What exactly is “quality”? To some people, it may be a name brand, to others, it may all be in the appearance of something. For most people, quality refers to a level of visual appearance that is absent of obvious flaws. When used in reference to a home improvement or construction project, most consumers expect a certain level of good workmanship for the money paid. That said, one would look to the final level of work; the finish paint and trim to measure the level of quality in the job. No glaring flaws, then it must be good quality, right?
Well, maybe. In fact, a quality construction job goes much deeper than what shows up on the final surface. Let’s take a look at how Bob brings a level of quality and perfection from Day 1 of a typical finished basement job…
- Before any tools are carried in, tarps are placed on the floors leading to the basement to protect your floors.
- The basement floor is swept clean prior to bringing in any materials. Laser levels are used to determine a reference for an accurate square layout, since the foundation walls cannot be trusted to be perfectly square.
- The framing layout is marked out to within a tolerance of +/- 1/8” over a 50’ span. That may seem ridiculously precise for framing, but not to Bob.
- The steel and lumber are neatly stacked.
- Not many framing carpenters utilize (or carry) a jigsaw, but Bob will take the time to fit the firestops around pipes or to scribe them to the walls, minimizing the opening gaps to be firecaulked. (Most building inspectors are quick to praise what they see during the framing inspection.)
- The steel studs guarantee perfectly straight walls. These studs are placed on 16” centers.
- The soffit framing is done to maximize headroom beneath beams and ducting. Bob is known for his expertise in HVAC systems, so he doesn’t hesitate to relocate ducting in order to achieve a better ceiling space. In addition to this, he avoids using suspended (dropped) ceilings for this reason.
In the next phase of the job, quality is found in other aspects which will not be seen once the walls are up.
- If there is plumbing work (a bathroom, for instance) done, the customer can see how perfectly the joints in the pipes are done. No sloppy runs of solder or glue, no crooked pipes.
- The electrician’s wiring throughout the walls and ceilings is nice and straight. The outlet boxes are straight, and the lights are perfectly centered and symmetrical.
- The drywall installation, although messy work, is cleaned up that same day. The drywall finishers ensure a smooth surface ready for the painters.
- The trim work is a good place to check quality. The doors are hung with an even gap along sides and top, and the door meets the “stop” evenly top to bottom. Corners of the trim are cut with extreme precision, so the painter is not filling in gaps to hide poor cuts.
- The floor is vacuumed prior to painting, eliminating any particles which would spoil the paint finish.
It’s this level of accuracy throughout the construction process that guarantees a finished basement of the utmost standard of quality. Bob is a psychologically diagnosable perfectionist and it truly shows in his workmanship. Bob approaches every job with the care and attention to detail one would expect from someone doing work for family or friends. Bob may never set foot in your basement again once he’s finished, but he won’t leave without knowing that no one will ever find a flaw in his workmanship.