anyone would put white there is beyond me.  But, a flooring person would have easy access to wood color.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

BTW, is this engineered wood? It sort of looks that way from the graining, but much easier to tell in person.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

S&D - all they had to do was cut off a couple of inches and then install it!

Debbie - I knew this would turn you on!  Agreed with all of what you say!

And this is out of the box, finished Armstrong flooring, 3/4" thick, 4" wide.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Unprofessional of the installer and a definite blemish on the ability of the project supervisor. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

To be sure Wayne.

Great mix of double entendre!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Just melt a crayon and put a coat of varnish on it. It'll pass as a "Natural Blemish".

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Okay, now that is sooo dumb.  All they need to do is replace the piece of flooring.  It's easy to do. Pop it up and glue it back.  They may need to replace 2-3 other pieces to do it.  This is why I don't think a flooring professional did this...tehy would know how to fix...and no poly needed.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

Michael - there were two touch-up crayons in the kitchen drawer!  But, alas, neither was white.

Debbie - yes that is true.  Which is easier, cutting off 3" from that piece BEFORE installation, or removing the finished piece later (along with perhaps other pieces) and replacing it only to have to refinish?

That is correct.  A flooring professional did not do this. 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

No real professional would have let this one pass.  IMHO this was a so called professional but not really a "professional"

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

Just because he has been doing it for 20 years doesn't mean he has 20 years experience... that is crappy work. He might as well have used duct tape!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

This is a clear DEFECT.

When a home inspector sees such an ugly and clearly defective board in the hardwood flooring, whether they cite it in the report or NOT, the agent/buyer needs to bring this to the attention of the builder and especially to the construction supervisor.

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Hi Jay Markanich a good quality stock would not have that type of defect... that's not cosmetic, for sure...

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 3 years ago

They should just replace the piece.  If you try to refinish prefinished wood, it will never match.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 3 years ago

Oh my, talk about obvious.  That definitely should have been fixed!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) over 3 years ago

Your thinking is my thinking James!  Not something a true professional would do.

Fred - I was very disappointed there was no duct tape.  Truly.

This was the first time these two professionals had been in the house to see it finished Lenn.  They were not impressed to say the least!  This was not the only thing!  As you imagine.

Barbara - when I finished the flooring in my house (see my website) I purchased 25 boxes of Armstrong pre-finished flooring.  That represented many hundreds of feet of flooring.  I think I threw away a total of 2' because of defects.  If there is a defect just cut it off the use the piece without it!

This was unfinished Debbie and they put two coats of poly on it (I think).  I think that because this caulking had poly on it!

It should never have been installed Kat.  Ridiculous. 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Shotty workmanship...sad he doesn't take pride in his work.

Posted by Melissa Zimmerman (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty) over 3 years ago

It is that Melissa!  And little pride.  I think you are right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

This is not cosmetic and I hope the area was corrected with a new piece of wood.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 3 years ago

Jay Markanich what was this professional thinking just wondering....

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 3 years ago

That doesn't seem cosmetic at all, but it kind of seems like Dadaism.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 3 years ago

That would be the only way Joan.  Let's hope the repair actually looks good.

Praful - you have to use the word professional with a ton of salt.

Laura - wouldn't the nonsense of dadaism have to be balanced by the more common sensical mamaism?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

For a good pause for cause....consider if the person used colored caulk. It would take years to uncover if at all

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 3 years ago

I don't know Richie!  This thing kind of stands out!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

I agree with Debbie they just need to replace the pieces. 

Posted by Marla Yost, The Marla Yost Team (Marla Yost Team- Keller Williams Realty) over 3 years ago

Marla - let's hope the people who replace it are not the same as installed this piece!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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