Inspectors see some mighty strange things in NEW homes and we wonder what possessed the builder to do what he did !
May I humbly offer some advice?
-put the gfi outlet in the MASTER bath instead of the halfbath or hall [kid’s] bath. That way if it trips, you’ll know it right away. We NEVER see this! And, don’t put them outside, they only last about 2 years there.
-run the a/c emergency drainline out the FRONT of the house. Builders did this in the 1970s and early 80s but not now. They put it over a SIDE window typically outside the kid’s bath or the kid’s bedroom ! If you’re like a lot of people and don’t mow your own grass, YOU will never see it dripping either. You want to know right away when it starts dripping because when it STOPS dripping, your ceiling is coming down ! Even better, don’t even USE a drainline, use a float switch which will turn the a/c OFF when there’s water in the drainpan. That forces the homeowner to do something about it immed. , which they should
-put the laundry room adjacent to the area where the dirty clothes are generated, the BEDROOMS. How many times do we see it between the kitchen and garage OR on an entirely different floor ? It’s that way because most architects are MEN and we know THEY don’t wash the clothes! Why should the woman have to trek to the opposite end of the house to to the wash?
-run an a/c duct to all walk-in closets. Let’s face it, clothes that have been worn and shoes stink and if you leave your closet door closed AND it’s not air conditioned, everything in there takes on a really funky odor…
-please, please, please put an attic pulldown door in ALL your houses so the attic can be used for storage or the a/c man can easily get to the equipment up there. I’m begging you. I can’t tell you how many million dollar homes we see with just a small hatch in the ceiling, it’s pitiful, really.
-I don’t know who invented the ductless, recirculating venthood but it is completely worthless. PLEASE do NOT put them in a kitchen. I will send Vinnie after you…
-If you have an upstairs laundry room, please use a METAL drainpan under the washer. 100% of the plastic drainpans more than one year old are cracked, yes, 100%…
-Why do you put water heaters in the attic? It’s REALLY hard to get it up there to begin with and it’s doubly hard to get it out + when it leaks it causes BIG problems, even with a drainpan under it. Put it in the garage where it
belongs and if it’s far from the baths, use a circulating pump. With a timer, they use very little power….
-tell your painter to caulk those little round chrome “escutcheons” (under all the sinks) to the back of the cabinet or wall. You’d be amazed how much attic air enters the home around those little guys.
-if you build a 2 story with only 1 a/c, please put the thermostat upstairs so in the middle of the night if I’m hot, I don’t have to walk down to my LR to make it cooler.
-tell your plumber that a 40 gal. water heater will NOT fill a large garden tub with hot water. For an extra $15, he can put in a 50 gal. tank which WILL fill that tub.
-if you build stucco houses, use a COMMERCIAL stucco contractor. NONE of the residential guys know how to do it right, believe me. Result? Lots of water inside the wall within 5 years, guaranteed. Don’t believe it? Go to
http://www.smithinspect.com/stucco.htm and see for yourself.
Tip of the month: Have a spa tub? After your bath and before you drain the tub, put some bleach in the water and turn the pump on. This prevents algae from growing inside the water lines and spewing out onto YOU next time you use the tub !!