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ADAIR INSPECTION © 2018

Protect your investment by ordering your Phase Inspection Today..."If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Red Adair

  • Hire ADAIR INSPECTION an Independent Third Party Phase inspector during your construction process to identify deficiencies before they are covered and become Costly Latent Defects

 

It is commonly perceived that the building permits that are routinely issued by city public agencies for construction work certify that the building or "work of improvement" is quality built, safely constructed, and that all of the relevant building and state Health & Safety Code requirements have been met.

The reality behind what a building permit represents, however, is quite different. Under current statutory schemes, local municipalities and city public agencies are essentially stripped of any responsibility for the work performed by their building inspector employees and the permits that these inspectors issue. In truth, a building permit is little more than a statement by the local municipality that the owner or developer who contracted for the work of improvement has paid the requisite fees to the local public agency.

A building permit does not represent that the construction that was undertaken is safe and free from defects or that all of the necessary building codes have been strictly complied with. Nor does the issuance of a building permit by a public agency guarantee or even factually state that your home, building, remodeling or work of improvement is safe, free from any defects, and is code compliant.

Building Officials and those issuing building permits are protected by the Principle of Sovereign Immunity. Founded on the ancient principle that "the King can do no wrong," sovereign immunity is a judicially created doctrine which precludes private parties from bringing suit against the government for the torts of its officers or agents unless the government waives its immunity by statute.

How does all this affect the consumer, property and homeowners?

  • Improved property those with buildings or houses are taxed at a higher rate than undeveloped land.
  • City, county or state governments employee the code officials are partially or completely paid from the fees generated by permits and taxes on improved property.
  • It’s the fox watching the hen house!
  • If the code officials don’t green tag the construction the higher tax is not collected and they don’t stay employed.
  • What is the incentive for the government employed code official to do their job?
  • Is there one?

Independent unbiased third party inspections are the consumers only recourse because as is often seen and found these the government employees sure aren’t doing their jobs as I often find deficiencies on new construction, sample are available upon request. Look on the Internet for any of the builders in our markets and the complaints should not astound you.

I offer a Seven-Part Phase Inspection for new construction that complies to the Texas Real Estate Commission Standards of Practice along with the guidelines from the Texas Department of Insurance

These generally exceed the local building inspection departments’ standards. Other trades persons often omit, improperly install system components or alter, bore, cut, and notch structural materials to get their systems installed. All of this is done with "Green Tag" approval by the City Building Inspection Department or Authority Having Jurisdiction.  Other defects not limited to but including items that allow air leakage and moisture intrusion may also be built into your home. These latent defects compromise the integrity of your property and have been documented in total loss of entire properties and the monies invested!

Depending on time of notification the 7 inspections are broken down into:

The 7-Phase inspections are arranged in this order:

  1. Earthwork, Initial Form placement & Subterranean Utilities Rough-In
  2. Pre-Pour Foundation, Final Form placement, Slab Utilities Rough-In Final, Vapor Barrier & Tendons/Steel placement
  3. First Floor Framing & Fastening schedule
  4. Second Floor Framing, Fastening schedule, Flashings, Roof-Windows-Dry In
  5. Pre-drywall Final Framing, All Utilities Rough-In & First Exterior Finishes
  6. Pre-drywall Insulation Verification Includes Free Thermal Imaging Reevaluation at Final
  7. Final Inspection of the finished Structure-Electrical-Mechanical-Plumbing Systems-Appliances and Any Optional Equipment that is contracted for during prior inspections to assure all systems and appliances function as intended before your final walk though and closing.

