If you are building or remodeling, it is important to hire someone to check things out before the drywall goes up.
This story tells how a mistake was made in putting in an air duct. Had the problem not been found before the drywall went up, then the homeowner would have had unusually high heating and cooling bills while having an unusually warm (or cold) bedroom.
Should you get a pre-drywall inspection on new construction?
YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE! GET A PRE-DRYWALL INSPECTION!
The drywall was to go up that afternoon. At the last minute someone found MY ACTIVERAIN BLOGS on pre-drywall inspections. After reading some she was convinced she should get one.
One teensy thing found was that a hole was cut to run a flexible HVAC duct and put a register in the master bedroom above.
The problem was, running it to this side would have put the register right in front of the sliding glass door to a third-level balcony.
Deciding against that, they decided to go out the other side. That duct is clearly visible in this picture.
BUT SO IS THE HOLE THEY CUT TO RUN THE OTHER DUCT! THEY SIMPLY LEFT THE HOLE!
The supervisor told my client that he had the drywall company scheduled to install drywall that afternoon. And for him to change that schedule, his words, “that inspector needs to find something really important.”
This hole not only would have delightfully heated and air conditioned the ceiling space above the mid-level hall and stairwell, but would have dramatically reduced the air flow to the master bedroom! She would have had to live with it because they would never have figured it out.
I told her that when she brings this up with the supervisor, he would say he knew about it all along and it was already on his list. I also told her that it needed to be repaired with sheet metal screwed to the duct and sealed with aluminum tape. AND THAT SHE SHOULD GET A PHOTO OF THE REPAIR TAKEN FROM THE VERY SPOT THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN FROM!
I can just see them spreading duct tape all over this to “seal” the hole!
My recommendation: my client had been told many times that she did not need a pre-drywall inspection. That the construction supervisor was in her house every day checking EVERYTHING that was being done. That the County would be doing “many inspections.” She was told that so many times she almost bought it. Until her nagging feeling got the best of her and she called me. We did this very early in the morning. When she called she needed an inspection right away. Really early was the only slot I could give her! So we made it happen.
I’m glad she did! So is she.
DON’T EVER BUY THE LINE THAT IT IS A NEW HOME AND INSPECTIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia