Why can’t we build a perfect house?

The operative word here is “WE”.  We can’t build a perfect house because WE are human beings and human beings are not perfect.  And, of course, there is the question, “Exactly what is a perfect house?”  Many people expect a perfect house, whether buying a brand-new house or a used house.  That expectation only brings disappointment.  There simply is no such thing as a perfect house.

We suspect that Mother Nature and Mother Earth get a good laugh at our futile efforts to build the perfect house.  While there are probably endless reasons why building the perfect house is a futile goal, we believe these four to be the most fundamental.

1.  We build our homes on the ground! Mother Earth (the ground) is unpredictable.

2.  We build most of our homes with wood.  Wood is organic.  Mother Nature did not design wood to be a predictable, reliable building material.  It is dimensionally unstable, changing shape as it ages and as temperature and humidity change.

3.  We use human beings to build our homes!  Human beings are not perfect.  Further, there seem to be fewer skilled human beings available to help build homes.

4.  We build our homes outside!  That’s the worst practice of all!  The same Mother Nature that gives us imperfect wood with which to build our homes then throws unpredictable weather at us while we build.

Unlike most of the products we buy, homes are not built in a controlled manufacturing environment.  (The exception, of course, is the manufactured housing industry which still represents only a small portion of the residential construction industry in the United States.)  Homes are built in the real world.

The best defense against surprises caused by these conditions is knowledge. Before, during and after a home has been constructed, regular inspections will help identify potential or new problems. A licensed Professional Engineer with experience in building evaluations from Criterium-Schimnowski Engineers may be your best choice for an inspection.