WARNING - DO NOT BUILD A HOME BEFORE READING THIS SITE!

Phoenix Insider Talks About Custom Homes


I [worked in the plumbing and water conditioning trade]. I worked everywhere from Maricopa to Buckeye and from Casa Grande to Anthem. I never saw your McCreary home until this evening. I was discussing with my brother what we saw, and I felt compelled to drop you an e-mail to let you know a little of what I noticed in the high end building 'craft'. My brother is an architect and CAD designer, so he has a good understanding of building materials in general…

In [the time I spent working] in expensive homes, there wasn't one house which did not need 'something' fixed after it closed. Many times, the owners would actually show me the shoddy workmanship and ask my opinion on the issue…

I am a God fearing man and I will not tell a lie to cover someone else's behind. I used to know the building codes and I would tell the owners who asked me how the law/code reads. I never suggested any conclusions to the owners, but rather explained to them how the work OUGHT to have been done… I have been a plumber [for some years now], but I also went to school for electricity and HVAC, so I became somewhat familiar with local and national codes…

Arizona has one of the worst track records of any state when it comes to safety in building, or to standardization of building codes…

I know what quality should look like and what good craftsmanship ought to be like. In my […] years as a plumber I never had one callback. That was my promise to my customers: don't pay until the job is done to your satisfaction…

I installed [equipment] in hundreds if not thousands of homes. The one thing all of these homes had in common was shoddy craftsmanship, if one is to call that craftsmanship. I believe a lot of this has to do with the choice of 'craftsmen', many of which cannot speak or read English. The question is simple: if one cannot speak (understand spoken) TECHNICAL English (used on construction sites, not everyday language), and cannot understand how to read blueprints, or even how to read a measuring tape graded in inches, and not centimeters, how can one be trusted to build a home, no matter how simple that home may appear?...

The technology for building a home in the American Southwest is completely different from the traditional building techniques of North America …

You'd be hard pressed to find a home faced with stucco in Michigan or in New York State . Nobody in the world would even plumb a house with anything other than L copper, EXCEPT IN PLACES LIKE SOUTHERN ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, AND PARTS OF SOUTHERN TEXAS… In these wonderful places, the lack of humidity is an invitation to 'try one's hand' at building…

Being 'in the business', one hears and sees a lot. I cannot claim that I have ever been witness to anything good ever being rumored. It is usually the bad stuff that tradesmen 'trade'. Sometimes, I would actually witness personally how shoddy work gets 'masked' for the walk. I knew [superintendents and assistant superintendents] who spent days at a time doing the work on the punch lists, so that the homes they were responsible for would close in time and that they could get some 'bonuses' for a clean walk sheet. Most of them called the bonuses 'boguses', because there was no such thing as a clean walk sheet, not even for small $100,000 homes. When it came to custom builts, the situation seemed to take a turn for the bizarre, as […] what was agreed for on paper didn't happen on site…

I have been on sites that required foundation 'repairs' (read epoxy resin 'plugs', to mask ugly crack in the newly poured foundation which was already cracking due to poor quality materials, planning, workmanship, and grading). [The homeowners wouldn't know about the repairs], since the floors inside the house are usually covered with some type of finished flooring before the final walk...

I have been witness to thousands of 'quickie jobs' on cracked stucco exteriors. What people don't know is that once the stucco cracks, there is no conceivable way - other than teardown - to stop or permanently fix a crack. Stucco is made of at least two layers, one scratch and one finish, when it cracks, usually the finish is 'filled in', but it never lasts. Cracks in stucco happen because the stucco was too wet, or the stucco dried too fast, or the house is sinking, or the house is not level, or the stucco seams were done haphazardly…

I wanted to write to let you know I understand you and the pictures you took were self-explanatory, at least to someone like me…

I hope you will get some kind of closure and I assure you that if you will never receive justice on this Earth, God doesn't sleep. Eventually, all the crooks stumble, even though sometimes it takes longer than your patience to see evil take a dive… I know how crooked these so called 'craftsmen' can get, and I am quite aware of the support system they have built out of kickbacks, favors, lobbying, bribes and deceit.

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