Call from an Architect

Got a call from an Architect, today.

Seems that he was the designer of a custom home (4.1 Mil) in a Northern Chicago suburb) and was hired by the client to “oversee” the building process.

Some points:

  1. He provided the client with only 6 pages of drawings (i.e., no detail specs).
  2. The subs were “lowest cost” and were not licensed (FYI, in Illinois, only roofers and plumbers are state licensed.). Most times, the subs are not required to be licensed because because they work under the GC, and under his “license” (which is not a state license and requires only G/L insurance and the local business license to obtain. No testing or technical requirments.).
  3. Having seen many of these houses (both in draw and home inspections), the subs can always be counted upon to do the bare minimum.
  4. The local code guys are, for the most part, professional and hard working, but greatly over worked. In any case, the local AHJ has NO liability, by state court rulings.

His request?

He suspected that the framing sub did not use the “proper’ number os studs in the walls (i.e., not the reauired 16” OC with allowances for doubling of rafters, LVL beams and proper structural loading requirements.

I told him that I could, possibly, see the studs in the exterior walls, using Thermal Imaging, which he had read could “see through walls”. I told him that I, possibly, could (with the proper Delta T conditions. It has been cold up here), but that could not comment on interior walls. I suggested that a simple stud finder would work just as well.

I also asked why he didn’t just go over and check the framing out before they put in the drywall.

His response was, “I don’t know anything about framing. I just do the drawings.”

Is there any doubt about the quality of construction, AND DESIGN, of our new housing stock? :shock: