Residential Construction Performance Guidelines

At Creekside Homes we are gratified each time we design and build a custom home for our clients.  It is important for us to take pleasure in working with our customers, but also having pride in the craftsmanship that goes into each house.  Along with the workmanship is seeking expertise from other experts within our field.  With that in mind, Creekside Homes is proud to be a part of the National Association of Home Builders or NAHB®.  Founded in the early 1940s, NAHB® represents the largest network of craftsmen, innovators and problem solvers, dedicated to building and enriching communities.

Like the NAHB®, Creekside Homes uses our years of experience, ingenuity and expert advice to develop a design that is perfect for you and your family.  Creekside Homes understands that the home building process can be intimidating, and you may have questions or concerns that you’d like to address, prior to initiating the architectural planning phase.  The NAHB® provides a valuable guide for consumers and contractors alike, which address the most frequent questions during the building process.  We hope that you find this Residential Construction Guide as useful and informative as we do.

 

Residential Construction Performance Guidelines 


for Professional Builders & Remodelers
Fourth Edition

 

NAHB Remodelers

Single Family Small Volume Builders Committee

https://www.nahb.org/

National Association of Home Builders

Scope of Responsibilities

Typically, numerous parties are involved in a residential construction project, whether it entails building a new home or remodeling an existing one. Each of these parties has specific responsibilities to fulfill. The contract documents should provide a clear statement of the agreement between the contractor and the consumer. In addition to the specific provisions of any contract, the following general responsibilities should be noted:

Contractor: For the purposes of this manual, the contractor is the entity named in the contract that has primary responsibility for completing the project. The contractor often employs others to assist in the project. In most cases, the contractor is responsible for all work assigned in the contract regardless of who actually performs the work. If the contractor is acting in a special role (for instance, as a construction manager), or the consumer selects others to work on the project who are outside the contractor’s control, then the responsibility for evaluation and remedy of potential problems may fall to other parties.

Consumer: The consumer is the buyer of the product or service named in the contract. As such, the consumer is responsible for carefully reviewing the contract to ensure it accurately represents the expectations for the final product. Once the consumer accepts the project and moves into the home or occupies the newly renovated space, then the consumer is responsible for routine maintenance and upkeep. Homes require a certain amount of care and maintenance, which are the consumer’s responsibility. Consumers should note that in some of the guidelines contained herein, the contractor is not obligated to make repairs to items that fall within the consumer’s maintenance responsibilities.

Manufacturer: Manufacturers warrant many residential construction components that may fall outside the scope of the contractor’s responsibilities, such as kitchen appliances, furnaces, air conditioners, and lighting and plumbing fixtures. Certain types of siding, roofing, or flooring also may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. If there is a warranty question with one of these components, the consumer should be aware that the contractor may not be responsible for the product’s performance after installation. If a problem occurs, the consumer often will need to contact the manufacturer or fabricator directly to have the problem evaluated and, if necessary, rectified, unless otherwise specified in a contract. The contractor’s responsibilities may end once the contractor provides the appropriate information on how to contact the manufacturer or fabricator, unless otherwise specified in the contract.

Remodeling Projects

Remodeling, the process of expanding or enhancing an existing structure, presents inherent difficulties in melding the new and old into a home or room that meets the consumer’s needs and is aesthetically pleasing. Some circumstances call for the suspension of some or all of the guidelines in order to successfully complete a remodeling project. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, the meeting of old, out-of-plumb or out-of-level structures with new structures; the appearance of new materials near weathered, existing materials; and the practical considerations for new projects to work within the limitations of existing buildings.

Because of the unique challenges of joining new and old construction, a remodeling contractor may build some or all of the project outside the scope of these guidelines to achieve the contract objectives. When it is reasonable, the contractor may note and discuss a condition with the consumer before construction. It is also normal for a contractor, during the course of construction, to discover and accommodate conditions in the old structure that require different solutions from those suggested in these guidelines. In these circumstances, the governing factor is meeting the needs of the consumer as outlined in the contract, and complying with the prevailing building code.

 

How to Use This Manual

This manual is divided into chapters organized according to the usual sequence of events in the construction process. Nearly every chapter contains sections within it, and some chapters also have more specific subsections. Each chapter contains individual construction performance guidelines.

The guidelines are numbered as follows:

Chapter Number–Section Number–Guideline Number

Each construction performance guideline has three parts, as follows:

Observation: A description of a particular construction condition.

Performance Guideline: The specific criterion for acceptable workmanship.

Corrective Measure: A description of the work required by the contractor to meet the performance guideline and/or the consumer’s maintenance responsibility.

Some guidelines also include the following elements:

Remodeling Specific Performance Guideline (listed as applicable): The specific criterion for acceptable workmanship for remodeling.

Discussion: An explanation of unique factors pertinent to the observation, performance guideline, or corrective measure.

 

General Instructions

Many locales require construction work to comply with the prevailing building code.  If a conflict arises between these guidelines and the prevailing building code, as a matter of law, the code requirements may take precedence over these guidelines.

These performance guidelines apply only to work specified in the contract documents for the project. They do not apply to designs, plans, materials, or workmanship that is supplied by the consumer or is outside the scope of the particular project. They are also designed to apply only to the part of the job addressed in each guideline.

Many plans or specifications utilize styles, materials, or specific workmanship details that are designed to be outside of the specifications herein, to obtain a specific result. In order to avoid conflict, the contractor and consumer should specify in writing that these specific items are excluded from the performance guidelines.

 

Definition of Terms

The following terms are crucial to understanding the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines, Fourth Edition:

Substantial completion of the project. The point at which a home construction project is completed and the areas are functional for their intended use as stated in the contract. The contract should include a specific definition of completion.

Warranty period. The duration of the applicable warranty provided by the contractor and agreed to by the parties in the original construction contract.

Manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty provided by the manufacturer of a product that has been incorporated into a newly constructed home or a remodeling project.

Prevailing building code. The building code that has been adopted by the state, county, city, or other applicable local governing authority. These codes vary greatly and require an understanding of the codes specifically applicable to each individual project.

Other selected terms are italicized on first reference and defined in the glossary.

Incorporating the Guidelines into a Warranty or Dispute Resolution Program

The warranty, like the contract, should clearly express the intent of the parties. The limited warranty describes the issues the contractor will be responsible for after substantial completion of the project, and specifies the time period during which the warranty is in force. Moreover, if a contractor warrants workmanship and materials in a warranty, the contractor should provide a clear definition of compliance with the terms of the warranty. Without a clear definition, the parties risk having to follow dispute resolution procedures that are specified in the contract, and where an arbitrary standard may be imposed.

Accordingly, the contract and/or warranty might include a statement such as the following:

All workmanship shall conform to the guidelines found in the
publication Residential Construction Performance Guidelines
for Professional Builders and Remodelers, Fourth Edition ©2011
National Association of Home Builders of the United States. If an
item is not covered in that publication, standard industry practice
shall govern. This may include the dispute resolution process as
specified in the contract documents or by applicable laws.

To ensure that the consumer agrees with the specific performance guidelines stated herein, the contractor should review the specific guidelines and the procedures recommended with the consumer before entering into the contract. Providing the consumer with a copy of the guidelines at contract signing is highly recommended.  Reviewing the performance guidelines again at closing or at the walk-through inspection is also recommended.

If there are particular guidelines within this publication that the contractor or consumer does not want to use, they should be specifically excluded in writing from all warranty or contract documents applicable to the project. Likewise, if there are particular issues that are not addressed in the guidelines, then by written agreement the contractor and consumer should refer to those issues in the warranty and/or contract documents.

Other Uses for the Guidelines

The Residential Construction Performance Guidelines can promote a better understanding of the home construction process among consumers, inspectors, and public officials. Following are some suggestions for building awareness of these guidelines:

  • Make the guidelines available to consumers simultaneous with or prior to entering into a contract to help them understand the construction process.
    Whether or not your contract refers to the guidelines, the contractor and consumer should acknowledge in writing that they agree to specific
    performance tolerances.
  • Avoid disputes by referring to this objective set of guidelines with third-party
    credibility.
  • Share the guidelines with mediators, arbitrators, and judges to help them
    understand the acceptable performance criteria.
  • Show the guidelines to building code officials so they can distinguish
    performance guidelines from code compliance issues.
  • Make the guidelines available to trade contractors whose profession is integral
    to the construction process. Agreements with trade contractors should include
    a guarantee from them that their work will comply with the guidelines.
  • Take the guidelines to city, county, and state officials and urge them to
    consider adopting the guidelines as their accepted criteria.
  • Make the guidelines available to private, third-party home inspectors, and their
    trade associations.

 

Taking Measurements

You can quickly assess whether certain ridges, cracks, gaps, lippage, or variations in plumbness or levelness are within the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines recommended tolerances. Tolerances in most of these areas are less than 1 inch. The edges of U.S. coins can be used to approximate measurements of variation as follows:

Dime = approximately 1/32 inch

Quarter = approximately 1/16 inch

 

Adapting a Carpenter’s Level

To assess surface levelness, you can use either a 32-inch level or adapt a standard 4-foot fiberglass carpenter’s level by removing 8 inches from each end.

 

Comments Welcomed

NAHB encourages readers to provide comments and suggestions regarding their experiences using the Residential Construction Performance Guidelines, Fourth Edition, including their own methods or tools for determining whether a project complies with the guidelines. Submit your comments in writing, with the subject line “Residential Construction Performance Guidelines, Fourth Edition” to the NAHB Business Management Department, 1201 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005.
Comments will be considered in preparing future editions of this book.

