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  1. #1
    Don Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Pissed Off Builder

    Last month I did a home inspection on a home built in 2005. This home has NEVER been lived in. I was quite suspicious when my client told me this and wondering "why"..."what's wrong with it?" The purchase of the home was contingent upon my inspection.

    I don't know about you guys/gals, but when I do a home inspection, I do a "quick" survey of the home to see what's going on. If I see a few minor problems...no big deal (still reported), but if I see countless problems, then I report every little problem...almost nit-picking.

    Anyway, I surveyed this home and found numerous obvious problems...vinyl siding missing, vinyl siding bowing, roofing shingles extending anywhere from 2 to 6" beyond edge of the roof, interior wall cracks in EVERY room...too numerous to count...some from the floor all the way to the ceiling. Actually the cracks were obviously repaired, but are separating again in the same areas. Also kitchen countertops separating from the wall, cracked bathroom tiles...on and on.

    Basically, I "killed" this home's quality of construction...suggesting possible foundation problems (limited visibility), or just poor construction.

    I sent my report to my client, who sent it to the realtor, who in-turn, sent it to the builder. Needless to say, the builder was pissed. He called me and stated my report was "too detailed" and faulty. Faulty because I said it was a slab foundation with limited visibility (see image). I guess I should have said "appears" to be a slab foundation. It was not on slab, but again limited visibility. Either way, he was complaining that my report was too detailed. He kept saying "I have concerns about your report"....round and round. Basically he was trying to blame me for him not being able to sell this home for the past 4 years. I told him he could hire another inspector, but they would say the same in their report. I also suggested to him to fix the problems, then maybe the home would sell. We kept going round and round until I told him the conversation was over...then he really got pissed and said I would hear from his lawyer. I laughed and said "okay". I never heard from him or any lawyer.

    I know...long story, but just curious if any of you hear from builders who don't agree with your inspection report.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Jackson View Post
    I know...long story, but just curious if any of you hear from builders who don't agree with your inspection report.
    I believe your the first I've ever heard that the builder didn't agree with the inspection report.

    rick


  3. #3
    Don Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Not that it really matters, but I forgot to include the image of the foundation on my initial thread...

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Don,

    The pic you posted is a bit to small to read your text on the picture.

    Is this a Stucco wall?

    Are we talking about clearances of the soil to the wall, foundation....

    More details.

    rick


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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Not unusual at all. They take it pretty personal, much like we probably would if another inspector was ripping apart one of our reports. It's basic human nature.

    Back to the slab issue. So are you saying this house has a crawl space foundation, or what? You can usually tell if a house is on a slab or crawl space by thumping your foot on the floor.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  6. #6
    wilson greene's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Hi Don
    I have had several builders and homeowners state they never wanted me back at the house again because of my inspection report. The good part is I can always stand behind my report because it simply states my observations about the conditiion of the building and does not include opinions, lots of builders are doing poor workmanship hoping the buyer will not notice. this is why we are in business to protect our clints. without us people would be getting cheated and not knowing it for years when the poor workmanship starts to come apart


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    mr jackson,
    you called it a slab but it is a raised floor? i can see where the builder could question your credentials! i once had a fema inspector require underfloor flood vents in her inspection report and fault me for not enforcing fema regs. i called her boss and told him it was a slab with an elevation certificate to boot. told him to send someone competant next time.


  8. #8
    Don Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Rick,

    The pic is just showing the limited visibility I had of the foundation and that's what I reported. I'm not concerned about that. It was just the first time I had a builder call me complaining about my report, and making it sound as if he hasn't been able to sell his house over the past 4 years because of my report just a month ago. Funny.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Brian,

    How can you get out of that picture that it is a "raised floor"?

    Rick


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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Jackson View Post
    Rick,

    The pic is just showing the limited visibility I had of the foundation and that's what I reported. I'm not concerned about that. It was just the first time I had a builder call me complaining about my report, and making it sound as if he hasn't been able to sell his house over the past 4 years because of my report just a month ago. Funny.

    Sounds like his problem is not with you but maybe with his Realtor.

    If it is priced right, it will sell no matter what! Even if it has issues, if it is priced right, it will sell.

    rick


  11. #11
    James Skinner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    His lawyer probably told him he did not have a case. To either address the reported issues or sell it to someone else.


  12. #12
    Don Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    For all,

    The foundation was of limited visibility. The builder applied a stucco type of material below the vinyl siding to the ground. I found a 6" exposed concrete area that I documented as a slab foundation...I should have said "possible" slab foundation.

    The big picture is that the entire home was rittled with current and potential problems. A lot were current safety issues. If I didn't accurately call the foundation, then that is on me, but I did suggest requesting a foundation expert.

    I may be wrong, but let's add everything up...significant numerous wall cracks throughout the home, bathroom tile cracks, countertops pulling away from the wall suggests either a bad foundation or poor construction. In my report I did lean toward poor construction mainly because all doors and windows opened and closed properly.

    Now you have me second-guessing....no you don't. I stand by my report.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Happens.... goes with the territory... I've had builders stand there while the client and I watched water pour out of the recessed light fixtures below two different bathrooms and been told "The showers were built to code, and your test is meaningless , no one runs the shower on a bench for half an hour". The next day the builder shows up with a letter from the city, saying that if they're built to code, they are acceptable. I call the city, tell them we have water cascading out of the light fixtures, and ask them if they want to send the plumbing inspector or the electrical inspector. Builder claims that I'm incompetent, so we find another inspector. Inspector tells the client the builder is nuts. Builder claims new inspector is incompetent. Meanwhile, it turns out the builder - who is SURE he knows exactly how the shower was built wasn't there when it was built, but his subcontractor "personally supervised the work". Subcontractor appears, turns out he can't even remember who did the work. We find another inspector who specializes in shower problems. Inspector tells the client the builders is nuts. Builder agrees to fix the showers, shower specialist says he needs to be there when the showers are rebuilt, builder says "We can't get to it till' next week", the next day he has his crew in there to fix the shower. And no, he absolutely refuses to have any more incompetent inspectors test his work.

