construction defect

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Ten Common Mistakes Made By New Home Builders

These bad ideas should have been buried long ago; the problem is, they’re not dead yet

Posted on Aug 4 2017 by Martin Holladay

Designers and builders who do their homework before construction begins have few problems. Unfortunately, some projects happen backwards: the design and construction are well under way before the homework begins. That type of project can be problematic.

At, we see examples of the latter group all the time. Designers, builders, or homeowners who are in the middle of a construction project will post basic questions on our Q&A page. “I’m looking at the rafters and trying to decide how we should insulate the roof,” they write, or “We’re trying to figure out the best place to put the HRV(HRV). Balanced ventilation system in which most of the heat from outgoing exhaust air is transferred to incoming fresh air via an air-to-air heat exchanger; a similar device, an energy-recovery ventilator, also transfers water vapor. HRVs recover 50% to 80% of the heat in exhausted air. In hot climates, the function is reversed so that the cooler inside air reduces the temperature of the incoming hot air. .”

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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: Fine Homebuilding

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Connecticut Lawmakers Consider Aid for Homeowners With Failing Foundations

Repair loans, state guarantees on municipal borrowing, and permit fee waivers are among proposals to help hundreds of homeowners

Posted on Mar 7 2017 by Scott Gibson

Connecticut state lawmakers are considering several ways of helping homeowners whose homes are threatened by failing concrete foundations.

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Image Credits:

  1. Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements

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Failing Concrete Foundations Linked to Aggregate

In Connecticut, hundreds of homeowners report crumbling foundations; authorities blame a mineral found in stone aggregate

Posted on May 18 2016 by Scott Gibson


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Image Credits:

  1. Don Urban / CC BY 2.0/ Flickr

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Energy Efficiency Is Narrowing the Stupid/Hurt Gap

As homes become more energy efficient, the margin for error decreases

Posted on Dec 10 2014 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

The gap is narrowing. What gap, you ask? Why, the gap between stupid and hurt, of course. So says Dr. Joe Lstiburek. Allow me to explain.

Sometimes when you do something stupid, it hurts immediately. A toddler touches a hot kettle, for example, and instantly starts crying in pain. That's a learning experience.

If that pain didn't happen until an hour or a day had passed, however, the child would have a tough time learning not to touch hot kettles. Building or remodeling homes is a lot like that.

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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Multifamily Green Building Certification Still Has Issues

We’re making progress — but for many designers and builders, there is still a long way to go

Posted on Jul 29 2014 by Carl Seville

Much of my work these days involves certification of multifamily buildings, and, thanks to a boom in apartment construction, my partner and myself are staying occupied.

The one major contrast from single-family residential work, with which I am most familiar from my days as a contractor, is the long lead time. I still find it amusing that I sign a contract, have an initial start-up meeting with the developer and contractor, and often don’t see the project for another year or more, when the builder is ready for our insulation and air-sealing inspections.

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Image Credits:

  1. All photos: Carl Seville

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