 

1.  Site Work

1–1–1 Observation: The ground has settled around the foundation, over utility trenches, or in other areas.
  Performance Guideline: Settled ground around foundation walls, over utility trenches, or in other filled areas will not interfere with water drainage away from the home.
  Corrective Measure: If the contractor provided final grading, one time only during the warranty period, the contractor will fill areas that settle more than 6 inches and that affect proper drainage. It is the consumer’s responsibility to replace shrubs, grass, other landscaping, pavement, sidewalks, or other improvements affected by placement of such fill.
1–1–2 Observation: The property does not properly drain.
  Performance Guideline: To ensure proper drainage within 10 feet around the home, the contractor will establish necessary grades and swales within the property if the work is included in the contract.  Standing water will not remain for extended periods within 10 feet of the home after a rain (generally no more than 24 hours), except in swales that drain other areas or in areas where sump pumps receive discharge.  In these areas a longer period can be anticipated (generally no more than 48 hours). Water may stand longer during periods of heavy rains, especially when heavy rains occur on successive days. No grading determination will be made while frost or snow is on the ground or while the ground is saturated.
  Corrective Measure: If grading is part of the contract, the contractor is responsible for initially establishing the proper grades and swales.
  Discussion: Grass and other landscaping are integral components of the storm water management practice needed to minimize erosion from the property. It is the consumer’s responsibility to maintain grass and other landscaping to help ensure the property drainage system functions properly. The consumer is responsible for maintaining such grades and swales once the contractor has properly established them.
1–1–3 Observation: The property has soil erosion.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor is not responsible for soil erosion.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.  The contractor is not responsible for erosion due to acts of God, weather conditions, property alteration by the consumer, construction on adjacent properties, utility company’s work, improper consumer maintenance, or other conditions beyond the contractor’s control.
1–1–4 Observation: Water from a nearby or adjacent property flows onto the consumer’s property.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor is responsible for providing a reasonable means of draining water from rain, melting snow, or ice on the property and in the immediate area of the home, but the contractor is not responsible for water flowing from a nearby or adjacent property.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
1–1–5 Observation: Existing trees, shrubs, or other vegetation have been damaged in the course of construction.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to preserve existing landscaping as predetermined by the contractor and consumer, but the survival of existing landscaping cannot be guaranteed.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.

 2.  Foundation

General

2–1–1 Observation: The foundation is out of square.
  Performance Guideline: As measured at the top of the foundation wall, the diagonal of a triangle with sides of 12 feet and 16 feet will be no more than 1 inch more or less than 20 feet.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: A contractor and consumer may agree to build an addition out of square in order to keep a new exterior wall on line with an existing wall of an out-of-square home.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will make necessary modifications to the foundation not complying with the performance guideline for squareness to provide a satisfactory appearance. The contractor may square the first-floor deck or walls by cantilevering over the foundation or locating the deck or walls inset from the outside face of the foundation.
  Discussion: Squareness is primarily an aesthetic consideration.  The corrective measure emphasizes the primarily aesthetic nature of squareness and makes the criterion for correction a satisfactory appearance. This allows the contractor to make either a structural change or some cosmetic modification as is most appropriate.  There are many instances in which the squareness of a foundation is inconsequential because subsequent construction provides an opportunity to make corrections.
2–1–2 Observation: The foundation is not level.
  Performance Guideline: This guideline applies only when the levelness of the foundation adversely impacts subsequent construction. As measured at the top of the foundation wall, no point will be more than ½ inch higher or lower than any point within 20 feet.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: The contractor and the consumer may agree to build an addition out of level in order to keep the floor of an addition on the same plane, and the roof ridge on the same line, as those of an existing, out-of-level structure.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will make necessary modifications to any part of the foundation or to subsequent construction to meet the performance guideline for levelness. This can be affected by leveling the sills with shims, mortar, appropriate fillers, or other methods.
  Discussion: There are many instances in which the levelness of a foundation is not of consequence because subsequent construction provides an opportunity to make corrections.
2–1–3 Observation: There is a crack in a concrete footing.
  Performance Guideline: Cracks greater than ¼ inch in width are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any cracks in excess of the performance guideline, using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.

Concrete Slabs

2–2–1 Observation: A concrete slab within the structure has separated or moved at control (expansion and contraction) joints.
  Performance Guideline: Concrete slabs within the structure are designed to move at control joints.
  Corrective Measure: Because this is a normal occurrence, no corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion: Control joints are placed in concrete for the very purpose of encouraging cracking to take place at the joints instead of in random locations.
2–2–2 Observation: Efflorescence is present on the surface of the basement floor.
  Performance Guideline: If the efflorescence is caused by basement water leakage (actual flow and accumulation), the contractor will eliminate the leaks into the structure.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Efflorescence is evidenced by the presence of a white film on the surface of the concrete. It is a particularly common occurrence where masonry or concrete are in contact with high moisture levels as may be found in basements.
2–2–3 Observation: The concrete floor or slab is uneven.
  Performance Guideline: Except where the floor or portion of the floor has been designed for specific drainage purposes, concrete floors in living areas will not have pits, depressions, or areas of unevenness exceeding 3/8 inch in 32 inches. (See “Taking Measurements” in the Introduction for information on 32-inch levels.)
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct or repair the floor to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: A repair can be accomplished by leveling the surface with a material designed to repair uneven concrete
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: Existing concrete floors or slabs may be uneven. In these situations, no corrective action is required by the contractor.
2–2–4 Observation: The concrete floor slab is cracked.
  Performance Guideline: Minor cracks in concrete floor slabs are normal. Cracks exceeding 3/16 inch in width or 3/16 inch in vertical displacement will be repaired if the slab is in conditioned space or the crack interferes with the installation of finish flooring.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair cracks that do not meet the performance guideline using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.
2–2–5 Observation: Interior concrete is pitting or spalling. Pitting is evidenced by concrete that has chipped. Spalling is evidenced by concrete that has flaked or peeled from the outer surface.
  Performance Guideline: Interior concrete surfaces will not pit or spall unless the deterioration is caused by factors outside of the contractor’s control.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair concrete surfaces using materials designed for this purpose.
2-2-6 Observation:  The interior concrete slab has a loose, sandy surface, sometimes referred to as “dusting.”
  Performance Guideline:  The surface will not be so sandy that it causes a problem when the finish flooring is applied.
Corrective Measure:  The surface will be repaired to be suitable for the finish flooring that the contractor had reason to anticipate would be applied.

Concrete Block Basement and Crawl Space Walls

2–3–1 Observation: A concrete block basement or crawl space wall is cracked.
  Performance Guideline: Cracks in concrete block basement or crawl space walls will not exceed ¼ inch in width.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair cracks to meet the performance guideline using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.
  Discussion: Shrinkage cracks are common in concrete block masonry and should be expected in crawl space and basement walls. Cracks may be vertical, diagonal, horizontal, or in stepped-in masonry joints.
2–3–2 Observation: A concrete block basement wall is out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline: Block concrete walls will not be out of plumb greater than 1 inch in 8 feet when measured from the base to the top of the wall.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: If tying into an existing foundation that is out of plumb, the contractor and consumer will review the existing conditions and scope of work. The contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to meet the performance guideline while complying with the existing building code.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished according to the contract, and the wall meets building codes requirements as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required by the contractor.
2–3–3 Observation: A concrete block basement wall is bowed.
  Performance Guideline: Concrete block walls will not bow in excess of 1 inch in 8 feet.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished according to the contract, and the wall meets building codes requirements as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required.
2–3–4 Observation: Efflorescence is present on the surface of the basement or crawl space block.
  Performance Guideline: If the efflorescence is caused by water leakage (actual flow and accumulation), the contractor will eliminate the leak into the structure.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Efflorescence is a typical condition caused by moisture reacting with the soluble salts in concrete and forming harmless carbonate compounds. It is evidenced by the presence of a white film on the surface of the concrete. It is a particularly common occurrence where masonry or concrete are in contact with high moisture levels as may be found in basements or crawl spaces.

Poured Concrete Basement and Crawl Space Walls

2–4–1 Observation: A poured concrete basement wall is out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline: Finished concrete walls will not be out of plumb greater than 1 inch in 8 feet when measured vertically.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: If tying into an existing foundation that is out of plumb, the contractor and consumer will review the existing conditions and scope of work. The contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to meet the performance guideline while complying with the existing building code.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished according to contract and the wall meets building codes requirements as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required by the contractor.
2–4–2 Observation: An exposed concrete wall has pits, surface voids, or similar imperfections in it.
  Performance Guideline: Surface imperfections larger than 1 inch in diameter or 1 inch in depth are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair imperfections that do not meet the performance guideline, using a material designed to fill holes in concrete.
  Discussion: Pits, surface voids, and similar imperfections are called “air surface voids” and are caused by air trapped between the concrete and concrete form interface. Air surface voids are not structurally significant.  The technical term for larger voids is honeycomb. These must be dealt with in accordance with this guideline. The repaired area is unlikely to match the color or texture of the surrounding concrete.
2–4–3 Observation: A poured concrete basement wall is bowed.
  Performance Guideline: Concrete walls will not bow in excess of 1 inch in 8 feet when measured from the base to the top of the wall.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished according to contract and the wall meets building codes as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required by the contractor.
2–4–4 Observation: A poured concrete basement or crawl space wall is cracked.
  Performance Guideline: Cracks in poured walls will not exceed ¼ inch in width.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will cosmetically repair any cracks to meet the performance guideline, using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.
  Discussion:  Shrinkage cracks and other cracks are common and are inherent in the drying process of poured concrete walls. They should be expected in these walls due to the nature of concrete. The only cracks considered under warranty claims are cracks that permit water penetration or horizontal cracks that cause a bow in the wall.
2–4–5 Observation: A cold joint is visible on exposed poured concrete foundation walls.
  Performance Guideline: A cold joint is a visible joint that indicates where the pour terminated and continued. Cold joints are normal and should be expected to be visible. Cold joints should not be an actual separation or a crack that exceeds 1/4 inch in width.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will cosmetically repair any cold joint to meet the performance guideline, using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.
2–4–6 Observation: Efflorescence is present on the surface of the poured concrete basement wall.
  Performance Guideline: If the efflorescence is caused by basement water leakage, (actual flow or accumulation), the contractor will eliminate the leak into the structure.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Efflorescence is a typical condition caused by moisture reacting with the soluble salts in concrete and forming harmless carbonate compounds. It is evidenced by the presence of a white film on the surface of the concrete. It is a particularly common occurrence where masonry or concrete are in contact with high moisture levels as may be found in basements or crawl spaces.

