Davids Corner

David's Corner

By David McNair

David McNair, David's Corner Not all builders are concerned about quality, product longevity, and long-term customer satisfaction.

As a real-life example, we were called by a friend renting a beautiful home with covered lanai and pool in a prominent community with concerns about their large fireplace leaning and a pool deck crack. After our site visit and a couple of hours of investigation, it was clear this was no simple fix.

Their pool deck and fireplace had significant settlement issues caused by poor design and construction. We had our suspicions of further unseen quality issues. As we began to break up the pool deck, not only did it break up easily, there were substantial non-supporting voids under the concrete. 

David's Corner, Voids Any idea why concrete can break up relatively easily?
Concrete requires structural reinforcement to strengthen it in "tension" and inhibit expansion and contraction cracking. Concrete can work well in compression without reinforcement, but will fail without it in situations like this pictured here! This is nothing new, always use fiber additives, steel mesh and rebar or a combination as concrete reinforcement, even straw and horse hair has been used as reinforcement for thousands of years (but I think we're past that now!)


What about their leaning fireplace? David's Corner, Concrete Thickness

We’re fortunate we're so cautious when demolishing work we didn’t build. As we take demolish the leaning fireplace we realize the structure was constructed with unacceptable substrate, minimal or no water barrier, and a substandard thin stucco application. Apparently the builder thought conventional stucco without a barrier was waterproof, and fireplaces don’t need footings. THE STRUCTURE WAS ROTTEN due to water infiltration. It looked fine from the outside, but there was no adequate accommodation for felt, stucco wrap, or flashing. Quarter inch OSB was used on the exterior and studs and the plywood was weak and rotten. Deck drainage and water management was an afterthought.

You think this is uncommon? Or that this was an old home?
We've been building in the low-country for almost 30 years and we've seen many similar issues on homes and I'm sure you have too, you just didn’t know it.
If you live in a McNair Built home or choose us as your builder, rest assured we have the expertise to build it right. Most importantly, your home will be built with quality, value and your safety and long-term enjoyment in mind.



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843-681-9543 • Moss Creek Village, Suite 300, 1533 Fording Island Road Hilton Head, SC 29926 • david@mcnairbuilders.com