RH Kitchen & Bath Ltd.

Where creative design meets meticulous execution

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Wall of Shame

On this page are examples of unprofessional work we encountered in the course of our remodeling and construction projects. These types of mistakes were done by the original builder or by unqualified persons who worked on the property in the past. These examples demonstrate that the homeowner should exercise great care in choosing a qualified company to work on their property.

The exterior of this house was wrapped with Tyvek® house wrap.The manufacturer's recommendation for installation is to overlap, in shingle fashion, the top piece of the house wrap over the bottom piece by at least 6", and to tape all vertical and horizontal seams with house wrap tape. Take a closer look where the red arrow is pointing. The top layer of WRB (water resistive barrier/house wrap) is 1" away from the bottom layer. No overlap or protection whatsoever.
This window was leaking water through a small separation in the corner of its frame. Since this window was originally installed without any flashing to protect the rough sill, when removed, the structure underneath including the rough sill was rotted from a prolonged exposure to water. This mistake was repeated for each and every window installed in this fairly new house. It cost the homeowner thousands of dollars to repair the structure damage resulting from improper window flashing. We will show you below a picture of the correct way to install a window.
This picture shows a new window we installed in the same house. We installed a tapered piece of cedar wood on the rough sill to guide water away from the interior of the house and we wrapped the sill with FlexWrap™. We also installed a straight flash on both vertical sides and head of the window not shown in this picture.
This picture shows the correct way of installing a flashing at the corners where the window frame is most vulnerable to water infiltration.
Why do you think this piece of cedar wood molding was installed on the exterior of this house?? The original builder tried to hide the exposed edge of the stone underneath. The unintended side effect of this detail is that water made its way to the underside of this cedar molding and was soaking the mortar edge underneath and in turn soaking the sheathing.
This photo shows the underside of the detail mentioned above. Look at the gap between the two boards and the gap between the edge of the cedar detail and the mortar. The question is what should have been done to prevent this from happening? A through-wall flashing should have been installed behind the siding to protect the mortar edge from letting water behind it.
And why is the fascia board in this photo notched like that?? Well, the answer is simple. Someone in charge has committed one of two possible mistakes: Either ordering a window larger than the plans called for, or framing the rough sill a little higher than where it was supposed to be. The result is a notched fascia board in this area of the facade only.
Here in this photo you see how we fixed the notched fascia board for this homeowner when we replaced the old leaky windows with new ones.
In an attempt to save money the original builder of this house installed this window I call it "homemade window" which is nothing more than two layers of glass seated on a piece of roofing felt and sandwiched between a plywood board on the inside and a siding trim on the outside. Why did the builder do that?? Simple, this window has a trapezoidal shape which is an uncommon shape for windows. It would cost the builder a little more to have a custom, properly sealed window, made to shape and size.
In this photograph you see how the homemade window was letting water in. There is nothing to prevent water from getting in between the glass pane and the exterior cedar trim except a bead of caulking that had to be maintained at all times otherwise the window would let water in.
In this photograph you can see the roofing felt underneath the glass panes and the absence of a window seal.
We encountered this example while remodeling the first floor of this house including the kitchen and one bathroom. If you examine trim A and trim B and the baseboard in this photograph you clearly see that trim A & B are wider than the baseboard. How did this happen, and why would anyone use a narrower piece of molding for the baseboard. Well the baseboard is not any narrower than the other trim pieces, but part of it is buried behind the tile. To be exact 1" of it is behind the tile. A shoe mold was used to cover the seam between the tile and the baseboard. Still wondering why this happened? Simple, the finish carpenter showed up before the tile setter (the reverse should have happened).
If you examine this photograph carefully you would see the arrow pointing to the window's hardware. What's wrong with that?? Nothing if the window was not installed about 9 feet away from the floor. The two windows on top of each other were installed in the reverse order. The fixed window within the homeowner's reach and the operable window up high.
In the course of refacing this kitchen and after we opened up the drywall to run the electrical for new undercabinet lights we noticed that this cabinet was held by the two cabinets on both sides only. The cabinet installer missed both studs (see where the two arrows are pointing). This installer should have never been allowed to install cabinets. At best he did not know what he was doing (he should have felt that, going in, the screw had no resistance at all meaning it missed the stud). At worst he knew what he was doing but did not care to rectify the mistake.

Thank you for reading our Wall Of Shame. Please come back soon, we will be posting more examples as we encounter them. We will post only the examples that we believe are usefull to homeowners. If you have a question about these examples, drop us a line, and we will respond as soon as possible