Perfect Construction?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Cascade Builder Services

Is there such a thing?  To a reasonable, well informed person there are no "perfectly constructed" homes.  To the unreasonable, misinformed person, the term causes a big headache in our industry.

Let's elaborate on the term "reasonable".  Is it reasonable in a newly constructed home to expect there to be no drywall cracks throughout the walls?  Yes.  To expect that the doors don't hit the frame when closing?  Indeed.  To expect that the wood flooring isn't missing boards?  Absolutely.

Now, is it unreasonable to expect the garage floor slab to not have any hairline cracks?  Yes.  To expect that there won't be a 1/16 inch gap between the baseboard and drywall?  Indeed.  To expect that there won't be any wood putty filling the nail holes in the trim?  Absolutely.

Of course, there are many, many different styles of homes with different materials used by different trade contractors.  However, the expectation of workmanship should stay consistent across the field.

New home construction is one of the last, truly man made products.  For this reason, we should, and I must say most people do, expect that there is a certain margin of error in construction or what we consider "tolerances".  

What I ask of agents is to study up on these tolerances so that you can set a proper expectation for your clients when purchasing a newly constructed home.  Would I expect you to read it front to back and memorize every acceptable tolerance?  Of course not.  However, speaking from experience, there are still people out there expecting perfection in construction and a preliminary discussion prior to the "walk through" can help to produce a more seamless transaction for all parties involved.  

A great resource for this information is the "Residential Construction Performance Guidelines" written by the NAHB Remodelors Councel and Business Management.  

 

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Rainer
55,234
Sherry Siegel, Managing Broker, EcoBroker, ABR
BrokersGroup, serving Sequim and Port Angeles - Sequim, WA

Kevin, I had no idea there was such a book. Do you suppose local Builders' associations get discounts on book orders?  There seems to be a bit of a groundswell to have a home built during this time when so many developments have come to a halt. But is it unreasonable to expect a slab foundation to not have a diagonal crack from outside corner to sliding door, especially if that crack is 1/4" wide? Seriously.

Oct 01, 2009 06:50 PM #1
Rainmaker
56,731
Kevin Pierce
Cascade Builder Services - Tacoma, WA
New Construction Warranty Management

NAHB members get a small discount.  

I'd really have to see the crack to make a judgement but cracks in concrete are very normal.  1/4" is just barely getting out of the tolerance range.  The book says 3/16" in width or vertical displacement is normal but that doesn't mean a 1/4" crack is something to worry about.  The best plan of action for concrete cracks, whether foundation or slab, is to monitor them.  If they get bigger, there's a problem.

Oct 02, 2009 03:32 AM #2
Rainer
23,921
Trisha Bass
HomeSmart Advisors - Kennewick, WA
GRI, e-PRO

Thanks for posting this! I will have to get a copy of that book. I do come across buyers who are looking for perfection and this book will help me to be more knowledgable.

 

Dec 21, 2009 03:04 PM #3
Ambassador
3,272,727
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I wanted to drop by and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas from your friend in Washington State,
Paul

Dec 25, 2009 03:01 AM #4
Ambassador
3,272,727
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I hope you didn't think I forgot, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May you find nothing but health, happiness and success in 2010!
Your friend in the great NW!
Paul

Jan 03, 2010 02:30 AM #5
Rainer
321,367
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Hey, Kevin - Just wanted to stop by and see how you're doing. Hope all is well with you and yours, that you're really busy, but that you'll soon be back to Play in the Rain with us. The Google juice is awesome.

Happy New Year!

Jan 03, 2010 03:24 AM #6
Rainer
109,077
Greg Richardson
Crestline Homes - Virginia Beach, VA
Home Builder

We use the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines manual quite often to justify new home warranty repair and methods. Once the manual guidelines are shared with the homeowner, they are OK with the proposed solution to the service issue.

Mar 30, 2012 05:26 AM #7
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Rainmaker
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Kevin Pierce

New Construction Warranty Management
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