Avoiding and Addressing Problems

The construction process is a minefield for the uninitiated.  Even the most experienced professionals run into problems once in a while.  ‘Avoiding and Addressing Problems’ is a compilation of expert knowledge about how to avoid and handle some of the most common mistakes and pitfalls of the construction process. 

If there is a specific topic you’d like David to address in a blog, ask a question.

Photo credit: pasukaru76 / Foter / CC BY

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, construction is not an intuitive process, even for lawyers.  The biggest misconception, I’ve found, is that it is okay for owners to cheap out on the essential design stage and then expect contractor to compensate for design deficiencies. 

The building envelope (explained in detail in this earlier post) is comprised of building components (foundations, doors, windows, siding, etc) that protect a building’s interior from environmental elements (rain, snow, hail, the next-door neighbor’s “adorable” children). So, when your building envelope is damaged, you need a quick and suitable fix- especially important for the often weather-battered homes of greater Seattle and Portland.  

Where does construction moisture come from?

You would be surprised at how much moisture newly constructed buildings contain. This water comes on board in a variety of ways, but mainly through

It’s usually not rocket science to ascertain if a construction component is damaged, but as an expert in troubled construction with a particular focus on durability, you can build a legal case on my opinion. And in my experience, if you’re going to make a claim, you have to define your terms.

As a professional consultant in cases of troubled construction, I have decades of experience in assessing durability failures and determining their causes. Nothing lasts forever, but there are minimum time periods for most materials. So, how long should your roof and doors, fixtures and floors really last?

So, you’ve started work on your dream home, the most beautiful, stylish and elegant home that ever was built.   Everything is going to plan when, out of the blue and cloudless sky, crashes  

Every Washington homeowner should be aware of vapor drive.  Not only does this phenomenon draw heat out of your house, but, without proper built-in protection, it can also lead to enough moisture build-up in your insulation to cause rot and mold.  

What is vapor drive?

Vapor drive occurs as warmer, more humid air is drawn to colder surfaces and then penetrates (or "drives" into) insulation. Temperature has a heavy influence on vapor: hotter water vapor is better at penetrating barriers than cooler water vapor.

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