10 Ways to Check Your GC’s Quality

Laura Hernandez

Laura Hernandez

October 11, 2018

Remodeling can be stressful, especially if your general contractor is subcontractor isn’t focused on quality work. At Bamboo we are obsessed with quality assurance to make sure our customers are happy, and here’s ten of the techniques we use to check the work of our Pros and subcontractors:

1. Coin Test: used to check how flat your tile is.

Tile is a tricky thing to install, if you have a good tile contractor, this should never be a problem, but, if you want to check quality, get a quarter (coin) and put it on the tile. Put your finger on top of the coin and move it across the tile vertically, not laying flat. If the coin doesn't slide smoothly, maybe have your contractor check it out.

2. Standing Test: used to check leakage in a shower.

Did you decide to go with a custom poured shower pan? Nothing sucks more than finishing any project and discovering a leak. But with the standing test, once your contractor has laid the pan underlay and cement on top (before they put in all the shower pan finishing tile), you can plug (close) the drain, fill the shower pan with water, and then mark the level. Come back in a day or so, and if the level has dropped significantly, you may need to redo the shower pan water lining.

3. Flow Test: to check gradient in a poured pan.

Linear drains in wet areas are getting increasingly popular, but trying to get water to run evenly over a shower pan or edge with a continuous gradient is kind of hard. To check this out, grab some water soluble (not permanent) ink or food dye, mix it up in a watering can, then pour it on the surface and see how the color runs.

4. Flat Test: to check how level your floor is.

Especially in basements, when re-doing flooring, the "levelness" of the floor can be off. There is no point laying flooring until you know the underlying foundation or concrete slab is level. Once the floor area has been prepared and brushed, using a bowling ball or something heavy with momentum, roll the ball around the floor and look for any paths that indicate a gradient. If you find a large discrepancy, self-leveling cement can fix the gradient before you start the flooring.

5. Paint Test: to check the even-ness of your paint job.

Its always a bummer to find a path of paint that isn't as even as the rest, its important to really take a close look at your walls. To check, put your face close to the wall and look up and down it, usually the different angle can illuminate some spots that have been missed!

6. Mind the Gap: check that space is left for real wood flooring.

Wood can expand and contract with the weather – temperature and humidity. Your contractor should leave a half inch gap underneath the rail round the edge of the wooden flooring, otherwise the flooring can buckle or have other defects over time. Make sure you look round the edge of the whole room before the contractor puts the rail back.

7. Hairdryer Test: to check that your outlets work.

You are sure every one of those power outlets works, right? Grab your hairdryer, then go around to each plug outlet, running the hairdryer on max speed and heat. If any don’t work or trip a fuse or safety switch, then you should get it fixed before your final payment to the contractor.

8. Hinge and Drawer Slide Test: to check your cabinet installation.

Try opening and closing all cabinet doors to see if its aligned and if the hinges are working properly. The drawers are the most difficult part of the whole cabinet set to achieve perfect alignment, so your carpenter needs a good eye for detail and stable hands. It is not aligned if you have to push or pull - a well installed drawer should glide smoothly.

9. Electrical Test: to check your electrical.

Switch on all lighting and leave it on for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour to see if there is any flickering. If you have 3 way switches, make sure they turn on and off on each correct side, and do it repeatedly (at least 4 times). Sometimes it can behave correctly once or twice, but when you keep turning it on and off, it doesn't work right.

10. Portal Test:

Sometimes doors don't close properly or sliding doors don't slide how they should. Always make sure that your doors are aligned and installed correctly and straight. If your sliding door does not slide smoothly, it means that it's not on its rail properly. As for swing doors, if you need to push or pull or lift before it locks, it means its not correctly hinged. have your contractor take a look and install them correctly.

At Bamboo we do all these tests and more throughout your project to validate quality, some other general contractors may not. We always recommend talking to your contractor about your quality and cost expectations before you sign on the dotted line – just as with any profession, better Pros can command higher pay. At Bamboo, we find the best Pros who consistently deliver high quality work, we pay them more than other contractors will, and we minimize our overhead to ensure the remodel is still lower cost for our customers.

We look forward to working with you too!

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