Moisture and Water Penetration – Basement Walls and Floor and Crawl Spaces

2–5–1 Observation: Dampness is evident on basement walls or the floor.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor is not responsible for dampness caused by condensation of water vapor on cool walls and floors.  Dampness caused by moisture intrusion is unacceptable.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair to meet the performance guideline unless the consumer’s action caused the dampness.
  Discussion:  Excessive dampness may be caused by consumer action, such as changing the grade around the home or irrigation systems, and is not the contractor’s responsibility.
2–5–2 Observation: Water has accumulated in the basement.
  Performance Guideline: Water will not accumulate in the basement.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will take such actions as are necessary to prevent water from accumulating in the basement unless consumer action caused the accumulation.
  Discussion: The consumer should maintain proper grade away from the dwelling.
2–5–3 Observation: Water accumulates in a vented crawl space.
  Performance Guideline: Crawl spaces should be graded and proper exterior foundation drains installed as required by the prevailing building codes to prevent water from accumulating.
Corrective Measure: The contractor will take corrective measures to meet the performance guideline.
2–5–4 Observation: Condensation is evident on the vented crawl space surfaces.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor will install the ventilation and vapor barrier required by the prevailing building code.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will take corrective actions to meet the performance guideline. If the crawl space is ventilated as required by applicable building codes, then no corrective action is required by the contractor. Further reduction of condensation is a consumer maintenance responsibility.
Discussion:  Temporary conditions that cause condensation that cannot be eliminated by ventilation and a vapor barrier may include

•• Night air gradually cools the interior surfaces of the crawl space.

In the morning, moisture picked up by sun‑warmed air migrates into the crawl space and condenses on cool surfaces.

•• At night, outside air may rapidly cool foundation walls and provide a cool surface on which moisture may condense.

•• If the home is left unheated in the winter, floors and walls may provide cold surfaces on which moisture in the warmer crawl space air may condense.

•• Excessive moisture inside a heated home may reach the dew point within, or on the colder bottom surface of, vapor permeable floor insulation. Moisture on or under the poly vapor barrier may result from condensation or hydrostatic pressure. This is normal. The consumer can reduce condensation, if necessary, by enclosing the crawl space and dehumidifying (closed crawl) or by enclosing and intentionally heating and cooling the crawl space (conditioned crawl).

Structural Columns, Posts, or Piers

2–6–1 Observation: An exposed wood column is bowed or is out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline: Exposed wood columns will not bow or be out of plumb more than 3/4 inch in 8 feet at substantial completion of the project.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Wood columns may become distorted as part of the drying process. Bows and other imperfections that develop after installation cannot be prevented or controlled by the contractor.
2–6–2 Observation: An exposed concrete column is installed bowed or out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline: Exposed concrete columns will not be installed with a bow in excess of 1 inch in 8 feet. They should not be installed out of plumb in excess of 1 inch in 8 feet.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline.
2-6-3 Observation:  A masonry column or pier is out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline:  Masonry columns or piers should not be constructed out of plumb in excess of 1 inch in 8 feet.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline.
2-6-4 Observation:  A steel post is out of plumb.
  Performance Guideline:  Steel posts will not be out of plumb in excess of 3/8 inch in 8 feet when measured vertically.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline.

3.  Interior Floor Construction

 

Floor System

3–1–1 Observation: Springiness, bounce, shaking, or visible sag is present in the floor system.
  Performance Guideline: All beams, joists, headers, and other dimensional or manufactured structural members will be sized according to the manufacturers’ specifications or applicable building codes.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reinforce or modify, as necessary, any member of the floor system not meeting the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Deflection may indicate insufficient stiffness in the lumber, or may reflect an aesthetic consideration independent of the strength and safety requirements of the lumber. Structural members are required to meet standards for both stiffness and strength. If a consumer expresses a preference to the contractor before construction, the contractor and the consumer may agree upon a higher standard.

Beams, Columns, and Posts

3–2–1 Observation: An exposed wood column, post, or beam is split.
  Performance Guideline: Sawn wood columns, posts, or beams will meet the grading standard for the species used.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace any wood column, post, or beam that does not meet the performance guideline.  Filling splits with appropriate filler is an acceptable method of repair.
  Discussion:  Columns, posts, and beams will sometimes split as they dry after installation. Splitting is acceptable and is not a structural concern if the columns, posts, or beams have been sized according to manufacturer’s specifications or applicable building codes. Some materials have inherent cracks or imperfections; these do not require repair.
3-2-2 Observation:  An exposed wood beam or post is twisted or bowed.
  Performance Guideline:  Exposed wood posts and beams will meet the grading standard for the species used. Posts and beams with bows and twists exceeding 3/4 inch in an 8-foot section will not be installed, and those that develop bows and twists exceeding 3/4 inch in an 8-foot section are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace any beam or post with a bow or twist that exceeds the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Beams and posts, especially those 31/2 inches or greater in thickness (which normally are not kiln dried) will sometimes twist or bow as they dry after milling or installation. Twisting or bowing is usually not a structural concern if posts and beams have been sized according to manufacturers’ specifications or applicable building codes.
3-2-3 Observation:  An exposed wood beam or post is cupped.
  Performance Guideline:  Cups exceeding 1/4 inch in 51/2 inches are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace any beam or post with a defect that does not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Cupped lumber is lumber that has warped or cupped across the grain in a concave or convex shape. Beams and posts, especially those 31/2 inches or greater in thickness (which normally are not kiln dried), will sometimes cup as they dry after milling or installation.

Subfloor and Joists

3–3–1 Observation: The wood subfloor squeaks or appears loose.
  Performance Guideline: Although a totally squeak-proof floor cannot be guaranteed, frequent, loud squeaks caused by improper installation or loose subflooring are deficiencies.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will refasten any loose subfloor or take other corrective action to attempt to reduce squeaking to the extent possible within reasonable repair capability without removing floor or ceiling finishes.
  Discussion:  There are many possible causes of floor squeaks. One of the more common sources of squeaks is wood moving along the shank of a nail. Squeaking frequently occurs when lumber, floor sheathing, or boards move slightly when someone walks over them. Boards and floor sheathing may become loose due to shrinkage of the floor structure or subfloor as it dries after installation or seasonal changes in temperature and humidity. Nails used to fasten metal connectors (joist hangers, tie-down straps, etc.) may cause squeaks. The nature of wood and construction methods makes it practically impossible to eliminate all squeaks during all seasons. Fastening loose subflooring with casing nails into carpet and counter sinking the head is an acceptable method of repair. Snap-off screws may also be used to refasten subflooring through carpet.
3–3–2 Observation: A wood subfloor is uneven.
  Performance Guideline: Subfloors will not have more than a 1/4-inch ridge or depression within any 32-inch measurement. Measurements should not be made at imperfections that are characteristic of the material used. This guideline does not cover transition points between different materials.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The consumer and the contractor may agree to build a wood floor out of level in order to match or otherwise compensate for preexisting conditions.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace any wood column, post, or beam that does not meet the performance guideline.  Filling splits with appropriate filler is an acceptable method of repair.
3-3-3 Observation:  A wood subfloor is out of level.
  Performance Guideline:  The floor should not slope more than 1/2 inch in 20 feet. Crowns and other lumber characteristics that meet the standards of the applicable grading organization for the grade and species used are not defects. Deflections due to overloading by the consumer are not the contractor’s responsibility.

Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and the consumer may agree to build an addition out of level in order to keep the floor of an addition on the same plane, and the roof ridge on the same line, as those of an existing, out-of-level structure, or to compensate for some other preexisting condition.

  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to modify the floor to comply with the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Sloped floors have both an aesthetic and functional consideration. Measurements for slope should be made across the room, not in a small area.
3-3-4 Observation:  Deflection and/or flex is observed in a floor system constructed of wood I-joists, floor trusses, or similar products.
  Performance Guideline:  All wood I-joists and other manufactured structural components in the floor system will be sized and installed as provided in the manufacturers’ instructions and applicable building codes.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will reinforce or modify as necessary any floor component that does not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Some deflection and/or flex is normal and is not an indication of deficiency in the strength and safety of the product. If a consumer requests it, the contractor and consumer may agree to more stringent criteria in writing prior to construction.
3-3-5 Observation: Remodeling Specific Guideline: Wood flooring is not level at the transition of an existing floor to a room addition floor.
  Performance Guideline:  Flooring at a transition area will not slope more than 1/8 inch over 6 inches unless a threshold is added. Overall stepdown, unless previously agreed upon with the consumer, will not exceed 11/8 inches. Variations caused by seasonal or temperature changes are not a defect.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct the floor transition to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: All wood members shrink and expand seasonally, with variations in temperature and humidity, and with aging. After installation, dimensional lumber can shrink up to 1/2 inch for some boards. If the flooring, subfloor, or underlayment was not purposely overlapped onto the existing floor, the resulting irregularity is not a defect, but a natural result and characteristic of the wood’s aging process. Either the old or the new floors may slope along the floor joist span. Joists in an older home may have deflected under load. This and other conditions may cause a hump at the juncture of the old to new.
3-3-6 Observation: Remodeling Specific Guideline: The floor pitches to one side in the door opening between the existing construction and the addition.
  Performance Guideline: If the pitch is the result of the floor of the existing dwelling not being level, then in most situations a transition threshold will be the most appropriate and acceptable means of addressing the condition.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to meet the performance guideline.

