MARCH JLC 2000 BUILDER These oversights, omissions, and bad design details can lead to early failures After working as a builder for almost 20 years, I changed gears and set up shop as a home inspector. Most of the houses I inspected were only five to ten years old. I was surprised to learn how quickly some building components can deteriorate. In house after house, I found it frustrating to see certain poor building details, all leading to similar types of early failures. In most cases, these details were built wrong not so much because of an intentional trade-off between cost and longevity, but because the builder didn't realize