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First time home builder - have questions

jetvet's picture

 

Hi all,
 
First time post here and I do apologize for the wall of text.  My wife and I are in the process of building our dream home.  We've spent the better part of the last 5 years saving and planning to do this.  Needless to say it's a very exciting time but as I'm finding out, also very stressful.  Neither of us know the first thing about building a house.
 
We decided to go with a local builder who has a model we've always loved (plus my wife built with them previously and had a good experience).  They have several developments in our area (and nationwide) so we actually got a chance to walk through the exact house we're building.  We were quite impressed with the layout and build quality so we decided to go with it.
 
We met with the project manager prior to digging and went over all the options and set expectations.  He sends out weekly communications to us on what to expect the next week.  He's also been at least somewhat responsive to my questions via email or when I call him.
 
So, with that being said, here's my concerns.  We're just beginning the framing process and they have the walls up for the first and second floors.  As I'm walking through the house I noticed some seemingly large gaps at the bottom of the floor where the plywood for the walls join together.  In some cases it looks like the bottom plates were cut too short and you can actually see outside.  I realize they are going to insulate and wrap the house but it looks to me like they didn't measure correctly (see attachment).
 
I've also found two holes in the exterior walls and when I asked the PM about it he said the framers sometimes hammer holes in the walls so the crane can hook a tow line up to lift the wall.  Is this true?  It sounds like he's feeding me a line (see attachment).
 
I guess I just want to know if I should take his word for things or not.  I don't have the first clue about building houses (although I have done some drywall and framing in the past) but my gut tells me if it doesn't look right then bring it to his attention.  Maybe I'm being overreacting but I can tell that the little things like this are going to drive me crazy because I'm a very detail oriented person (engineer).
 
Thanks everyone, I definitely appreciate the expertise on this forum.
 

verification justified (post #206409, reply #1 of 7)

In the first pic I would be more concerned about what appears to be a gap in the wall sheathing than the short plate. If I'm seeing this right you have a really weak spot there.

Pic 2 shows a sheathing hole that's not too  terribly ugly but the one in pic 3 is and for sure needs repair.

I think you do need to keep a close eye on the details of this job....

.

Thank you for the response. (post #206409, reply #2 of 7)

Thank you for the response.  I'm definitely going to bring the sheathing gap up with the project manager.  I told him I wanted do a walkthrough with him when he does his final frame check and I plan on pointing these things out.

I wouldn't be too concerned (post #206409, reply #3 of 7)

I wouldn't be too concerned about the holes in the osb sheathing. While being unsightly and probably unnecessary, they really don't compromise the integrity of the structure. Though, in my mind, they do compromise the character of the contractor. 

The wall gap looks like somebody blew the wall section measurments by 1/2". I'm not a professional builder or framer but when I've joined two wall sections on my own structures I always leave that sheet of sheathing off and add it after the walls are tipped up. This, to tie the sections together. That said, your situation still may not be compromising the structure. Is this in a place where two windows abut? If so, there's no shear capability in the wall here. If it is a shear wall, then you may have a problem. 

In any case, when dealing with this contractor, I'd put all my concerns in writing and sent to him either in an email or hand it to him. Keep your tone light  but be clear. Deal directly with your contractor or his designated rep. The framing sub doesn't work for you.. he works for the contractor. 

Wall framing gap (post #206409, reply #4 of 7)

As part of the building permit process, is there a scheduled framing inspection required?  If seems to me the joining of these two wall sections is weak.  You can see the nails are spanning the gap between the two wall  sections.. Is the top plate overlapped at all?  I would take lots of pictures and document what you have questions on let the PM know about your concerns.  What type of warranty is available on the home  and check the statue of limitations in the event of an issue.   

Wall framing gap (post #206409, reply #5 of 7)

As part of the building permit process, is there a scheduled framing inspection required?  If seems to me the joining of these two wall sections is weak.  You can see the nails are spanning the gap between the two wall  sections.. Is the top plate overlapped at all?  I would take lots of pictures and document what you have questions on let the PM know about your concerns.  What type of warranty is available on the home  and check the statue of limitations in the event of an issue.   

That first picture concerns (post #206409, reply #6 of 7)

That first picture concerns me for the reasons mentioned.  Also, I'm curious as to whats going on in that section of wall.  There are 8 studs there within 12-14 inches or so.  Why?  Sure seems that there'd be a lot of heat loss in that spot through thermal bridgeing.  Maybe somethings going on there that I don't understand, but I'd ask about it.

that looks like dumb (post #206409, reply #7 of 7)

that looks like dumb framing

got any pic of the exterior of this wall section ?

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

              www.mfsmithbuilder.com