You Got Problems? We Got Solutions!

Written By: Athena Seay

2020 was a doozy, to say the least!  Is it over yet? Covid-19, hurricanes, and wildfires caused a huge slow down in lumber production.  Key building materials, such as vinyl windows, roofing supplies, and appliances have also been affected in the supply chain.  The migration out of big cities has helped spur the real estate market to historically high prices and that has extended the lead times on new construction.  The more homes you build, the more these problems have impacted you!

Let’s take a closer look at the potential problems this has caused for you and how Performance Point can help:


Problems – Subcontractors and project managers are stretched thin due to high demand and Covid restrictions. Roofers, grading contractors, and landscaping companies have to complete projects in substandard conditions. 

Solution – Consider hiring a 3rd party company that inspects both the interior and exterior of a home to mark potential issues and risks involved long before the homeowner walks through. 


Problems – With increased productivity and labor restrictions, safety is compromised.

Solution – Consider working with a 3rd party safety company that will help keep you informed about what is happening on your sites and assist in building a safety culture.  This prevents accidents, and loss of time and money.


Problems – Insulation prices are on the rise, supply is short, and increasingly strict energy codes demand more insulation. 

Solution – Save money without losing time by hiring professional engineers and/or Energy Raters to avoid having to re-insulate homes to meet new codes. These professionals can leverage your energy codes performance-based alternative compliance methods for deeper savings. 


Problems – HVAC companies have more homes to do with less support forcing design decisions to the field impacting consistency and quality. 

Solution – A 3rd party HVAC designer can improve the workflow giving you a quicker turnaround and more consistency.  A 3rd party inspector can also perform visual inspections before sheetrock is hung to ensure designs are implemented properly and test for duct tightness after mechanical trim to be sure comfort can be delivered effectively.


Problems – Sewer lines back up after closings resulting in costly repairs, unnecessary additional demand on skilled labor, and of course, warranty costs months after the owner takes possession.  The same can happen with foundation drain extensions and downspout extensions.

Solution – Hire a 3rd party inspector or plumbing company to run a camera down the drain line to inspect for clogs or other issues prior to closing. This low-cost service prevents headaches before they begin. 


Performance Point is here to be your 3rd party-building inspections contractor!  We offer Quality Inspections, Safety Inspections, Drain Inspections, professional HERS and Energy ratings, HVAC design, Air sealing, and more!  


Call us BEFORE your problems begin. 


“Partnering with Performance Point to create a safety program under our changing budget constraints has influenced our cultural values for safety. Through their vision we have seen less injuries and increased productivity – quantity means quality!” Logan Kubik, Purchasing Manager – DR Horton Columbia, SC

“Performance Point offers a standard QI process across our city.  Having them come in as an outside party and resource to assure all homes are still being built to the same consistent quality standards during this time has been very beneficial.  It’s like having an extra set of eyes on all our homes to assure quality standards are being met prior to homeowner orientations.” Joe Walston, Director of Purchasing – DR Horton Charlotte, NC






Don’t Balk at Caulk

Written By: John Jeppesen

Homeowners and property managers are feeling the pinch in their wallets as the skyrocketing energy costs go up with no end in sight. Something as simple as sealing ductwork joints can really make a difference. According to the U.S. EPA, the average duct system loses around 20% to 30% of its air to holes and leaks in the ductwork. You could be blowing out big money if your ductwork is in your crawlspace, attic, or other unconditioned areas.

We found this on the Contracting Business website about duct sealing:

“One of the first places to start is to air seal around all duct shafts and flues installed through ceilings, walls, and flooring to keep conditioned air from leaking into unconditioned space.

Use silicone caulk air seal around duct boots. You can also use canned foam, or rigid air barrier material cut to fit and caulked or foamed in place around the duct shafts. It’s important to caulk the HVAC boot to the sheetrock before the HVAC trim gets installed. Believe it or not, this simple little joint is controversial and has a huge impact on the testing performance of the duct.

There are a lot of joints in this fabricated fitting as it goes into the building enclosure. The return side of the duct system gets really fun, especially if you’re using panned returns. The leakiest connections we find are where the return duct and floor joist intersect, with the top of the duct being cut out as a return pathway.”

There’s a big marketing payoff for your company if your projects meet ENERGY STAR/Zero Energy compliance.  The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is a compelling way to recognize builders for their leadership in increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor air quality, making homes zero energy ready.

The DOE program builds upon the comprehensive building science requirements of ENERGY STAR® for Homes Version 3, along with proven Building America innovations and best practices. Other special attribute programs are incorporated to help builders reach unparalleled levels of performance with homes designed to last hundreds of years.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40%-50% more energy-efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.

For more information and program specifics, visit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/guidelines-participating-doe-zero-energy-ready-home-program

Use duct tape for everything except ducts:

Sealing other HVAC components such as ductwork must also be addressed. Duct tape has been called “The Handyman’s Secret Weapon” on the PBS series “The Red Green Show,” (find it on You Tube), but it belies its name. It does a lousy job sealing ductwork joints. The same is true with foil tape. It’s because the adhesive in both doesn’t stick well to dirty or oily metal surfaces. Even if they did, the adhesive gets brittle from heating and cooling cycles and delaminates.

David Richardson wrote a long article on the Contracting business website.

Richardson begins by saying: “As a general rule all ducts leak, some worse than others. The trick is to know where the different leaks are located and deal with them before they’re an issue… Installation crews do a great job with the fabrication and installation of a duct system but many times don’t fully understand the importance of a properly sealed duct system. It seems many installers just paint the ducts in an effort to please code officials instead of realizing how beneficial properly sealed ducts are. We oftentimes see ducts with only three sides sealed and mastic applied to the wrap instead of to the duct itself just to appease code requirements.”

Richardson gets more specific: ”Caulking is a much better and long-lasting solution. A high-quality silicone caulk with a UL 181 rating. UL 181 is the standard by which all duct sealants are rated. The main parts of UL 181 that apply to field fabricated ducts include UL 181A and UL 181B. One sealant that has been used by the HVAC industry for years is the one that has proven to be the most unreliable; I’m talking of course about duct tape.” So, when it comes to HVAC ductwork it is anything but a “secret weapon.”

Let’s not overlook existing homes or buildings. Although more skilled homeowners /property managers can fix some leaks, it’s best left to the professionals to get the job done right the first time because some leaks are hard to find or reach, or they lack the diagnostic tools and techniques.

They’re likely to call if:

  • They have high utility bills
  • Their home is dusty
  • Uneven heating or cooling in a room

Comfort is the homeowner’s bottom line according to the Comfort Masters website. They offer this advice: “To focus on only one variable as being more important than any of the others is making a lot of assumptions. When proper duct sealing is combined with proper design and insulation, and airflow delivery that’s been tested and verified, you have an HVAC system that will provide total comfort.” What’s more, they can save big money on their utility bills.

Performance Point strongly supports energy efficiency and its impact on the environment, but we are just as passionate about helping our customers build comfortable homes.  Call us before you start your next project and let us show you how we can help!