Typically included systems:

  • Structural
  • Foundation
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Mechanical
  • Appliances 

Optional systems:

  • EIFS Phases
  • Gas
  • Swimming Pool
  • Hot tub/Spa
  • Lawn sprinklers or other irrigation
  • Out buildings
  • Outdoor cooking equipment
  • Water wells
  • Septic
  • Security
  • Stucco Phases 
  • Fire protection
  • Features unique to a particular property  

From the Texas Department of Insurance

Phase Inspection Guidelines

 

Under normal circumstances, at least four separate categories of structural inspections will be necessary to determine compliance with the applicable building construction requirements. Inspections shall be requested prior to the installation of any type of covering which would impede my inspections. In order to inspect all fastener patterns, the number of inspections may exceed four; a charge will be assessed for each inspection(s). I add 2 (two) more inspections to cover all of the items not listed below and the 7th Final Inspection upon completion.

 

The four categories shall be as follows:

 

1. FOUNDATION - Inspections for slab on grade foundations shall be requested after placement of reinforcement, but prior to pouring of concrete. Inspections for pile foundations shall be requested during driving of the piles. Inspections for pier and beam foundations shall be requested prior to the installation of floor members, which would impede my thorough inspection.

The following are the major items, which will be examined during the foundation inspection:

 

• Monolithic Slab on Grade Foundation:

a. Reinforcement of slab.

b. Type of anchor bolts.

c. Placement of holddown anchors.

d. Dowels for masonry construction.

e. Offsets for masonry or masonry veneer walls (proper brick ledge).

 

• Piling Foundation:

a. Embedment of piles.

b. Size and spacing of piles.

c. Concrete piles properly reinforced.

d. Wood piles properly pressure treated.

e. Anchorage of beams to piles.

f. Size of beams.

g. Floor joist span, size, and spacing.

h. Anchorage of floor joists to beams.

i. Height of lowest structural member.

 

• Pier and Beam Foundation:

a. Proper size and depth of buried footings.

b. Proper size of piers.

c. Reinforcement of piers.

d. Reinforced concrete or grout fill in hollow masonry units.

e. Size of Beams.

f. Anchorage of sills or beams to piers, and piers to footings.

g. Floor joist span, size, and spacing.

h. Anchorage of floor joists to beams and/or sills.

i. Treatment of beams with wood preservative, where required.

Where applicable BUILDING CODE FOR WINDSTORM RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION Amendments Effective April 1, 2001

 

2. ROUGH FRAMING - The Rough Framing inspections should be requested prior to the installation of any type of covering which would keep the inspector from being able to verify the required connector or fastener patterns.

The following are the major items, which will be examined during the rough framing inspection:

• Floor Framing:

a. Floor joist span, size, and spacing.

b. Floor decking type and application.

 

• Wood Stud Wall Framing:

a. Spacing of sole plate anchors in exterior and interior walls.

b. Proper size of washers.

c. Sole plate pressure treated.

d. Grade and seasoning (moisture content) of lumber.

e. Size and spacing of studs.

f. Anchorage provided by framing anchors.

g. Anchorage of studs to plates (top and bottom).

h. Construction and anchorage of headers.

i. Installation and location of lateral wall bracing.

j. Bracing of fireplace chimney.

k. Anchorage of second story to the first story.

l. Anchorage of beams, if required.

 

• Masonry Walls:

a. Size and spacing of vertical reinforcement.

b. Size and placement of bond beam reinforcement.

c. Length of shearwalls.

d. Construction and span of lintels.

e. Masonry wall connections.

 

• Ceiling Framing:

a. Bracing of gable endwall, if required.

 

• Roof Framing:

a. Roof joists or rafters (spans, sizes, and spacing).

b. Bracing and anchoring of roof joists and rafters.

c. Installation of collar ties.

d. Anchorage of rafters and joists to top plate.

e. Roof truss design, construction, installation, and anchorage.

f. Roof decking type and application.

g. Fastening of roofing underlayment.

Where applicable BUILDING CODE FOR WINDSTORM RESISTANT CONSTRUCTION Amendments Effective April 1, 2001

 

• Miscellaneous:

a. Construction of awnings, overhangs and porches.

b. Installation and design of windows.

c. Installation and design of doors and garage doors.

 

3. FINAL FRAMING - The final framing inspection should be requested prior to installation of insulation and concealment of fastener patterns of exterior coverings and roof coverings. Reroofing inspections will also fall into this category.

