The quality of new home construction in Texas
A friend of mine showed me some new houses being built that he sold here in Texas yesterday. I could not believe how cheap they build houses now. All these houses are in the 250 to 400K range and have like 3500 to 5000 sq. feet. They are mostly all Mexican crews (I don't have anything against Mexicans), and these guys do not really care about quality. Anyway, I should have taken my camera, but they are using this pex or pix plastic tube pipe now to do the plumbing in the houses. It is just thick wall plastic tube that they run the hot and cold water in it instead of copper pipe. It doesn't follow the ceiling joist or 2X4's on the wall at all. When it comes out into the bathroom, they use pre-formed 90-degree plastic fittings. Where it all comes together from the water line and lays on top the ceiling joist, it looks like a rats nest of crazy T-splices and what not. There are red and white colored tubes--hot & cold. The plastic tube wont break even if it freezes. It doesn't follow the ceiling joist at all. The AC ducts are all flex and they hang from the celing by special ropes. There is no square duct running anywhere in the house. All the 2X4's are finger joint. All the flooring is that press board and also the roof is the press board with a radiant barrier. The windows are all vinyl--not aluminum frame! This somehow reduces condensation, but they feel real cheap. The 2X12 floor joist for the 2nd level are not really 2X12's. They are what they call and I-beam type deal where the main part is the cheap press board sheeting turned on it's side! Then there are like these 3X3 boards on top and bottom of the press board turned on it's side. They are so cheap, but they say this reduces squeeking. There was a 4-gang switch on a wall. The boxes are still those blue plastic things with the nails on the end. This 4-gang box had some kind of cheap thin wooden support on the other side of the nails. I could easily rock it back and forth by pushing on it, and I could have easily gone right through it. The bathtube and shower floor are all preformed fiberglass crap. That is cheaper for them than having a tile floor in the shower. They are still using the U-shaped silver clamps to hold the romex to the 2X4 finger joint studs. Coming from the breaker box were the usual white romex lines, but there were also orange and yellow colored lines. I didn't get that. There is a big entertainment distribution box that has all kinds of coax lines, security alarm lines, phone lines and lines I didn't even know what they were. Anyway, man the construction is cheap. The foundation is post-tension. They still use rigid PVC for the water drain lines.