Air leaks normal in new condo?


Can someone tell me, is it normal to have all kinds of air leaks and drafts throughout a condo that is brand new?
For example, any time I take the plates off from the plugs or light switches I have crazy drafts; I have cold air coming in from the oven hood exhaust as well as cold air coming in from the air exchanger vents; I also have leaks around some of the window frames. I don't think this is normal
The builder is quite difficult and responds ever so slowly to these issues (as well as other open issues). It just kills me that these a$$hole contractors/builders can get away with such things and the consumer is stuck with no recourse.
Any ideas would be appreciated on how to deal with him; I don't think that ALL contractors are like this, but the ones who actually care are surely in the 1%.
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MP wrote:

Where are you? sounds like shoddy building. What floor? Any walls facing outside?
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On Tue, 6 Feb 2007 21:56:39 -0500, "MP"

"Condo" is a financial arrangement and tells us nothing about what kind of building it is, or how much of it you live in.
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MP wrote:

If all the units have this sort of problem, then you may be able to sue the builder as a group, and pressure him into fixing the problems.
Unfortunately, the way they throw up new buildings now, the stucco covering the crappy underpinnings will last just long enough for the builder to go out of business.
I hope that there are no balconies or decks.
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Leaks should not happen in new buildings but you have proven nothing. To prove leaks are excessive and pinpoint problems a 2-300$ Blower Door test is necessary, leaks are pinpointed with a chemical smoke stick and air exchanges per hour are computed and printed out. Get together with condo managers to get a test and act as a group to do what is needed.
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As an electrician I feel drafts coming from outlets and switches quite often. I have even felt air movement on interior wall outlets. I don't know if you have a leg to stand on with this situation. Most housing today is built to minimum standards and unless the code requirements call for draft protection, the builder didn't do anything wrong. Have you tried calling your local building department to get their opinion. They are the ones who should have inspected the construction as it progressed.
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Plus, he says the outlet drafts occur when he takes off the cover plate. Well, duh! Stop taking off the cover plates. It's not unusual to have drafts with the cover off. Also, there are sealing widgets available in the electrical supply area at home stores to seal them tighter.
The range hood should have a flapper type seal on the outlet. Perhaps it's stuck. Many of these are cheap crap and you may be able to replace it with a better one, they only cost a few bucks.
Air exchanger leaks, can't help with. IMO, unless you have a house specifically built to be airtight for energy conservation, you will have enough air infiltration that you don't need anything else to bring in outside air. Sounds like you;re seeing that and the exchanger is just another energy waste. Especially if it's not a hear recovery type, which if it's typical cheap condo construction, it probably isnt'.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Wow! where you two live? Ever heard of building code and air tight house? In this day and age who builds drafty house? I thought U.S. is most modern high tech country where everything is up-to-date and exemplary. How about spending money on building better houses than throwing money on questionable war? I read somewhere, one year war cost in Iraq can cover everyone's health care there with some money left over. I remove any electrical box cover, not a sign of draft! House was custom built in '94 with my supervision on R2000 spec.
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Air leaks are common in new houses, but only because the build quality is so poor.
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There is no building code in NJ, nor any other area that I'm aware of that requires an air tight house.
In this day and age who builds drafty house?
Being drafty and getting enough air exchange via some leakage, opening/ closing doors etc are too different things. I've seen lots of new construction recently, and not one of them had an air exchanger.
I thought U.S.

And now, like a real schmuck, you want to drag politics into a simple discussion on air leakage and slam the USA. Wherever you live, you probably have lots of extra govt money. You don't spend much on military, because you know if the world gets really screwed up, the good old USA will be there to deal with evil and save your ass.
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