Nothing Like A Big Smile

August 7, 2008 · Print This Article

home inspector smileJust came back from a new construction phase inspection with another unbelievable site supervisor quote. “Son, your not allowed to inspect any of the installed hardware fasteners except for the heads. Pulling nails to check for size and length is not allowed on our sites. If your in doubt, just let us know and we’ll check it out for you”.  My smile doesn’t get much  bigger and the quiet little head shake that went with it must not have registered because he let the subject drop. I guess he was still trying to figure out how he was going to get the framers back to pull all the incorrect nails from every single connector in the building. 

Poor old Da-wayne, yep, I know him from another “fastener” debacle that almost cost him his job last year. Might I digress, last year under his watch several of the homes I was inspecting were coming up with improper hardware and nailing. Da-wayne stuck to his position that all was well. That I didn’t know what I was talking about – even though I backed up my reports with code references and installation instructions. Now here’s a lesson for you – always know who you are dealing with. 

My client just happened to be well connected with more than a few lawyers on staff, those lawyers contacted my other clients who had the same problems and poof !!! I get a call from the V.P. of Operations, he’s located in Texas but is willing to fly in to meet with me on Monday if I’m available. Monday, Monday, what a day at the office. I get paraded into the conference room where upon Da-wayne shoves the plans at me in protest of my faulty reporting. Ok, I’m up to the challenge, I find the plan details showing the connections and specified hardware.

Mr. Big is looking on now and Dawayne says in a loud voice, “that’s right, that’s what’s installed”.  I give my biggest smile and the quiet little head shake. Then I ask, Dawayne, did you even read the report, or look at the installation issues first hand? His voice escalating now – “all of the hardware and fasteners are correct to the plans, I’ve even brought in a box of the installed nails to prove it. Ok Da-wayne, lets see what you got.

Da-wayne proceeds to point out that the clips called for in the plan to tie the roof down are Simpson A35’s and that the nail specifed is a 10d nail. Wow Da-wayne, youre right on both counts, let’s see that box of nails you brought in. That’s a nice look’n box there Da-wayne, its even got the nail size printed out for you on the side.  Da-wayne, do you know what the difference is between a wire nail and a common nail? Umm, ah,, – well it’s about 17% different in width. The Simpson A35’s called for in the plans require 10d common nails (.131), not a 10d wire nail. And, oh, by the way, you don’t have Simpson A35’s installed, you have USP AA35’s which may have similar load characteristics but very different foot prints and approved applications at the roof shear transfer.

The room got pin drop quiet until Mr. Big started asking some questions like, how did this happen? Da-wayne quickly put the blame over to purcurement and suppliers. Mr. Big saddles on over to me with a practiced leading handshake and palm at my shoulder to guide my way towards the door, kinda like the doctor’s office, a very practiced movement.  I did get an invite back for that Friday, and all my inspections were paid for by the builder.

So, that was my last experience with Dawayne, I’m a bit surprised he didn’t take notice of the big smile and quiet head shake..

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link.


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