02 Sep Get it Checked Before the Issue Gets Hidden
Construction happens in layers. When a house gets built, or a major renovation takes place, the project starts from the bones – the platform and frame – and then proceeds out from there. The essential operations of the house, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC go in next, nestled next to the frame. This is a critical phase of the construction, and failure to properly execute it can have long-term consequences for your comfort and safety, not to mention causing costly repairs. Because of the stakes, we strongly recommend a pre-drywall inspection for your construction project.
Who is Tinkering Behind Your Walls?
There’s a reason that certain trades are independently licensed and bonded by the state. Plumbers, electricians, and HVAC installers need a significant amount of technical knowledge to make sure their work integrates properly into the home structure. Framers also need to know what they are doing to make sure the house can support its own weight. From a project management perspective, unless you are acting as the “general contractor” for your project, the selection of these trades will be left to your architect or general contractor, and you aren’t likely to know if they are chosen because they are a trusted known provider, or because they offer the lowest price. Even trusted providers may be taking on a new challenge in your project (a unique installation or a larger scope), or they may have new people on their team. You have to put a lot of trust in the expertise of these tradespeople, and it’s worth having an experienced eye look things over.
There’s Done, and There’s Done Right
Often, when a problem arises post-construction, when the wall gets opened up, there’s a mess hidden behind them. Electrical wiring sagging and crisscrossing in a dizzying maze, plumbing that has extra, rickety joints to accommodate a unique location, or some other installation that may have worked well enough to pass a final building inspection, and may even be up to code, but was actually a ticking time bomb in terms of maintenance and longevity. An installation doesn’t have to look pretty to work, but there are definite differences between done and done right when it comes to construction, and an inspector can call these out.
The reason for a pre-drywall inspection is to make sure these critical issues are caught in time to correct them. While the systems are in the open, they can be replaced or altered to perform their function appropriately. Another important timing consideration is the warranty. Most construction warranties are for a single year. If the work done was “good enough” to last a year, you may find yourself having to tap your homeowner’s insurance or go out of pocket for a repair or replacement of an installation that wasn’t adequate to your home’s needs.
The Importance of a Third Party
Construction tends to be a lower-margin business, meaning that builders and contractors have to be careful with their schedules and budget to make sure the work turns a profit. Delays, rework, and other bumps in the road can turn a project into a loser. Even the most reputable, upstanding contractors are motivated to keep the momentum going forward, which may cloud their vision when inspecting the project for issues. A third-party inspector only has the homeowner’s interests at heart. They will be looking closely at every system and raising issues that may indeed impact the builder’s bottom line. But this is going to be your home, and you deserve to feel confident that everything is done right behind the walls.
Biller and Associates has decades of experience in construction. They are certified in inspections, and they have the knowledge and capabilities to conduct a pre-drywall inspection that assures that the project is on the right track. If you are interested in this extra level of security in your home project, contact us today.