This Must Be Considered "Finished Carpentry" On Some New Construction

Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

At this point in my career as a home inspector I like to say that I am continually amazed but seldom surprised. 

This must be considered "finished carpentry" on some new construction.  HOW UNFORTUNATE.

There is laminate flooring throughout the house.  Looking like hardwood flooring, it must be treated as such when the finished carpentry is done.

Trim and molding needs to be set right.  Things should fit together attractively. 


Most of the doors in this house looked like this.

This is the left side of the master bathroom door.

The room is set up such that from the bed the bathroom and both closet doors would be viewed from the bed.

This gap looks right into the wall behind.

The door trim is dinged.

The molding is dinged.

The threshold to the bathroom is dinged.

And air can be felt coming from that hole under the right side of the door trim.

The door trim should go to the floor!

It should not be damaged and the floor molding should be fitted to it and look decorative.

Similarly, this is what you would see under the right side of that same door!

The paint job is sloppy.

The door trim and floor molding is weird at best.

The laminate flooring does not come together properly.

Air can be felt coming from under this trim too!

And in both of these photos the cleaning crew has already "prepared" the place for the buyer to move in!

Throughout the house only a couple of doors were done by someone who seems to know what he is doing.


My eighth-grade shop teacher would give a D for this only because the kid tried.

He would have taken this "professional" carpenter to the woodshed!  Along with the building supervisor.

My recommendation:  NEW CONSTRUCTION DOES NOT MEAN YOU DON'T NEED A HOME INSPECTION.  My clients had been in this house many times and had not noticed these doors.  People don't know what they don't know!  There were a dozen other similarly unprofessional things done in this house.  Taken individually a buyer might not think it too much to overcome to make the house right.  But taken as a group of VERY unprofessional things done by different contractors any buyer would wonder greatly.  This buyer did.


Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


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Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Jay, I hope that was a homeowner project.  I'd hate to think that someone who does that for a living would do it like that, but I've seen worse I guess. 

Aug 19, 2012 09:26 PM #7
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

New construction and the builder uses vinyl laminate faux wood flooring!? I'd say the floor quality matches the workmanship. 

Aug 19, 2012 09:29 PM #8
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586


309,374 Points 30 Featured Posts Outside Blog Called Shot Master

Hi Jay,

You have pointed out what we in he inspection industry have been saying for years and years. There are so many defects in a home. It would boggle the mind. One house I has so may All I did was state "the entire finish trim in the home needs to be re done"

Get a home inspection, even on a new home. There are so many defect's in a new home. Not covered by the county or state inspector.

Have a great day in Virginia.

Best, Clint McKie

Aug 19, 2012 09:52 PM #9
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Yet another reason to have a professional inspector looking over new construction.  Workmanship is just sloppy and if you don't hire trades that understand the product they are installing you are going to end up with a mess.

Aug 19, 2012 10:22 PM #10
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

If I were a buyer purchasing new construction I would be quite angry by this level of "professionalism".  Ugh!

Aug 19, 2012 10:40 PM #11
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Jay, yet again, the lack of craftsmanship is rearing it's ugly head. You are right, it is becoming the norm and very sad. People have to stop accepting this kind of work and maybe it will stop. Have your new home inspected for craftsmanship and accept nothing less!!

Aug 19, 2012 11:08 PM #12
Steve and Jan Bachman
RE/MAX Gateway, Reston, Herndon, Ashburn, Sterling, Fairfax - Herndon, VA
Realtors - Northern Virginia

Yo Jay! What sorry workmanship. Indeed this gets a grade of "F" because these guys were paid for this.

Now if I would have done this on my own house I would cut myself some slack :-)

Aug 19, 2012 11:17 PM #13
Brad Rachielles
CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453 - Upland, CA

This can't likely be corrected after the fact with a punch list item. Hope the buyer walked.

Aug 20, 2012 01:51 AM #14
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Jay - If those pictures were taken here, I'd know that the home was built by one of two big national builders. I have no idea how they get away with work like this, but it happens a lot, and it's a shame.

Aug 20, 2012 02:24 AM #15
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good afternoon Jay. New houses tend to be built at lower standards so I would think it is more important than ever to have an inspection done. Actually two, one pre-drywall/insulation and one finished.

Aug 20, 2012 06:47 AM #16
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Done by the subs Mike, done by the subs!  People ask me if this or that is a good builder.  My answer is that it depends on the supervisor on site, and the subs!

Jim - hi rollers all around!  The buyer was very unimpressed, even worried, with the flooring.

Clint - that about covered it!  I have not heard from my client as to how the walk through went with the builder.  I expect to!

Cindy - this is a disaster and everyone involved should be embarrassed.  IMO

Aug 20, 2012 09:34 AM #17
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Jay -- you mean your shop teacher would have allowed these characters to try finish wood working without first showing that they actually knew how to cut, assemble and properly finish their other handiwork?

Aug 20, 2012 09:36 AM #18
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Kathryn - my shop teacher would have spanked these guys with his Board of Education.

Fred - this stuff is done because people accept it!  You are right!  I find it embarrassing.

Steve - you might cut yourself some slack, but Mr. Brautigam, my shop teacher, would not!  Then he would have worked with you so you understood how to make it beautiful.  He was a great guy.

Brad - why can't it be corrected?  I think it should be torn down and redone!  At best it's laughable.

Aug 20, 2012 09:39 AM #19
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

What do you know Dick, you may have hit that nail on the head here too!

Randy - you have actually seen this house before, in a post regarding pre-drywall!

Steven - see my answer to Steve above in #19.  By the time he was done with them, they would have pleased Norm on "This Old House!"

Aug 20, 2012 09:41 AM #20
John Mulkey - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - This looks like the perfect application for some very wide caulk. Doesn't Billy Jays have a suitable product for this?

Aug 20, 2012 10:52 AM #21
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

John - you know he does, but this builder is probably uninformed.

Aug 20, 2012 07:54 PM #22
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Finish carpentry takes time so who wants to do that? Caulk and putty are today's finish work.

Aug 21, 2012 04:00 PM #23
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I know Don!  What were these people thinking!?  When caulk, putty (and duct tape) is so available, they are fooling around with floor trim.

Think about it.

Aug 21, 2012 05:53 PM #24
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

This is yet another reason strongly recommend that your clients call Jay if you afre withing a hundred or so miles of Bristow!  He finds everything, and he really knows how to explain it to our clients.

Aug 23, 2012 11:22 AM #25
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks very much Pat!  That's a big area!

Aug 23, 2012 08:31 PM #26
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