4.  Walls

 

Wall Framing

4-1-1 Observation:  A framed wall is not plumb.
  Performance Guideline:  The interior face of wood-framed walls will not be more than 3/8 inch out of plumb for any 32 inches in any vertical measurement.

Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and consumer may agree to intentionally build walls out of plumb to match the existing structure to accommodate or compensate for inaccuracies in the existing structure, and to disregard the performance guideline to match a preexisting structural condition.

  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the wall to meet the performance guideline.
4-1-2 Observation:  The wall is bowed.
  Performance Guideline:  Walls will not bow more than 1/2 inch out of line within any 32-inch horizontal measurement, or 1/2 inch out of line within any 8-foot vertical measurement.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If new wall cladding is installed on existing framed walls, the contractor and consumer may agree to straighten the wall as part of the scope of work, or to install new cladding over existing framing, and to disregard the performance guideline to match a preexisting structural condition.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the wall to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  All interior and exterior walls have slight variances in their finished surface. On occasion, the underlying framing may warp, twist, or bow after installation.
4-1-3 Observation: Remodeling Specific Guideline: Deflection is observed in a beam, header, girder, or other dimensional or manufactured structural member in a wall.
  Performance Guideline:  All beams, headers, girders, and other dimensional or manufactured structural members in the wall system will be sized according to the manufacturers’ specifications and applicable building codes.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reinforce or modify, as necessary, any beam, header, girder, or other dimensional or manufactured structural member in the wall system that does not meet the performance guideline.

Moisture Barriers and Flashing

4-2-1 Observation: Bulk water is penetrating around a window or door.
  Performance Guideline: Windows and doors will be installed and flashed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and/or as required by prevailing building codes.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct to meet the performance guideline.
4-2-2 Observation: An exterior wall leaks because of improper caulking installation or failure of the caulking material.
  Performance Guideline: Joints and cracks in exterior wall surfaces and around openings will be caulked to prevent the entry of water.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will repair or caulk joints and cracks in exterior wall surfaces, as necessary, to correct deficiencies.
  Discussion: Even when properly installed, caulking eventually will shrink and crack. Maintenance of caulking is the consumer’s responsibility.

Wall Insulation

4-3-1 Observation: Wall insulation is insufficient.
  Performance Guideline: The contractor will install insulation according to R-values designated in the contract documents or as required by the prevailing building code.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will install insulation to meet the performance guideline.

Windows and Glass

4-4-1 Observation: A window is difficult to open or close.
  Performance Guideline: Windows should require no greater operating force than that described in the manufacturer’s specifications.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: The contractor is not responsible for inoperable windows not covered by the remodeling contract.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct or repair the window as required to meet the performance guideline.
4-4-2 Observation: Window glass is broken and a screen or window hardware is missing or damaged.
  Performance Guideline: Glass should not be broken and screens and hardware should not be damaged or missing at the time of substantial completion of the project. Screens included in the original contract will be installed.
  Corrective Measure: Broken glass, missing or damaged screens, or missing or damaged hardware reported to the contractor prior to substantial completion of the project will be installed or replaced. Broken glass, missing or damaged screens, or missing or damaged hardware reported after substantial completion of the project are the consumer’s responsibility.
4-4-3 Observation: Water is observed in the home around a window unit during or after rain.
  Performance Guideline: Window installation will be performed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications so that water does not intrude beyond the drainage plane of the window during normal rain conditions. Windows will resist water intrusion as specified by the window manufacturer.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct any deficiencies attributed to improper installation. Any deficiencies attributed to the window unit’s performance will be addressed by the window manufacturer’s warranty.
  Discussion: Leakage at the glazing interface is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Windows have a limited ability to resist excessive wind-driven rain, but should perform according to manufacturer’s specifications. The consumer is responsible for keeping weep holes clean of debris as they are designed to allow wind-driven rain to be diverted from the window sill.
4-4-4 Observation:  Window grids, grilles, or muntins fall out or become out of level.
  Performance Guideline:  Window grids, grilles, or muntins will not disconnect, fall, or become out of level.
  Corrective Measure:  One time only during the warranty period, window grids, grilles, or muntins will be repaired or replaced.
4-4-5 Observation:  Glass surfaces are scratched.
  Performance Guideline:  Glass surfaces will not have scratches visible from 10 feet under normal lighting conditions at the time of substantial completion of the project.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  This guideline does not apply to existing windows unless they are part of the remodeling contract or are damaged by the contractor. The contractor and consumer should examine existing windows prior to contract execution.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace any scratched glass surface if noted prior to substantial completion of the project.

Exterior Doors

4-5-1 Observation: An exterior door is warped.
  Performance Guideline: Exterior doors will not warp to the extent that they become inoperable or cease to be weather-resistant. A 1/4 inch tolerance as measured diagonally from corner to corner is acceptable.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct or replace exterior doors that do not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Most exterior doors will warp to some degree due to the difference in the temperature and humidity between inside and outside surfaces; 1/4 inch across the plane of the door measured diagonally from corner to corner is an acceptable tolerance. Warping may also be caused by improper or incomplete finishing of the door including sides, top, and bottom. The contractor is not responsible for warpage if painting of doors is not within the contractor’s scope of work.
4-5-2 Observation: Raw wood shows at the edges of an inset panel inserted into a wood exterior door during the manufacturing process.
  Performance Guideline: This is a common occurrence in wood doors with panels.
  Corrective Measure: Since this occurrence is common, no corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Wood products expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. Wooden inserts are intentionally loosely fitted into the rails by the manufacturer to allow the inserts to move, which minimizes splitting of the panel or other damage to the door.
4-5-3 Observation: A wooden door panel is split.
  Performance Guideline: A split in a panel will not allow light to be visible through the door.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will repair and paint or stain the split panel that does not meet the performance guideline. Caulking and fillers are acceptable.
  Discussion: Wooden inserts are loosely fitted into the door to allow the inserts to move, which minimizes splitting of the panel or other damage to the door. On occasion, a panel may become “locked” by paint or expansion of the edges with changes in temperature and humidity and no longer “float” between the rails. This may result in the panel splitting.  The repainted area may not blend with the remainder of the door or other doors on the home.
4-5-4 Observation:  An exterior door sticks or binds.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior doors will operate smoothly, except that doors may stick during occasional periods of high humidity or with variations in temperature.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will adjust or replace the door to meet the performance guideline if the problem is caused by faulty workmanship or materials.
  Discussion:  Exterior doors may warp or bind to some degree because of the difference in the temperature and/or humidity between inside and outside surfaces. The contractor is not responsible for warpage if painting of doors was not within the contractor’s scope of work. Any changes to originally installed door hardware, weather stripping or other door components that cause improper operation are not the contractor’s responsibility.
4-5-5 Observation:  An exterior door will not close and latch.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior doors will close and latch.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will adjust the door or latching mechanism to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Exterior doors may warp or bind to some degree because of the difference in the temperature, humidity, or both, between inside and outside surfaces. Latching also can be affected by natural settling.  Subsequent adjustments may be necessary by the consumer. The contractor is not responsible for warpage if painting of doors was not within the contractor’s scope of work.
4-5-6 Observation: The plastic molding on the primary door behind the storm door melts from exposure to sunlight.
  Performance Guideline: It is a common occurrence for the plastic molding behind storm doors to melt.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Plastic moldings may melt or deform if the exterior door is covered by a storm door during a warm season, or if it faces the sun.  This is not a defect of the door, but a problem caused by the trapping of heat between the primary door and the storm door. The storm door should be removed and reinstalled by the consumer as a part of normal seasonal maintenance (i.e., removed in the spring and reinstalled in the fall). The consumer is also cautioned to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on painting the moldings. Dark colors will tend to absorb more heat.
4-5-7 Observation: Caulking or glazing on the primary door behind the storm door cracks or peels.
  Performance Guideline: It is a common occurrence for caulking or glazing on the primary door behind the storm door to crack or peel.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion: High temperatures may cause glazing and caulking to harden and/or fail prematurely if the door is covered by a storm door during a warm season or if it faces the sun. This is not a defect of the door, caulking, or glazing, but a problem caused by the trapping of heat between the primary door and the storm door. The storm door should be removed and reinstalled by the consumer as a part of normal seasonal maintenance (i.e., removed in the spring and reinstalled in the fall). The consumer is also cautioned to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on painting the moldings. Dark colors will tend to absorb more heat.
4-5-8 Observation:  A door swings open or closed by the force of gravity.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior doors will not swing open or closed by the force of gravity alone.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  This guideline does not apply where a new door is installed in an existing wall that is out of plumb.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will adjust the door to prevent it from swinging open or closed by the force of gravity.
4-5-9 Observation:  The reveal around an exterior door edge, doorjamb, and/or threshold is uneven.
  Performance Guideline:  Gaps between adjacent components will not vary by more than 3/16 inch along each side of the door.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline: This guideline does not apply where a new door is installed in an existing wall that is out of plumb or an existing opening that is out of square.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair existing unit to meet performance guideline.
  Discussion: Doors must have gaps at their perimeter to accommodate expansion/contraction due to variations in temperature and/or humidity and to enable the door to operate over a wide range of environmental conditions.
4-5-10 Observation: Air movement or light is observed around a closed exterior door.
  Performance Guideline: Weather stripping will be installed and sized properly to seal the exterior door when closed in order to prevent excessive air infiltration.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will adjust exterior door unit or weather stripping to meet performance guideline.
  Discussion: Doors must have gaps at their perimeter to accommodate expansion/contraction due to variations in temperature and/or humidity and to enable the door to operate over a wide range of environmental conditions. Weather stripping seals the gaps required for proper operations to prevent excessive air infiltration. At times of high wind or temperature differentials inside the home and outside, there may be noticeable air movement around a closed door’s perimeter. A small glimmer of light seen at the corners of the door unit is normal. Weather stripping should be kept cleaned and maintained by the consumer.
4-5-11 Observation:  Exterior door hardware or kickplate has tarnished.
  Performance Guideline:  Finishes on door hardware or kickplates installed by the contractor are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.
4-5-12 Observation:  A sliding patio door or screen will not stay on track.
  Performance Guideline:  Sliding patio doors and screens will slide properly on their tracks at the time of substantial completion of the project. The cleaning and maintenance necessary to preserve proper operation are consumer responsibilities.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will adjust the door or screen.
  Discussion: Proper operation should be verified by the consumer and the contractor at the time of substantial completion of the project.
4-5-13 Observation:  A sliding patio door does not roll smoothly.
  Performance Guideline:  Sliding patio doors will roll smoothly at the time of substantial completion of the project. The cleaning and maintenance necessary to preserve proper operation are consumer responsibilities.
  Corrective Measure:  One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will adjust the door.
  Discussion:  Proper operation should be verified by the consumer and the contractor at the time of substantial completion of the project.
4-5-14 Observation:  A doorknob, deadbolt, or lockset does not operate smoothly.
  Performance Guideline:  A doorknob, deadbolt, or lockset should not stick or bind during operation.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will adjust, repair, or replace knobs that are not damaged by the consumer.
  Discussion: Locksets may feel heavy or stiff but are operating as intended by the manufacturer. This can be true for locksets of all price ranges.

