Visit Owner Builder
                  Green Home
Owner Builder Green Home

Home

Site Map

Scam Alert
Owner Builder Blog
About Tom Landis
The Owner Builder Coach

Down Home Radio

Testimonials

Owner Builder Projects

Working With Professionals

Owner Builder Green Home

 

RESOURCES

Home Building Video

Consumer's Advantage

Shop & Compare

For Our Kids

Owner Builder Seminars

Home Plans

Home Library

Home Forums

Links

Legal Stuff


FEATURE NEWS

Get the Home You Want

Is Your Site Buildable?

About Construction Loans

Budget Estimating

Shopping For Home Design

Contractor/Supplier Tips

Be An Active Learner

Our Newsletter

OBS News Archive

Get More Info

 

HOME BUILDING GUIDE

Your Planning Guide

Guide Contents

10 Ways to Collaborate

Decision Making Process

Design/Build Matrix

Building Green

Contract Documents

Drawings

Specifications

Permits

Budget Estimate

Cost Analysis

Purchasing

Trade Contractors

Suppliers

Scheduling

Safety

Quality Control

Punch List

OWNER BUILDER COACH | SEMINARS | DOWN HOME RADIO | HOME BUILDING GUIDE

quality control heading

If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Supervision of your project requires a consistent, organized approach to each phase of construction checking the work performed against Drawings, Specifications, and Conditions with Trade Contractors and Suppliers. Your daily and weekly construction "Quality Control" inspections will be much more than examining materials and methods; this will be an opportunity to greet people, establish relationships, as well as look for hazardous conditions or unsafe practices.

Your first concern should be for people. While greeting workers make sure the site is clean and orderly. Using the "Safety Checklist," remain alert for problem areas or behaviors. Your arrival will make workers self-conscious so use this safety tour to put them at ease as well as examine their working conditions. Any problems need to be dealt with directly yet diplomatically. Best procedure is to deal with the lead person of the crew in error rather than breaking the chain of command by going directly to a crew member.

quality control

Once the safety and social issues are completed, your attention can focus on construction work. Look over work in progress and check it against Drawings and Specifications. Don't be afraid to carry a clipboard and 35 mm camera or video camera recorder to document your observations. Keep in mind the project's schedule especially in regards to the appropriate sequence of work flow.

Remember: there's no such thing as a dumb question so don't be afraid to ask. You'll need to record key questions and answers in your job diary. Manufacturer's installation instructions and spec sheets are the best way to scrutinize what's being accomplished. Your job is unique so keep in mind that your approach to QC depends on product specific factors like whether you're using stick frame, metal framing, panelization, modular, insulated concrete forms, or log construction.

Many states have passed "notice-and-opportunity-to-repair" (NOR) laws, which let contractors offer to repair a defect before you seek another remedy. You should become familiar with your state's NOR law by checking with your state's Consumer Affairs Division of the Attorney General's Office to determine your rights and responsibilities. Also, some states have enacted a "home warranty policy" or "warranty of habitability" laws to protect consumers from defective work. A "warranty policy" encourages a relationship of trust between a contractor and owner so they can work together to solve a problem. Your state's AG office will provide details on provisions of the warranty law.

Given the variety of circumstances in residential construction, it becomes very difficult to create a master checklist covering all circumstances. Although the following checklist may seem comprehensive, it should merely be regarded as a guide and should NOT be used as a means to troubleshoot your project. The most important aspect of the checklist is to understand the level of detail you'll encounter should you decide to act as an ownerbuilder. If you're uncomfortable with this responsibility, then you'll definitely want to hire the services of a construction manager or general contractor to assist you in project management duties.

The following checklist does not become a substitute for good observation and critical thinking about quality control for your project per your product and material specifications.

SAMPLE OF A QUALITY CONTROL CHECKLIST

PRECONSTRUCTION
*	Site Access
___ Check type, surface, and capacities of roads
___ Check traffic flow
___ Check number of entrances to site
___ Check condition of driveway
___ Check overhead electrical utilities
___ Check street signs and directions

*	Temporary Facilities
___ Check location for job shack
___ Check location for sanitary shack
___ Check location for temporary fences if required
___ Check adequacy of parking spaces
___ Check availability of local storage areas
___ Check areas for stockpiling materials

*	Storage and Protection
___ Check relation of storage areas to traffic flow
___ Check future activities such as trenches, fills, rockeries
___ Check material to be first-in and first-out
___ Check security precautions
___ Check necessity for tarps or plastic covers
___ Check protection for finished surfaces
___ Check materials that may require heated space

* Cleaning and Debris
___ Check debris: reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse
___ Check location of dumpster
___ Check scrap for reuse by Trade Contractors
___ Check storage areas for aluminum, cardboard, glass
___ Check need for bags, brooms, receptacles

SITEWORK
* Demolition
___ Check area for demolition with "approved" Drawings
___ Check local regulations for debris disposal
___ Check location of tie-ins

* Layout
___ Check location of building corners with site plan
___ Check legal setback requirements
___ Check location of underground utilities

*	Site Clearing
___ Check location of tree and shrubs to remain
___ Check trees for firewood or lumber
___ Check local regulations for burn piles
___ Check for opportunity to bury trees and brush

*	Excavation
___ Check storage areas for topsoil and sub-soil
___ Check foundation location and depth (allow extra 3 feet for work space around perimeter)
___ Check fireplace footing location and depth
___ Check crawlspace location and depth
___ Check garage slab location and depth
___ Check areas for downspout leach field
___ Check location of trash pit for debris

*	Backfill
Note: Prior to backfill review foundation checklists 
___ Check deck installation on foundation for bracing
___ Check for necessity of clean fill for drainage
___ Check for fill for very large rocks or wood scraps
___ Check locations where compaction is needed
___ Check locations of water meter and power pole
___ Check locations of topsoil for final grade

*	Grading
___ Check deck installation on foundation for bracing
___ Check elevations and lines on site plan
___ Check allowances for top soil, bedding, plants
___ Check for 2-3% slope after final grade
___ Check berms for placement, height, form

*  Retaining Walls
___ Check locations with site plan
___ Check for "deadman" anchors
___ Check placement of rock behind wall for drainage
___ Check for drainage holes in lower portion of wall

*	Asphalt Paving
___ Check sub-grade compaction to 95%
___ Check mixture is at min. temp, of 280 degree F.
___ Check smoothness tolerance of 3/8" in 10 feet
___ Check air temperature is at least 50 degree F.

