As a contractor, you obviously take pride in the work that you do. Quality work equals happy customers, after all, and happy customers equal more work down the line. If your work runs afoul of a home inspector, however, then that goodwill you were building with your customer may have just gone out the window.
Ideally, you’ll never have to worry about any of your work failing inspection. It never hurts to check your own work, though, especially if you’ve added new people to your crews recently. In addition to checking the overall quality of your work, here are a few key points to double check since they can put you on a home inspector’s bad side pretty quickly.
Do you use joist hangers in your construction work? If so, make sure that your crew knows the proper way to install them. While the process isn’t complicated, joist hangers are made for use with specific nails that are installed in specific locations.
Using nails that are too small or not using enough nails to properly secure the joist hanger can leave your joists weak; this creates a possible failure point that home inspectors aren’t likely to ignore. Read the installation instructions for the joist hangers you use to make sure that you have the right nails and that your crew knows where to install them before you use them.
Whether you’re doing new construction or renovating an existing building, regulations require rooms such as bedrooms to have egress windows that provide a means of escape in case of fire. While new buildings are often designed with this in mind, you can get tripped up by home inspectors on major renovation projects if you install windows that don’t meet egress requirements.
This not only affects the width and height of the windows themselves, but also the maximum height you can place windows from the floor and the minimum net clear opening that the window provides. Double check all of the egress requirements before installing windows to make sure that your work is compliant.
Other Fire Safety Concerns
Depending on the work that you’re doing, there are other fire safety concerns you need to keep in mind as well. This includes the common concerns such as the insulation you choose and the materials that go into your construction, but can also include things like the installation of fire walls between a garage and the main structure of a house.
For some types of structures, fire suppression systems or mounting points for fire extinguishers may be required as well. Given the importance of fire safety, it’s important to brush up on fire safety requirements to make sure that your knowledge is current.
Installing lights may seem pretty common, but if you’re not careful you can create a fire hazard without meaning to. This is especially true when installing recessed lighting since the lighting units can get hot during operation.
Many of these units carry warnings about how they should be installed and how far away any insulation should be to avoid it potentially catching fire. Don’t rush lighting installations or you could wind up with a lot of rework.
As with lighting, electrical wiring is a common task that can have disastrous results if it’s done wrong. Whether you have an electrician on your crew or you subcontract the work out, be sure to check it to make sure that everything is wired correctly and that there aren’t any bad splices or potential fire hazards within the wiring. You should also check to make sure that multiple wires aren’t connected to the same breaker, as this is sometimes done to save install time. Attaching too much to a single breaker is not only a potential fire hazard, but it can also lead to the breaker tripping often as well.
Flooding is a major concern in some areas, and if your work doesn’t do enough to prevent flooding then it may not pass inspection. Check the grade of the property if the home seems to be in a low area, and make sure that the foundation is appropriately waterproofed. Install kickout flashing to prevent water damage from leaky gutters, especially at a chimney or other gutter obstacle. The more you do to protect from flooding, the less likely you’ll have to worry about failing an inspection.