Category Archives: Builder Grade Materials

Sneaky Ways Builders are Cutting Corners

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Filed under Builder Grade Materials, Building a House, Construction, GAF Roofing, Home Maintenance, Lindus Construction, Uncategorized, www.lindusconstruction.com
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Sadly, there are a lot of shady businesses out there and, as a result, watchdog websites like Google Reviews, GuildQuality, the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List are thriving.  Dishonest businesspeople can be found in every industry so it’s important to protect yourself to make sure you’re working with someone trustworthy by doing your homework prior to hiring them.  Even if someone checks out on paper, it’s important to educate yourself on ways that you can be taken advantage of in order to protect yourself to avoid costly lessons.  An important fact to note is that a bulk of the components of reliable construction are things the general consumer is not privy to and may not even be able to see.

Be aware of the following ways that a builder can take advantage of an over trusting homeowner.

Bait & Switch

A roof, is a roof, is a roof, right?  WRONG!  During an initial sit-down, a contractor can promise you quality materials but when it comes time for the actual install, cheaper materials may be substituted.  Something like this can be hard to detect until a few years down the road when materials start aging prematurely and you’re stuck with the cost of installing a new roof.  Make sure that if you’re promised high quality materials that you’re being delivered the goods you agreed to.  As a homeowner, you have the right to carefully look over any materials before and after installation to make sure the work appears to have been done correctly and according to the terms you agreed to.  Don’t be afraid to question anything that seems off.  A reputable company has nothing to hide and will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Bogus Work

Sometimes, it’s not always possible to verify whether additional work will be needed until a project commences.  For example, a contractor who is in process of installing new flooring could find that some of the subflooring is rotten.  Upon discovering this, the homeowner should be alerted and should be responsible for paying for the additional work.  However, red flags should go up anytime a contractor continuously nitpicks and constantly presents issues that require additional funds.  They could, in fact, be trying to pad their bill by fixing things that aren’t broken.  Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion for excessive requests to perform additional work that were not part of your original agreement.

Incorrect Installations

Shady home builders under a time crunch may be using the cheapest, and therefore, most inexperienced subcontractors to get their work done.  Manufacturers dictate the parameter their roofing needs to be installed (nail/staple size, crown width, nails per shingle, etc.)  This ensures that the roofing lasts as long as it is supposed to.  An incorrectly installed roof may not be immediately evident, but sooner than later, it may start showing premature signs of wear.  If this happens, a manufacturer is unlikely to warranty the roof because they will fault the installer.  The installer, if you can track them down, they will not have ill consequences because you do not have a warranty in writing from them.  North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, GAF, will come out inspect GAF roofs after installation to make sure the roof was installed correctly.  This protects the homeowner and the contractor if the roof ages prematurely.

Subpar Materials

To many, the term “builder grade” implies something with enough quality that a builder would use it.  The name is a bit misleading since builders are technically using them but by no means are builder grade materials the crème de la crème.  In most cases, builder grade materials are just of average quality and are pre-built and mass-produced.  Research and understand the materials that are used in your home.  While some extra money upfront to pay for quality materials may seem like an inconvenience, it is money well spent when you don’t have to replace your current windows, roofing, siding, etc. sooner than you should have to.

 

Lindus Construction offers free no-obligation estimates on new home & home remodeling projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

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Building a Home? A Word about Builder Grade Materials.

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Filed under Builder Grade Materials, Building a House, Doors, Entry Doors, GAF Roofing, Gutters, Home Construction, Lindus Construction, Uncategorized
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Anyone who’s built a home or considered building a home has likely heard the term “builder grade” materials.  But when there are so many details to consider, a potential home builder may not look as deeply into understanding what these materials are and how they can affect your home down the road.

What’s In a Name?

To many, the term “builder grade” implies something with enough quality that a builder would use it.  The name is a bit misleading since builders are technically using them but by no means arebuilder grade materials the crème de la crème.  In most cases, builder grade materials are just of average quality and are pre-built and mass-produced.

Grading

In the construction industry, the quality hierarchy for materials is as follows:

Ultimate Custom Grade

                   I

      Custom Grade

                   I

      Quality Grade

I

       Builder Grade

 

Buyer Beware

While builder grade products vary from contractor to contractor, it’s important to understand the consequences of opting for builder grade products, which are often only short-term solutions.

 

Builder Grade Windows

Windows can dramatically affect the look and beauty of your home by adding light and providing a feeling of spaciousness.  Choosing quality windows in your home can reduce heating and cooling costs because your furnace and air conditioner have to work less to heat or cool outside air that’s getting into your house.  Builder grade windows meet the bare minimum requirements and may not be multi-chambered for insulation purposes, allowing for drafts.  Mass production also means that builder windows are less likely to come in odd sizes.  In the event that you fill an odd sized window hole with a builder grade window, you may end up with gaps that will allow outside air to escape into your home.

Builder Grade Entry Doors

Like quality windows, a well-made entry door will protect your home from nature’s elements.  Opt for a high quality door that is insulated rather than a hollow one that provides less protection and can be easily damaged.

Builder Grade Gutters

All gutters are created equal right?  WRONG!  Cheaply made gutters are susceptible to clogs which can cause water to spill over your gutter and pool on the ground below. This can result in damage to your shrubs; lead to surface erosion; and seep into your foundation causing cracks and basement flooding.

Water can also spill behind the gutter causing damage to the wood of your soffit and fascia.

If you have add-on toppers, helmets or hoods that are attached to your roof and hang over your gutters, they are usually held in place by screws and nails hammered into your roof. Putting holes in your roof can cause leaks and may void your roof warrantees.

Don’t underestimate the danger of clogs attracting pests. Some critters are attracted to the acorns and seeds that can collect in your gutters. Insects, mold and bacteria can grow in standing water.

Shameless plug: Opt for LeafGuard Gutters, the only system to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. They keep leaves and debris out of your gutters preventing water damage from clogs and you will never have to get on a ladder again. They come with a LIFETIME guarantee, unlike any other gutter system on the market.

Builder Grade Vinyl Siding

Oftentimes, builder grade vinyl siding is less thick and dependable than higher grades.  Lower quality siding can fall victim to nature’s elements, cracking & fading with sun exposure and denting easier during storms.  A major expense of any siding job is the actual installation, so do yourself a favor and opt for a higher grade product which will last longer.

Builder Grade Roofing

It’s important to not lower your standards with a builder grade material because while it make seem sensible at the time, you’ll likely end up with the cost of replacing a malfunctioning roof sooner than you would like.   Companies such as GAF (North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing materials) offer warranties that last up to 50 years.  It’s worth noting that these warranties cover both labor and materials and are non-prorated.  This makes it one of the best warranties in the industry.

Our Two Cents

We feel it’s important to be respectful of your budget when building a home; however that does not mean you should have to settle for subpar materials.  Talk to your contractor about the materials they’re using and the warranties that come with them to avoid any ugly “surprises” a few years down the road because the last thing you want to be doing in five years is replacing all of the windows in your home.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.