Construction Details that Fail

On my recent warm getaway to Florida’s Amelia Island, I noticed some exterior elements that had not been well detailed on the house where we stayed. As you can see from the images, poorly executed details will fail. They can then become home to other residents you may not want in your home — like termites, carpenter ants, mold, mildew and, of course, little lizards!

This house was well designed and built in the late 1970s. Most of the building technology in the house still worked well for being of that vintage. But this house was a rental, so the maintenance and repairs done on it were of the lowest quality and price.

Note the following “fails”:

– The flashing on the new roof wasn’t installed well, so the painter had to over-caulk it.

– The newer fascia board replacements were too thin and of cheap, knotted materials, so they cupped and twisted, causing gaps that the lizards found.

– The stucco patches and painting were in front of the fascia board in places.

– Tar paper was used as a capping material for a block wall. This is not the proper use of this material.

The result? The repairs didn’t last even a few years, and the property owners wasted their money. Insects and mold had entered the house in places. This house, which is for sale at $300K, will no doubt be harder to sell and pass inspection. Then, the seller will have to pay again to have these elements repaired. Yet another fail.