    And so it goes.

    Decks without ledgers, popped roof sheathing creating six-inch humps, sump pumps discharging into window wells...another day, another builder.. the list just goes on and on... there is something about being a builder and stuck with a shoddily constructed building you can't sell in this market that induces various kinds of hallucinations and other manifestations of serious derangement.

    And yeah, you're gonna find out that he's been telling everybody in town that you are a crook.

    And yeah, you really don't have any recourse... happens, just goes with the territory.

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 03-27-2009 at 08:09 PM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    To the original question - yes I think that since I started in 89 I have had one, no, maybe two builders get pissed at me. Uh, maybe it was three.
    Wait, I might have missed a decimal point. Maybe it's thirty.
    Oh crap, I have the hardest time with ciphering. OK, think I got it now, yep, it's three hundred, oh wait, let's see, carry the one...........OK, it's more like five hundred.

    I do know I have at least three letters from builders telling me they will sue me if I step foot in one of their houses again.


    But back to that slab/raised foundation. I just can't wrap my head around that you couldn't tell if it was a slab or not. If the floor was concrete (or sounded or felt like it), what else could it be, assuming there were no crawlspace vents on the outside?


  15. #15
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    Talking Re: Pissed Off Builder

    I remember it like it was yesterday, builder calls me and tells me that he will have me arrested if I ever set a foot on one of his properties again, I calmly reply, "I'm licensed by the state of Oklahoma to protect my clients form pieces of **** like you." "I will call you and tell when I'm coming."


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Mount View Post
    I remember it like it was yesterday, builder calls me and tells me that he will have me arrested if I ever set a foot on one of his properties again, I calmly reply, "I'm licensed by the state of Oklahoma to protect my clients form pieces of **** like you." "I will call you and tell when I'm coming."

    Tony.. Did you call him?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    I had a few *who did not* get mad at me, they were embarrassed, and ended up hiring me to do quality control inspections for them.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    I've had my share of PO'd builders.
    One called because I noted they had drywalled over a master bedroom window on the second floor. Said that was BS. Told him to go on the garage roof and look at the back of the drywall through the glass window.

    Another wanted to argue that the fireplace was operational when I listed it as inoperative. He said they had it on the day before.
    Hard to do when there was no gas line hooked up.

    Life is good!

    If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Brian,

    How can you get out of that picture that it is a "raised floor"?

    Rick
    rick,
    don said he did a home inspection on this house and did not know it was a raised floor? jack had the same thought as i did regarding the inspection. did don stamp his foot on the floor to determine if it was a slab or wood floor? did he check for a crawl space access or underfloor ventilation? i find it hard to fathom that a home can be properly inspected without being able to determine if it is a slab or a raised floor. only don can say why the confusion exists.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    It was either a concrete slab in total, a partial slab with a partial standard raised foundation, or a typical raised foundation. If it was a partial or total raised foundation you should have been able to find an access opening and foundation vents. However, that builder may have fogotten to install both? I cannot tell by that little picture you posted, but what I'd like to know is did you recommend further evaluation by an engineer to address the cracking etc.? For every defect you report you also need to give direction in that A. What does this mean. B Who should fix it?

    As far as the builder being upset with your inspection report I would have advised him to "Deal with it!" and hung up. Guys like that have made a very comfortable living for me, not to mention a number of folks who actually think they're home inspectors.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    It was either a concrete slab in total, a partial slab with a partial standard raised foundation, or a typical raised foundation. If it was a partial or total raised foundation you should have been able to find an access opening and foundation vents. However, that builder may have fogotten to install both? I cannot tell by that little picture you posted, but what I'd like to know is did you recommend further evaluation by an engineer to address the cracking etc.? For every defect you report you also need to give direction in that A. What does this mean. B Who should fix it?

    As far as the builder being upset with your inspection report I would have advised him to "Deal with it!" and hung up. Guys like that have made a very comfortable living for me, not to mention a number of folks who actually think they're home inspectors.

    Hi Jerry

    Don't see you around much lately and have always enjoyed yout imput. I hope everything is well.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Thanks Ted, me too about you. Been really super busy...... I'm doing fine - I'm still vertical and life is good. Take care.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  23. #23
    Don Jackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    It was either a concrete slab in total, a partial slab with a partial standard raised foundation, or a typical raised foundation. If it was a partial or total raised foundation you should have been able to find an access opening and foundation vents.

    Jerry, you are correct in the middle portion of your statement. It did have vents on one end of the home with a crawlspace access door, however, that door was padlocked and screwed shut. Giving that one end was vented and the other was not, I could not confidently state that the foundation was one or the other. I admit, I should have stated my total thought process in my report, instead of leaning toward one over the other.

    I did suggest that the problems with the home were either from the foundation or that the home is of poor construction. I did recommend further investigation by a foundation contractor or engineer.


  24. #24
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pissed Off Builder

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Thanks Ted, me too about you. Been really super busy...... I'm doing fine - I'm still vertical and life is good. Take care.

    Vertical is good


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