As a builder I can remember mucking along working on the house for weeks—-foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing,HVAC etc and then along comes the drywall. All of a sudden the house really starts to look like something. I always found it the single most transforming thing in the whole process. Other interior finishes likewise made big transformations.
Painting of the entire interior is another big transformation.
Perhaps the last major transformation is in the installation of finish floors—carpeting for example.
The carpet installers can come in and magically transform 2000 square feet of crappy looking sub-floor into something acceptable—albeit hidden. It took months of hard work to get that sub-floor looking like crap and they make it disappear in a few hours.
On the other hand take a look at this carpet job.
This old basement rec-room was spiffed up in a hurry with some nice new carpeting—-it even makes the old paneling look passable. But again—because of over specialization of the trades and lack of adequate training in the responsibilities of other trades (maybe we should call this a lack of “cross-trading”)—this carpet installer has made a mess of things in spite of how nice their work looks in the picture.
The carpet has been installed over the hearth for a very nice “clean/crisp” look, and the fireplace has been transformed into a plant holder. The hearth on this fireplace should protrude in front of the opening at least 18” and be non-combustible—-unlike the carpet.
Not a difficult fix for a carpet installer that knows what they are doing. But then again we can always be optimistic that a gas fireplace is going to be installed.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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