Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pre-Drywall Meeting

On Thursday we met the PM at our house for the pre-drywall walkthru.  Most things looked pretty good, however, there were several items of concern.  The first thing we noticed is a crack in the side of the front door.  The PM stated this would be replaced.  We then went from room to room with the PM pointing out switches and outlets.  He had already been thru the house and marked out issues with orange spray paint.

In the powder room there was a lot of orange paint.  Apparently the ceiling in there has to be lowered to accomodate proper placement of the exhaust fan.  While in there we also noticed that the switch and receptacle boxes next to the sink were not lined up vertically.  PM said he would notify electrician.  Next was the mudroom.  Again, the ceiling in the mudroom needs to be lowered to make room for plumbing, fan exhaust, and heat runs upstairs.  Not thrilled about it, but not much we can do.

So then we move to the kitchen.  First issue, the CPVC plumbing feeding the upstairs bathrooms and laundry room is undersized.  They used 1/2" pipe where 3/4" should have been used.  Probably saved $20 on the whole house.  Guess we can't run more than one thing upstairs if we want any water pressure/volume.  Asked the PM about this.  His reply, "we always do it like this and never have a problem."  OK.  Hopefully not, because fixing it would require tearing out the kitchen ceiling.  Then he states that we are actually in a high-pressure area and we need to install a pressure reducing valve.  Well that's great, but it's not really pressure we are concerned with, it's volume!  In fact, the smaller the pipe, the higher the pressure!  Kind of like when you put your thumb over the end of a garden hose...  Volume, on the other hand, requires a bigger pipe.

Next issue in the kitchen, and several other places, was the heating system.  They completed omitted the heat runs in the kitchen.  So for a room that measures approximately 16' x 22' we have ZERO heat vents.  NICE.  Their answer:  it is surrounded by conditioned space and therefore does not need any runs.  If we did install them we would just end of closing them anyway once the system is balanced.  I foresee having to add vent(s) to the kitchen once we install central A/C and find out the kitchen does not cool adequately.

Looking out into the garage I see the bath exhaust duct running across the ceiling.  Looks like another boxed-in area.  This is starting to look like a remodel project rather than new construction.  Wait a minute, what is all this orange paint on the wall separating the garage from the family room?  Well, that wall is not going to be flat across, it's going to have 3 or 4 separate bumped out areas where the heat ducts run up to the second floor.  Okay great.  That's going to look like crap.  Here's an idea: let's just bump out the entire wall and make it straight all the way across.
PM: "No we can't do that, you have a service door".
Me:  "The door is like 5 inches from the wall, the wall would be 4" thick, it's fine."
PM:  "Well, then it would interfere with the door casing."
Me:  "Rip down the casing.  I don't even care if there is casing."
PM:  "Well that wouldn't look finished."
Me:  "Won't look any worse than 3-4 bump-outs projecting from this wall."
More arguing and then silence, then "we are not a custom builder" and "you can talk to my boss about it."  His boss wants to charge us more money to make it look like it belongs instead of an afterthought.  If the HVAC system was done according to plan, this would not even be an issue.  Apparently in our region they do not follow the HVAC plans.  Guess they figure the professional architects and engineers who design and spec out these homes don't know what they are doing.   This company, and their willingness to please the customer once the contracts are signed and the deposit is collected, really suck sometimes.

So moving on we then went upstairs and found that the door to the owner's bath toilet room was going to be swinging out into the bathroom rather than into the toilet room.  They are going to correct this.

Of course that room, the laundry room, and the upstairs hallway were missing the heating supply air ducts as indicated per plan, but we were told we would not be getting these.  Don't need them was their excuse.

Then we look in one of the master closets and see the dryer exhaust duct running across the floor.  That is going to be a "shoe rack"!  Basically another drywall bump-out afterthought.  Now in the laundry room, instead of having the dryer vent connection located behind the dryer, it will be next to the washing machine.  Bet that will be convenient to hook up.

The other issue noted was with the electrical system.  They ran a ton of switches as "switch loops" which does not give you a neutral conductor in the box.  The 2011 NEC requires a neutral in each box in case you want to use a switch that requires one.  However, since NYS is still using the 2008 NEC code, they get a pass on this one.

Other than all of the above issues, things looked pretty good.  Insulation, drywall, and siding are scheduled for next week.  Then once the drywall is up, finish work begins.  At that point the cover-up stage is over.  All the work will be readily visible and will be analyzed, scrutinized, and picked apart as necessary.


  1. You may want to consider getting an inspector out there before drywall goes in or at least before closing to make sure that's not all there is. How stressful!

  2. We are definitely considering it. Will have to move quickly though. They told us Wednesday the drywall will be hung. I'm thinking it might be sooner. Of course they have already told us they won't necessarily pay any attention to a home inspector's concerns.

  3. Sorry to hear about all your issues pre-drywall. It's especially bad since it seems like your PM is unwilling to work with you. The bumpouts would bother me too, and all of the "well we don't do things like that here". I hope things get resolved to your liking.

  4. Sorry about all the issues, but i definatley feel its our region. If you read our old blogs... The higher up management kept telling us that" maybe we are not the builder for you" when the house was half completed becuase they were unwilling to correct what we saw as incorrect. We did feel they cut corners and only corrected things when we pointed it out after a long debate about it...who is your pm? We had two of them throughout the build. I dont want to disappoint..but we had more issues after drywall than before.....but we dont have the knowlegde that you do looking for issues regarding plumbing ..vents..heating maybe we would have debated more! I am glad that you are staying on top of them as well..send us an email if you want to know anything ..good luck!

    1. Hey guys I sent you a message thru Blogger. Let me know if you get it. Would like to discuss a few things with you. Thanks.

    2. We never recieved the message,we really are not sure where it is on our site ?? if you would like you can email us directly at ...

  5. Sorry to hear about your troubles.. This is very concerning and really does not sound right. Those bump outs are crazy too.. It seems RH may be tailoring each build to meet or slightly exceed the local laws.. In Avon, OH where we are building the local laws are insanely restrictive, so we are ensured that if RH meet the minimum codes then the build quality will be superb as every step is inspected (or I tell myself that)..

    We have 3.5 baths upstairs and family of six and lots of family who stays over, issues with smaller pipes would be great concern if everything is getting used at the same time.. As for the heat vents, we might as well be living in Antarctica in the winter, so those are needed everywhere. We will be watching like hounds when this house goes up.. Of course everything is great so far since we have not broken ground yet!

  6. sorry to hear about all the trouble, we have our pre dry wall meeting tomorrow... I am nervous about it.

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