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printing homes

Doggggboy

Ultra Member
One of the problems with this is the underestimation of the ineptitude of the average potential home owner/builder.
Tell them to use four screws per block and half of them will use only 2 to save money and the other half will hammer in 8 because they forgot to charge the battery.
In my RM they won't allow any more self built ICF houses because people thought they really were as simple as LEGO and skimped on the concrete or didn't vibrate the walls to settle the concrete and ended up with huge voids in the walls, usually found when trying to hang the kitchen cabinets from Styrofoam.
If you think something is foolproof, you just haven't met enough fools.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
One of the problems with this is the underestimation of the ineptitude of the average potential home owner/builder.
Tell them to use four screws per block and half of them will use only 2 to save money and the other half will hammer in 8 because they forgot to charge the battery.
In my RM they won't allow any more self built ICF houses because people thought they really were as simple as LEGO and skimped on the concrete or didn't vibrate the walls to settle the concrete and ended up with huge voids in the walls, usually found when trying to hang the kitchen cabinets from Styrofoam.
If you think something is foolproof, you just haven't met enough fools.
As a consultant I've been requested by dozens of home owners and builders who needed to "fix" grave errors by diy and incompetent contractors... In many cases the only fix was to rip out almost everything.
 

KeeponDragon

Super User
just cuz a fella can use tools...doesn't necessarily mean he should...I see the "failed DIY memes" every now n then troll through my FB feed. I just cringe. My Dad ended his working career as a finishing details guy for a home builder here in the valley. He learned a lot, so much so, he wanted to redo a lot of what he'd done to his own house. But his health deteriorated at a pace he couldn't contend with.
 

StevSmar

(Steven)
Premium Member
huge voids in the walls
A relative was having a house built (traditional Canadian construction) and someone mentioned that they were backfilling around midnight. Sounded fishy so we dug down and the basement walls had large sections where there was hardly any concrete around the aggregate.

The builder convinced my relative that a bit of concrete troweled over would fix it. My suggestion of having a third party provide a repair scheme was declined…
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
The builder convinced my relative that a bit of concrete troweled over would fix it. My suggestion of having a third party provide a repair scheme was declined…

So your relative accepted the troweling fix? Seriously?

If people accept BS like that, it's no wonder that there are shady builders who do it.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Yes they did, for various reasons including not wanting to “make waves” in a relatively small community.

All the more reason to hold the builder accountable. "Fix it properly or the whole town will know you tried to FK me by covering it up in the middle of the night!"

Small towns are awesome if you keep your own nose clean.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
If anyone was at all curious, they could actually drive by the first 3D printed homes here in Canada. They were built for Habitat for Humanity Windsor in Leamington, paid for by the CMHC and the 3d printing company in order to gain the company PR exposure and "credibility".

Not uncommon for H4H to tout companies in exchange for free building materials, and call it a blessing. There is a reason they haven't spoken about the time and costs though... because these were likely the most expensive 540 square foot homes built for H4H. I've worked on a number of their most innovative projects, but not these particular homes.

In the time it took the builder to erect the gantry to print the walls for these homes myself and 3 other workers (the amount of workers needed to run their printer) could most likely have erected and poured the wall and footings for the same homes, using fastfoot's monopour system, completing four attached 540 houses in under a day.

In the time it took to erect the printer and print the walls, my same 4 workers could have formed and poured the same walls using the traditional installation method for either polystyrene ICF or nexcem concrete forms. They cost savings should be substantial, because labour is approximately the same, the cement usage and costs for traditional forms would be lower, and there is no very expensive 3d printing machine to pay for...

The real telling point is, would H4H 3d print more homes when they had to pay the costs out of pocket. The answer is no.

I'm an early adopter when I see the merit and value, and I don't think I'd use 3d printing even if I won 70 million on lotto max.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
All the more reason to hold the builder accountable. "Fix it properly or the whole town will know you tried to FK me by covering it up in the middle of the night!"

Small towns are awesome if you keep your own nose clean.

I have worked with a great many builders helping them address product quality and warranty issues.

High end custom builders in the GTA were always eager to improve the quality control processes, and end product because they rely solely on word of mouth. The builders I worked with were booked 3 - 5 years out, with every project typically in the 5+ million dollar range. When they turn their homes over to the buyers there is never an issue.

Many production builders on the other hand usually just prefer to set aside a set dollar value per home to address warranty claims and then do the minimal inspection processes as required by code. They're content to just throw that money away and accept negative customer reviews.

This attitude however has lead to large expensive class action lawsuits and settlements. Given the existence of homebuyer's insurance you'd think there should be no need for a class action lawsuit however, that is just not the case when a group of homes is totally uninhabitable without major repairs. I've never been sued, but I've been consulted on cases where groups have sued builders, and where individuals were having difficulty with their warranty claims.

