Let's speak frankly about Carpentry 101 - plumb, level and square.
Warning: If you don't like disgusted sarcasm caused by regular experience do not read further.
I see things during pre-drywall inspections that are simply silly. They are infantile. They are amateur. They reflect a lack of understanding. They reflect an lack of care.
THEY REFLECT WHAT OUR COUNTRY
AND THE TRADES
ARE TURNING INTO.
Am I speaking too frankly now?
To begin: a few simple definitions.
PLUMB - vertical, absolutely straight up and down.
LEVEL - straight from side to side, with no incline.
SQUARE - quadrilateral, an edge with a 90 degree angle.
Without and understanding, or the use, of these very, most basic principles of carpentry, A PROPER HOUSE CANNOT BE BUILT!
Walking into the garage of a new home, an EXPENSIVE new home, I was greeted with this.
This is the side wall of the garage. It is but one example of many walls in this house.
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WAS PLUMB, LEVEL OR SQUARE. ENDS WERE IMPROPERLY CUT SO THEY DON'T MEET. LIGHT CAN EVEN BE SEEN AT THE TOP OF THE FIRST STAGE OF THE WALL. THE UPPER WALL, NOT PICTURED, IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME.
Unbelievably, the supervisor (would it be too sarcastic to write "supervisor?") wrote this on the wall to the right of this photo an arrow pointing toward the wall in the photo with the word "Level."
What the supervisor intended to say, (giving him the benefit of the doubt) was "plumb."
Yes, I wonder if he knows the difference too.
At this point the only thing that is level here is the garage foundation wall under the sill plate at the bottom of this framed wall. The rest cannot be made level at this point, short of tearing it out.
As to it's being plumb, the "carpenter's" (it is not sarcastic to use the italics here) solution was to add a couple of vertical pieces here and there to provide a nailing surface for drywall.
WE ALL KNOW DRYWALL COVERS
A MULTITUDE OF SINS.
Hey, those new vertical pieces of junk wood make it look plumb, right? Then, to shore it all up and make it, um, stable, a few horizontal pieces of this and that. Yepper, that'll work! This sort of "carpentry" was everywhere in the house.
I ask you - what is a home inspector to say to his client about all this?
How about - "It'll be covered up when they put drywall..."?
Or - "I think in the end it will all work out..."?
This is good - "Don't worry, your not plumb, not level, and not square house is what we get these days. Bummer, huh..."?
My recommendation: a home inspector has no juice here to effect any change. This will be approved by the county, for sure. Approving infantile work has been happening for a while, which has led to a further deterioration in the quality of work, and what is passed as "okay." My big beef with the construction industry of the last 20 years is the absolutely progressive deterioration of professionalism in the trades. My sarcastic term for it has been 7-11 Construction.
Well, the 7-11 Construction Crew is alive and well.
And we are told to live with it.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560