*	Concrete Paving
___ Check forms for straightness elevation, slope
___ Check sub-grade compaction and gravel fill
___ Check necessity for reinforcement: mesh or rebar
___ Check location of reinforcement mid-way in pour
___ Check concrete mix: slump, mix, additives
___ Check finish: broom, smooth, exposed
___ Check cure rate: excessive hot or cold temperatures

*	Brick Paving
___ Check compaction of sub-grade
___ Check thickness of sand bed
___ Check pattern for brick installation

*  Public Utilities
___ Check location and layout of house footprint
___ Check site plan for inclusion of all systems
1.	Water District or Well
2.	Electrical Distribution
3.	Sewer or Septic
4.	Gas or Oil
5.	Television Cable
6.	Telephone Cable
7.	Storm water
___ Check with locating service for existing utilities
___ Check with utility companies for installation procedures
___ Check with governing agencies for regulations
___ Check with Trade Contractors for their requirements
___ Check compatibility of installation for layout
___ Check proper sequence for scheduling
___ Check excavation depth, slope, and elevation
___ Check materials consistent with procedures and regulations
___ Check inspector's report and retain copy
___ Check that proper trench bedding material for utilities is used
___ Check site plan to create "as-built drawings" when completing actual work

*	Storm water Control
___ Check location, size, and slope of tight lines
___ Check required setback from septic system
___ Check tie-ins with downspouts
___ Check tie-ins with catch basins
___ Check tie-ins to leach pit
___ Check adequacy of leach pit and rock size

*	Foundation Drainage
___ Check location, size, and slope of lines
___ Check for perforated lines separate from tight lines
___ Check for tie-in to leach pit
___ Check adequacy of leach pit and rock size

* Trees, Plants, Groundcover
___ Check for site preparation per grading
___ Check for location of topsoil, gravel, bark
___ Check for plant species, sizes, and quantities
___ Check proper application of sod/seed
___ Check proper installation of bushes and trees
___ Check all plants remain alive and growing; hold Trade Contractor accountable for damage
___ Check proper maintenance schedule

FOUNDATION, SLABS, DAMP ROOFING, RADON GAS
*	Batter boards
___ Check location of property lines
___ Check distance of setbacks per "approved" Drawings
___ Check for presence of groundwater
___ Check for location of major components
1.	Exterior Walls
2.	Piers and Support Columns
3.	Garage or Carport
4.	Fireplace Footing
5.	Porches and Entryway
___ Check for level and square
___ Check dimensions according to "approved" Drawings

*	Footings
___ Check for location of major components
___ Check proper elevation
___ Check for level and square
___ Check offsets and jogs
___ Check width and depth
___ Check for cleats to maintain width
___ Check location of block-outs
___ Check rebar size, spacing, ties: horizontal and vertical
___ Check rebar bends at corners
___ Check bracing and backfill
___ Check inspector's report and signature; retain copy
___ Check quantity of concrete ordered, mix, and slump
___ Check schedule for delivery
___ Check method of pour
1.	Concrete truck chute
2.	Wheel barrel
3.	Pump truck
4.	Vibrator
___ Check logistics
1.	Do not allow concrete to drop more than 5' from chute
2.	Do not move concrete more than 20' once in form
3.	Do not over-vibrate
4.	Prevent radical cure rate: hot/cold temperature

*	Walls
___ Check for plumb, level, straight, square
___ Check dimensions: length, width, height (+1/4",-1/4")
___ Check elevation with benchmark
___ Check location of step-downs
___ Check size, location, bracing of major components
1.	Fireplace
2.	Windows
3.	Bulkheads
4.	Beam Pockets
5.	Doors
6.	Offsets and Jogs
___ Check for sleeves or block-outs (coordinate with Trade Contractors)
1.	Plumbing
2.	HVAC
3.	Electrical
___ Check rebar size, spacing, ties: horizontal and vertical 
___ Check rebar bends at corners 
___ Check form ties, shoes, walers, cleats, bracing 
___ Check anchor bolt size and layout 
___ Check inspector's report and signature; retain copy 
___ Check quantity of concrete ordered, mix, and slump 
___ Check schedule of delivery 
___ Check method of pour
1.	Concrete truck chute
2.	Wheel barrel
3.	Pump truck
4.	Vibrator
___ Check logistics
1.	Do not allow concrete to drop more than 5' from chute
2.	Do not move concrete more than 20' once in form
3.	Do not over-vibrate
4.	Prevent radical cure rate: hot/cold temperatures

*  Slabs
___ Check size, location, bracing of major components
___ Check installation of "groundwork" by Trade Contractors
___ Check inspector's report of Trade Contractor's work; retain copy
___ Check installation of insulation if required by code
___ Check gravel fill for drainage
___ Check rebar or mesh if required
___ Check placement of 6 mil plastic for moisture barrier
Note: Review footing and wall checklists for relevant guides.

