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Why does my NEW House have to be Painted Again?

Why does my NEW House have to be Painted Again?
October 29, 2013 SNH Editorial Team

Usually the answer is: Bad workmanship.  Here is how you  spot it ahead of time… Many home repairs are avoidable had homeowners known how to evaluate the workmanship of their contractors ahead of time.  All too often homeowners spend good money for materials and installations simply relying on the contractors they hire to do “good work” because they themselves lack the knowledge of what quality workmanship entails.

Let’s start with paint and trim issues and put YOU, the homeowner into the driver’s seat.  Here is what typically happens:

Initially paint jobs generally look good so homeowners pay their contractors.  Unless homeowners hire top-tier contractors, who know what they are doing and do it right the first time, contractors who care about their long-term reputation for quality work, it is likely that unnecessary and unanticipated wear and tear shows up over just a few years – like the damage in the photos.  By then the initial contractors are long gone and homeowners wind up with another sizable repair expense. Sound familiar?

This home, sent to us by Christine shows three common problems:

(1) Lack of proper painting preparation.  The paint is peeling right off the wood due to lack of primer under the white finish paint!  Always prime wood – it conditions the wood and adheres paint.

(2) Way too much caulk.  Unscrupulous contractors overuse caulk as a quick way to patch joints….it camouflages things for a little while.  But then the paint starts to blister and peel.  Minimal caulk should be used only deep inside a joint!

(3) Lack of proper flashing.  This is among the most overlooked elements in home construction.  Flashing is detail work and therefore pricey.  In fact, it is one of the “hidden” and unglamorous costs in quality construction. Flashing can be made of copper or aluminum or even rubber under window and door openings.

It is essential to shed water from all horizontal surfaces.  It is better to pay for flashing in the first place since you will have the repair expense in the way of peeling paint and rotted materials later – guaranteed!

As a builder lack of flashing on protruding trim is a red flag.  I immediately suspect lack of flashing in other critical areas like underneath doorways, for example, where it can lead to serious water infiltration issues.

Christine, I hope your questions are answered, and you will get it right this time.  Never hesitate to quiz your workmen.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to describe each step in detail.   Listen to how each workman describes the job. It provides many clues!!!

Remember, home repairs are generally more expensive than doing things right the first time.  It’s worth your extra time to get it right the first time.

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avoidable home repair