The following are the major items, which will be examined during the final framing inspection:

a. Knee braces installed, if required by design.

b. Attachments to foundation below flood level.

c. Alterations in structural members.

d. Type and fastening of wall sheathing or other exterior wall finish.

e. Type and spacing of masonry anchors.

f. Application of roof covering.

g. Installation of roof vents.

h. Venting of attic space.

i. Installation or presence of window protection, if required.

j. Installation of gypsum sheathing board, if gypsum diaphragms are required.

 

4. MECHANICAL INSPECTION - The mechanical inspection should be requested when all outside mechanical equipment has been anchored (where applicable), particularly air conditioner condensers. This inspection may be performed at the time of the final framing inspection if the outside mechanical equipment is secured at that time. The major item(s), which will be examined during the mechanical equipment inspection, is anchorage of exterior air conditioner equipment. However, anchorage (where applicable) of any other exterior equipment, such as floodlights, turbine vents, propane tanks, swimming pool filters, water-cooling towers, and satellite dishes will also be inspected.

To schedule appointments or if you have any questions concerning the timing of inspections, or concerning the construction guidelines, you are encouraged to contact the inspector.

 

The 10-year housing and real estate boom in this country has been a double-edged sword for the construction industry. While the top 100 U.S. homebuilders were reported to have sold an estimated 1,000 new homes a day in 2002, such performance isn’t without a downside.

 

In the January 2004 issue, Consumer Reports noted that approximately 15 percent of all new homes built each year have serious problems. They place this startling statistic right at the doorstep of the building boom. The construction industry has been bombarded from all sides because of this phenomenon. Building defects have resulted in lawsuits costing the industry millions of dollars, general liability insurance costs are rising, and increasingly knowledgeable consumers are more critical of the finished product and more likely to sue.

 

On the heels of all of this, comes a survey of quality assurance data tabulated for the construction industry that proves leading construction defects are mostly the result of failure to follow building code requirements or installation instructions. And as if to add insult to injury, the survey goes on to show most of these defects are preventable. The survey completed by Quality Built, a provider in risk management and quality assurance services, used data gathered by their field inspectors during inspections of 31,995 completed homes and condominiums across 27 U.S. states for the 12-month period ending Oct. 1, 2005.

 

Single-family homes averaged $5,398 in corrected defects per home while multi-family homes and mixed commercial use construction averaged $4,556 in corrected defects. The survey also identified the leading risk items for each housing type.

 

With regards to single-family housing, the top defects included:

• Building paper and house wrap installation flaws air leakage and moisture intrusion sources

• Improper framing around windows and doors air leakage and moisture intrusion sources

• Missing structural straps and connectors lead to structural failures

 

Multi-family and mixed commercial use construction were most frequently cited for:

• Unprotected penetrations in life-safety assemblies

• Missing fire-rated materials at electrical device boxes

• Building paper and house wrap installation flaws air leakage and moisture intrusion sources

 

None of these defects are visible to a homeowner or building owner upon completion, but can lead to serious consequences and legal battles down the road. However, all of them can be easily corrected during construction if identified early enough through my quality assurance inspection.

 

Construction firms and buyers should take the following precautions to prevent a defect lawsuit:

• Hire a lawyer to get your contracts tightened up.

• Include a Right-to-Cure, mediation and arbitration clauses as stopgap measures to prevent lawsuits.

• Find a set of national construction standards that you back and include them up front in your contract.

• Spend time going over the contract with the potential home or building buyer before they sign to make sure they understand what they’re signing, and agree to the construction standards you’ve specified. If your attorney agrees, consider allowing clients three days to review the contract before signing, or three days after signing to cancel the deal.

• Create a small fact sheet or brochure for your clients that remind them of the key points of the contract – that you have the right to be notified first and granted the opportunity to fix the problem, the acceptable method for repair (included in the construction standards), and that mediation and arbitration are the next opportunities to resolve the issue prior to a lawsuit.