*  Damp Proofing
___ Check size, location, bracing of major components
___ Check top of wall for smoothness; use "rebar sander" if required day after stripping forms
___ Check wall for honeycomb pattern; patch with cement mortar 
___ Check all ties twisted off and all tie holes filled with asphalt emulsion 
___ Check wall for any concrete protrusions and remove 
___ Check seam between wall and footing for cleanliness; fill seam with asphalt emulsion.
___ Check asphalt emulsion on all sub-grade walls surrounding habitable areas; not necessary
for walls at crawl space 
___ Check that asphalt emulsion does not go above grade level 
___ Check all downspout drains securely in place 
___ Check all footing drains securely in place 
___ Check all debris removed from trenches

*  Radon Gas
___ Check placement of gravel below slab
___ Check placement of 6 mil plastic over gravel
___ Check seal at concrete slab joints and all slab penetrations
___ Check 4 inch diameter vent stack running from below slab through penetration in roof
___ Check installation of electrical supply line and junction box for future fan if required
Note: Contact your local Building Department to confirm its standard construction practice for 
Radon resistant home construction.
FRAMING
*	General Notes
___ Check local building code for nailing schedule and sizing structural members
___ Check framer's lumber take-off to insure adequate supply of material on site; ask to be 
notified in advance should additional lumber be required
___ Check framing deviations; not to exceed standard 1/4" leeway for error; changes should be 
recorded on Drawings, dated, and signed 
Note: Review all errors objectively to determine difference between those errors which will 
create major difficulties for quality work and those errors which will have minor impact 
on quality work. This is a judgment call: one must realize that all errors do not create 
problems which are insurmountable.
	  
*	Floor Framing
___ Check sill plates for exterior grade, pressure treated lumber
___ Check sill sealer installed between sill and foundation
___ Check anchor bolts installed with nut and washer; min. 2 fasteners per plate, max 16" 
from each end, max 6' on center
___ Check for termite shield if required
___ Check grade, species, and span of all floor joists, posts, beams, purlins
___ Check location and nailing of all metal connectors shown on official prints for posts and
beams
___ Check beams for straightness and consistent height
___ Check all joists are crowned-up
___ Check rim and header joists straight and nailed properly
___ Check all joists of uniform width and tight joints with proper nailing pattern
___ Check joist doubled at all openings; hangers installed and completely nailed where required
___ Check bridging installed and nailed per code; solid blocking installed and nailed per code
___ Check plywood (or equivalent) sub-floor installation:
1. Proper thickness with APA grade stamp correct
2. Glued and nailed with all-weather adhesive; follow manufacturer's specifications and building 
code requirements
___ Check stairwell installation:
1.	Refer to official prints for locations
2.	Plywood sub-floor should overhang stairwell opening to match treads
3.	Stair risers should be of equal height (max 1/8" variance)
4.	Treads should be level and same width (max 1/8" variance); nailed and glued to stair jacks
5.	Stair jacks should have no cracks
6.	Fire-blocking installed per code
7.	Railings properly fastened and solidly secured
___ Check cantilevers per plan: overhang, blocking, joist layout
___ Check for proper clearance around masonry or double wall chimney

* Wall Framing
___ Check walls located per "approved" Drawings
___ Check walls for straightness, plumb, and square; correct size lumber for studs and headers
___ Check header locations and sizes with proper grade stamp
___ Check sheathing size, manufacturer's installation instructions, and nailing schedule per code
___ Check critical dimensions; no room studded without installing large fixtures or appliances 
that will not fit through door openings later
___ Check window and door openings; dimensions, plumb, square
Note:   Rough framing for window and door openings will require a thorough review with vendors 
to determine allowances for products chosen for installation. Items such as floor covering, 
door and window trim will affect the allowances for framing measurements.
___ Check all warped studs removed or straightened; pull string along wall lines to determine 
straightness
___ Check plate splices located over studs
___ Check trimmer studs and header joints tight
___ Check for square corners in critical areas; kitchens, baths, and utility areas where cabinets 
and countertops designed for 90 degree angles
___ Check for backing where required for drywall and fixtures:
1.	Curtain Rods
2.	Towel Rods and Rings
3.	Cabinets
4.	Ledgers and Shelves
5.	Closet Kits
6.	Ironing Boards
7.	Ceiling
___ Check garage door jamb and brick mold installed properly
___ Check framing and drywall installation per fire code in areas surrounding fireplace masonry; 
coordinate this activity with framer and masonry contractors prior to enclosure
___ Check measurements required for spaces which cannot be altered:
       1. Cabinets and Vanities
       2. Showers and Tubs
       3. Built-in Furniture
Note: Maintain allowances for installation.
___ Check that walls have adequate temporary bracing to maintain straightness and plumb prior 
to setting truss package
* Roof Framing

Note: Roof framing may be "stick frame" or "truss package." The main difference is that 
"stick frame" roofs will be built piece by piece on site; a roof erected with a 
"truss package" will be cut and assembled at the factory and delivered to the site.
___ Check trusses erected according to engineered design and installation instructions 
accompanying package:
1.	Nailing schedule per applicable building code
2.	Framing anchors installed per applicable building code 
3.	Catwalk installed at center of attic
4.	Wind brace installed at gable ends
5.	Attic vents installed at gable ends or ridge
6.	All gable and firewall trusses have studs installed per sheathing or drywall layout
7.	Lookouts installed at peak of gable and 4' o.c. for sheathing layout
8.	Fascia and Barge boards installed straight and secure
9.	Vent blocks installed at exterior walls between roof rafters
___ Check stick framing installed per "approved" Drawings according to applicable building code:
1.	Rafters correct size, straight, crown-up
2.	Ridge board correct size, straight, without sag
3.	Rafters properly connected to wall plates
4.	Collar ties correct size, spacing, height
5.	Vent blocks installed at exterior walls between rafters
6.	Attic vents installed at gable ends or ridge
7.	Fascia and Barge boards installed straight and secure
8.	Lookouts and rake supports installed per layout
___ Check for proper clearance around chimney
___ Check attic access properly sized and located
___ Check ceiling backing in place before sheathing installed Check location and backing for skylights

