Post details: How Will Your Builder Build? - Part 3

02/09/05

Permalink 04:16:40 am, Categories: Articles, 423 words   English (US)

How Will Your Builder Build? - Part 3


Builder Quality Checklist 2

Builder QualityFinished Homes
- There should be no gaps where different exterior materials meet -- between brick and lap siding, for example. Siding panels should be securely fastened through the nail flanges, not nailed through the face of the panel. The inclusion of a frieze board between the top edge of the exterior siding and the soffit shows attention to detail.
- All exterior wood trim should be caulked, primed, and painted.
- Interior and exterior walls should be straight and flat, with no waves or shadowing. Shine a flashlight along the side of each interior wall to check for drywall imperfections and studs that bow in and out. Imperfections can range from drywall joints that weren't taped together properly to warped studs that will lead to nail pops.
- Check for dampness or leaks in basements and attics, and inspect all exposed components, such as joists, insulation, and wiring, for defects.
- Large cracks in concrete (anything exceeding 1/4 inch) indicate sloppy workmanship and future problems. There should not be a crack running all the way through the thickness of a basement wall or garage floor.Normally, straight lines called expansion joints are troweled into concrete floors to control cracking.
- Roof shingles should be flat and tight, and gutters and downspouts should be secure. Flashing should be in place around the chimney and where roof edges meet walls.
- Look at interior trim and moldings carefully to see that the joints butt together evenly and that the cuts are mitered cleanly. There should be no gaps between walls and moldings. A gap large enough to require caulk means the job wasn't done properly.
- Examine painted surfaces to see that the paint covers the surface and trim smoothly. There should not be any paint spatters on the walls, woodwork, floors, or other interior surfaces. Bare wood trim used outdoors should be primed before being painted.
- Carpet seams should be nearly invisible, and vinyl flooring should not have ridges or seam gaps. There should be no gaps larger than 1/8 inch between strip hardwood floorboards.
- Open and close all doors and windows to be sure they operate correctly and seal tightly. Check the alignment on cabinet doors; they should close smoothly and without banging.
- The real test of window quality is energy efficiency and low maintenance. A window with argon-filled, low-E glass is more energy-efficient. If it has an exterior cladding of vinyl or aluminum, it will never need painting. Unclad wood windows must be painted every three to five years.

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