5 Most Common Home Remodeling Problems after installation (And how to solve them)
“What happens if I find problems with my remodel months or years down the road?” This is a question we often get asked by clients before they begin working with us.
At Custom Built, we build home remodel projects of all shapes and sizes every day and we have done so for over 15 years. Even though we have been in the business for that long, problems can and do occur.
In this article, you are going to learn the 5 most common problems too look for that can occur post-home remodel and what you can do to solve them. The purpose of this is to educate you on what can go wrong and what to keep an eye on.
The 5 most common problems
This list is in no particular order in terms of severity. It is important to note that most of these problems are likely to manifest within the first year after a remodel if they occur.
1. Gaps in exterior doors
As the temperature changes, a house will expand and contract.
This can cause gaps to develop between exterior doors. You may also notice the door does not latch properly to the wall.
The gap will not be there during installation due to the current temperature. However, once the weather changes, the door may not fit properly.
In the winter, you may notice a draft of cold air near the door or, if severe enough, you can see the gaps between the door and wall.
How to solve gaps in exterior doors
In most cases, the gap is a result of the change in temperature. Readjusting the door from the hinges should remove the gap. If you are unable to repair it yourself try contacting the contractor who installed the door to see if they will fix it.
In many cases, the contractor who installed the door offers some kind of warranty for things like this. If you show them the problem, they may come out to fix the problem.
Custom Built offers a lifetime warranty on workmanship and accounting for the expansion and contraction of a home is part of that. If a gap develops in an exterior door that Custom Built installed, contact us and we will come out to fix it.
2. Plumbing Leaks
Kitchen and bathroom remodels often require new plumbing pipes to be installed. Soon after the complete remodel is finished, you may notice leaks in this plumbing.
If a leak is going to happen, it will happen soon after installation, typically within days or weeks.
How to solve plumbing leaks
Each plumbing leak is different and it is best to reach out to the contractor that installed it.
If Custom Built installed your plumbing, contact us with the issue you are having with the plumbing.
If it was our workmanship that caused the issue, we will fix the leak free of charge. An example of this is pipe fittings not being tightened all the way.
If the issue was caused by a material failure, such as a pipe cracking or seal breaking, we will fix the issue for a fee.
3. Warping of deck boards
A problem that may occur with decks is the deck boards warping as the temperature changes through the year.
Decking is supposed to be installed with gaps between the boards to account for expansion and contraction.
When it is installed with no gap, the boards may warp and push together as seen in the image.
How to solve warping deck boards
An issue such as the warping of deck boards is likely caused by the installation of the boards with little to no gap between the boards. A problem like this should be handled by professionals to fix due to the building codes that must be followed.
Contact the contractor who built the deck to see if they will come out to fix it. Again, every contractor’s warranty policy is different so understand your contractor's warranty offer before hiring them.
Custom Built has been building decks for years and even though we do everything we can to prevent warping deck boards, they occasionally happen. Contact us and we will come out to fix the problem.
Send us pictures of the deck using a camera angle as seen in the image above (it helps us see the warping issue).
4. Leaks around windows and glass shower doors
Leaks that occur in these areas are likelyto occur soon after installation.For windows, they will be noticeable once it rains.
For glass shower doors, you may see water coming out of the shower between the panel and wall or underneath the shower door.
How to solve leaks around windows and shower doors
If you notice water coming through your installed windows and glass shower doors, let your contractor know.
Like plumbing leaks, it is best for these to be fixed by professionals.
Windows need to be installed with caulking between the windows and the framing of the wall and it may be likely that the caulking wasn’t installed properly.
In addition, there may be a gap that develops as the framing expands and contracts.
Glass shower doors may have side panels that need caulking installed between the panels and the tile wall and floor. If it isn’t installed properly, water may leak out of the shower.
Contact Custom Built if we installed your glass shower and we will come out to fix water leaking issues for either your windows or glass shower systems.
Another major issue with tile glass showers is the floor sloping away from the drain. This problem is much larger than re-caulking the shower panels.
The most noticeable location for this to occur is underneath the shower door (curb) that is raised above the shower floor.
This will require a major fix (which is covered under the lifetime workmanship warranty).
We will need to tear off the existing curb and repair it with the proper slope.
5. Cracks in drywall & drywall screws poke out
As the whole house expands and contracts with the temperature, it affects every part of the house - both interior and exterior. This expansion and contraction can affect the drywall - which is connected to the framing via drywall screws.
As the framing expands and contracts, the drywall may crack or the screws may start to poke out of the wall.
How to solve drywall cracks and screws poking out
Problems such as these may make you feel that there are structural issues with your house’s frame. Rest assured, problems such as these are not dangerous and can occur with new drywall. It can be attributed to the expansion and contraction of the house.
Drywall cracks are possible to fix yourself by doing some research online and getting the right materials from your local hardware store.
If this seems like too much of an endeavor contacting your contractor is a good idea.
Contact the contractor who installed the drywall with pictures of the drywall cracks or screws that are poking out. Every contractor’s policy is different regarding how they fix it or if it is included in their warranty.
As stated earlier, Custom Built offers a lifetime warranty, and fixing drywall that was previously installed by us is part of offering our clients a 5-star experience for life. Reach out to us and we will be more than happy to come out and fix it for you.
Next steps to prevent home remodeling problems
If you have problems with your home remodel after completion, contact whoever installed it to let them know. Every contractor has different warranties. Understand the warranty, if offered, before hiring a contractor.
As a custom design-build contractor, our clients do encounter problems down the road. We offer every one of our clients a 5-star experience for life and will fix any problem they find years after their project is installed.
If Custom Built was your contractor and you see any of the problems on this list, or if your problem isn’t on this list, reach out to our sales staff so we can solve your issue.
Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.