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Home / Et cetera / An Architect’s Take on Townhome Construction Quality

An Architect’s Take on Townhome Construction Quality

By July 25, 2017

Et cetera

Curious what insiders think of the building boom?

An architect living across from a townhome project recently wrote us complaining about the quality of construction. Why was he disappointed with how they were building it?

Several reasons –

The first is the quality of the materials. The absolute cheapest. Particle board doesn’t last, and though I know that most new places use it, I am wholeheartedly against it. The 2x4s have all kinds of knots and imperfections; half of them aren’t even straight (which is inherently obvious when they’re sitting stacked on site). When the wood was delivered none of it was stored with spacers, allowing moisture to collect in the boards while it sits on site waiting to be used.

The build quality is another one. Having watched this one go up, there was a lot of stuff that wasn’t straight, gaps in between sheathing, etc. Those gaps leave opportunities for energy loss and water damage, pest infestations, etc. I’m curious to see how the exterior and the glazing installation goes along.

Lastly, there’s never any type of super on site for the jobs, no one clearly running the show. I haven’t even seen them consult a set of plans or shops once… The workers that are there are super unprofessional; they clearly don’t take pride in their work as they leave trash everywhere, are rude (I live across the street, and they’re constantly parking in my driveway, and they just glare at me when I ask them to move), and drive beat-up unbranded vehicles. They illegally park all day in the alleyway and block driveways, and they’re too cheap to even rent their own porta potty – they use one from another construction site down the street. If that’s the way they take care of their equipment and personnel, how am I supposed to trust them to build my home?

That’s just my two cents, though. They’ll still get built, and they’ll still sell the units for $900k or more, so good for them I guess. As someone who will be in the buyers market in the near future, it makes me sad to see so much cheap, tasteless stuff going up…

Anonymous architect, it makes me sad too :(.

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