Is my builder meeting industry standards?

We're building a new house in a development with many new houses going up by one builder. I have some things that I have brought to their attention during walk throughs and I wanted to find out if I need to demand they re-work a couple things.
First, can you tell me if using green board in bathrooms is industry the industry standard? I asked them about it when I saw they had used normal drywall. They indicated that it was not required by code and that semi gloss paint would prevent moisture rom getting through. I konw that's false, but how concerned should I be with getting them to use green board in the three bathrooms?
There is also a significant break in the concrete floor slab at the base of an alternate cellar entrance. The edge of the concrete in a section about 3 inches wide by 18 inches long is broken off. Can I demand that they correct this? Are they obligated to fix it at all?
There are some places where the flashing is ripped and it shows general poor workmanship. There are some places along the fascia boards where you can see through to raw plywood that will be exposed to weather. What are my options to get them to address these concerns?
Any input would be quite helpful. Thank you!
Also, they made us sign a paper indicating that we are responsible for keeping the lawn watered and they are not responsible for it as it requires proper care to flourish. The problem is they told me they will be putting the lawn in prior to our closing date so we will not be able to keep it watered. They said they would let us bring hoses over to water it... not really an ideal way to spend evenings... waiting at an unfinished house that you can't go into while your lawn is irrigated. What are my options here... can I demand that they wait until after closing to add the lawn?
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Building Standards as per Building Codes are "MINMUM" Standards.
The minimum adherence to Canadian Building Codes for examples amount to substandard construction, but will cost the owner over the long run.
If you look for quality in your building assets, you should not accept, what you the relative layman (I assume) notice already.
The problem has to do with the relative low level and scarcity of real trained, skilful and committed tradesmen; Professionals (Planer, Architects, Engineers) being educated and dropped in to the Business from the "top" rather coming up through the ranks; Suppliers and there products who to often deliberately design too short life cycles into their products along with lousy quality standards; Government agencies who pretend to protect the citizen but rather interested in short term political, fiscal matters.
I may sound harsh, but if we live in world of limited resources the very best may just come close to obtain sustainability. Not more! Going the other way is not an option.
Unfortunately many have no clou what I am talking about. To build quality we must think quality first; for today and tomorrow.
How can you do better?
Educated yourself, be very much interested in all aspects from design to the last finishing touches. Insist to be involved and part of the loop; not just the source for progress payments. If you up to it, be the general contractor yourself; maintain control and compliance to your own higher standards.
Hire the best, most trustworthy peoples, companies; check out their work and references. Fancy titles, association memberships, overdone advertisements are not a draw for me. Question things; don't be railroaded by down talk of "experts".
Of course it's a matter of money, but..... Unfortunately the lower standards in codes and workmanship will initially be less costly; but you definitely going to pay in the long run.
PS: Somebody close to me moved into a new house build in a "good" subdivision with "top" developers and contractors. Costs of these new Buildings not cheep either!
The newest methods to erect foundation and also walls are the concrete filled insulation blocks; highly stated as the best there is in terms of many important building features. Insulation claimed to be top notch, when in fact the minimum thickness amounts to a total of 4" Styrofoam @ R4/inch giving a total R value of 16 at the weakest areas.
Membranes on the inside are considered unnecessary. The outside is wrapped with "Tyvek" etc house wrap(or left bare) and sided over. Basement sections are covered with thicker membrane below ground level. Does not sound bad, right?
Wrong! Here is what happened. Ants, wasps, mice and many other critters have recognised this Styrofoam not only nutritious (go figure) but incredible nice to build extended dens and passages into. Of course each new species attracts new ones and soon you have your own zoo! How did the get in? Well bad craftsmanship; too many uncovered areas open to the outside, even if hidden by siding etc. If water gets in, freezing will further destroy and weaken the substance and the insulation value goes down the drain. And everyone thought we had the top ideas about basements and walls. This new building technique is around for over 12 years where I live, so we would think Codes and construction practises are on top of things, right? Wrong again; the whole Building Code does not address the issue of infiltration by insects, rodents etc at all. The National Research Council (the brain behind the Canadian Building Standards) is busy studying many other irrelevant issues where the results can be predicted with common sense and a reasonable amount of knowledge. Of course the Manufacturers are not moving to improve products unless pressured.
In the meantime John Doe enjoys the new House along with all his uninvited friends' und lives happily thereafter; he can sell the house and any problem with it. But if you want quality, it starts in your mind!
justin wrote:

