High End Homes ? or are they ?

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Blog entry by canadianchips posted 01-27-2012 12:38 AM 6652 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I always enjoy open houses. Whenever I can I like to tour the newest homes, seeing what is being used and how it is done. One house was being built close by, I accidently toured it too soon. I know I never want people to see some of my work before I am finished, I never like to criticize another persons work either. BUT….......... this one was a joke. The finish work (or so called) had more putty, caulking and WHATever. Mitered corners (maybe hard to tell with all that plaster overtop) With todays pneumatic guns why space your holes, just pull the trigger WHENEVER you feel like it, regardless of what was behind it, most plater at times I guess. Everything was being painted anyway. Primer, sanded then spray painted. The end result did look okay, I guess. I am just wondering , how can someone justify charging that enormous cost for MDF and plastic !
These are MY thoughts: OLD SCHOOL. I really don’t think it should be called a high end home when substandard materials are being used.
Hollow core doors vs solid doors.
MDF, vs solid wood
Click wood floor vs hardwood flooring.
Don’t even want to comment on:
Interior paint being used
Roof coverings ?
Outside wall materials?
What do others think ?
Do you want a home that will be here for another 100 years or do you want a home that has the latest, greatest FAD materials that really haven’t been tested very well, looks good for short period of time, then re-do everything.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

27 comments so far

View deleteme's profile


141 posts in 3239 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 12:57 AM

They don’t make them like they used to…at least not for cheap. Oh, and much “supervision”.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3807 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 01:14 AM


This one rings true.

We are not “high-end” home buyers, but … middle of the pack, in our area.

But we’ve looked at quite a few homes—mostly new construction, and many under construction.

But the trim work … the drywall work … the concrete work … the plumbing … the wiring … the more I see, the more I think it’s like a lot of restaurants that use dim lighting in the dining rooms: for good reason.

When I talk to builders about—even for a surcharge (perfectly okay with me)—using better materials … they truly balk.

I wonder if Mike Holmes will be doing US-based shows, in the future ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 03:32 AM

I dont have an issue with using MDF for trim, if the trim is to be painted, ……..many high end homes go through multiple renovations over the years and perfectly expensive solid wood trim is tossed into the garbage. Pending what is being trimmed and how, MDF is often a better solution as it isnt subject to severe shrinkage and expansion issues like solid wood so that when the RH is low………you dont see an “unpainted” surface.

Not a fan of hollow core doors, nor the simulated wood doors (kinda like fake bacon bits) but so many, so claimed solid doors are nothing more then thick veneers on a finger jointed core, and half the time the finish carpenter doesn’t even know so how would the home owner know. Look no further then this…… me a Kitchen Cabinet supplier who doesn’t advertise “CUSTOM” made, when in fact, they are generic, off the shelf soon to placed in your home through a 20/20 program. Advertisements that say “Solid Doors” are no different.

I have had the good fortune to work in many custom high end homes and also the experience to have worked and built less desirable homes so the comparisons are night and day but the consumer doesnt have this experience, nor the knowledge to make choices and must reply on the advice of the builder.

How many homes get drywalled before the framing material is “dry” ?………even many high homes, the drywall is slammed on the studs, the ceiling joists only to have the drywall screws and nails “pop” years down the line. How many high end homes stop at the “drywall” and never put put a skim coat of plaster over every square inch of drywall which is the only way to ensure “perfect” paint jobs.

Regardless of whether we think its “high end” or not, the cut-off point separating average from all the others, seems infinitely undefinable.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3903 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 03:45 AM

Homes are such tick tak now a days….I would be ashamed to have my name associated with any of them (we used to put signs out front of our projects with our name displayed – and were proud to tell folks about our work). Today everything is done on the cheap…the materials are garbage….and the workmanship shoddy….it is a comment on how things are being done anymore – It must be fast…..and above all…it must be Cheap! Sometimes cheap is fine (plastic plates…disposable towels….)...but for things that you rely on (like a Home?)...wouldn’t it be great to find Quality? I just hope the current trend can be reversed someday…..before we are up to our necks in homes that fall apart when someone passes wind nearby…..

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View RandyM68's profile


693 posts in 2951 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 06:04 AM

When we were looking for a house to buy, my wife wanted a brand new one. After we looked at a few, even she could see they were crap. Instead, we bought one built in 1952. For the same money, it was 600 square feet bigger with a detached garage/workshop and an acre of land. The carpet was dirty and the wall paper was loose, but everything else was good.We pulled up the carpet, and it had real oak floors. I refinished the den and didn’t look too bad, but I paid a guy to do the dining and living rooms, and they were georgeous. We took down the wallpaper, and the walls and ceilings were tounge-in-groove 1×6’s. I bet you can’t put your fist through my wall. A couple of years later, a tornado rolled through. I lost some shingles and had some windows blown out. Most of the newer houses around me got hauled away in dump trucks. My poor old El Camino looked like Godzilla stomped in the whole right side, but I think it got hit by my next door neighbor’s house when it blew down the street. I guess we made the right choice.

-- I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm sorry,thanks.

View Bagtown's profile


1739 posts in 4363 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 06:09 AM

No strapping on the ceiling, no blocking between joists, the list goes on and on.
Problem is people have no idea what it takes for real finish carpentry. They see TV shows that bang out furniture from MDF made in the driveway and redo half a house in a weekend and they think that’s the way things should be done, and think they’re getting ripped off when you charge real working wages. People watch enough clik flooring going down and they think that’s better than hardwood. Good trim carpentry takes time, especially when everything else has been thrown up so fast that nothing is quite plumb and square. Then the trim guy has to cover everyone else’s mistakes.


-- Mike - In Fort McMurray Alberta

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23850 posts in 3738 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 07:16 AM

The new age buyers don’t get what they think they are paying for. What a shame for someone’s home!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3941 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 07:22 AM

I just finished framing in a section of my barn/workshop so I can have a separate enclosed area for sculpting and sanding. A friend came by with a buddy of his who frames houses for a living. He was saying that I would never make it in the framing business because I took entirely too much time to measured every plate, stud, header andother pieces to within a 16th of an inch before cutting it on my miter saw so I could get a peerfectly square cut. He said framing has to be cheap, fast and quick. My comment to him was thank god I would never survive in framing because I would not lower my standards. Besides, with 10 ft ceilings in my shop I felt that climbing up that ladder to nail 2×4’s together more times that I care to remember really sucked.
At least I felt like I did a first class job that will last.

I feel that whatever form of woodworking you do…or more so whatever else you do in life.. you should strive to do the best work you can possibly do. Pride….

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 08:45 AM

you get what you pay for

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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5047 posts in 4526 days

#10 posted 01-27-2012 08:47 AM

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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5047 posts in 4526 days

#11 posted 01-27-2012 08:48 AM

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#12 posted 01-27-2012 08:57 AM

stop pretending

do it right, right from the get go

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#13 posted 01-27-2012 09:00 AM

know your limits

and know the limits of the trades who claim they know theirs

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#14 posted 01-27-2012 09:09 AM

how to execute a kitchen, a dining room, a great room,

best advice

dont hire who you dont trust

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Moron's profile


5047 posts in 4526 days

#15 posted 01-27-2012 09:27 AM

how do you block a ceiling, so the tiles above you never break ?

Ever owned a home where a tile broke? …………high five

when you were a kid………..did lego ever intrigue you ?

I suspect that most folks……………sadly reflecting on the fact that it eludes them and r presently pissed off due to the fact they hired an idiot

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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