We provide consulting services, counsel, and advice by the hour. Residential construction sometimes goes south, but we can help get your project back on track!
Our expertise comes from decades in the business, $65 million of remodeling experience, and making - and fixing - countless mistakes, all the while learning along the way. This helps inform us as we navigate your unique situation from an unbiased perspective.
John Skolfield and Anthony Rizzo see and understand a great deal in this field, and we're happy to help in a variety of ways. For general consulting our fee is $315 per hour with our focus on rapid and successful resolution.
Let us help achieve an agreeable solution between you and your contractor. We will listen to both parties' positions and review everything, contract included, to arrive at a roadmap that brings everyone together on the same page if possible. In most cases there’s no charge for an initial meeting with you, the client. If we’re engaged we’ll start with a comprehensive analysis of the site conditions, contract, and any change orders, communications, etc. When appropriate a one on one meeting with your contractor can help to start charting a path to get your home or project properly finished, or it can lead to a recommendation from us to sever the relationship. Either way, a third part expert opinion is very often what is needed.
We’re uniquely qualified to assess and report on construction defects. We do the work, not just report on it. At $10M/year, over $85m completed, 65 employees, and a management team with several hundred years’ experience, immersed daily in the industry, we represent far more than a theoretical analysis.
A new home under construction presents hundreds of areas for a builder to cut corners and save money with problems showing up after the one year warranty. An advocate, experienced, diplomatic, dependable and only concerned with your interest, can bring to your attention performance concerns and improve the end result. While building a new home typically takes a year, relationships with builders often stumble towards the end. It’s in all parties’ interest to complete the new build swiftly while maintaining quality.
Expert witness work
Our expertise is focused on residential construction. We provide expert witness services for conflicts reaching litigation that require assistance in any capacity from discovery through deposition, mediation, arbitration and trial as necessary.
Our pre-purchase review, while not replacing a home inspection, does provide professional insight into what it will take to transform a home to your vision. This sometimes means the cost exceeds your comfort, unfortunate news at the moment but can be prescient. We typically charge $500.
Home addition feasibility analysis
Is an addition to your home a practical next step? Let us help you find out! We'll consider building department questions like FAR, or floor-area ration, impervious surface allowances, height limitations, front, side and rear setbacks, rainwater retention and much more. We will also help outline probable costs so that you can make an informed decision. Generally, the charge for this is $450.00.
Water intrusion assessment
In the 1920’s homes breathed, weren’t insulated much, and basically leaked air like a screen porch. Now, new homes are like a very large zip lock bag, with some furniture and humans. This can work, it can keep you cool in the summer with low humidity and electric bills, but must be done just right. Often serious mistakes are made. Water comes in by way of vapor through the walls and bulk water from rain, pipes, HVAC drain lines, gutters, etc.. Squirrels sometimes eat the lead around a plumbing stack on the roof. Really, it’s a thing.
Windows and doors, after roofs, make up the majority of water intrusion, especially poorly built new modern homes without an overhang. Properly waterproofing an opening for a window installation is spending a nickel to save a dollar. Lasting decades or failing in years is the difference.
Our Home Repair Division have conducted hundreds of water tests and know how to isolate and locate the cause of the leak thereby recommending corrective action.
Moisture typically enters the home via:
A roof leak: Roof leaks usually occur at the point where roofing connects with a wall or valley, or seeps through an air/exhaust vent. Roof cement or caulking is the go-to for a quick solution but rarely the proper way to correct the problem long term. line leaks can occur. A trim nail unintentionally compromising the pipe due to poor molding installation is one cause. Interestingly a squirrel or rodent will often eat the lead around a pipe that goes to the roof, altering the integrity of the pipe
A water supply line leak: A leak in your water supply can be easily determined by inspecting the leak detector attached to your water meter, typically under a panel near the curb. If a leak is detected a small red triangle will indicate a low flow, or the movement of a digital meter. To test one has to be sure all water outlets are turned off and no toilets are running. Also, keep in mind some homes have two meters, one for the irrigation and one for your homes water supply
A waste line leak: Although rare, waste line leaks are harder to detect and to diagnose although the intermittent nature of failures here offer clues.
Supply line between tub spout to shower head: This is another rare, yet detrimental, occurrence in terms of leakages. If there is a leak inside of your shower wall, each time the shower is used water may be spraying the wall cavity. Although it is difficult to detect initially, as little as ten minutes a day could cause the wall cavity to be consistently soaked and to grow mold.
Window leaks: Our team extensive experience in determining window leaks. A water intrusion test is required to determine a window leak, this test is outlined below. There are many less expensive shortcuts builders use when installing windows. This can save a builder $100 per opening and perform fine for several years before a very expensive repair or replacement is needed. In years past most homes had deep overhangs. This protective architectural element has been receding, literally and figuratively, to the detriment of the homeowner.
Air conditioner condensation: A properly installed air conditioning system in the attic includes a pan built into the unit and a secondary pan underneath to catch any failure or overflow from the primary pan. Ideally both plans have have sensors that can shut off the system if if full and not draining as designed. A leak can occur when one or both of these condensation pans fail and overflow.
Bulk rain water: During times of heavy rainfall, a poor gutter system and/or incorrect grading can could cause water damage to the home.
Skolfield Services provides a multi-step system to detect and diagnose water leakages in most residential buildings. We use the following tools:
Over thirty combined years of experience chasing water in older homes.
An advanced Flier Infrared thermal detection tool giving us general readings of moisture
A surface moisture detector that can detect surface and near surface moisture
A pin type moisture detector for wood flooring. This device can be pined into a wood floor and provide moisture reading as well as driven into the cracks between boards to get a reading on the sub-floor.
While testing for a roof leak the most effective approach is to spray the roof with water at the lowest possible level for ten to fifteen minutes while simultaneously monitoring the interior with one or more of the tools listed above. If a moisture or a thermal anomaly does not occur, we usually begin to respray the roof at a slightly higher level and repeat the testing on the interior. Once the leak can be clearly isolated dyes can be injected into different areas suspect areas with more water. This helps us pinpoint the exact location of the leak.