New House Build Gone Wrong

Renovation and Construction Project Ottawa

Let Professionals at Rycraft Construction Ottawa handle it.

Our customer was building a very simple 1600 sqft ‘A frame’ house and after 18 months she reached the difficult decision to fire her original builder due to a significant cost overrun and schedule delay as well as poor workmanship. The consequences of a ‘build gone wrong’ were additional build costs well beyond the agreed project budget, the cost to repair the defective work, the need to lease two sea-cans to store appliances and the kitchen cabinets that were scheduled to be installed 9 months earlier, and an extra year in temporary accommodations.

Rycraft Custom Constructors and Renovators in Ottawa, took over the project after the framing stage with the roof system installed. The statement of work for Rycraft  Construction, Ottawa was the repair of the prior work and all exterior and interior finishing. The repair of the prior work turned out to be the largest work requirement of the entire project. In total, there were 350 hours on framing repairs. The summary of repairs required: 

  • Correct a 2” deficiency with the gable end wall (exterior esthetics).
  • Shim all roof rafters that were not crowned, to correct a 2 1/2” deficiency across the ceiling area. This was a critical item to fix because of the extra visibility of the ceiling in an A Frame.  
  • Correct the fascia that were 3” out of alignment, and again an important fix because of the visibility, and black flashing.
  • Fix interior wall studs that were not crowned and not attached to floor.
  • Wall studs not framed at 16” on center. 
  • Demolish and rebuild all interior bulkheads, none of which were square or level. 
  • Fix all exterior wall sheathing that were pushed out by spray foam because of a lack of nailing. 
  • Fix window openings that were framed too large. 
  • The wrong windows were ordered. Important design factor: higher window efficiency ratings are required when the window area square footage exceeds standard building ratios.
  • Fix the loft and 2nd story deck that were out of level by four inches.
  • Fix interior door openings that were framed 6” too large. 
  • Fix sump pump discharge that was not properly installed resulting in flooding of the crawl space. Flooding permanently damaged the water tank and boiler resulting in the need to replace new equipment. 
  • Fix all flashing around all skylights on the tin roof. 
  • Remove and reinstall all windows to add Blueskin as required by good building practices and building code.
  • Reframe all exterior canopies to correct level and square.


While it is hard to imagine that the issues with this project could happen, they did happen and the home owner was the victim; costing her 100’s of thousands extra and an extra year of temporary housing and storage. Selecting your builder is a critical decision and while there may be a temptation to select the builder with the lowest cost, if the builder selected does not have the skills and work force to execute the project as agreed; the initial price quoted will be far greater. 

Have you thoroughly researched the builder that you have chosen? Do they have a website, are they a member in good standing with the Canadian Home Builders Association and or your local Regional Home Builders Association and or the Better Business Bureau? Review the builder’s portfolio of work and check multiple references that they should be able to provide. Rycraft Construction is Ottawa’s leading home renovation contractor.


House Build Gone Wrong- Interior View