*	Roof Sheathing
___ Check sheathing grade stamp, size, manufacturer's installation instructions, and nailing 
schedule per code
Note: Skip sheathing will be required for wood shingles or shakes. Contact roofing contractor 
to review requirements for specialty materials such as tile or metal.
___ Check sheathing staggered from row to row
___ Check ply clips used at horizontal seams between rafters
___ Check vent holes cut at or near ridge if gable vents inadequate or unavailable
___ Check skylight framing size and location
___ Check storage and protection of excess and scrap sheathing
Note: Many problems occur after construction due to water damage from improper flashing. 
Metal flashing comes in all shapes and sizes and its applications should be provided 
in "approved" Drawings; however, there is no better judgment than common sense and 
extra protection.  During rough framing, flashing for all applications should be 
available at the site, properly stored to avoid damage, and installed in proper sequence.
*   Flashing
___ Check flashing located/installed per applicable code:
1.	Ground contact
2.	Deck Ledger
3.	"Belly" Board
4.	Window Headers
5.	Door Headers
6.	Skylights
7.	Chimneys
8.	Valleys

ROOFING
* Roofing Material
___ Check "approved" Drawings and Specifications for type, color, size, and manufacturer:
1.	Asphalt Shingle
2.	Wood Shingle or Shake
3.	Fiberglass Shingle
4.	Tile or Slate
5.	Roll Roofing
6.	Metal
Note: Locate all vent stacks that penetrate roof prior to installation of roofing. Vents 
and flashing will be provided by Plumbing and Heating contractors and installed per 
their layout and NOT be responsibility of Roofing contractor. Vents and flashing are 
usually required for plumbing, HVAC, wood stove or fireplace, attic ventilation, 
"moist" room fans.
___ Check metal drip edges at rakes or eaves if required
___ Check felt paper overlaps: minimum 2" on sides; 4" on ends
___ Check manufacturer's warranty for weather exposure and nailing pattern, sealers, membranes, 
cements, fasteners
___ Check roofing material for square, straightness, color uniformity, no buckling or cracks
___ Check edges, ridges, hips, valleys for smooth, even trim
___ Check roofing material extends over roof edge by 2"
___ Check roofing material fit tightly around all stack vents and installed with flashing to 
shed water. 
___ Check nails are galvanized and not exposed to weather unless special protection provided 
by manufacturer or Trade Contractor 
___ Check all debris removed from roof and site

* Gutters & Downspouts
___ Check style, color, size as specified by owner
___ Check gutters spaced and secured per specifications using aluminum nails and sleeves or 
"hidden" fasteners
___ Check water drainage to downspout using hose; drains completely in one minute without 
water collection anywhere
___ Check for leaks in corner miters, elbows, downspouts
___ Check downspouts secured to walls with straps of same color
___ Check downspouts land on splash blocks or connect to drain line leading to leach pit or 
storm water system per applicable code
	
EXTERIOR FINISH & SIDING
Note: Prior to trim and siding installation, siding contractor will provide and install 
"infiltration barrier" per local building code as air and moisture control. 
Product will be installed per manufacturer's installation instructions. All wall 
penetrations will be caulked with suitable latex caulk to eliminate air infiltration.
	  
* Exterior Finish
___ Check all trim material for all-weather conditions suitable for paint or stain or varnish
___ Check soffit installation for tight end and lateral joints, and vents to provide adequate 
ventilation for attic
___ Check corner boards for fit to soffit and tight against building
___ Check window trim for joint fit, tight against building and window frame
Note: If window trim is integral component of frame unit then install window plumb, square, 
and tight to building
___ Check door trim for joint fit, tight against building and door frame
Note:  If door trim is integral component of door unit then install door plumb, square, and 
tight to building
___ Check cornice for tight joints at soffit and fascia with proper flashing to prevent water 
damage
___ Check "belly" board for straightness, tight end joints, secure to building with galvanized 
casing nails
	
* Siding
___ Check Drawings and Specifications for type, style, color, and manufacturer of siding:
1.	Brick
2.	Stucco
3.	Hardboard
4.	Vinyl
5.	Plywood
6.	Lumber
7.	Waferboard/OSB
8.	Aluminum
9.	Shakes or Shingles
10.	Concrete Block
11.	Stone
___ Check siding installed per manufacturer's installation instructions
___ Check exposure to weather in accordance with Drawings
___ Check flashing installed at critical areas
___ Check fasteners for flush or countersunk condition and finished per code and 
manufacturer's instructions
___ Check all necessary areas for latex caulk per applicable building code

MASONRY, FIREPLACE, WOOD STOVE
___ Check brick type, size, and color as specified by owner
___ Check reinforcing, anchors, ties if required:
1.	Rebar: Grade 40, No. 3 and larger
2.	Anchors: Galvanized steel per code
3.	Ties: Corrugated and galvanized type
4.	Reinforcement: Truss type, drawn steel
___ Check mortar and joints per plans and specs
1. Mortar Type S (use type I or II cement)
2. Joints consistent width
___ Check weep holes and vents clear of mortar and debris
___ Check location of bond beams or angle iron
___ Check dimension and location of fireplace/chimney:
1.	Firebrick inside firebox
2.	Refractory mortar
3.	Dimensions in accordance with applicable building code
4.	Cleanout, ash dump, damper operate properly
5.	Vent for outside combustible air
6.	Framing proper distance from masonry per code
7.	Chimney flashing at roof
__ Check zero-clearance fireplace installed by manufacturer's installation instructions
1.	Use stainless steel, double-wall flue
2.	Maintain dimensions and clearances per applicable code
3.	Install proper supports and downdraft cover at chimney

PLUMBING
* Rough-in
Note: Be sure shower and tub fixtures are ordered and placed in proper location if access 
will be a problem
___ Check location of all utilities to guarantee proper layout and site logistics
___ Check access to house supply lines and drains to establish openings in concrete walls and 
slabs
___ Check Drawings and Specifications to verify types and location of plumbing fixtures to 
guarantee proper layout and Underwriter's Lab approval
1.	Order long lead time items for procurement
2.	Locate and place specialty hardware in walls and floors
___ Check framing requirements of plumber to allow for layout of joists and studs to minimize 
cutting and call-backs
1. Repair cut-out framing by plumber
___ Check roof vents installed with proper flashing
1. Locate vents on roof for aesthetic appeal
___ Check water service active to house so "live" test can be accomplished on water lines and 
available for "water" test on waste lines
1. Keep potable water lines under pressure after inspection and continue to observe for evidence 
of leaks
___ Check nail straps at all framing to protect pipes from nails
___ Check exterior water spigots and lines insulated and protected from freeze
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.	Note corrections if required
2.	Make copy of permit