One major observation I've made is that most buyers do not want to consider anything beyond submitting a warranty claim and accepting what they're paid from the entity entrusted to run new homebuyers' insurance programs. It is only when a home is either unsafe due to major structural damage, or serious moisture and mould issues, or the inability to maintain an indoor temperature within 70 degrees F +/- 5 degrees that I've seen buyers willing to pursue legal action... because they cost and head aches are just too high. In so many cases I've seen people just dump their new home lemon onto some other unsuspecting buyer.

In addition to rural community issues, I've cases of unethical builders who when faced with complaint during the construction process just walk away from a project. These builders often structure their payment plans so that they get paid in stages and in every stage they're paid in advance for the next stage of construction. It is to their advantage to walk away and in some cases it may be justified.... but in many it is not.

Given the massive investment, the stress and limited recourse open to homebuyers, it is not surprising the crap many people will put up with during new construction or major renovations.

This is why I say do your homework, have an iron clad contract prepared by someone other than the builder, and make sure that you have a clear scope of work for every stage of construction, and specific high performance scopes of work related to the building envelop detailing and the mechanical system installation and commissioning.
 

whydontu

I Tried, It Broke
Premium Member
I have worked with a great many builders helping them address product quality and warranty issues.

High end custom builders in the GTA were always eager to improve the quality control processes, and end product because they rely solely on word of mouth. The builders I worked with were booked 3 - 5 years out, with every project typically in the 5+ million dollar range. When they turn their homes over to the buyers there is never an issue.

Many production builders on the other hand usually just prefer to set aside a set dollar value per home to address warranty claims and then do the minimal inspection processes as required by code. They're content to just throw that money away and accept negative customer reviews.

This attitude however has lead to large expensive class action lawsuits and settlements. Given the existence of homebuyer's insurance you'd think there should be no need for a class action lawsuit however, that is just not the case when a group of homes is totally uninhabitable without major repairs. I've never been sued, but I've been consulted on cases where groups have sued builders, and where individuals were having difficulty with their warranty claims.

One major observation I've made is that most buyers do not want to consider anything beyond submitting a warranty claim and accepting what they're paid from the entity entrusted to run new homebuyers' insurance programs. It is only when a home is either unsafe due to major structural damage, or serious moisture and mould issues, or the inability to maintain an indoor temperature within 70 degrees F +/- 5 degrees that I've seen buyers willing to pursue legal action... because they cost and head aches are just too high. In so many cases I've seen people just dump their new home lemon onto some other unsuspecting buyer.

In addition to rural community issues, I've cases of unethical builders who when faced with complaint during the construction process just walk away from a project. These builders often structure their payment plans so that they get paid in stages and in every stage they're paid in advance for the next stage of construction. It is to their advantage to walk away and in some cases it may be justified.... but in many it is not.

Given the massive investment, the stress and limited recourse open to homebuyers, it is not surprising the crap many people will put up with during new construction or major renovations.

This is why I say do your homework, have an iron clad contract prepared by someone other than the builder, and make sure that you have a clear scope of work for every stage of construction, and specific high performance scopes of work related to the building envelop detailing and the mechanical system installation and commissioning.
As mentioned in another post, I’ve lived in at least 21 houses. Not an expert, but have an idea what to look for, and it’s not the paint colour or the lack of crown moulding. This is a new house across the street from my place, just sold for $2.5m. Attention to detail? Pickets look like they were cut with a skilsaw with a dull 6-tpi blade, and the fence post is cut three inches too short. I suspect the builder took shortcuts on everything else. The builder has taken 13 years to build 10 houses, only starting one when he sells the previous one. Indicates he has no money or financing, so it’s all going to be done on the cheap.

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DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
As mentioned in another post, I’ve lived in at least 21 houses. Not an expert, but have an idea what to look for, and it’s not the paint colour or the lack of crown moulding. This is a new house across the street from my place, just sold for $2.5m. Attention to detail? Pickets look like they were cut with a skilsaw with a dull 6-tpi blade, and the fence post is cut three inches too short. I suspect the builder took shortcuts on everything else. The builder has taken 13 years to build 10 houses, only starting one when he sells the previous one. Indicates he has no money or financing, so it’s all going to be done on the cheap.

View attachment 35204
Good lord that is something. How big of house is it (I'm guessing by the $2.5 mill price tag it is alot bigger than it looks?) I'd totally agree with you that the fence workmanship probably would be similar to all other workmanship in the house as well.
Ya after 21 houses I'd say you be nearing the expert level.
 

whydontu

I Tried, It Broke
Premium Member
Interesting perspective.....

So does that mean someone who has been married 21 times is an expert on wives?

