The Ultimate What Can Go Wrong When You Build Too Fast Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

During the recent U.S. housing boom, millions of homes were built extremely quickly. While this did meet the growing demand, it also meant that contractors had to cut many corners.

What was the change in U.S. new house construction starts from 2005 to 2009?

In 2005, the U.S. housing boom reached its zenith and construction began on two million new homes. By 2009, two years after the subprime mortgage crisis had begun, housing starts had dropped to half a million.


In addition to hiring unskilled laborers, how else did contractors meet the pressures of rapid construction during the housing boom?

High quality material was not always available, but the pressure was on to build quickly. Contractors often had to use inferior replacement materials to meet their deadlines.


In addition to developers and contractors, who else dangerously cut corners to meet deadlines during the housing boom?

To meet deadlines, many building inspectors only performed spot checks at new construction, rather than performing the in-depth inspections they normally would.


What portion of the homes built in 2005 do experts believe contain two or more significant defects?

Significant defects are those that could affect the structural integrity of the building. These include such problems as cracked foundations and roofs with leaks.


According to Homeowner Against Defective Dwellings (HADD), what is the most common problem when homes are built too fast?

Roofs are much more complex than simply putting a cover on top of the structure. Thus, when corners are cut, roofs are most likely to suffer.


How far away from the house itself should roofs direct rainwater?

If a home is built quickly, its design phase may also be rushed. This could lead to the designer overlooking a detail like this one.


What should be placed beneath the shingles on the roof of a house?

The layer of felt helps prevent water from seeping through between shingles and into the attic of the house.


What is "flashing?"

Certain spots on a roof are more vulnerable to leaks, and require metal flashing. These spots include chimneys and spots where two roof slopes meet in a "valley."


What is the top of a window frame called?

When installing a window, the head is covered with flash after the sides are. This way if water pours off the top it will fall outside of the side flashing instead of against the window frame.


Why is the bottom of the window frame not flashed?

Water dripping to the bottom is inevitable. But if there were flashing there, the water would remain at the bottom instead of draining away.


What is the most reported complaint regarding newly built homes?

Foundations will always leak if water builds up along their sides. This can lead to a flooded basement.


What is a key component to avoiding water leakage at the foundation level of a house?

In quality construction, the earth around the house will be bulldozed to create a grade away from the house. Then water will drain away, rather than pooling at the sides.


What is usually put alongside the foundation walls to help avoid water buildup?

Rainwater will drain freely through the gravel. Below the level of the foundation it can enter a perforated pipe that channels the water to a sewer or sump pump.


What should a contractor do to avoid continual "settling" of the house that could lead to a cracked foundation?

Tamping down the soil helps remove any spots where the dirt is loose. This creates a more solid and even foundation that is less likely to settle.


In addition to moisture, what is in plywood that can foster a mold infestation?

The sugars that are prevalent naturally in plywood (as opposed to hardwoods) provide mold with the nutrients it needs to grow.


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