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Author Topic: sad state of construction  (Read 1517 times)
Ray Koenig
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« on: April 25, 2018, 04:24:20 AM »

a line from TV commercials for Farmers Insurance company is: "we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two." for those in the business of construction, I wonder how many of you, like me, feel that the quality of construction in the USA--commercial, residential, public--has declined over the last 50 years.

it seems to me that, in general, advances in materials and construction technology have not resulted in better buildings and infrastructure. for example, have more economical, lighter floor systems resulted in better floors? or have these "advancements in materials and technology" resulted "soft" floors--that deflect, bounce and creak when you walk on them? I believe that the same can be said for many "advances" in building materials and construction systems over the last half century.

it's been suggested to me that advances in communication (internet, 24-hour cable TV news, social media, etc.) have resulted in more public awareness of failures and problems of all types, including construction.

has the quality of construction in the USA increased or declined over the last 50 years? what do you think (and why)?   
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Carl Brown
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 08:14:51 AM »

Backwards in leaps and bounds, GREED,dumbing down the workforce!

For starters.
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Bill Warner
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 04:14:11 PM »

Quality has certainly decreased in both materials and workmanship in my opinion.
I believe both the consumer and contractor are to blame... almost equally. In bygone eras, the pride of workmanship was abundant everywhere one looked. As consumers demand more and more amenities and cosmetically pleasing features, the builders/contractors were more than happy to oblige. The things that really mattered (such as form and function) became more hidden... overlooked... forgotten. The cosmetics and eye candy took their place... covered up the shortcomings... and the consumer is none the wiser until it is too late. They only see the aesthetics... it looks great... looks expensive... I'm keeping up with the Joneses...
The builders and manufacturers see this... and take advantage of the opportunity to cut corners where all but the most scrutinizing will overlook. The demand escalates, and builders, material providers, manufactures again cut corners to meet the demand.

We've become the disposable world in every aspect.  I see 100 year old foundations still performing... yet 10 year old foundation walls and slabs cracked and heaving.  75 year old framing you need a jack hammer to drive a nail in, and 5 year old floor systems with more sags and noises than the dinner table at the assisted living complex.

Ahhh production... ain't it grand!  Sad
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Ray Koenig
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 06:34:42 PM »

while "surfing the net" on this topic, I found: https://www.economist.com/news/business/21726714-american-builders-productivity-has-plunged-half-late-1960s-efficiency-eludes. the article includes a graph of worldwide productivity gains from 1947 to 2010 for: (1) agriculture, (2) manufacturing, (3) wholesale & retail, (4) construction and (5) overall. the article also includes this statement on construction: "Construction holds the dubious honour of having the lowest productivity gains of any industry, according to McKinsey, a consultancy. In the past 20 years the global average for the value-added per hour has inched up by 1% a year, about one-quarter the rate of growth in manufacturing. Trends in rich countries are especially bad. Over the same period Germany and Japan, paragons of industrial efficiency, have seen nearly no growth in construction productivity. In France and Italy productivity has fallen by one-sixth. In America, astonishingly, it has plunged by half since the late 1960s." it appears that Carl, Bill & I have some statistics to back up our conclusions.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 06:44:02 PM by Ray Koenig » Logged

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Ray Koenig
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 10:35:34 AM »

in addition to contractors and consumers, I believe that government--local, state & federal--have roles in the sad state of construction.
  • local, state & federal legislators pass building and consumer laws, among them designating the state's building code. (lobbyi$t$, while not part of government, have their $ay in what law$ are pa$$ed or not pa$$ed.)
  • local, state & federal government building officials and inspectors (supposedly) enforce building and consumer laws. they make rule$, require building permit$, (supposedly) in$pect plan$, (supposedly) in$pect con$truction, i$$ue occupancy permit$, etc.
  • finally, there are local, state and federal courts that many of us were taught to believe are the safety net for illegal and unscrupulous practices of both the private sector and government.

how's this been working for us? ... not so much.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 10:47:28 AM by Ray Koenig » Logged

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Carl Brown
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 02:13:55 PM »

I was told by the HBA here in town they are a members driven association!

One year of the house standing and they are off of the HOOK!
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Carl Brown
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 02:20:18 PM »

Careful Ray, They will threaten to call their lawyers!

Or so I heard sitting in a head codes officers office one day when I was having a visit with him!!

Some are kinda thin skinned.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 03:26:43 PM by Carl Brown » Logged

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Ray Koenig
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 12:49:36 AM »

when I was a kid in the 1950s, government picked up the trash and took care of the streets. These services were paid for with taxes that my parents and other citizens paid. Today, people pay for their trash to be picked up and for the streets in their private communities to be maintained. Yet we still pay taxes.

