Chalking can be the painter’s best friend and Seattle home remodelers worst nightmare. Chalking is commonly used to hide imperfections, bad joints in the siding, and other moisture related problems. The problem is that too many carpenters and painters rely upon chalking to “waterproof” the exterior of a building. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the climate fluctuates significantly between the cold winter months and the hot summer months. The rate of expansion and contraction varies substantially between the siding, windows, door and other exterior features. It is unrealistic to think that chalking will maintain the bond between different exterior components for the the life of the building. A majority of the exterior, water related damage that Construct has repaired over the years has been the result of a failure of previous craftsmen to properly install all of the components necessary to shed water from the exterior of a building. Redundancy is necessary for a home in the greater Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland area to withstand the harsh weather. A properly installed window or door will shed water away from the plywood sheathing and interior of the home if the flashing and chalking fail. The next time you are considering modifying the exterior of your home, please remember that the role of chalking is largely cosmetic on the exterior of a home. Make sure you are working with a general contractor that is prepared to take the extra steps necessary to make sure that any water intrusion behind the siding of your home remains away from the plywood and critical framing components supporting the roof and second story of the house. Failure to do so will lead to costly repairs is the near future 🙁
A common question that I have frequently encounter in social circumstances is “how do you choose a general contractor?” This is a very fair question. There are tons of general contractors throughout the Seattle and Bellevue area. The challenge is finding a general contractor that shares your vision for a project and is committed to realizing “the dream” on time and on budget.
In my experience, the best vetting process for a general contractor is to complete a total home renovation or building a home from scratch on your own dime. Remodeling has a reputation for being notorious for blown budgets. When a general contractor is on the other side of the table, they gain a increased awareness for managing the timeline and budget for a remodeling or building project. It is only then that they can evaluate the success of the home improvement project – has the interior living space been significantly improved; was the project completed on time and on budget; did the remodel significantly improve the market value of the home; did all of the craftsmen on the project follow industry best practices to ensure that the home improvement project will lead to years of trouble free enjoyment?
Next time you are looking for a general contractor, be sure you ask them about their experience to gain a better insight into their level of commitment to the project. Experience is the greatest teacher in the home building and remodeling industry – be sure that you choose a general contractor that has first hand experience for the project you are planning.