We've been repairing a house that, had certain details been attended to, the repairs would be unnecessary. So, I figured if it helps one person avoid future repair heartache, this post would be worth it.

The first photo illustrates what rodents can do to an area of rot. After pulling off the "siding",(which is actually sheathing), the area exposed in the second photo was insufficient to being able to remove all the rot on the top plate. The third shows a little more of that corner. The mistakes made here at the building stage were, to begin with, not covering the top edge of the foundation with sheathing and siding. Concrete will decay when it's top edges are exposed to the elements. In addition to not being covered, this house had gutters without downspouts resulting in a torential down pour at the corners every time it rained. The surrounding soil does not slope away from the house, either. (but this could be partially a result of the deluge during rain) The earth on the  other side of the house actually slopes toward the house, indicating that there wasn't any effort made to landscape properly around the foundation. The house was sheathed but not sided, this is something that is often done to cut costs and it's not a horrible idea, but you are creating a need for higher maintenance in your future. Like: what are you going to do to keep the water/wind from entering those seams and those seams are going to be more susceptable to vermin and rot. Another thing that could have been done on these corners was to install 1x4 trim. It's easier to replace when it starts to rot and it protects the exposed edges of the plywood. The followin pictures show more dramatically what was removed and how much damage was done to the foundation. We will be patching the concrete, but I'm not sure it will hold up as well as the foundation would have, had it been protected. 

No matter what corners you cut to make building your home more affordable, remember to keep an eye on the exterior. Watch out for potential wear and rot, poke it with a screwdriver to make sure it's still solid and remember you can install sacraficial trim if you keep an eye on it and replace as necessary. 

Blog posted on Wednesday December 4th 2019 19:23:01 GMT -08:00