No intent meant toward @whydontu .
Odd analogy, but probably accurate. Lewis Grizzard quote: " I don't get married any more, now I just go into a bar, find a woman I don't like, and buy her a house"

To answer @DPittman, this is in Steveston, Richmond, suburb of Vancouver in a desirable neighbourhood. $2.5M buys you 4 beds, 4 baths, 1973 ft2, 33 x 90 lot.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
As mentioned in another post, I’ve lived in at least 21 houses. Not an expert, but have an idea what to look for, and it’s not the paint colour or the lack of crown moulding. This is a new house across the street from my place, just sold for $2.5m. Attention to detail? Pickets look like they were cut with a skilsaw with a dull 6-tpi blade, and the fence post is cut three inches too short. I suspect the builder took shortcuts on everything else. The builder has taken 13 years to build 10 houses, only starting one when he sells the previous one. Indicates he has no money or financing, so it’s all going to be done on the cheap.

View attachment 35204
It is not what you see that is the worry, it is what you do not see. Yes if a builder does poorly on the visible aesthetics the underlying home is likely suspect as well, but plenty of cheap builders who skimp and cheat on the guts of the home are smart enough to nail the aesthetics.

For example, it is very common to have extreme thermal bypasses where elements of the air barrier assembly have been missed, damaged or ripped out even by different trades because the elements were in their way. I've seen exhaust fans vented into attic spaces, disconnected truck and branch ducts in enclosed spaces... the first trade like a plumber or electrician does the damage and all subsequent trades ignore it. Poof instant warranty issue that later costs thousands to fix.

One day driving past a major subdivision by one of the GTA's leading developers, I saw bricklayers putting up brick veneer on the front of a home. They were just about in line with a major gaping hole in the sheathing for a room that was clearly a bedroom and were going to proceed without a care in the world to brick over a 4' x 4' section of wall where the exterior insulated sheathing and air barrier assembly was supposed to be... but had clearly blown out during wind storm.

I stopped my car and approached the scaffolding and called up "hey buddy, are you just going to brick over that huge hole?"

The fellow tried the old "no English" routine.

So I said okay fine, I'm sure that the director of operations understands english. I called up the developer's head office explained that I worked as the technical director for an arm of the ontario homebuilders' association and informed the developer that they were about to have a major warranty issue with a home that was entirely preventable. I gave them my number and said I'd be available on their site for 5 minutes if they site super wanted to give me a call.

I got a call inside of two minutes. The bricklayer was ordered to stop work within 5 minutes. He had to pull down a portion of two rows of bricks to allow the air barrier assembly to be repaired.

This type of thing is the norm on jobsites. So many sins get covered over by a thin veneer... most site supervisors do not inspect that a build is ready for the next sub trade, the sub trades are on a tight schedule and dont give a rat's bottom about homebuyers. Most trades hate the other trades and often deliberately destroy their work if they can get away with it.

There is a reason I'll never buy a production built home, unless I know the builder personally and make many site visits myself.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
Interesting perspective.....

So does that mean someone who has been married 21 times is an expert on wives?

No intent meant toward @whydontu .
you can own a hundred cars, but chances are you will never magically absorb knowledge to become a mechanic. DIY shows have people convinced that they know all there is to know about homes.

and yet building scientists routinely teach builders with 4 decades of experience things about home that they never even considered... mostly things about how the builder's practices assure the home will require major structural repairs within just 10 years.

I don't even change the oil in my car for a reason.
 

whydontu

I Tried, It Broke
Premium Member
you can own a hundred cars, but chances are you will never magically absorb knowledge to become a mechanic. DIY shows have people convinced that they know all there is to know about homes.

and yet building scientists routinely teach builders with 4 decades of experience things about home that they never even considered... mostly things about how the builder's practices assure the home will require major structural repairs within just 10 years.

I don't even change the oil in my car for a reason.
100% agreed. Sitting me down in front of a workstation running AutoCAD does not make me a drafter.
 

TorontoBuilder

Ultra Member
100% agreed. Sitting me down in front of a workstation running AutoCAD does not make me a drafter.
this is actually one of my biggest fears for humanity... so many fields have become so specialized that no one can fix anything for themselves.

if there was a real apocalyptic event, even on a small scale society wont recover. If someone wanted to really hurt society they could just destroy a dozen or so plants that make microprocessor chips.

anyway, pardon me while I update my secret bunker plans with the things I learned first hand the past week or so living in the country.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Interesting perspective.....

So does that mean someone who has been married 21 times is an expert on wives?

No intent meant toward @whydontu .
Yeah I think maybe one would be an expert on wives (or at least finding them) but not so much an expert of marriage.
I like to introduce my wife to other people as "my first wife" she usually doesn't find that funny. Yeah I'm no expert of wives OR marriages either.
 
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