Sometimes I come off as Happy-go-lucky guy. But I know there is no standing still in this life. One must always strive to be a little better, learn a little more, give a little more.
A friend asked me to explain why it seems some builders don’t “dot their ‘I’s and cross their ‘T’s”.
There can be a number of reasons, and some aren’t intentional. I will point out that new construction is so much easier than remodel work and therefore takes a seasoned hand.
The following parable touched me the first time I heard it… so pardon if I get on my soapbox…
There is a story/parable I first heard from a close Freemason friend about a retiring carpenter who had told his employer of many years that he was ready to hang up his hammer and spend his time with his wife and family.
His boss was disappointed to hear his best and most loyal worker was leaving him and asked him to build one last house before retiring.
Disappointed, the tradesman agreed anyway, although his heart wasn’t in it. He let his commitment to quality fall: cut corners; ignored details; and failed to correct the workers when he saw shoddy workmanship. He even looked the other way when some of them substituted cheaper materials and pocketed the difference.
When the house was finished, his boss shook the carpenter’s hand,and with a huge smile gave him an envelope in which the carpenter found a “Thank You” card and the deed to the house he had just built.
He was ashamed he had misjudged his old friend and that he had to live in that house with leaky roofs, creaky floors, and a weak foundation.
The story of a Story of Character and about how the life we live in is built piece by piece by our daily choices.
Don’t we hope the builder who built OUR home built it as if he was going to live in it himself?
Is that our reality? Even with best intentions, the builder often isn’t supervising the jobsite every day. And, mistakes are made.
After a recent major hailstorm in San Antonio, I was visiting a jobsite and the foreman, short on workers, had hired his brother to help. At that moment his brother was showing how perfect he had butted the siding planks together without even a hair’s breadth gap.
At which point, his brother chuckled and said, “And it will be perfect, after you take it all down and re-do it, because it must have an expansion gap or when it gets hot, it will break. Sorry, brother.”
His brother meant well, but just didn’t know.
If you have ever done major remodeling or construction, you know that there are defined goal posts that, when reached, release more funds to the builder and his various teams.
The Foundation, Framing, Dry-In (the Roof is on and walls in place), Rough-In ( when the electrical, HVAC, Plumbing mechanicals are ready for inspection before the walls are closed), etc.
On site, there is a strong push to get to the point of “Dry-In” because the inclement weather can no longer stop construction, and there is the ability to “Lock the house”– so less likely materials and tools will be stolen.
At this point,the tradesmen on site are mostly framers and their contract is most often to the point of “Dry-In”.
So, in short, it’s because of “Jobsite Security” that the windows are put in place. Details are not considered and the framers certainly didn’t get formal training installation. He’ll use his nail gun when it should be screws, not waterproof, seal or insulate. Then, the dry wallers and finish carpenters will close it up unfinished and the exterior may not be caulked and sealed and weatherproofed before the siding crew closes it up.
If this sounds unlikely, note that in Texas drafty windows are one of the top complaints in new homes. And, while 100% perfection is unattainable– I’ve never had a large scale remodel without a “Punch-list”– pride in workmanship should always be evident.
Talk is cheap, right? I happen to have a review right to these points on a project I may detail on another post because it required an immense amount of personal growth and implementation of techniques of a very specialized type.
Build it Smart. Build it Right. Build it Once.