 

5.  Exterior Finish

 

Wood and Wood Composite Siding

5-1-1 Observation: Siding is bowed.
  Performance Guideline: Bows exceeding 1/2 inch in 32 inches are considered excessive.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If new wall covering is installed on existing framed walls, the contractor and consumer may agree to straighten out the walls as part of the scope of work. Alternatively, the parties may agree to install new wall covering over existing framing and disregard the performance guideline to match a preexisting structural condition.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will replace any wood siding with bows that does not meet the performance guideline and will finish the replacement siding to match the existing siding as closely as practical.
  Discussion: If the siding is fastened by nails driven into studs, expansion caused by changing relative temperatures and/or humidity may cause bulges or waves. Even with proper installation, siding will tend to bow inward and outward in adjacent stud spaces.
5-1-2 Observation: An edge or gap is visible between adjacent pieces of siding or siding panels and other materials.
  Performance Guideline: Gaps wider than 3/16 inch are considered excessive, unless the siding is installed as prescribed by manufacturer’s instructions.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair gaps that do not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Proper repair can be completed by providing joint covers or by caulking the gap. This is important if the gaps were intentionally made for expansion joints. If the siding is painted, the contractor will paint the new caulking to match the existing siding as closely as practical, but an exact match cannot be achieved.
5-1-3 Observation: Siding is not parallel with the course above or below.
  Performance Guideline: A piece of siding may not be more than ½ inch off parallel with contiguous courses in any 20-foot measurement.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and consumer may agree to install siding to match existing conditions on the existing structure and to disregard the performance guideline for this item. If the contractor and consumer have agreed that the floor of an addition is to be on a different plane from an existing floor (e.g., out of level), the siding on the addition may not be parallel and in line with the existing siding.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reinstall siding to meet the performance guideline for straightness, and will replace with new siding any siding damaged during removal.
5-1-4 Observation:  Face nails have been driven below the surface of wood composite siding.
  Performance Guideline:  Siding nails will be driven in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair as necessary to meet the performance guideline by filling with appropriate filler. Touch-up paint may not match the surrounding area.
5-1-5 Observation:  Siding boards have split.
  Performance Guideline:  Boards that project more than 3/16 inch in 5 1/2 inches are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace any boards that do not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Buckling, warping, or cupping is caused by wood expanding as a result of increased temperature, relative humidity, or both.
5-1-6 Observation: The plastic molding on the primary door behind the storm door melts from exposure to sunlight.
  Performance Guideline: Splits wider than 1/8 inch and longer than 1 inch are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair siding boards that do not meet the performance guideline by filling with appropriate filler. Touch-up paint may not match the surrounding area.
5-1-7 Observation: Wood siding, shakes, or shingles have bled through paint or stain applied by the contractor.
  Performance Guideline: Resins and extractives bleeding through paint or stain, or blackening of siding, shakes, or shingles is considered normal, and is especially noticeable if natural weathering, white paint, or semitransparent stain is specified for the project.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion: High temperatures may cause glazing and caulking to harden and/or fail prematurely if the door is covered by a storm door during a warm season or if it faces the sun. This is not a defect of the door, caulking, or glazing, but a problem caused by the trapping of heat between the primary door and the storm door. The storm door should be removed and reinstalled by the consumer as a part of normal seasonal maintenance (i.e., removed in the spring and reinstalled in the fall). The consumer is also cautioned to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on painting the moldings. Dark colors will tend to absorb more heat.
5-1-8 Observation:  Siding has delaminated.
  Performance Guideline:  Siding will not delaminate.
  Corrective Measure:  Delaminating of siding is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, unless the delaminating was caused by the consumer’s actions or negligence. The consumer should contact the manufacturer for warranty coverage.
5-1-9 Observation:  Nail stains are visible on siding or ceiling boards.
  Performance Guideline:  Stains exceeding 1/2 inch from the nail which are readily visible from a distance of more than 20 feet are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will remove stains that do not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Stains can be caused by oxidation of nails or leaching of extractives from the wood. Use of galvanized nails (even double hot dipped) will not necessarily prevent staining.

Aluminum or Vinyl Siding

   
5-2-1 Observation: Aluminum or vinyl siding is bowed or wavy.
  Performance Guideline: Some waviness in aluminum or vinyl siding is expected. Waves or similar distortions in aluminum or vinyl lap siding are considered excessive only if they exceed 1/2 inch in 32 inches.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If the new siding is applied to existing walls, the siding will follow the underlying surface. Prior to commencement of the work, the contractor and consumer should agree on whether or not the existing surface is to be modified. If the walls will not be modified, the performance guideline will be disregarded.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct any waves or distortions to comply with the performance guideline by reinstalling or replacing siding as necessary.
5-2-2 Observation:  Siding is faded.
  Performance Guideline:  Any color siding, when exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, will fade. Fading cannot be prevented by the contractor. However, panels installed on the same wall and under the same conditions should fade at the same rate.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.  The consumer should contact the siding manufacturer for issues with inconsistent fading.
  Discussion:  Color warranties are provided by the siding manufacturer.  The consumer should contact the manufacturer with questions or claims regarding changes in color of vinyl or aluminum siding. Color and fade imperfections beyond an expected degree may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, except where siding is shaded differently from the rest of the wall, such as under shutters or behind vegetation.
5-2-3 Observation:  Aluminum or vinyl siding trim is loose.
  Performance Guideline:  Trim will not separate from the home by more than ¼ inch.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reinstall trim as necessary to comply with the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Vinyl siding and accessories should not be caulked in most circumstances, as caulking could impact the product’s contraction and expansion characteristics.
5-2-4 Observation:  Aluminum or vinyl siding courses are not parallel with eaves or wall openings.
  Performance Guideline:  Any piece of aluminum or vinyl siding more than 1/2 inch off parallel in 20 feet with a break such as an eave or wall opening is considered excessive.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If the contractor and consumer agree that the floor of an addition is to be on a different plane from the existing floor (for example, a preexisting out-of-level condition), the siding on the addition may not be parallel and in line with existing siding. The contractor and consumer may agree to install siding to match existing conditions on the existing structure and to disregard the performance guideline for this item.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will reinstall siding to comply with the performance guideline and will replace with new siding any siding damaged during removal.
5-2-5 Observation:  Nail heads show in aluminum or vinyl siding.
  Performance Guideline:  No nail heads in the field of the siding will be exposed.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will install trim as necessary to cover the nails and will install proper trim accessories to avoid face nailing.
  Discussion: Vinyl siding generally should not be face nailed. However, there are appropriate and typical occasions when a single face nail may be needed to reinforce a joint or fasten the siding to the wall when it is cut to fit around window frames, doors, roofs, or other obstructions on the wall.

In most cases (the only exception would be the top piece on a gable end), vinyl siding should not be face nailed when proper accessory products are used. For example, under a window application the contractor can use the J-channel trim and utility trim, and snap punch the top of the vinyl siding. If face nailing is the only option, the contractor should predrill a 1/8 inch diameter hole to allow for expansion and contraction.

5-2-6 Observation:  Aluminum or vinyl siding trim accessory is loose from caulking at windows or other wall openings.
  Performance Guideline:  Siding trim accessories will not separate from caulking at windows or other wall openings during the warranty period.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will repair or recaulk, as necessary, to eliminate the separation.
5-2-7 Observation:  Aluminum or vinyl siding is cut unevenly.
  Performance Guideline:  Gaps will comply with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and consumer may agree to install siding to match conditions on the existing structure and to disregard the performance guideline for this item.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will ensure that the appropriate trim/accessory is installed to eliminate potentially revealing site cuts. If cuts in siding panels are so uneven that they are not concealed by trim, the panel will be replaced.
  Discussion:  Cut edges of vinyl siding should never be visible when proper trim and accessories are used.
5-2-8 Observation:  Aluminum or vinyl siding is not correctly spaced from moldings.
  Performance Guideline:  Prescribed spacing between siding and accessory trim is typically 1/4 inch, or should comply with the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and consumer may agree to install siding to match conditions on the existing structure and to disregard the performance guideline for this item.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct the spacing to meet the performance guideline.

Cement Board Siding

5-3-1 Observation:  Cement board siding is cracked or chipped.
  Performance Guideline:  As a cement product, this siding is susceptible to the same characteristic limitations as other cement products. Cracks more than 2 inches in length and 1/8 inch in width are considered excessive. Chips or dents not reported at time of substantial completion of the project are not covered.
  Corrective Measure:  Cracked or chipped cement board will be repaired or replaced as necessary, as determined by the contractor.
  Discussion:  The manufacturer’s instructions include guidelines to reduce chipping or cracking of siding.
5-3-2 Observation:  Cement board siding is improperly fastened.
  Performance Guideline:  Siding will be nailed flush and perpendicular per the manufacturer’s instructions. Staples will not be used.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct or repair improperly fastened boards. Overdriven nail heads or nails driven at an angle can be filled with siding manufacturer’s specified product.

