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  1. #1
    JTsMom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default New construction question- nail pops, settling, etc.

    If you've bought a new construction home, how many nail pops did you end up with? We have literally hundreds, and you can see seams where the pieces of drywall meet in the ceiling. We also have other things happening- cracks in caulking, countertops separating from walls, corner bead popping out, etc. It's totally ridiculous.

    We called and reported it, but they are insisting they will only fix it one time- typically at 11 months. I understand that is there usual policy, but the settling we're experiencing seems excessive to me.

    Adding to the fun- if we have the fixed now, I'm going to have to deal with the paint fumes while pregnant. On the flip side, I don't particularly want to deal with fumes with a baby either! Any BTDT advice?
    Lori
    Mom to Jason 05/05
    and Zachary 05/10

  2. #2
    codex57 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Geez, who's the builder?

    Can you describe a nail pop?

    On our last house, it was just about perfect. One wall was slightly crooked in one section. Builder sent a guy to come out immediately, cut out the drywall, shave down the 2x4 that was off a tiny bit, then repaired the drywall. Couldn't tell anything was done. Other than that, there was a hairline crack on the ceiling, but they said if they repainted, you could either see where they repainted or live with the hairline crack. Gave us the option of what to do, but they'd have repainted if we wanted. House was perfect otherwise. This was a Centex house in the Sacramento region (Centex is #1 here).

    Our current one we're still trying to find all the flaws. It's a William Lyon homes and they're far from perfect. Generally, it's just paint and trim flaws. Super crappy subcontractors. Structurally, it seems ok. Walls are straight. No cracks. The only issue we've had was the sink separated enough to need to be recaulked and a ton of windows had to be adjusted. All quick, and easy fixes tho. We're really just annoyed cuz the painter likely has vision problems and the carpet they gave us is so incredibly crappy. All super petty compared to seeing countertops separating from walls, and all the other stuff you've had go wrong.

  3. #3
    wellyes's Avatar
    wellyes is online now Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    I never did an entire house but I've had rooms rebuilt by contractors -- I've never heard of "nail pops". Seeing the seams sounds really bad. I'd say you have every right to vociferously complain.

    Adding to the fun- if we have the fixed now, I'm going to have to deal with the paint fumes while pregnant. On the flip side, I don't particularly want to deal with fumes with a baby either! Any BTDT advice?
    Do you supply the paint or do they? It's easier if you do it because you can just buy the non-VOC.

    If they do it, maybe make it a little later in the season so you can be sure to keep all the windows open. I was a paranoid pregnant lady so when DH had to so some painting when I was 6ish months last time, I took a 4 day weekend to visit my folks out of town. I'm sure that wasnt' necessary but it gave me peace of mind to be away from the fumes.
    DD - 6
    DS - 4

  4. #4
    JTsMom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    A nail pop can appear a few different ways. Most of ours just look like the head of a nail that has popped out and is visible. Some turn into a big bubble, which I think is b/c the paper rips or something-we have some of those as well. I believe they can also look sunken.

    I guess they are really common, but the number we have just seems totally out of control. Most of our neighbors have 10 or 20, not 300+. I guess it's common to get more if your house is built in the winter and you end up cranking the heat right away- like we did. Wet weather also makes them worse (something about the wood shrinking), and we had record rainfalls during construction. All of the other stuff also happens with shrinkage as well.

    I'm just worried about foundation problems b/c of the amount of issues we're having, kwim?

    The builder is a local one- nobody you'd have heard of, but they do have a decent reputation from what we could find out before we bought.



    They provide the paint, and I really don't want to have to pay for it ourselves b/c every room of the house has these issues, and it would cost a small fortune. I want to re-paint eventually b/c they used flat paint, which is a disaster with DS around, but to do it all at once would cost a small fortune.
    Lori
    Mom to Jason 05/05
    and Zachary 05/10

  5. #5
    codex57 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Whoah. A nail pop is exactly what I imagined.

    In that case, we've had NO nail pops whatsoever. Temps range from 90s to 100s in the summer (and a couple days a year that breaks 115) to 30s in the winter (nights can drop into the upper 20s and a couple nights drop below 20). That's pretty warm and fairly cold. Still never heard of those kinds of problems.

