Who is The Contractor Hiring?

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Yesterday I talked about homeowners and professionals both doing repairs or renovations that were best described as creative. The common thread was the work was done incorrectly. To take that theme a step further; what happens when a professional contractor performs work that should be done by a tradesman.

Tradesman would be specialists such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors. These are licensed trades that require extensive training both in the classroom and in the field. In addition competency testing is a part of this process. A license in one of these fields requires years to obtain.

A contractor or home builder on the other hand, at least in Connecticut, is not required to obtain any training and is not licensed. It is only necessary for the owner of the company to register the business with the Department of Consumer Protection.

Building and renovation is a business like any other dictated largely by the bottom line. Saving money during a project puts more money in the businesses - owners' pocket. This can become an incentive to cut corners.

One short cut is to not use professional tradesmen during a job. The contractor himself may install the wiring, plumbing and heating/cooling.

The picture at right is an example of a contractor, not a tradesman's work. The two floor registers in the picture are for the heating and cooling in this addition. The larger of the two is the return vent. Two things are wrong here;

1. The return is in front of a door and

2. It is too close to a supply duct.

The installation of the duct work and placement of the return and supply vents needs to be done by a licensed HVAC contractor. There is much more to installing heating and cooling than just putting in some ducts which this contractor failed to understand.

The same would be true of wiring and plumbing. Wiring especially should be done by an electrician because of the potential danger from incorrect installation.

My advice to anyone looking to have a home improvement project done is to be sure your contractor is using licensed tradesman. Hiring a home inspector to conduct phase inspection should also be strongly considered. An outside quality control person can have a big physcologic impact on the contractor.

 

James Quarello
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

To find out more about our other high tech services we offer in Connecticut click on the links below:

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Serving the Connecticut Counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, Southern Litchfield and Western New London.

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Rainer
52,097
Edward Bachman
EXIT REALTY SOLUTIONS - Kingwood, TX
Your Kingwood TX Realtor

Wise council indeed.  The cost is considerably more in most cases, but the darn thing will actually work when you are done!!!

Jul 29, 2009 01:14 AM #1
Ambassador
1,041,595
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Good morning Jim, well, the hardwood floor sure looks nice, and just think, you don't need a mat on the floor to wipe your feet, just scrape all the crud off on the vent!

Jul 29, 2009 01:20 AM #2
Rainer
47,744
Susan Walters
Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI - Ann Arbor, MI

Jim,  My favorite (worst) example of wiring gone wrong was a buyer inspection that revealed an extension cord with plug INSIDE the circuit breaker box!  I don't remember how it possibly fit inside since it was a supersized plug for a super-wrong job but the inspector jumped back and said, "I need a picture of THAT!"  Yes, it was repaired to code but what a nightmare it could have been.

 

Jul 29, 2009 01:44 AM #3
Ambassador
1,333,956
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim, I see lots of this when people start pulling partitions to make spaces bigger.  Usually not too much of a problem with heat registers, but the air returns are another issue.  Love that one right in the walkway too:)

Jul 29, 2009 02:05 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

James,

I was told yesterday that a plumber fixed the TPR valve that was routed into flex and routed up. The homeowner was very proud he had it done...plumber and all. The catch is that the tubing, one saw outside was wrong. We had two choices. It was either routed to 3/4" PVC or 1/2" copper. Not sure which was old and which was older, but either way the job was half done.

Then the "electrician" put in a brand new outside receptacle. Oh yes, it was an electrician per seller. I think not. See below.

Jul 29, 2009 02:26 AM #5
Rainer
437,789
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

James,

It's the same old story. You get what you pay for, but I gotta' ask. Where's the inspectors?

Jul 29, 2009 04:26 AM #6
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Edward, What ever the cost of doing it right it has to be paid.

Andrea, That'll work since the return sucks in air.

Susan, That sounds like something for a worst of list.

Charlie, It's a shoe crud remover.

Steve, Looks like a handy man special.

Terry, That is often the same question I ask.

Jul 29, 2009 04:54 AM #7
Rainmaker
382,620
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi James:

As always a very informative and consumer friendly blog! Great post! You learn something new everyday! Thanks!

:)

Matt

Jul 29, 2009 05:24 AM #8
Rainmaker
179,891
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Funny thing is, I've seen this scenario performed by "Licensed Tradesmen".  Quick in, Quick out, get the check.

Jul 29, 2009 06:02 AM #9
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Matt, Great to hear that. Thanks!

Jack, As have I. Probably just as often as the scenario I painted above.

 

Jul 29, 2009 12:22 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,843,615
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C'mon!  That return is merely a convenient place to deposit your gum when you come in from outside.  That's why they call it a    return   ...

It is a convenient place to let your boots drip dry.

It is a convenient place to shake off the snow from your head and not get it on the hardwood floor.

It is a convenient...

Well, I won't bother you any further.

Obviously I am a contractor and not a tradesman with the jokes.

Jul 30, 2009 12:45 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

They should only hire licensed chimney sweeps to clean chimneys of cobwebs.

Nutsy

Jul 30, 2009 03:39 PM #12
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, We have established the return is a good shoe & boot cleaner. The contractor must have been thinking this when he put it in front of the door.

Nutsy, You need to clead the cobewbs from your head!

Jul 31, 2009 12:07 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Mr James,

Only Nutsy can untwist the meanderings of a strange and cruel world. My mi9nd has no bounce or is that bounds.

Nutsy

Aug 04, 2009 04:46 PM #14
Rainmaker
684,259
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

No bounce would be correct.

Aug 04, 2009 11:03 PM #15
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James Quarello

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