Masonry and Veneer

5-4-1 Observation: A masonry or veneer wall or mortar joint is cracked.
  Performance Guideline: Cracks visible from distances in excess of 20 feet or larger than 1/4 inch in width are not acceptable.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair cracks in excess of the performance guideline by tuck pointing, patching, or painting, as deemed most appropriate by the contractor. The contractor will not be responsible for color variation between the original and new mortar or between the brick or stone and the pointing material.
  Discussion:  Hairline cracks resulting from shrinkage and cracks due to minor settlement are common in masonry or veneer walls and mortar joints and do not necessarily represent a defect.
5-4-2 Observation:  Cut bricks below openings in masonry walls are of different thickness.
  Performance Guideline:  Cut bricks used in the course directly below an opening will not vary from one another in thickness by more than 1/4 inch.  The smallest dimension of a cut brick should be greater than 1 inch.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the wall to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Bricks are cut to achieve required dimensions at openings and ends of walls when it is not possible to match unit/mortar coursing.  An exact match of brick and mortar after a repair cannot be guaranteed.
5-4-3 Observation:  A brick course is not straight.
  Performance Guideline:  No point along the bottom of any course will be more than 1/4 inch higher or lower than any other point within 10 feet along the bottom of the same course, or 1/2 inch in any length.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The contractor and consumer may agree to install brick veneer to match conditions on the existing structure and to disregard the performance guideline for this item.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will rebuild the wall as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Dimensional variations of the courses depend upon the variations in the brick selected. An exact match of brick and mortar after a repair cannot be guaranteed.
5-4-4 Observation:  Brick veneer is spalling.
  Performance Guideline:  Spalling of newly manufactured brick should not occur and is considered excessive. Spalling of used brick is acceptable.
  Corrective Measure:  Defective brick is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. No corrective action is required by the contractor.
5-4-5 Observation:  Mortar stains are observed on exterior brick or stone.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior brick and stone will be free from mortar stains detracting from the appearance of the finished wall when viewed from a distance of 20 feet.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will clean the mortar stains to meet the performance guideline.
5-4-6 Observation:  Efflorescence is present on the surface of masonry or mortar.
  Performance Guideline:  This is a common condition caused by moisture reacting with the soluble salts in the mortar.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion: Efflorescence is evidenced by the presence of a white film on the surface of masonry or mortar. It is a particularly common occurrence where masonry or concrete are in contact with high moisture levels because masonry products absorb and retain moisture.
5-4-7 Observation:  There is water damage to interior walls as a result of a leak in the exterior brick or stone.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior brick and stone walls should be constructed and flashed according to the prevailing building code to prevent water penetration to the interior of the structure under normal weather conditions.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the wall to meet the guideline, unless the water damage resulted from factors beyond the contractor’s control.
  Discussion: Water penetration resulting from external factors such as extreme weather conditions or sprinkler systems are not the contractor’s responsibility.

Stucco and Parged Coatings

5-5-1 Observation: An exterior stucco wall surface is cracked.
  Performance Guideline: Cracks in exterior stucco wall surfaces will not exceed 1/8 inch in width.
  Corrective Measure: One time only during the warranty period, the contractor will repair cracks exceeding 1/8 inch in width. Caulking and touch-up painting are acceptable. An exact color or texture match may not be attainable.
  Discussion:  Hairline cracks in stucco or cement plaster (parging) are common, especially if the coatings have been applied directly to masonry back up.
5-5-2 Observation:  The color, texture, or both, of exterior stucco walls are not uniform.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior stucco walls may not match when applied on different days or under differing environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, etc.).
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The color, texture, or both, of new exterior stucco walls may not match those of old exterior stucco walls.
  Corrective Measure:  Stucco finishes are unique and an exact match of color, texture, or both, may not be practical; therefore, no corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Stucco includes cement-based coatings and similar synthetically-based finishes. A number of variables affect coloring and texture of stucco. It is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a color match between stucco coatings applied at different times. Approved samples prior to installation can minimize misunderstandings about color and texture.
5-5-3 Observation:  Coating has separated from the base on an exterior stucco wall.
  Performance Guideline:  The coating will not separate from the base on an exterior stucco wall during the warranty period.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair areas where the coating has separated from the base.
  Discussion: A number of variables affect coloring and texture of stucco.  It is not possible to achieve an exact color and/or texture match between stucco coatings applied at different times.
5-5-4 Observation:  Lath is visible through stucco.
  Performance Guideline:  Lath should not be visible through stucco, nor should the lath protrude through any portion of the stucco surface.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will make necessary corrections so that lath is not visible. The finish color and/or texture may not match.
5-5-5 ObservationRust marks are observed on the stucco finish coat.
  Performance Guideline:  Rust marks on the stucco surface are considered excessive if more than 5 marks measuring more than 1 inch long occur per 100 square feet.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair, replace, or seal the rusted areas of wall.
  Discussion: Rusting may be present in more humid climates due to the natural state of sand used in cement-based products which could include metallic components.
5-5-6 Observation:  There is water damage to the exterior wall cavity as a result of a leak in the stucco wall system.
  Performance Guideline:  Stucco walls should be constructed and flashed to prevent water penetration to the interior of the structure under normal weather and water conditions. Damage to the stucco system caused by external factors out of the contractor’s control that result in water penetration is not the contractor’s responsibility.
  Corrective Measure: If water penetration is the result of a system failure and does not result from external factors, the contractor will make necessary repairs to prevent water penetration through the stucco wall system.
  Discussion: The contractor is not responsible for water penetration resulting from external factors such as windblown moisture or sprinkler systems.

Exterior Trim

5-6-1 Observation: Gaps show in exterior trim.
  Performance Guideline: Joints between exterior trim elements, including siding and masonry, will not be wider than 1/4 inch. In all cases, the exterior trim will perform its function of excluding the elements.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair open joints that do not meet the performance guideline. Caulking is an acceptable repair.
5-6-2 Observation:  Exterior trim board is split.
  Performance Guideline:  Splits wider than 1/8 inch and longer than 1 inch are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair splits by filling with durable filler. Touch-up painting may not match the surrounding area.
5-6-3 Observation:  Exterior trim board is bowed or twisted.
  Performance Guideline:  Bows and twists exceeding 3/8 inch in 8 feet are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair defects that do not meet the performance guideline by refastening or replacing deformed boards. Touch-up painting may not match the surrounding area.
5-6-4 Observation:  Exterior trim board is cupped.
  Performance Guideline:  Cups exceeding 3/16 inch in 51/2 inches are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair defects that do not meet the performance guideline by refastening or replacing cupped boards.  Touch-up painting may not match the surrounding area.

Paint, Stain, and Varnish

5-7-1 Observation: Exterior painting, staining, or refinishing required because of repair work does not match existing exterior finish.
  Performance Guideline: Repairs required under these performance guidelines will be finished to match the immediate surrounding areas as closely as practical when viewed under normal lighting conditions from a distance of 20 feet.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will finish repaired areas as indicated, matching as closely as possible.
  Discussion: Touch-up painting, staining, or refinishing may not match the surrounding area exactly in color or sheen because the original coating may have been exposed to sunlight, pollution, weather, and other conditions over a period of time.
5-7-2 Observation:  Exterior paint or stain has peeled or flaked.
  Performance Guideline:  Exterior paints and stains will not peel or flake during the first year.
  Corrective Measure:  If exterior paint or stain has peeled, developed an alligator pattern, or blistered, the contractor will properly prepare and refinish the affected areas and match their color as closely as practical.  Where deterioration of the finish affects more than 50 percent of the piece of trim or wall area, the contractor will refinish the affected component.
5-7-3 Observation:  Exterior paint or stain has faded.
  Performance Guideline:  Fading of exterior paints and stains is common. The degree of fading depends on environmental conditions.
  Corrective Measure: Because fading is a common occurrence in paint and stains, no corrective action is required by the contractor.
5-7-4 Observation:  There is paint or stain overspray on surfaces not intended for paint or stain.
  Performance Guideline:  Paint or stain overspray on surfaces not intended for paint or stain that is visible at a distance of 6 feet under normal natural lighting conditions is not acceptable.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will clean the affected surfaces without damaging the surface.

 

6. Roof

 

Note: Remodeling Specific Guideline: Where applicable, in the following guidelines the contractor is responsible only for areas of the home where work was performed as specified in the contract, and not for the entire home.

 

Roof Structure

6-1-1 Observation: The roof ridge beam has deflected.
  Performance Guideline: Roof ridge beam deflection greater than 1 inch in 8 feet is considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair affected ridge beams that do not meet the performance guideline.
6-1-2 Observation:  A rafter or ceiling joist bows (up or down).
  Performance Guideline:  Bows greater than 1 inch in 8 feet are excessive.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the affected rafters or joists that bow in excess of the performance guideline.
6-1-3 ObservationRoof trusses have deflected.
  Performance Guideline:  All roof trusses and other manufactured structural roof components in the roof system will be sized according to the manufacturers’ specifications and prevailing building codes.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reinforce or modify as necessary any roof truss or other manufactured structural roof components in the roof system that do not meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Deflection is a normal condition that is considered as part of the engineering design of the roof trusses and other manufactured structural roof components. Deflection may be an aesthetic consideration independent of the strength and safety requirements of the product.
6-1-4 Observation:  Roof trusses have lifted from the adjoining interior walls.
  Performance Guideline:  Moisture differences between the upper chord and lower chord (unheated versus adjacent interior heated spaces) may cause the lower chords to move. Deflection is a normal condition that is considered as part of the engineering design of the roof trusses.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Truss uplift (deflection) is an aesthetic consideration and is independent of the strength and safety requirements of the truss. This situation will be more prevalent in the winter due to greater variance in moisture, temperature and snow load in some regions.