When I asked a county executive in another state why his building inspectors told him that they can't inspect roof trusses for hurricane clips (in a location where the building code says that houses must be capable of withstanding a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph wind gusts), he told me: "they said that they can't because they'd have to get up on ladders."

what's wrong with this picture?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:18:06 AM by Ray Koenig » Logged

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Bill Warner
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 07:16:07 AM »

in addition to contractors and consumers, I believe that government--local, state & federal--have roles in the sad state of construction.
  • local, state & federal legislators pass building and consumer laws, among them designating the state's building code. (lobbyi$t$, while not part of government, have their $ay in what law$ are pa$$ed or not pa$$ed.)
  • local, state & federal government building officials and inspectors (supposedly) enforce building and consumer laws. they make rule$, require building permit$, (supposedly) in$pect plan$, (supposedly) in$pect con$truction, i$$ue occupancy permit$, etc.
  • finally, there are local, state and federal courts that many of us were taught to believe are the safety net for illegal and unscrupulous practices of both the private sector and government.

how's this been working for us? ... not so much.
Completely agree Ray!
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BC Warner Inspections
http://DaytonThermalinspection.com
Serving Dayton, Cincinnati, and all of west central Ohio
Bill Warner
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Location: Dayton, Ohio
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 07:25:35 AM »

when I was a kid in the 1950s, government picked up the trash and took care of the streets. These services were paid for with taxes that my parents and other citizens paid. Today, people pay for their trash to be picked up and for the streets in their private communities to be maintained. Yet we still pay taxes.

When I asked a county executive in another state why his building inspectors told him that they can't inspect roof trusses for hurricane clips (in a location where the building code says that houses must be capable of withstanding a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph wind gusts), he told me: "they said that they can't because they'd have to get up on ladders."

what's wrong with this picture?

Oh don't get me started...

A few of the local codies here love to puff their chest out. Got into a discussion with one a while back while on a new construction inspection. He was there to give the final C of O while I was there doing my thing for the buyer. He kept eyeing me, then finally walked over and boastfully introduced himself. Said he loved proving "you guys" wrong face to face...  I simply said "yeah... we've never met." He stammered a bit then asked if I'd found anything wrong yet.  I said nothing except the roof... which isn't even suitable for a dog house.  His reply was "well we don't get on the roof..." To which I responded "I know...  You should think about starting..."

He became VERY quiet and walked away. Was gone five minutes later.  
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BC Warner Inspections
http://DaytonThermalinspection.com
Serving Dayton, Cincinnati, and all of west central Ohio
Ray Koenig
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Location: Strasburg VA
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 08:20:43 AM »

homeowners assume that government building inspectors are doing their job. in an episode of the old TV sitcom "the odd couple" Tony Randall was representing himself in traffic court. He wrote "assume" on a chalkboard and then drew vertical lines on both sides of the "u"--ass|u|me. He said: "do you know what happens when you assume something? --you make an ass out of you and me!"   Smiley 
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Ray Koenig
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2018, 05:34:49 AM »

question: what do you call government building inspectors who fail to inspect ALL parts of new house construction for building code compliance, for ANY reason, including that they don't get up on ladders?

answer: among other things, FRAUDS!

peretired.blogspot.com/2007/10/beaufort-county-office-of-building-code.html
peretired.blogspot.com/2007/10/kubic.html

for more information, search "Kubic", "Cummings", "Beaufort County Building Code Enforcement", "hurricane clips", "stucco", "ponds", "retaining wall", "permit","Island Packet", etc. on http://peretired.blogspot.com.

so much for "we're going to call our lawyers" threats from builders, government, etc. The problem is that not enough citizens exercise their right of free speech and tell the truth about the sad state of construction.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 05:31:31 AM by Ray Koenig » Logged

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Carl Brown
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2018, 05:31:25 PM »

Ray,

Could I get you to join me on this forum?

http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/forum/jlc-online-expert-forums/exterior-details/32283-expansion-for-stucco-around-windows#post424973


In that thread?
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Carl Brown
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2018, 05:32:44 PM »

Maybe the moderator will like you more then he does me.

COUGH COUGH
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Carl Brown
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2018, 05:40:38 PM »

Jay, said things pretty well Sorry for the thread hijack!


http://www.your-leaking-house.com/sites/your-leaking-house.com/forum/index.php/topic,1819.0.html
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