    Yeah, I'd complain like hell.

  6. #6
    JTsMom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    From what I understand, it's not the temperature change, but the fact that the heater sucks the moisture out really rapidly, causing the shrinkage. I feel like George Castanza every time I use that word.
    Lori
    Mom to Jason 05/05
    and Zachary 05/10

  7. #7
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    We didn't have any, but our home was the display. They could have fixed them before we bought it.
    Karin & Katie Oct. 2002

  8. #8
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    our house is 1.5 years old and i've only seen maybe 2 or 3 (five max) nail pops since we moved in. If you have hundreds, that's clearly messed up..i'd definitely keep complaining to them.

    if it were me, i'd rather deal with it while preggo (at least u can easily go out for a day or two, to a friends house or something)..i think it would be harder to deal with all that w/ a baby.
    DS 01/10 DD 03/11

  9. #9
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    DrSally is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    We've only had a couple nail pops. I can see their point about wanting to fix them all at once. Is there a way you can stay somewhere while the house is painted. We had the whole house painted after we moved in and I stayed with my mom with the kids for 5 days. A lot of our grout is cracked. Many seams, they should've used calk instead of grout, b/c grout always cracks at seams. Is it possible you have grout in some of those seams?

    ETA: Also, they should've used screws in the drywall, as they're less likely to pop than nails. At least that's my vague notion of how it works.
    Sally

    My Joyful DS
    My Lovely DD

    Please excuse the typos. Getting used to a virtual keyboard

  10. #10
    cmo is offline Gold level (500+ posts)
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    OP, we live in the same area as you, and had new construction about 6 years ago. We moved in December, but did not have nearly the number of nail pops you describe (maybe a few dozen?). Our builder was still doing work on new houses for at least a year after when we moved in, so they were fairly friendly about coming in and fixing minor things as they popped up. Technically, any 'fixes' were supposed to be done close to the one-year mark, like you described for yours. We did have an official list of small stuff that they took care of around the 11 month mark. Some of our neighbors had more significant issues, like cracks in the walls due to foundation settling, faulty windows, basement leaks, etc. Be a squeaky wheel, you paid plenty of money for a new house and deserve it to be right!

    ETA: I found my original punch list of what we had fixed at the 11 month mark, to look at as a sample. We did have a few things fixed before then. They fixed all the things on the list, though a couple of them recurred over time (none of the major ones).

    1. Leak at sewer pipe in basement. Small amounts of water have gotten through at this point during heavy rains.

    2. Gap below basement window. There is a gap that needs filling under the pair of windows in the basement room with the sewer pipe and HVAC.

    3. Cracks in caulk and grout. There are gaps in the caulk throughout the house around cabinets and countertops, and in the corners of the tubs/showers.

    4. Front door knob sticks. Knob does not turn freely and doesn’t always catch.

    5. Stains on molding beneath bead board on kitchen island. It looks like some of the cabinet stain dripped onto the molding.

    6. Kitchen faucet. Water pressure is always low, even though inputs are turned on all the way.

    7. Screen door on back porch. Latch does not hold; can be pushed open even when handle is locked.

    8. Coat closet door on first floor. Right door is very difficult to pull open.

    9. Squeaky stair. The third stair up on the way to the second floor squeaks.

    10. Loose baluster. The third baluster down from the top of the second floor stairs is not secure.

    11. Nail holes in stairway posts. There are a few nail holes in the posts that need filling on both the first and second floors.

    12. Window latch in living room. The latch on one of the front windows does not line up with its hook, and as a result the window has frequently slipped open. The bottom pane of this window also does not slide open/closed properly.

    13. Window in boy’s bedroom. Right window is off track and is very difficult to open and close.

    14. Bathroom door in boy’s bedroom. The door’s latch does not catch, so the door can be pushed open.

    15. Outlet plate in master bathroom is cracked. Located on the mirror.
    Last edited by cmo; 03-30-2010 at 08:29 PM.

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