Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lighthouse Lane basement bedroom

Hailey's Bedroom

So I have had Hailey's room framed for some time. As well as the heat duct run and the rough electrical. I haven't really made much progress because of an issue I discovered from the original builder. When framing the home they ran a TJI along the edge of the green plate which left about a six inch void against the foundation to the rim board. The problem with this is that when they insulated they didn't have access to this void leaving a air pocket that would allow cold air in in the winter and warm air in in the summer. The other issue is the builder decided to run the water line to the toilet in this space. Luckily the basement is warm enough in the winter that we didn't have any frozen or broken pipes. But now that the basement is finished there isn't any warm air to keep it from freezing after I insulate the ceiling as well as sheetrock the room. 

I have been calling around and searching for an insulation company for a while now but haven't had any luck getting anyone to call me back, Which is weird since usually they come knock on your door every other month to try to sell you insulation for the rebates offered from the local gas company. 

I grabbed an ad from Lowes one day when I was picking up some stuff for another job. They were offering blow in insulation for a fairly good price with free rental of the blow in machine. I decided that for $10 it was worth doing myself. and it only took me maybe and hour. 

First I drilled some holes down the TJI to give my blower hose access, Then I started at one end and as I filled the insulation to that hole I covered up that hole and moved to the next. It didn't take long and I was able to go down the entire length of the basement. 

I am curious if this will have any effect on my heat bill in the future or the cooling bill for that matter. I ordered a sheetrock lift so I should be rocking here pretty soon. I know Hailey is excited to have her own room. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Blue Stain Pine.

Blue Stained Pine

I was given the request to install Blue Stained Pine on the ceiling of a cabin that I am building for a friend. I thought it would be kind of dark and uninviting so I thought limiting it would be beneficial to the space. Turns out as I started researching the blue stained pine that I realized the beauty in this wood. Find out more about it Here I decided instead that  the more the better.

 In this project we framed in the stairs and some half walls and furred out all of the framing so it would plain with the Sheetrock. After the electricians showed up we hung the Sheetrock. It took us a little longer to get the sheetrock done due to the proximity of the cabin to my home. It took forever to dry so I could only get one coat a day. We still need to prime it and spot light it for defect. We will be finishing the entire ceiling soon as well as installing the hardwood floors and the cabinets.  We will be doing hardwood up the stairs as well.  I thought I would share the Blue pine that I did install on the ceiling above the kitchen area with help from my trusty side kick "The Englishman"

So with the cabinets coming up next week I wanted a place to be done so we could put the cabinets in and not have them be in the way.


 So its not the easiest tongue and groove I have installed. The hardest part was trying to find semi straight pieces. We sifted through the stores inventory and only took a third of what they had because of the twisted and super crowned boards. The other issues where finding some that didn't have broken edges tongues or grooves. When installing It was hard to get it to actually fit tight. Then my friend the Englishmen had this Idea of creating a a lever system we would get the ends tight then nail a block to the ceiling above the crown and just pull it tight. This made for much ease the rest of the process. Good thing we learned it now because I still have a lot of ceiling to go.

 Looks pretty awesome. I am going to research how to get the best finish. I really want to pull out the blue out that is in the wood because it really is gorgeous.

So the one thing that sucks about building a cabin for someone else is that its not mine. Now I want to find a lot and build myself a cabin.  

Update: So I was going through some photos and I found this pick of the ceiling. You can see my Friend Novak. He was helping me install the hardwood floors. I didn't pick the forest green color. It's not my fave by far but the ceiling turned out awesome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sister in Laws New House.

Sister-in-laws New House


So unfortunately when it comes to building homes.Not to many people take pride in their work. It has become a game of building for as cheap as possible and selling for as much as possible. There is no construction defect law in Utah which leaves a lot of these scabby builders an out. The only law in Utah is that they have to warranty there work for a year after the completion of the home. 

Unfortunately with most construction defects they don't show up until years later. This means the builder is off the hook and the homeowner is left to pay for what ever damage is caused by the deficient work.  Usually that deficient work results in water intrusion. If left undiscovered it becomes a festering pile of organic growth and results in Dry rot. If the dry rot affects an structural member of the building the repairs can get very costly. 

I write a lot about this stuff lately for two reasons. One I see it every day. I repair homes daily that have had these issues. The sad part about that is that these homes are seriously decaying and they are not very old at all. Second is because my sister-in-law is building a home with a builder and after walking through the home with them and showing them potential problems they insist that if it was a problem that the building inspected would have called it at the four way. 

When we persist on the issues that are not remedied, we were told by the realtor representing the builder" well we warranty it for a year."  When we told the realtor representing the builder that the whole point of building a new home is that we want it to last and not have issues with it because we finance for 30 years that we don't want to have issues after that first year. he said "Well that's not my problem."  

What is wrong with these people when a simple fix or a simple piece of 15 cent flashing could prevent years of damage to just have an attitude of "Its not my problem." Why is that once you are in that contract for something that you are investing your world into that they have no compassion to help appease your worries. 

One of the items which I mentioned in a previous post was about non treated lumber being in contact with concrete. We produced the International building code and regulation to this realtor. He said he couldn't use that as reference because they go off of local codes from the city they are building. He also informed us that the city code superceeds any international building code. 
This is funny because the realtor who claims to have 20 years experience building homes has only experience in selling homes. The only way a city building code would superceed an international building code is if is more restrictive than the current code. at no time can a city decide that a national standard is over the top and delete from the book. 

So I guess if your going to blatantly lie to your clients you had better do your homework so you don't sound uneducated. Once you tell a lie thats all your known for. How can we trust you tell us anything other than lie during the rest of the construction of the home?

The reason for going with this builder was that it was the only builder with a home in her price range. Otherwise they would not have been her choice. We had heard that they were hard to deal with. So I guess you get what you pay for so.  

That being said when going into a new construction neighborhood. The realtor in those model homes do not represent you. Here I will capitalize that. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT YOU!!!! They represent the builder. This means their fiduciary duty is to the builder not you.  Most builders figure in a realtor fee in case you bring one to represent you. If you go unrepresented they make 3% more money on your home. Always find someone you trust that knows the product and can stand up for you. Some one who will represent your interests to the fullest. 

I think the most deceitful thing is that before you sign a contract they act like they are your best friend and that they will do anything for you, but the moment that you have a concern they just make excuses. 

One of their excuses, and this comes from the Project Superintendent, we have been building homes for over 40 years. My response " so your telling me that you have been building homes wrong for over 40 years."

 Please comment with questions or advice or similar experiences. I think it would be wise to raise awareness to shoddy building practices and start to stand up for the consumer. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Whats on my mind

 Whats on my mind?

So its been a while since I last posted anything. I have been so busy lately that by the time I get home I am just tired and don't want to do anything else. I have been doing a lot of rebuilding and fixing construction defects all over the city. There is no construction defect law in Utah which in some cases can alleviate responsibility on builders. This is unfortunate for home owners. They make an investment into a home with the expectation of building equity and progressing in life, but in many cases they end up having a home with water intrusion issues. This if left untreated or undiscovered can cause organic growth and cause structural members of the building to dry rot. This is not good.

My sister in law is building a home with a well known builder. They are to the 4-way inspection and just did a walk through. Although I was unavailable to attend I went the day before and made some notes. for my wife as they went through today. I love my wife, she can be very persistent when she wants something.  Some of the items I found when going through the home were.

Broken window flanges. This is the flange that the window company mounts the window to the wall. The problem is when there is a crack in the flange it allows water to enter into the house. Water will always follow the path of least resistance.

When flashing the window they did a reverse lap on the flashing. Now every window manufacturer have their own installation instructions. But they don't like their windows installed with cracked or missing flanges.

Non treated wood touching cement. At no point should any material that is not treated for moisture be touching any form of concrete. concrete doesn't fully harden for a long time. OSB sheathing is a sponge. It will pull moisture from the cement and  this will eventually turn into dry rot. Her is a link to the code which specifically explains what is required. International Building Code

These items may seem nit picky to some but to those who are buying the home and investing everything they have it is not. I see the effects of cutting corners on a daily basis as we are tearing apart walls and floors of homes were newly constructed in the past few years. It seems that most builders are in the "get in ,get out" mode. Just to make money.  Not to many people take pride in their work anymore.

If you are building a home or buying a home I would suggest having someone go with you that has knowledge about manufacture recommended installation practices as well as common sense of the building process. It could save you in the long run.

Feel free to comment or ask questions. I am happy to help any way I can.

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