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Building standards are usually pretty vague. Levels of quality vary greatly among builders.
That said, your contract probably has a "walk-thru" or "punch list" clause. It says you will deliver in writing items that you feel are insufficient or improper. The seller will then respond, telling you which items they will fix and which items they deem "good enough". You don't necessarily get the option of telling them what "good enough" is. Its their house so they get to decide. You, however, get to decide if you want to continue with the closing or if you would like to walk away. If the builder chooses to not fix some of your items, you contract probably says that you can request a refund of your earnest money and terminate the agreement.
Also, the method of correction is usually left to the builder. For instance, you may think that the only way to fix that broken concrete is to remove the entire slab and replace it. The likely fix for the builder would be to simply form and repour the broken section. Although it will be a visible repair, it will no longer be a defect.
If I were your builder, I would repair the broken slab as slabs may crack, but should not be broken.
Moisture resistant sheetrock is useful in wet areas. A bathroom as a whole does not constitute a wet area. I install green board around showers and tubs only. Areas such as bathroom sinks typically have a splash that keeps water off the sheetrock. Unless the building authority in which you are building sees it differently, I doubt you have any leverage to have green board installed.
I don't fully understand your comment regarding the flashing, but if the plywood is above the fascia, a metal drip cap could be installed to cover the crack and protect the plywood. However, what we see around here is roofing shingles that hang over the plywood and cover the plywood and the water runs off into the gutters. If you are in a freezing area, this probably won't work out very well.
Lastly, just like all of my other comments, the house is theirs until you close. Thats their grass and shrubs until you own the property. After that, they do not warrant the yard to survive. But they cannot deliver it dead. If you want to make sure you have a thriving lawn when you move in, buy some good sprinklers, some 3/4" hoses and some automatic timers. You can set them to water every day. Then all you have to do is come by and move the sprinklers around every couple of days.
Shannon Pate

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justin wrote:

green board is not required by code in bathrooms where i live, and i haven't yet met a drywaller who uses it in that situation.

i would get them to fix this.

this sounds unacceptably sloppy. you should not see raw plywood.>

i would not sign such a paper. they could always have the sod laid at the very last minute.
in construction, you usually get what you pay for! unfortunately, even substandard work is frighteningly expensive.
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justin wrote:

These are well put and accurate comments by a builder. I agree. TB
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Industry standards as well as building codes are quite low. Industry standards really only means that "everyone is doing it this way and our industry has decided it's acceptable." (Even if it's WRONG.) It can be crap and still meet industry standards and even building codes. BTW neither is well enforced so you can get a house that doesn't meet standards OR codes. (Codes are more about safety issues. So, if your home does not meet code you may have a serious problem.)
That said, if the builder isn't installing materials correctly it will almost certainly void any warranty coverage whether it's from the maker of the material or from a third-party warranty company.
MANY new homes have incorrect installation of materials. You need to have your own inspector come and look at these homes now before any more is hidden under sheetrock and other materials.
If your builder still owns the property, as is typical in tract developments, technically he is responsible for EVERYTHING until you close. Including the lawn. He is trying to foist everything and anything off on you that he possibly can. Though spending hours trying to get a new lawn to "take" is a common new home owner task, you don't even own the property yet unless you owned the land before they started.
Here's a link you will probably need soon: http://www.hadd.com
Good luck, I hope your experience goes better than many I can think of.
justin wrote:

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