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How Well Is Your Home or Building Built?

Better building is a matter of quality design, quality control and quality construction.

Designers and contractors develop construction details every day, but are you really getting the quality of construction that you desire? Or, are you just getting the old standard, “everybody does it this way”, run of the mill details that meet the bare minimal requirements of the Building Code? Is that what you want? Or, would you prefer better built construction?

My contractor says they meet the building code

The Canadian National Building Code and the Provincial Building Codes were generally created to ensure life safety, and general performance of buildings with respect to building assemblies and building materials, and identify a minimum requirement for those construction materials and assemblies.

Many Contractors make the statement, ‘we build to meet the building code’, like it’s some great feat to be achieved to build to the building code, when the building code’s requirements are actually the minimum requirements for what is acceptable.

When someone states that they ‘build to meet the building code’ they are only building to a standard that is minimally acceptable.

Anything less would be unacceptable

When buildings are constructed to meet the minimal requirements of the building code, those buildings will perform adequately, however, in our opinion those buildings should be considered as entry level buildings.

The issues that we find, are these entry level, minimum building code buildings, often experience what we refer to as the “Monday, Wednesday and Friday Blues”.  Maybe things didn’t quite happen as they should that day. Maybe someone got lazy. For whatever reason, the quality of the construction suffered that day. And, sure enough, that is where the building will prematurely fail at a later date.

We also find that some people just don’t follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturers for the products that they are installing. This is once of the most common cause of premature failures within those installations.

These are good products…

These are good products, just installed incorrectly, and ends up costing the home owner more money in the long term, due to premature failures and the cost of early material replacement. Examples of known construction issues and related failures are provided on this page to the right.

Why was this failing poorly built construction not caught by the Building Inspectors ?

Learn about… Building Inspection Short Falls

You get what you pay for

The additional investment of time and efforts to ensure quality detailing, quality material selection, quality construction and quality performance pays off with significantly fewer problems, less maintenance, and more comfortable living spaces.

We address common failures before construction

Over the past 37 years – we’ve seen it all. Or, rather we would like to think that we have seen it all. Then, the next week we come across another poorly constructed project that is so poorly constructed it is simply shocking. We would like to be able to state that nothing surprises us anymore, but that is just not the case.

We look at the different types of construction (roofs, walls, basements, etc) and consider all the construction failures that we commonly see, as well as the quality and comfort of the finished interior space, and even design for the ‘Monday, Wednesday and Friday Blues’, to make our buildings better and the interior spaces more comfortable. We provide regular quality assurance site reviews throughout construction process on our projects to ensure these poor construction conditions do not exist on our projects.

Better quality buildings have fewer problems and last longer.

In the Build Quality section of our website, we review known design and construction failures within the construction process. We look at better alternatives to avoid those failures. This all leads up to what we like to refer to as Better Building.

Classifying ‘Build Quality’ of Construction

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to determine the build quality of a home by a classification. We have entry level Recreational Vehicles (RVs), and we have entry level cars (which l more like to refer to as disposable cars, as they are so cheap). There are all kinds of entry level products out of the market. However, there really doesn’t seem to be any defined classifications for the build quality of and entry level home, mid-range home or high high range homes.

Yes, many home builders may refer to entry level homes and higher end homes, but in most cases, what they are only referring to is the level of finishes within the buildings.

For example:

  • quality of interior doors, door hardware
  • quality of plumbing faucets
  • quality of millwork
  • quality of baseboards and casing
  • quality of flooring and ceiling finishes
  • quality of lighting

Basically they are only referring to the quality of interior finishes.

Or, they may include some higher range exterior claddings or finishes like,

  • maybe cementitious siding or stucco vs. vinyl siding
  • added stone veneers
  • a concrete porch vs. wood porch
  • quality of decking materials, etc.

But surely my $2,000,000 house is built better than a $200,000 house? Not necessarily! 

Yes, it’s bigger and yes it has better visual finishes. But, the items listed above are generally only all the glossy items within a home that makes the home, or building look more visually appealing. Yes, those upgrades are of better quality for those finishing components, but what about the basic bones of the building (the structure), the outer protective shell (the building envelope), and more specifically… how is it all put together. How is it built? At BCS, we do not consider interior finishes (as listed above) as part of the build quality with respect to the performance of a home. They are basically just glossy lipstick.

If you were custom building a home to your likings, with high end finishes, etc., wouldn’t you want better quality and better performance of the building’s structure and protective shell (the building envelope), than the same materials that an entry level home would have ?

So, how do we determine the build quality for a home or building ? How do we know if we are getting an entry level building vs. a mid-range building, or a higher range building and quality of construction?

Learn more…     BUILD QUALITY.

 

Overcoming Know Construction Issues

  • Building and Home Inspection Shortcomings
  • Dry Basement Design
  • Foundation Moisture Protection
  • ICF Basements and Meeting the Building Code’s Dampproofing Requirements
  • Wood Framing
  • OSB Sheathing vs. Plywood Sheathing
  • Insulation Details at the Floor Joist Box End
  • Windows and Doors – Not all are equal
  • PVC Deck Membrane Installations
  • Vinyl Siding Installations
  • Cementitious Siding Installation
  • Stucco Installations
  • Attic Venting
  • Imitation Stone Veneers Installations
  • Shingles – Not all shingles are equal
  • Roof Design in High Snow Area
  • Exterior hose bibs (water taps) and proper installation
  • Furnace Installations and Air Balancing the System
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