Chris' Corner: July 2011

Buying a new home? Consider asking this question!


Are you considering buying a new home in Alliston, Bradford, Innisfil or Orangeville?  Then you might be interested in reading the following post of Jay Maranich, fellow Active Rain Blogger and Home inspector from Bristow VA.  Pay special attention to his recommendation, makes a lot of sense to me...


When good money is spent for a new home everything should be pleasing to the eye.  Materials selection, fixtures, finish carpentry, the final product - all should demonstrate pride in workmanship which leads to pride in ownership.  The final walk through with the client should be a REVEAL - look what we have done for you!

Unfortunately with so much modern, new construction, this is not the case.

A large, covered porch outside the master bedroom is a feature most of us would drool over.  A nice retreat, private, comfortable furniture and it can be enjoyed in any weather.  What could be better?

What if this was where you stepped as you exited the room to go out onto the porch?

This was the view!  And it was what the decking looked like all over the porch.  Do you find it appealing?  Does that engender pride of ownership to you?  This photo is representative of what the entire porch looks like.  This is what I see:

  • More nails than necessary in every board on the porch.  The "carpenter" obviously had fun with his nail gun.  
  • Some nails are too close to the edge.  This will split the board at the edge, which looks bad and can be dangerous.
  • Hammer dimples are everywhere!  And, you might be able to see, they used a drywall hammer to hit the nails.  That is why the waffle pattern in the dimple is there.
  • The multiplicity of nails has caused many boards to crack and split already.  Imagine what they will look like in a year!
  • That huge knot, as unsightly and ridiculous as it is, will dry, break and likely fall out very soon, leaving a gaping hole.
  • There are too many other such knots!  They are all over!
  • Stamps and inks were visible on many boards.
  • The wood is of different ages and therefore different colors.
  • It is exceptionally low grade wood.
  • The wood is not fitted together attractively.  The joinery is not creative in any way.
  • The wood is dirty and one area has mud on it!  That means it was out in the yard for some time.  IT WILL WARP.
  • Worst of all, it does NOT look like the model home! 


This is NOT a cheap house!  For a few more dollars, and not that much, the builder could have installed a nice Douglas Fir and avoided all the knots.  And when pressure treated, Douglas Fir has a very appealing, light vanilla color.  I think it looks just as good as the foo-foo designer woods that are used, very expensively, on some decks.  Those woods look nice, but the cost/benefit is out of whack to me.  Douglas Fir is not that expensive and very pretty.

My recommendation:  when you walk through the model home, ask if this same workmanship and same materials will be used in your homes!  AND THEN HOLD THE BUILDER TO IT.  I find the above decking to be laughable.  I would be embarrassed by it, as a home owner and as a construction supervisor showing it to my buyers.  No way, NO WAY, would an executive of that company, the carpenter, or even the supervisor, do that to their own homes!  Remember the Golden Rule?



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia

Chris Smith CSSBB
          Sales Representative

Interested in Buying or Selling Real Estate?

  ph: 1.866.936.3500

Chay Realty Inc.,

Comment balloon 0 commentsChris Smith • July 03 2011 01:13AM
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