*Trim
Note:  Confirm manufacturer, style, type, color of fixtures at rough-in, prior to ordering trim 
package, and delivery to site.  Inspect fixtures before and after installation for 
scratches, chips, and dents.
___ Check operation of faucets and drains
1.	Hot on left, cold on right
2.	No drips or leaks at traps or joints below fixture
3.	Drain stops operate properly and form seal when closed
___ Check operation of toilets
1.	No drips or leaks at shut-off valve or connections
2.	Water fills properly and action stops completely
3.	Flush acts immediately with proper draw
___ Check garbage disposal operates properly
___ Check operation of dishwasher and clothes washer
1.	Run through entire cycle
2.	No drips or leaks at connections or machine
3.	Hot and cold water present at proper cycle
___ Check water heater firmly set, connected to wall, with floor drain pan under appliance
1.	No drips or leaks at connections
2.	Safety relief valve properly installed and connected to drain line leading to building 
exterior
___ Check for evidence of "water hammer" in entire system by turning each faucet on and off 
very quickly and listen for knocking noise
___ Check pipe holes in concrete walls or floors sealed with hydraulic cement
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.	Note corrections if required
2.	Make copy of permit

HEATING/ VENTILATION/AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC)
* Rough-in
Note: Be sure HVAC fixtures are ordered and placed in proper location if access will be a problem
___ Check equipment per specifications for correct manufacturer, model, size, capacity 
with Underwriter's Lab approval 
___ Check heating, air units, compressors installed in correct location and anchored properly
___ Check zone systems have proper units in correct locations. 
___ Check ductwork installed according to manufacturer's installation instructions and mechanical
code
1.	Proper number of supplies and returns
2.	Joints sealed tightly with duct tape
3.	No return ducts in bath or kitchen
4.	Ducts in floors and walls do not interfere with drywall installation
5.	Duct insulation correct "R" rating and properly secured
6.	Prepare vent for combustible air circulation
___ Check adequate vents and ducts for dryer, stove, moist rooms, air circulation.  Check heat 
exhaust vents installed per applicable code
1.	Keep wood framing lumber away from heat vent
2.	Flashing conforms to roof material to resist water
3.	Down draft caps securely in place
4.	Vents placed for aesthetic value
___  Check air conditioning condensate drain installed Check gas fixture layout and pipe logistics
1.  Locate meter for access and inspection
2.  Place stub-out for future use (i.e. hot tub, grill)
___ Check placement of floor pan under attic furnace
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.  Note corrections if required
2.  Make copy of permit

*Trim
Note: Confirm manufacturer, style, type, color of fixtures at rough-in, prior to ordering 
trim package, and at delivery to site.  Inspect fixtures before and after installation 
for scratches, chips, dents.
___ Check gas line hook-up to gas appliances:
1.	Stove
2.	Dryer
3.	Water Heater
4.	Fireplace
5.	Hot Tub
6.	Furnace
7.	Grill
___ Check HVAC electrical hook-up completed per code and manufacturer's installation 
instructions
___ Check thermostat's location and operation 
___ Check filter installation on furnace and air conditioning 
___ Check radiators, vents, ducts for cleanliness 
___ Check air conditioning condensate drain operation 
___ Check water line to/from humidifier 
___ Check Noise Rating of Vent fans 
___ Check exterior openings sealed with caulk to applicable code 
___ Check furnace operation through 24 hour cycle 
___ Check supply trim for proper air flow direction 
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.	Note corrections if required
2.	Make copy of permit

ELECTRICAL
* Rough-in
Note: Be sure electrical fixtures are ordered and placed in proper location if access will 
be a problem
___ Check location and size of service panel
1.	Place conduit in wall for underground wiring
2.	Locate for access to public utility and meter installation
3.	Coordinate with public utility
4.	Ground rods placed per electrical code
___ Check layout and number of outlets and switches
___ Check lighting layout per owner's furniture and expected use or function and 
Underwriter's Lab approval
___ Check wiring provided for appliances and fixtures:
1.	Garbage disposal or Hot Water Dispenser
2.	Dishwasher
3.	Stove and Hood
4.	Refrigerator
5.	Microwave
6.	Entertainment Center
7.	Clothes washer and Dryer
8.	Built-in Ironing Board 
9.	Built-in Hair Dryer
10.	Built-in Vacuum Cleaner 
11.	Sauna or Hot Tub
12.	Medicine Cabinet Lights
13.	Moist Room Fans
14.	Attic Fans
15.	Landscape Lighting
16.	Outside outlets
17.	Interior hanging lamps
18.	Wall Sconces
19.	Garage door opener
___ Check for proper placement and installation of equipment:
1.	Telephone Jacks
2.	Television Jacks and location of cable service or antenna
3.	Smoke Detectors located per fire code
4.	Security installed per manufacturer's installation instructions
___ Check for electrical requirements for specialty items
1.	Fire Sprinkler
2.	Landscape fountains
___ Check hole penetrations sealed with exterior grade caulk
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.	Note corrections if required
2.	Make copy of permit

*Trim
Note: Confirm manufacturer, style, type, color of fixtures at rough-in, prior to ordering 
trim package, and at delivery to site. Inspect fixture before and after installation 
for scratches, chips, dents.
___ Check covers installed on all switches, outlets, fixtures
___ Check operation of all electrical items and equipment following manufacturer's recommendations
___ Check panel circuits labeled per house layout
___ Check appliances for correct operation
___ Check permit signed by inspector
1.	Note corrections if required
2.	Make copy of permit

