Saturday, January 27, 2018


I realize it has been quite some time since my last post and I finally got around to resetting that long since forgotten password. I found a couple draft posts that were never published. One in particular resurfaced some suppressed memories of the first time we walked through the doors as owners.  Let’s say that I was less than satisfied with what had transpired with the cleaning crew and was hesitant about posting a vent/rant. I decided to post it as-is because, frankly, I continue to be reminded and annoyed about the craftsmanship, or rather the lack thereof, that went into this house. I am still finding things that irritate me. Some I probably could have caught but there are so many things going on with a build that there’s bound to be some you overlook or forget to revisit. Then, there are things like building codes that you have to investigate after the fact but the local ordinance can’t do anything about it because it passed inspection in 2012 and codes/ordinances have since been revised. I get it but I don’t have to be happy about it.

I have been sifting though this blog’s past entries recently looking at the construction pictures trying to gain insight and compiling some renovation ideas. You read that correctly. I did type renovation. The house isn’t even six years old.

Let me start you off with some minor things that didn’t quite go as expected:

The cleaning crew, the drafty bedroom, the painter, the leak in the attic furnace room. Sigh... You can read that here. That drafty bedroom was never addressed and we relocated M to another room. EnergyStar certified? Hardly.

Master Bath
There should be an arch in the bathroom. I missed it on the walkthrough; perhaps I was distracted by the nonstandard ORB shower surround that the PM was able to have installed. Shame on me but I scowl every time I see the tall uncased opening. If it’s not arched, it should be encased like the rest of the house for consistency’s sake (and my sanity).

Houses settle, especially new ones. I just don’t like having to weatherstrip the front door and the door to the garage because I can see daylight and feel a breeze when they’re closed. I am tired of looking at nail pops and seam cracks. (This is me just complaining because I can. If I’m going to be negative, I’m not holding back.) The tile grout is cracking in the shower and the tub surround. The caulking around the door casings and the steps are pulling off as everything shifts and creates gaps. Again, to be expected but highly annoying.

Not having functional light switches and listening to the clicking as the light goes on and promptly goes off is annoying. This happened in the second floor hallway, first floor hallway, and the basement. Having an electrician tell you it was shoddy workmanship is a bit disturbing  when you consider what else could possibly go wrong. The master bedroom light randomly turns on when we’re using the ceiling fan. If I am in the dining room, I need to walk the length of the kitchen to turn on the kitchen lights. Poor design.

Remember that hump in the attic floor at the top of the steps and the structural engineer that was going to check it out? I was so disgusted with the attempt to remedy it that I just didn’t want anyone associated with RH back in the house. You can’t dump leveling compound ON the hump itself and expect it to become less pronounced. Maybe it was supposed to have magical reduction properties but, no, they just made it worse. I have a little hill at the top of the steps.

Those half columns that were horribly assembled and redone still make me want to take a sledgehammer to them.  Square is something that is hard to do in this house. It’s a recurring theme.

I don’t know if I mentioned the issue with the master bedroom subfloors or not. Recall that it rained a lot during the build. I worried about bowing. Guess what. They bowed. I wanted them replaced. Were they? Of course not. The edges were sanded. I have dips and ridges and gaps and nail pops.  No, really, they used nails on the subfloor and my feet find them.

So I’ve heard from folks that used to work for/with RH and the subs are allotted a specific budget and of course to keep costs down, some subs get creative—like using nails instead of screws (or not replacing subflooring). Let’s continue with the subfloor. My floors squeak and move because of those ineffective nails or from the lack of any sufficient method of securing them. I’m currently staring at the hallway subfloor (more on that later) and I can’t wait for it to removed from the premesis. Not only is the integrity compromised from being waterlogged twice (three times if you count the construction phase) but it epitomizes everything I despise about how this house was constructed. There’s one gap that’s wide enough to insert my thumb. Some of this floor trench was left empty but most of it was filled with sawdust, nails, scrap wood, and possibly some grout or glue. It’s brown. The edges of the boards aren’t secured, hence the movement and the squeaking. One board which is currently only halfway covered by padding and carpet has ONE screw and ONE nail and looks as though someone used a circular saw to create a quarter-inch deep groove through the center. I’m afraid to rip up the rest of the carpet. Seriously, what else am I going to uncover?

I also now know why the marble threshold to the bathroom is cracked. It’s not resting on a solid layer of mortar. Gaps equals cracks. Nice. I discovered this while inspecting the trench.

Do you recall the gap between the foundation and the frame of the basement slider. I have no idea if they ever caulked it or filled it but I’m going to need a new door frame. I’ve never seen so many ladybugs enter from a door ... or water. I’m glad we didn’t finish the basement because I’d be having some major water issues. Not just there, but my floor and walls.  Grading and tarring weren’t exactly on my side.  The dirt is not supposed to be higher than the tar. My walls shouldn’t be wet either.  Looks like we will be investing in tarring, painting, sealing, and insulating the foundation. I am so looking forward to doing this prematurely. (Bitter? Me?) At least we haven’t finished the basement yet.

It doesn’t take much more than logic to understand that a gutter needs to be appropriately sized for the volume of water it must manage. I posted about this previously but the same image is below. Heavy rains caused overflows that displaced mulch until we placed a flat rock to diffuse the impact. We treated the symptom, not the cause. We have ice dams. I’m constantly checking the garage for signs of water damage.  

displaced mulch

I love water. Really, I do. I just don’t want it where it doesn’t belong. Wait until you read the upcoming post about the fire sprinklers!

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