Top 5 Things That Go Wrong in Too-Fast Construction


Leaky Roof

Homeowners Against Defective Dwellings (HADD) is a consumer rights group advocating for homebuyers who have the misfortune of living in a lemon. According to HADD president Nancy Seats, one of the most common problems caused by too-fast construction is a leaky roof.

Roofs are tricky business. Building a safe, watertight roof involves much more than nailing down a few shingles. First of all, the pitch of the roof must be sufficient to direct water at least six inches (15.24 centimeters) away from the house [source: Lewis]. Some construction jobs are pushed too quickly through the design stage, giving the green light to a roof design with eye-catching angles, but lousy drainage.

Secondly, you can't skimp on the waterproofing materials that go underneath the shingles. Qualified roof contractors will install a layer of metal flashing at all vulnerable points. Flashing refers to flat or corrugated metal panels that are laid over seams in the roof structure, valleys where two slopes meet, and around disruptive structures like chimneys and vents [source: Handy American].

An inexperienced or rushed contractor might skip the flashing because the shingles would conceal them anyway. HADD has also received complaints about contractors who neglected to install a protective layer of felt before nailing down the shingles [source: Lewis]. Without felt backing, it's easy for water to seep through seams and infiltrate attics, leading to costly water damage and even mold infestations.

While we're talking about leaks, let's look at another symptom of rushed construction: defective windows.