INSULATION, SOUNDPROOFING, WEATHERIZATION
Note:   Insulation and Weatherization conforms to requirements of applicable building and 
energy code
___ Check Drawings and Specifications for location and type of insulation, soundproofing, 
weatherization
___ Check insulation installation in areas which would become impossible to insulate at a later 
date
1.	Shower or tubs on exterior walls
2.	Joist bays and wall corners with tight clearance
3.	Behind furnace and water heater areas
4.	Ceiling corners on hip roofs
5.	Foundation walls and slab perimeters
6.	Sill and wall sealer
___ Check exterior wall holes for Trade Contractor work sealed with exterior grade caulk
___ Check air/moisture infiltration barrier installed prior to exterior siding
___ Check interior wall and floor penetrations stuffed with insulation per applicable building 
and fire code
___ Check wall insulation installed tightly without air gaps or punctures and secured in place 
behind wiring, plumbing
___ Check vapor barrier on warm side of wall conforms to code
___ Check insulation placed around perimeter of doors and windows in a manner which conforms to 
code and correct operation of doors and windows
___ Check baffles installed at all vent blocks between rafters
___ Check insulation placed at specialty areas such as skylights
___ Check areas which will produce unacceptable noise levels and require treatment to reduce 
problem
1.	Plumbing in walls or ceilings adjacent to living areas
2.	Family or recreation rooms
3.	Stereo or music rooms
___ Check floor insulation fits snugly in joist bays and against rim; secure insulation with 
rods or, if required, twine
___ Check ductwork and plumbing properly insulated in areas exposed to cold weather
___ Check insulation in attic (either blown or batt) placed uniform depth and cover all areas
___ Check vent baffle used between insulation and roof sheathing for vaulted/cathedral ceiling
Note: Prior to insulation of house, use video camera to record all work by contractors inside 
interior and exterior walls to verify layout and number of items; use recording to 
verify trim package layout.

DRYWALL
* Before Hanging
___ Check access and logistics for delivery and storage of drywall, joint compound, tape, 
nails, corners
___ Check framing for moisture content; beware of excessively moist conditions which will 
contribute to high humidity in house during drying
___ Check studs for irregularities in wall line; make partial cuts in studs to straighten wall line
___ Check backing in walls and ceilings for nailing
___ Check rough openings for square, plumb, level, size

*	Before Taping
___ Check nailing pattern conforms to applicable building code
___ Check drywall thickness conforms to fire code at critical walls and ceilings
___ Check unnecessary gaps, damage, warpage, or voids which must be replaced prior to finish
___ Check rough cuts around all openings for final trim to allow proper fit
___ Check nail/screw heads are properly "dimpled"
___ Check need for waterproof drywall (green board) in moist rooms; tile areas will be provided 
with cement backer board
___ Check metal corners installed on outside corners and nailed flush with finish surface
___ Check type of window trim to be installed
___ Check type of finish after taping; smooth wall require more labor and higher cost per square 
foot
___ Check floors for cleanliness and cover with building paper prior to finishing and texture
___ Check windows, doors, and other finish work covered with plastic to avoid splattering and 
spillage
___ Check video recording to verify location of all items or fixtures which need to penetrate 
drywall

*	During Finishing
___ Check necessity of heat between coats of drywall compound to assist curing time; who is 
responsible for heat?
___ Check three separate coats of compound are applied to all joints; each successive coat 
should leave a wider track and smoother finish
___ Check windows, doors, and other finish work remain covered with plastic to avoid splattering 
and spillage
___ Check excessive water or compound spillage in house during finish; excess moisture will 
cause high humidity during curing
	
*	After Finishing
___ Check all joints feathered smooth and sanded to finish
___ Check all openings are exposed and cleaned of compound
___ Check cuts are smooth and ready for trim
___ Check nap of paper not raised or roughened by excessive sanding
___ Check for nail heads exposed
___ Check joint compound completely dry before sealing

*	After Sealing
___ Check primer used for sealer is approved by energy code if required
___ Check primer applied consistently over all areas
___ Check primer allowed to completely dry
___ Check walls for imperfections prior to texture; correct imperfections prior to 
texture application
___ Check type of texture to be applied in house

*	After Texture
___ Check consistent pattern throughout entire house
___ Check all debris removed from site
___ Check plastic remains in place if painting is to be accomplished immediately after 
texture
___ Check texture thoroughly dry before painting

WINDOWS, MILLWORK, DOORS
* Windows
___ Check rough frame size coincides with window schedule and "approved" Drawings and
Specifications
___ Check windows conform to applicable building and energy codes
___ Check size, type, number, and condition of windows on delivery to site
___ Check screens match size and type of window
___ Check windows installed per manufacturer's installation instructions
1.	Window frame secure against building
2.	Gap around window frame consistent on all sides
3.	Windows open and close smoothly
4.	Reveal at open window to be consistent
___ Check windows installed per manufacturer's installation instructions
___ Check windows installed per manufacturer's installation instructions
___ Check window casing nails set below surface and sealed with putty 
___ Check window size and type consistent with trim application

*	Millwork
___ Check location and type of all wood trim
___ Check paint or stain color per owner's requirements
___ Check accurate quantity of case trim for windows and doors, and base trim for floor
___ Check specialty molding/trim for type and color
1.	Stair kits
2.	Wainscoting
3.	Mantel
4.	Window seats
5.	Paneling
6.	Sauna Kits
7.	Closet Rod & Shelf
8.	Pantry Shelves
9.	Handrails
10.	Caps, Aprons, Crowns
___ Check trim/molding installed to finish standards
1.	All material is void of major defects
2.	Trim intersects with walls, ceilings, floors evenly with no gaps or irregularities
3.	Trim joints are tight and caulked, sanded and smooth
4.	All finishing nails set below surface and sealed with wood putty
___ Check trim/molding installed per industry standard and functions according to intended 
use
	
