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July 10, 2014

What Lies Beneath: Monarch Helps Homeowners Fix Home Builders' “Surprises”

At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we perform renovations of all kinds, shapes and sizes. One of the most common renovation requests we receive from homeowners involves transforming the popcorn ceilings in their home to flat ceilings.

The tear down of this homeowner's ceiling
revealed the absence of joist hangers
Because drywall often becomes aged and tired over time, we prefer to tear down the existing ceiling and reinstall fresh drywall. We find this method provides a better end result and it usually looks crisper than a scrape-and-plaster skim coat on the ceiling.

While undertaking this renovation at a client’s home recently, our contractors were shocked at what they found when they removed the popcorn ceiling drywall. Monarch president Neil Samson was called to the job site to confirm what our experienced contractors had noticed immediately. During the construction of the home, some very important pieces were absent: on an entire section of joists, the joist hangers were missing! There was nothing holding the joists to the structural beams except a few nails.

Here is an example of how the structural beams in a home should look like. Notice the metal brackets holding the joists to the beam.

Joist hangers are metal brackets that secure joists to the beams.
Required by code, these joist hangers are a crucial piece of the house-building puzzle. Due to the lack of joist hangers, the joists had dropped about half an inch. It’s frightening to think about what could have happened to the home over time; however, crisis was averted and our installers jacked the floor joists back up in place then installed the joist hangers. Usually when we undertake a renovation, we expect some small surprises. Missing joist hangers is certainly not a small issue, but unfortunately it was not the only item on this job that gave us some concern.

More surprises were found in the bathroom!
There were more issues again with the joists and the structure of the home being compromised. Upon installation of the bathroom plumbing, our contractors discovered that someone had cut out three-quarters of a floor joist to allow for the bathtub p-trap. Once again, this is against building code, against safe practices, and most importantly could have caused some dangerous, life-threatening scenarios. As you can see from the photo, the plumbing had been leaking for some time and had caused mold to appear on the flooring.

Working with a contractor or renovation company that you trust is very important. At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we respect our customers’ homes, their families and their safety. Monarch president Neil Samson visits all job sites on a regular basis to ensure “surprises” are dealt with in a timely manner, ensuring the safety of your family and your home.

Ready to renovate? Call us today at 905-686-2001 or drop by our showroom and speak with a member of our design team.