Roof Sheathing

6-2-1 Observation: Roof sheathing is wavy or appears bowed.
  Performance Guideline: Roof sheathing will not bow more than 1/2 inch in 2 feet.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If new sheathing is installed over existing rafters, the sheathing will follow the bows of the existing rafters. The consumer and contractor should agree on whether or not the rafters are to be straightened. If they are not to be straightened, the performance guideline for this item will be disregarded.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will straighten bowed roof sheathing as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  In rare instances, the contractor may install blocking between the framing members to straighten the sheathing. Under certain viewing conditions and light, minor irregularities in the roof may be observed. This may be particularly apparent on truss framing with asphalt shingles.
6-2-2 Observation:  Nails or staples are visible through sheathing at overhangs.
  Performance Guideline:  The length of nails and staples used to secure roofing materials is determined by the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Nails and staples may protrude through sheathing at overhangs. Their appearance is only an aesthetic concern.

Roof Vents

6-3-1 Observation: An attic vent or louver leaks.
  Performance Guideline: Attic vents and louvers will not leak. Infiltration of wind‑driven rain and snow are not considered leaks and are beyond the contractor’s control.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace the roof vents as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
6-3-2 Observation:  Attic ventilation is insufficient.
  Performance Guideline:  The total roof vent area will meet the requirements of the prevailing building codes.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will correct roof ventilation as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Attic ventilation can be provided in variety of ways and proper ventilation is a calculation of total ventilation that may be obtained through ridge vents, soffit vents, gable vents, attic fans or any combination thereof. Some attics are sealed or finished as conditioned space and do not require outside ventilation. It is the consumer’s responsibility to keep the vent locations free from obstructions.

Roof Coverings

Note: There are many kinds of roofing products. For the purpose of the following performance guidelines, regardless of the actual material used, the term “shingle” will be used to refer to all types of roof coverings.

6-4-1 Observation: The roof or flashing leaks.
  Performance Guideline: Roofs and flashing will not leak under normal conditions.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any verified roof or flashing leaks not caused by ice buildup, leaves, debris, abnormal weather conditions, or the consumer’s actions or negligence.
  Discussion: It is the consumer’s responsibility to keep the roof drains, gutters, and downspouts free of ice and debris.
6-4-2 Observation: Ice builds up on the roof.
  Performance Guideline: During prolonged cold spells ice is likely to build up on a roof, especially at the eaves. This condition can occur naturally when snow and ice accumulate.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Prevention of ice buildup on the roof is a consumer maintenance item.
6-4-3 Observation: Shingles have blown off.
  Performance Guideline: Shingles will be installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions and perform in accordance with the manufacturer’s warranty.
  Corrective Measure: If shingles were not installed per manufacturer’s installation instructions, the contractor will repair or replace shingles in the damage area.
  Discussion: Correctly installed shingles are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Shingles may blow off during wind events in excess of the manufacturer’s design and installation instructions.  Replacement shingles may not match existing shingles.
6-4-4 Observation:  Shingles are not horizontally aligned.
  Performance Guideline:  Shingles should be installed according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  The consumer and the contractor may agree prior to installation that the horizontal line of shingles on the roof of an addition need not line up with those of the existing structure if the floors (and hence, the eaves and ridge) are not to be built on the same plane.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will remove shingles that do not meet the performance guideline, and will repair or replace them with new shingles that are properly aligned.
  Discussion:  The bottom edge of dimensional shingles may be irregular; the irregularity is an inherent part of the design. Replacement shingles may not match existing shingles.
6-4-5 ObservationRemodeling Specific Guideline: New shingles do not match existing shingles.
  Performance Guideline:  The color of new shingles may not exactly match the color of the existing shingles because of weathering and manufacturing variations.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor is not responsible for precisely matching the color of existing shingles.
6-4-6 Observation: Asphalt shingle edges or corners are curled or cupped.
  Performance Guideline: Asphalt shingle edges and corners will not curl or cup. These conditions are a manufacturer’s warranty issue.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.  Excessive curling or cupping is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
6-4-7 Observation: Asphalt shingles do not overhang the edges of the roof, or they hang too far over the edges of the roof.
  Performance Guideline: Asphalt shingles will overhang roof edges by not less than 1/4 inch and not more than 3/4 inch unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate otherwise.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will reposition or replace shingles as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
6-4-8 Observation:  Shading or a shadowing pattern is observed on a new shingle roof.
  Performance Guideline:  Shading or shadowing differences may occur on a new roof.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.
6-4-9 Observation:  Asphalt shingles have developed surface buckling.
  Performance Guideline:  Asphalt shingle surfaces need not be perfectly flat. However, buckling higher than 1/4 inch is considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace the affected shingles to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: Replacement shingles may not match existing shingles.
6-4-10 Observation: Sheathing nails have loosened from framing and raised the shingles.
  Performance Guideline: Nails will not loosen from roof sheathing enough to raise shingles from surface.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair all areas as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion: It is not uncommon for nails to withdraw from the framing because of temperature variations. The contractor can re-drive or remove and replace fasteners that withdraw from the framing. Any resulting holes should be sealed or the shingle should be replaced. Consumer is advised that replacement shingles may not match existing shingles.
6-4-11 Observation:  Roofing nails or fasteners are exposed at the ridge or hip of a roof.
  Performance Guideline:  Nails and fasteners will not be exposed.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will seal and/or repair areas to meet the performance guideline.
6-4-12 Observation:  Holes from construction activities are found on the roof surface.
  Performance Guideline:  Holes from construction activities will be flashed or sealed to prevent leaks.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace the affected shingles to meet the performance guideline.
6-4-13 Observation:  Remodeling Specific Guideline: Existing roof shingles are telegraphing through new shingles.
  Performance Guideline:  Some telegraphing is common when re-roofing over existing roofing.
  Corrective Measure:  Because this is a common occurrence, no corrective action is required by the contractor
6-4-14 Observation:  Water is trapped under membrane roofing.
  Performance Guideline:  Water will not become trapped under membrane roofing.
  Corrective Measure: If water becomes trapped under membrane roofing, the contractor will repair or replace the roofing as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
6-4-15 Observation:  Membrane roofing is blistered but does not leak.
  Performance Guideline:  Surface blistering of membrane roofing is caused by conditions of heat and humidity acting on the membrane and is a common occurrence.
  Corrective Measure:  No corrective action is required by the contractor.
6-4-16 Observation:  There is standing water on a flat roof.
  Performance Guideline:  Water will drain from a flat roof except for minor ponding within 24 hours of a rainfall. Minor ponding will not exceed 3/8 inch in depth.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will take corrective action to meet the performance guideline.

Chimney

6-5-1 Observation: A crack in a masonry chimney cap or crown causes leakage.
  Performance Guideline: It is common for caps to crack from expansion and contraction. As a result, leaks may occur.
  Corrective Measure: If cracking causes leakage, the contractor will repair the cap or crown. Applying caulk or other sealant is an acceptable repair.
6-5-2 Observation: New chimney flashing leaks.
  Performance Guideline: New chimney flashing will not leak under normal conditions.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair leaks in new chimney flashing that are not caused by ice buildup or by the consumer’s actions or negligence.
  Discussion:  The accumulation of ice and snow on the roof is a natural occurrence and cannot be prevented by the contractor.

Gutters and Downspouts

6-6-1 Observation: The gutter or downspout leaks.
  Performance Guideline: Gutters and downspouts will not leak.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair leaks in gutters and downspouts. Sealants are acceptable.
6-6-2 Observation: The gutter overflows during a heavy rain.
  Performance Guideline: Gutters should not overflow during normal rain.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair the gutter if it overflows during normal rains.
  Discussion:  Gutters may overflow during a heavy rain. The consumer is responsible for keeping gutters and downspouts free from debris that could cause overflow.
6-6-3 Observation: Water remains in the gutter after a rain.
  Performance Guideline: The water level will not exceed 1/2 inch in depth if the gutter is unobstructed by ice, snow, or debris.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair the gutter to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  The consumer is responsible for maintaining gutters and downspouts and keeping them unobstructed. Contractors install residential gutters with minimal slope in order to maintain an attractive appearance. Installing gutters with 1/32-inch drop in 1 foot generally will prevent water from standing in the gutters. Even so, small amounts of water may remain in some sections of the gutter for a time after a rain. In areas with heavy rainfall and/or ice buildup, a steeper pitch or additional downspouts may be desirable.

Skylights

6-7-1 Observation: A skylight leaks.
  Performance Guideline: Skylights will be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Leaks resulting from improper installation are considered excessive.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair any improperly installed skylight to meet the performance guideline.

Discussion:  Condensation on interior surfaces is not a leak.


 

 

7.  Plumbing

 

Note: Remodeling Specific Guideline: Where applicable, in the following guidelines the contractor is responsible only for areas of the home where work was performed as specified in the contract, and not for the entire home.

