So much of building a house comes down to the details – things that a good builder knows and does, but maybe a less experienced person doesn’t know.  And sometimes of course even a builder who knows the details is just in too much of a hurry to do things right.

So if you’re out looking at houses to buy, what are some of the details you can look for to try to determine if this builder (or renovator, or flipper, or carpenter) did a top-quality job or maybe cut some corners?

Here’s one thing to look for: the escutcheon plate at the toilet water supply pipe.  This pipe usually comes through the wall down low and it often comes right through the baseboard, or maybe just above the baseboard.  But the baseboard usually isn’t flat and so the escutcheon plate can’t sit flat against it.  Like this:

The escutcheon plate doesn’t sit flat against the baseboard.

Or like this:

This isn’t a functional problem.  It isn’t going to cause a leak.  It isn’t going to make the toilet overflow.

But it looks bad.

In a situation like this a good carpenter will interrupt the baseboard with a flat block that the pipe will go through and allow the escutcheon plate to sit flat against it.  Something like this:

Now the escutcheon plate can sit flat against the block.

This is a nice detail that shows the carpenter was knowledgeable and paying attention to the details.  Sometimes I see the baseboard just cut away like this:

I don’t think this solution is quite as good as the flat block, but it’s a lot better than doing nothing and still shows the carpenter is attentive to the details.

So the next time you’re out looking for a house to buy pay attention to this detail to learn a little bit more about the care and attention to detail that went into building the house.

Inspection Overview
Why Get a Home Inspection?

Recent Posts

electrical service size

Your electrical service size is how many amperes and how many volts you have coming into your house.  This determines how much electrical power you have to run your electrical devices.  Here are some things

Whole House Fan

A whole house fan can be a great way to keep cool in the summer while saving money and energy.  Here are some important things to know about them. A whole house fan is found

AC insulation

Here’s a quick schematic diagram of a central air conditioner system.  There’s the outside unit, known as the condensing unit.  There’s everything inside the house, consisting mostly of the evaporator coil, a metering device, and

Water temperature

According to an article published in 2013 in the academic publication Journal of Burn Care and Research “Burns from tap water result in an estimated 1500 hospital admissions and approximately 100 deaths per year.”  J

Request Inspection

More Posts You May Find Interesting

electrical service size

July 9th, 2024|Comments Off on electrical service size

Your electrical service size is how many amperes and how many volts you have coming into your house.  This determines how much electrical power you have to run your electrical devices.  Here are some things

Whole House Fan

June 17th, 2024|Comments Off on Whole House Fan

A whole house fan can be a great way to keep cool in the summer while saving money and energy.  Here are some important things to know about them. A whole house fan is found

AC insulation

June 10th, 2024|Comments Off on AC insulation

Here’s a quick schematic diagram of a central air conditioner system.  There’s the outside unit, known as the condensing unit.  There’s everything inside the house, consisting mostly of the evaporator coil, a metering device, and

Water temperature

May 31st, 2024|Comments Off on Water temperature

According to an article published in 2013 in the academic publication Journal of Burn Care and Research “Burns from tap water result in an estimated 1500 hospital admissions and approximately 100 deaths per year.”  J

Don’t let your pipes freeze

February 7th, 2024|Comments Off on Don’t let your pipes freeze

I’ve heard the question many times: How low should I set my thermostat if I leave town in the winter, to save money but prevent my pipes from freezing? 65 °F?  60 °F?  50?  I

Wood shrinkage

January 16th, 2024|Comments Off on Wood shrinkage

Let’s talk about wood shrinkage. Your hardwood floors are the place where you’re mostly likely to see the problems associated with wood shrinkage, but old panel doors can also experience problems.  In floors, as the