*	Doors
___ Check door type, quantity, size, swing, finish, hardware per owner's requirements
___ Check condition of doors and hardware at delivery
___ Check thresholds and weather-stripping accompany exterior doors
___ Check automatic closers accompany fire-rated doors
___ Check location of all doors per door schedule
1.	Exterior
2.	Interior
3.	Pocket
4.	Bi-Pass
5.	Bi-Fold
6.	Attic
___ Check final installation of all doors
1.	Doors open and close smoothly
2.	Reveal is consistent with proper clearances
3.	Knobs, latches, bolts align with insets
4.	Swing in proper direction with privacy facing correct side
5.	Locks function easily and smoothly
6.	Keys available and keyed the same for ease of use
7.	Weather-stripping in place
8.	Thresholds properly adjusted
9.	Door stops in proper locations
10.	Allow for clearance from finish floor surface
___ Check finish nails set below surface and sealed with wood putty 
___ Check doors free from mars, scratches, dents

PAINTING, STAINING, WALL COVERING
* Painting & Staining
___ Check manufacturer, type, color per owner's selection
___ Check proper preparation to surface to be painted or stained
1.	Nail holes filled
2.	All knot holes, pitch pockets sealed appropriately
3.	Cracks and defects filled to finish surface
4.	Drywall imperfections smoothed and textured
5.	Primer/Sealer used where possible
6.	Protected areas to be "taped and bagged"
7.	Floors continue to be covered with building paper
8.	Exterior plants and earth protected from overspray
9.	Decks, siding, windows, doors, patios protected
___ Check all treated areas appear uniform in color and maintain consistent pattern
___ Check trim treated according to owner's requirements
___ Check color intersections are distinct and clean creating true and correct lines
___ Check no dried paint drips or drops exist
___ Check all debris and spillage removed from site
___ Check windows, doors, trim free of paint/stain
___ Check extra paint/stain remains with owner

* Wall Covering
___ Check wallpaper located in specified areas
1.	No texture applied to these areas
2.	Seams are consistent without gaps
3.	Pattern matches at seams
4.	End cuts conforms to floor and ceiling
5.	Excess paste removed and paper clean
___ Check paneling located in specified areas
1.	Match grain and color of individual pieces
2.	Use color finish nails or color putty to match stain
3.	All cuts match existing area
___ Check ceramic wall tile located in specified areas
1.	Owner specifies color, size, pattern
2.	Cement backer board installed as substrate
3.	Use proper setting and grout materials
4.	Use sealant in critical areas

FLOOR COVERING
Note: All floors to be scraped, sanded, cleaned prior to installation of floor coverings
___ Check plans and specifications for owner's requirements
* Carpet
___ Check pad/carpet at delivery for color, type, size, condition
___ Check manufacturer's installation instructions
___ Check carpet stretched tight and secured with nail strips
___ Check no damage done to walls or corners
___ Check seams tight and trimmed
___ Check metal threshold strips for appearance and weather-tightness
___ Check carpet stairs tight and secure to treads and risers

* Wood Floor
___ Check material species, size, grade, and pattern
___ Check double layer tar/building paper placed on floor if required
___ Check proper fastener:
1.	Strips nailed with ring-shank nails using floor nail gun
2.	Parquet adhered with recommended mastic
___ Check material layout and joinery
___ Check headers at thresholds, fireplaces, registers 
___ Check sanding completed in three phases to final finish
1.	Specialty sanders equipped with dust bags
2.	Smooth, consistent final surface
___  Check stain or natural oil applied uniformly
___  Check finish type and glaze per owner's requirements 
___  Check formaldehyde off-gassing during curing
*	Vinyl Floors

___ Check material at delivery for make, color, pattern, size
___ Check sub-floor installed with ring-shank nails @ 4" o.c.
___ Check filler applied to sub-floor to eliminate dips
___ Check vinyl installed per manufacturer's directions
___ Check seams and edges for smoothness and tight fit
___ Check thresholds cover edges at transition area
___ Check no scratches or mars after installation
___ Check seam sealer applied if recommended by manufacturer

*	Ceramic Floor Tile
___ Check material at delivery for make, style, color, size, and pattern
___ Check method for setting tile and preparing substrate
1.	Thin-set adhesive
2.	Mortar bed
___ Check for need for vinyl membrane as moisture barrier installed per manufacturer's 
recommendation
___ Check shower pan installed with proper reinforcement and vinyl membrane in place at 
walls and corners, and secure to floor drain with slope
___ Check tile layout for consistent border on all sides
___ Check grout spaces are uniform; grout color as specified
___ Check tiles are secure and do not move under pressure
___ Check grout is sealed as specified
___ Check base, cap, corner tiles are factory-produced molded pieces or field-cut with smooth, 
even edges
___ Check no scratches, cracks, chips exist after installation

CABINETS & COUNTERTOPS
Note:   Selection and configuration of cabinets and countertops become a personal, subjective 
set of choices which depend mainly on lifestyle.  Whether stock or custom cabinets are 
incorporated, the combination of drawers, doors, tip-outs, lazy-susans, pull-outs, glass 
doors, etc. will be the result of how one intends to put the area to use.
*	Cabinets
___ Check dimensions at drywall installation and prior to ordering cabinets to confirm dimensions
___ Check wood species, cabinet style, and type of finish
___ Check type of hinges and pulls
___ Check product at delivery for make, style, finish, quantity, size, condition prior to 
installation
Note: Cabinet manufacturer/vendor and cabinet installer may be two different Trade Contractors. 
When possible a single Trade Contractor responsible for both activities will increase 
accountability for quality and service
___ Check cabinet installation for level, plumb, and units secured to wall
___ Check doors and drawers open and close smoothly
___ Check alignment of all units, openings, finished surfaces
___ Check all specified components installed

