"Shouldn't The Door On My House Be Like The One In The Model?"

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

In this case "Shouldn't the door on my house be like the one in the model?" was the question, but anything could have been substituted for the word "door." 

Unless the contract stipulates differently, I think what comes in the model should be the example of what comes with another house.  I think the quality of work that is done on the model should be the example of the quality of work that comes with another house.

FYI - this same door in the model home was large, metal and had two difficult-to-manage handles controlling a substantial locking mechanism built into the metal frame.

Incredibly the door installed on this house was not only different than that, but silly.  AND EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL.

After a long climb to get to a little roof balcony housing the AC compressor, this is what I found while up there:

  • The door itself is an interior door, with a Masonite covering, a thin coat of paint only on the outside covering, and it was already swelling and rotting.  That door has been in place just over a month.
  • The doorway turned out to be too small to get the compressor back through should this newly-installed compressor need to be replaced.  AND ONE DAY IT WILL NEED TO BE REPLACED!
  • The door itself was installed with four interior finish nails on the sides.  The threshold was never screwed into place.  The existing, unused holes are water vulnerable as are the sides of the threshold.  It is obvious that water is getting in.
  • There is no weather stripping on three sides of the door, so water is getting in all around.
  • A lovely grouping of screws (three different kinds of screws!) were left on top of the thin, 60mil EPDM roof.  Stepping on any of them likely would puncture that roof surface.  Yours truly did not arrange this!
  • The hole where the AC lines enter back into the house was not sealed, making it also water vulnerable.
  • AND LASTLY, THIS DOOR IS SIMILAR TO ALL THE OTHER DOORS ON THIS GROUP OF 10 TOWNHOUSES.  WHAT'S MY PROBLEM WITH THAT?  ONLY A CHEAP BEDROOM DOORKNOB WAS INSTALLED ON THIS DOOR WITH A CHEAP LOCK.  HOW EASY WOULD IT BE FOR SOMEONE TO BREAK INTO THIS HOUSE, OR ANY OTHER HOUSE ALONG THIS ROW OF HOUSES?  VERY EASY!  SIMPLE AND EASY!  EASY PEASY!   THIS IS A HOME SECURITY ISSUE WITH HUGE PROPORTIONS!

Would you install this door on your house?  I am not a betting person, but I would bet you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on your house in this way?  I am not a betting person, but I would be you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on your house and feel safe?  I am not a betting person, but I would be you WOULD NOT!

Would you install this door on SOMEBODY ELSE'S HOUSE and feel good about it?  I AM NOT A BETTING PERSON, BUT I WOULD BET, AND THEN HOPE, THAT YOU WOULD NOT!  Further, I would hope that the reason you would not would be the Golden Rule.

Then why would this builder/supervisor/installer, who almost certainly would not install this door on their own houses in this way, do it here?  That, my friends, is a huge question!  

We need more Golden Rule in our society!  It has nearly disappeared and we are the beneficiaries of that!

My recommendation:   NEVER buy a new home without a home inspection!  You don't know what you don't know!  Work like this is frightening!  It is indefensible!  And unfortunately it is common!  So be smart and get a home inspection!  And do for others as you would have them do for you.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
372,640
Judy Jennings
The Green Company - Ashland, MA
Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA

Thankfully, not all builders are created equal! Curious, did the buyer's purchase the home after all this?

Aug 24, 2012 12:02 AM #23
Rainmaker
592,740
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

It wouldn't have passed code here for several reasons, but the obvious one is it was too small for the unit to pass through. That is a no no anywhere.

Aug 24, 2012 12:34 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It is a rule fading fast Kathryn.  That's what prompted my post Caveat Omnia.

Judy - things are still in process.

Than - my feelings or knowledge about this are outside the code.  This is moronic in any case.

 

Aug 24, 2012 01:47 AM #25
Rainer
293,375
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Site agent should have been more pro-active when it came to explaining what was included and what was not.

Aug 24, 2012 04:51 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

No kidding Nan.  There were a WHOLE lot of things not explained!  A WHOLE lot.  Some would say that might just be intentional.  Or that they were sure nobody would notice the difference between the model home and this one.  A certain home inspector checked.

Aug 24, 2012 05:02 AM #27
Rainer
284,418
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Jay -- looks like this builder is going to have to come up with another way to cut corners, and raise his profit ratio. 

You obviously are not talking about the golden rule that says "he with the gold gets to make the rules." 

Obviously their plan is to have the failed unit lowered over the side of the house, and the new one lifted into place; since who would want to carry them on those stairs.

Have a Fantastic weekend!!

 

Aug 24, 2012 07:45 AM #28
Rainmaker
782,279
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Nicely detailed post.

Aug 24, 2012 07:48 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Steven - how ridiculous to go to all that problem to get a unit off and then on to the roof!  Those stairs are dangerous and the subject of another post.

Thanks Kevin.  These kinds of things are important to document.

Aug 24, 2012 07:57 AM #30
Rainmaker
809,839
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Jay:

I have seen signs at models saying that certain features were upgrades.  That should be standard.  People need to know what they are actually getting and just in the fine print. 

Aug 24, 2012 08:35 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I agree Evelyn.  If there is no stipulation that the model has a different door than the other houses, they should come with what is on the model.  I could get into this door with a pocket knife.

Aug 24, 2012 08:42 AM #32
Rainer
407,122
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good evening Jay. Sad when builders try to curb costs at their buyers expense. If it was in the model it should be in the home. Period.

Aug 24, 2012 10:09 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It is apparent that the only people in the neighborhood who noticed the door on the model home is the builder Erica!  And me of course...

Randy - unless otherwise stipulated!  And when the first break in or worse happens, I wonder what would happen then!?

Aug 24, 2012 10:48 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,760,036
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

We see this sort of thing in apartment communities that have a model unit. If it's in the model, it is expected that each unit has the same features and workmanship.

Great post Jay!

Aug 24, 2012 05:40 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Tom.  Again, unless otherwise stipulated.  My client couldn't find anything in his literature saying that a metal door was an upgrade.

Aug 24, 2012 08:04 PM #37
Rainer
234,647
David Grbich
Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Great post - one more reason why buyers need a home inspection even on new construction! Regards Dave

Aug 24, 2012 11:48 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Dave.  I think new construction inspections are essential.

Aug 25, 2012 05:13 AM #39
Rainmaker
488,413
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, You have to love that. You must of just had a grand time on this project. 

Aug 25, 2012 08:07 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That door is a piece of trash Don.  This house had a total of probably 50 concerns between the pre-drywall and the final.  The builder is going to ban me from his properties I bet...

Aug 25, 2012 08:20 AM #41
Rainmaker
217,052
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

It's sad to see home buyers basically being ripped off.

Aug 25, 2012 02:36 PM #42
Rainmaker
1,827,588
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Rob - that's a silly door all around.  It's masonite!  The security implications for me are huge too.

Aug 25, 2012 08:23 PM #43
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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