 

Water Supply System

7-1-1 Observation: A pipe, valve, or fitting leaks.
  Performance Guideline: No leaks of any kind will exist in any water pipe, valve, or fitting.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will make repairs to eliminate leakage.
7-1-2 Observation: Condensation is observed on pipes, fixtures, and plumbing supply lines.
  Performance Guideline: Condensation on pipes, fixtures, and plumbing supply lines may occur at certain temperatures and indoor humidity levels.
  Corrective Measure: The consumer is responsible for controlling humidity in the house. No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  The consumer may insulate pipes and supply lines.
7-1-3 Observation: Water in a plumbing pipe freezes and the pipe bursts.
  Performance Guideline: Drain, waste, vent, and water pipes will be adequately protected to reduce the possibility of freezing at the design temperatures and based on the prevailing building or plumbing code.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct situations not meeting the applicable code.
  Discussion: The consumer is responsible for draining or otherwise protecting pipes and exterior faucets exposed to freezing temperatures.
7-1-4 Observation:  The water supply system fails to deliver water.
  Performance Guideline:  All on-site service connections to the municipal water main or private water supply are the contractor’s responsibility.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair the water supply system if the failure results from improper installation or failure of materials and if the connections are a part of the construction agreement. Conditions beyond the control of the contractor that disrupt or eliminate the water supply are not covered.
7-1-5 Observation:  A water pipe is noisy.
  Performance Guideline:  Because of the flow of water and pipe expansion/contraction, the water piping system will emit some noise.  However, the pipes should not make the pounding noise called water hammer.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor cannot eliminate all noises caused by water flow and pipe expansion/contraction. However, the contractor will provide the water hammer protection required by the prevailing plumbing code.

Plumbing Fixtures

7-2-1 Observation: A faucet leaks.
  Performance Guideline: A faucet will not leak as a result of defects in material or workmanship.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace the leaking faucet if the contractor provided the fixture.
7-2-2 Observation: The bathtub or shower leaks.
  Performance Guideline: Bathtubs and showers will not leak.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair bathtub or shower leaks as necessary to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Proper repair can be achieved by sealing areas around bathtubs and showers. The consumer is responsible for maintaining caulk seals after the point of substantial completion of the project.
7-2-3 Observation: A plumbing fixture, appliance, or trim fitting is defective.
  Performance Guideline: Plumbing fixtures, appliances, and trim fittings will not be defective at the time of substantial completion of the project.
  Corrective Measure: Defective trim fittings, appliances, and fixtures are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. No corrective action is required by the contractor
7-2-4 Observation:  The surface of a plumbing fixture is cracked or chipped.
  Performance Guideline:  Cracks and chips in surfaces of showers, bathtubs, and sinks are considered excessive if they are visible from 3 feet in normal lighting conditions at the time of substantial completion of the project.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will inspect and, if necessary, repair any fixture that does not meet the performance guideline. The contractor is not responsible for repairs unless the damage is reported to the contractor prior to substantial completion of the project. If the problem is the result of a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer’s warranty is in effect.
7-2-5 Observation:  A bathtub or shower enclosure base flexes excessively.
  Performance Guideline:  The bathtub or shower enclosure will be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions; however, some noticeable flex is normal.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will inspect and, if necessary, repair the base to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  It is normal for various bathtub and shower enclosure designs and materials to exhibit some flexing. Minimal noises may be associated with such movement.
7-2-6 Observation:  A vanity top with an integrated sink is cracked.
  Performance Guideline:  Vanity tops will not have cracks.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace the vanity top to meet the performance guideline. Cracks must be noted prior to substantial completion of the project.
7-2-7 Observation:  A plumbing fixture does not deliver hot water.
  Performance Guideline:  The plumbing lines and fixtures should be correctly installed and operating to allow fixtures to deliver hot water at a temperature that is similar to the temperature as it leaves the hot water source, given the normal heat loss from delivery from the source to the fixture.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will correct the plumbing lines and/or adjust fixtures to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Hot water tanks or tankless water heaters are sometimes set at low temperatures to conserve energy and prevent young children from burning themselves. Likewise, some fixtures include safety devices to prevent scalding and may restrict the fixtures’ ability to deliver water as hot as some consumers may desire. The timing of delivery can also be affected by the distance of a fixture from the hot water source.

Sanitary Sewer or Septic System

7-3-1 Observation: Wastewater fixtures and pipes are clogged, frequently clog, or drain slowly.
  Performance Guideline: Sewers, fixtures, and drains will drain as designed.
  Corrective Measure: If a problem occurs, the consumer should consult the contractor for corrective action. The contractor will correct problems caused by improper installation. If consumer action or negligence caused the problem, the consumer is responsible for the necessary repairs.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  If the problem is sludge contained in the existing system, the consumer is responsible for necessary corrections.
7-3-2 Observation: The septic system does not operate as designed.
  Performance Guideline: The septic system will function as designed and specified by the local authority.
  Corrective Measure: If a problem occurs, the consumer should consult the contractor for corrective action. The contractor will correct problems caused by improper installation. If consumer action or negligence is the cause, the consumer is responsible for correcting the problem.
  Discussion:  Consumer actions that constitute negligence under this performance guideline include but are not limited to the following:

•• Connection of sump pump, roof drains, or backwash from a water conditioner into the system.

•• Placement of non-biodegradable items into the system.

•• Use of a food waste disposer not supplied or approved by the contractor.

•• Placement of surfaces not permeable to water over the disposal area of the system.

•• Allowing vehicles to drive or park over the disposal area of the system.

•• Failure to pump out the septic tank periodically, as required.

•• Use that exceeds the system’s design standards.

•• Lack of vegetation maintenance over drain fields.

•• Allowing water to pond over the disposal area.


 

8.  Electrical

 

Note: Remodeling Specific Guideline: Where applicable, in the following guidelines the contractor is responsible only for areas of the home where work was performed as specified in the contract, and not for the entire home.

Fuses and Circuit Breakers

8-1-1 Observation: A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) trips frequently.
  Performance Guideline: GFCIs and AFCIs should perform as intended and will be installed in accordance with applicable electrical codes.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will install ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupters in accordance with the prevailing electrical codes.  Tripping is to be expected; however, the contractor will repair or replace components that frequently trip due to component failure or incorrect installation.
  Discussion:  AFCIs are installed to protect bedroom circuits and some other habitable areas of a residence. GFCIs protect outlets in wet areas (e.g., bathrooms, kitchens, garages, exterior, etc.). Because outlets protected by GFCIs may be connected in a series, it may not be readily apparent that an inoperative convenience outlet is the result of a tripped GFCI in another room (not necessarily in the electrical panel). Both ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupters are very sensitive devices and consumers occasionally will experience nuisance tripping. The most common causes of nuisance tripping by AFCIs are damaged cords or plugs on consumers’ lamps, small appliances, or other devices.  Some newer vacuum cleaners and exercise equipment will not work on an AFCI-protected circuit. Static electricity also may cause nuisance tripping of circuit interrupters.
8-1-2 Observation: A fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips (non-GFCI or AFCI breakers).
  Performance Guideline: Fuses and circuit breakers will not be tripped by normal usage.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will check wiring, circuits, and components for conformity with applicable electrical code requirements.  The contractor will correct noncompliant elements.
  Discussion:  Blown fuses and tripped breakers are symptoms of a problem in some part of the home’s electrical system or a consumer product connected to the system. Although components may be defective, consumer-owned fixtures and appliances usually are responsible for electrical malfunctions and nuisance tripping. The consumer should unplug or disconnect fixtures and appliances on the circuit and then replace the fuse or reset the breaker. If the problem recurs, the consumer should notify the contractor.

Outlets and Fixtures

8-2-1 Observation: Electrical outlets, switches, or fixtures malfunction.
  Performance Guideline: All electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures will operate as designed.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will repair or replace malfunctioning electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures if they were supplied and installed by the contractor.
8-2-2 Observation: Wiring fails to carry its designed load.
  Performance Guideline: Wiring will be capable of carrying the designed load for normal residential use.
  Corrective Measure: The contractor will verify that wiring conforms to applicable electrical code requirements. The contractor will correct wiring that does not conform.
8-2-3 Observation: A light fixture is tarnished.
  Performance Guideline: Finishes on light fixtures may be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.  The consumer should contact the manufacturer.
8-2-4 Observation:  Receptacle or switch covers protrude from the wall.
  Performance Guideline:  Receptacle or switch covers should not protrude more than 1/16 inch from the wall.
  Remodeling Specific Guideline:  Covers installed on an existing wall do not fall under this guideline.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will adjust the covers to meet the performance guideline.
  Discussion:  Some textured wall finishes may not allow a cover to be installed flush.
8-2-5 Observation:  The consumer’s 220-volt appliance plug does not fit the outlet provided by the contractor.
  Performance Guideline:  The contractor will install electrical outlets required by the prevailing electrical code.
  Corrective Measure: No corrective action is required by the contractor.
  Discussion:  The consumer is responsible for obtaining an appliance plug that fits the outlets the contractor is required to provide.
8-2-6 Observation:  Low-voltage lighting flickers.
  Performance Guideline:  Low-voltage lighting should operate as designed.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace malfunctioning low-voltage fixtures if they were supplied and installed by the contractor.
  Discussion:  Low-voltage transformers are sized according to the fixtures that are installed on a circuit. The transformers must have sufficient ventilation around them. Consumers who add fixtures or change the wattage in fixtures after the circuit is designed and installed may cause the transformer to be undersized for a particular application.
8-2-7 Observation:  Ceiling fan vibrates excessively and/or is noisy.
  Performance Guideline:  The contractor will install ceiling fans in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions (including blade balances).
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will correct any fan installation not in accordance with the performance guideline if the fan was supplied and installed by the contractor.
  Discussion:  There are varying levels of performance for ceiling fans and some noise or vibration may be inherent in the specific fan installed.
8-2-8 Observation:  A smoke or carbon monoxide detector chirps or otherwise malfunctions.
  Performance Guideline:  Detectors should operate as designed at substantial completion of the project.
  Corrective Measure:  The contractor will repair or replace the smoke or carbon monoxide detector. If chirping is caused by low batteries, it is the consumer’s responsibility to replace the detector’s batteries.
  Discussion:  Most smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are powered by both the electrical power and a backup battery. Chirping may indicate that the battery is weak or is not installed. If the chirping occurs on a new detector, the contractor will check the battery, verify that the detector is wired correctly, and replace the device if necessary. Safety officials recommend that consumers change the batteries in detectors semi-annually when daylight-saving time begins and ends.