*	Countertops
Note: Countertops may be made of a plastic laminate such as "WilsonArt" or "Formica" brands.  
However, a variety of materials including butcher block, tile, stainless steel, and 
solid surfaces such as "Corian" brand are available based on use and cost considerations.
___ Check installation details
1.	Backsplash
2.	Edge
3.	Faucet & Sink Layout
___ Check countertop secured to cabinet and level
___ Check fit at seams, corners, walls, corners
___ Check stability and security of overhangs
___ Check backsplash conforms to wall with proper caulk at seam and wall
___ Check edge provides solid and sanitary connection with top
___ Check cutout "templates" for sinks, faucets, cook tops, ranges are available to countertop 
installer
	
TRIM PACKAGE & HARDWARE
* Trim Package
___ Check wall covering completed
___ Check floor covering completed
___ Check woodworking completed
___ Check door installation: fit, operation, stops
___ Check attic access door insulated
___ Check fixtures and appliances for operation
___ Check window installation: cleanliness, operation, screens
___ Check switch and outlet covers in place and tight to wall
___ Check debris removed and all surfaces cleaned

* Hardware
___ Check bathroom accessories
1.	Towel Bars/Rings
2.	Paper Holder
3.	Mirrors
4.	Shower/Tub Doors
5.	Medicine Cabinet
___ Check door hardware
1.	Deadbolts
2.	Handles/Latches
3.	Spring-loaded hinges
4.	Strikes
5.	Thresholds
6.	Weather-stripping
7.	Bi-Fold/Bi-Pass Kits
___ Check cabinet hardware
1.	Adjustable hinges
2.	Tip-outs
3.	Sliders
4.	Pulls
5.	Lazy Susans
___ Check electronic hardware
1.	Telephone jacks
2.	Television jacks
3.	Antenna/Cable installation
4.	Security system
5.	Intercom/Radio/Speakers
6.	Home Office/Entertainment Center

DECKS & PORCHES
___ Check concrete foundations extend below frost line and engineered to support structure
___ Check galvanized metal connectors installed using "approved" nails
___ Check structural lumber stamped pressure-treated outdoor wood
___ Check all connections to house properly flashed and secured
___ Check decking, rails, pickets, caps are cedar, redwood, or pressure-
treated to meet standard of applicable building code
___ Check columns, posts, beams certified to carry load and not merely ornamental
___ Check stair dimensions conform to applicable building code
1.	Handrails
2.	Treads & Risers
3.	Pickets & Guardrails
___ Check finish is exterior quality, with unlimited warranty to not peel or flake on deck 
or rail surfaces
	
LANDSCAPING
___ Check site drains away from house and conforms to requirements of applicable building code
___ Check ground makes no contact with siding and conforms to requirements of applicable 
building code
___ Check all stoops, walks, aprons are connected to foundation with rebar to limit separation 
and settling
___ Check all flat surfaces drain away from house and measures are taken for storm water control
___ Check areas specified for grass are installed with sod or seed
___ Check plants are placed and protected per landscape plan and specifications
___ Check fences firmly placed in soil to avoid movement or shifting; galvanized metal connectors 
and nails used where necessary
___ Check Sprinkler System installed per manufacturer's recommendations and Owner's requirements

REMEMBER: Pay attention to natural phenomena affecting Design/Build considerations. Your region will present unique biological, geographical, geological, and meteorological conditions which may require special materials and methods. Contact your local Building Department or a Civil Engineer if more information seems to be required for your project. Your product and material choices are based on personal choices and lifestyle decisions; however, the physical environment of your region and site location will also be a significant determinant of what materials are specified and how they will be installed on your project.

A FINAL NOTE: During construction work, the pace of activities requires the Owner to coordinate and control Trade Contractors and Suppliers on a daily basis. Very quickly there arises a need to record what happens and who is responsible for correct or incorrect work. Don't let the pace of activities interfere with documentation of quality control.

DON'T FORGET: Many states have passed "notice-and-opportunity-to-repair" (NOR) laws, which let contractors offer to repair a defect before the homeowner can sue. Also, some states have enacted a "home warranty policy" or "warranty of habitability" laws to protect consumers from defective work. Check with your state's Consumer Affairs Division of the Attorney General's Office to determine your rights and responsibilities.

The Owner will definitely want to record the basics of who, what, when, where, why, how of a problem situation. The use of a Job Diary is a means to document your concerns and communicate them to a Trade Contractor or Supplier. Suggestions for keeping a Job Diary are presented in the PUNCH LIST article.

In addition, a video recording and still photographs are also important methods to authenticate what's happening. This accomplishes two things: first, it lets people know you're serious about correcting the situation; second, it allows you to review details in their original condition and share the problem with others. Both points are vital to honest, open communication leading toward project accountability. If the problem isn't solved, your pictures and diary will become a factual basis for explaining the problem to your attorney.

Here's what you can do to improve reliable documentation: Video Recording: Dedicate a video tape for exclusive job site use. Follow normal sequence of events and establish shots which truly represent the work. Record what's been accomplished during rough-in and finish phases to create a "before and after" effect. Still Photographs: Purchase a "one use" camera specifically for your project. Close-up shots will amplify details in need of further discussion. Purchase "doubles" so there's a photograph for your files and another copy to send to a Trade Contractor or Supplier. Job Diary: Date and label all photographs. In your daily log, keep a record of dates, names and events that occur. As you encounter problems, keep to the facts and plainly describe existing conditions!

Don't forget the old adage: "One picture is worth a thousand words."

For Quality Control no one cares as much about how the work is accomplished than the people who'll live in the home.

Email comments or send questions to:
Owner Builder Services -- Tom Landis

Visit the Owner Builder Coach for more free information:
http://www.OwnerBuilderCoach.com

Call 360/250-2170
P.O. Box 711, Black Diamond, Washington 98010 USA
 


Special thanks to Olympic Web Design for hosting.




Tom Landis © copyright 2008 OwnerBuilder.com - All Rights Reserved