A Huff and a Puff

By Jason Leach
Published October 30, 2006

Whoever said that major developers were making a lot of money on cheap, cut-rate sprawl construction has a little more evidence. As if all the leaky roofs, drafty windows and sub-par workmanship weren't enough proof, how's this?

A townhouse under construction blew down during Sunday's strong winds.

No, a hurricane didn't come through. Simply winds of 80-90km/hr. For those who aren't weather nuts like me, winds like that occur several times each year in the fall and winter, and summer thunderstorms regularly produce winds of 90km or even higher sometimes during our occasional heatwaves.

Imagine if a real storm blew in?

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 30, 2006 at 10:17:54

Look at the photo on the Star article: it's just a jumble of plywood and pressboard.

Building codes specify a house has to last 20 years; that usually isn't even enough time to pay off the mortgage. What a shame that as a rich society we think we can afford the luxury of disposable buildings!

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted October 30, 2006 at 11:27:44

I'd like to see some firm evidence that new house construction is shoddy. I've certainly seen/heard my fair share of evidence that it is.

My contractor in Dundas told me about how he'd have to leave his last job, building houses in one of the Dundas subdivisions.
"It was shoddy workmanship" he told me. He told me a story about how he was asked to keep painting over a damp patch in the basement, until the house was sold. The repair - to fix the damp problem properly - would have taken him half a day, he explained. But the builder wouldn't do it.

I also recall walking around downtown Hamilton with Trevor and checking out the outside of a new building. There was drywall tape protruding from the facade and the exterior coating was already coming away.

I understand that house builders margins are slim, but clearly our standards aren't what they used to be.


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By jason (registered) | Posted October 30, 2006 at 14:11:42

I know someone who is a building contractor....he had a house built for him a few years back and would show up at night to tear down walls and build the place properly. The builder got mad at him, but obviously he was paying good money for the place and wasn't going to let them build a piece of crap.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted October 30, 2006 at 21:48:40

Planned obsolescence. What kind of future can the home builders look forward to if buildings last forever? Especially if those poetry-reading beatniks in city hall keep closing off the urban boundaries.

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By A Beatnik (anonymous) | Posted November 08, 2006 at 00:53:51

You must mean, **start** closing off the urban boundaries.

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