What's Wrong with These Pictures? A Contest

note: I published this article today on daily5REMODEL, and remodelers and home performance pros are weighing in with some excellent responses. Feel free to post your response here, but please also post it on d5R if you want to be eligible for the prize, a signed and inscribed copy of the forthcoming book Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction, by Carl Seville and Abe Kruger. - Leah Thayer


What's Wrong with These Pictures? A Contest


Homes submitted for green certifications are, in theory, built to a higher standard than most. Or that's the intention.

"In most cases, the contractors want to do the right thing," according to Carl Seville, who took the photos below. "But between not fully understanding what needs to be done and not having adequate time to supervise and inspect the work, things go wrong."

Seville (in pink shirt, with Michael Anschel), a former remodeling contractor, longtime green building trainer, popular blogger and author, took all of these photos. Most, but not all, were in homes he had been asked to inspect for certification under LEED, EarthCraft and/or the NAHB Green Building Standard.

And he has a challenge for you.

Each photo demonstrates at least one sloppy and/or dangerous and/or excessive building practice. Describe these problems, using the comment area below, and you could win a signed and personally inscribed copy of the forthcoming book by Carl and Abe Kruger, Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction.

The publisher's price for the book is $99.95. It's a gift from Carl and d5R to you if you provide the best response. Carl will pick the winner. [note: comments must be postedon d5R to be eligible.]

image 1

image 2


image 3


image 4


image 5


image 6


image 7


Provide your answers below if you like, as well as on d5R to be eligible for the book. Identify which photos you're referring to, and remember to include your name if you wish to be identified.

Tip: Check out Carl's blog at Green Building Advisor -- and this post in particular for some of his building pet peeves.



Views: 277

Tags: Carl, Seville, building, contest, daily5Remodel, mistakes, remodeling, science


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Comment by William H Nickerson on November 21, 2011 at 5:19am

As soon as its published...WHAT!

Comment by William H Nickerson on November 21, 2011 at 5:16am

1]single top plate.

2]slopply foam job,shallow thickness

3]hole in the ductwork?

4]siding cut too low,terrible weave,water problems

5]bad valley work

6]reverse fall on attached roof

7]no flashing

Comment by Carl Seville on November 17, 2011 at 1:46pm

Jon - Thanks for the comment.  The problem with the foam is not that it's uneven, rather it's way too thin, only about 4"maximum.  The strapping was done by the framer to even out a sloped ceiling with a duct chase (no thought given to duct location).  SInce this house is in the south, thermal bridging is not much on people's minds, and in fact, it doesn't give us anywhere near the heat loss you get in extreme cold climates.  

Comment by Jon Haehnel on November 17, 2011 at 1:36pm

I think image 2 is more than uneven insualtion.  It's open cell foam insulation and that always looks uneven.  I think it is that they added strapping to the rafters to increase cavity depth and the ran the strapping parallel to the rafters when they had the chance to run it perpendicular and reduce thermal bridging through the rafters.  I'll bet the foamer asked for that because it it faster to foam with the roof bays open than with strapping interrupting the bays every 16". 

Image 5 is a classic- terrible water shed.   

Comment by Robert H on November 17, 2011 at 11:39am

1 Definately not  a job using advanced framing

2 Uneven insualtion with at least 1 area having minimal insualtion.

3  Hole in trunk line.  What are they trying to do with the insulation

4 Water is funneled in to side of house due to valley

5 Another bad valley channeling water against the structure

6 Roof slopes back to structure

7 No flashing

Comment by Bryce Cramer on November 17, 2011 at 10:02am

Photo 1 has way more jack studs than required.

Photo 2 is under-insulated in the one rafter cavity.

Photo 3 someone left an unsealed hole in supply duct.

Photo 4, valley is running into side of house.

Photo 5, wood facia is running into roofing and gutter splash....most likely will rot out.

Photo 6. Overhang to left of support post is not cantilevered.....ladder construction used, will sag.

Photo 7, no sealing tape or flashing around brick mold.




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