The Muehlbach house: A general contractor’s perspective

By David Richardson  

Chatham County, NC – I am currently a general contractor in North Carolina. I have been a licensed general contractor in North Carolina since starting in 1984. I will tell you what I know and what I told Jake Muehlbach.

I spent a couple hours with Jake going over the issues in the house. This house is the worst mess I have ever seen since I began in construction in 1976.

It’s not even close. That’s over 45 years of experience and what this family was left with should be a crime. The fact that Chatham county inspections is taking no responsibility for approving every step should also be considered. The lawyers can argue about what to call it but it is very, very wrong.

What I told Jake was there is no fix to his house. It would be cheaper, faster, easier to build a new house adjacent to this mess. So at least he could use the well and septic. Once the new house was complete, to tear down what he has.

So even though the judge has awarded something, this family will need several hundred thousand to be made whole. Chatham county has insurance that we pay for to cover screw ups by county actions or fault. The fact that the county inspectors reviewed the drawings prior to permitting, then approved every inspection, and then issued a certificate of occupancy are all serious errors.

What is the purpose of these inspections and all of this bureaucracy if they are completely incompetent?

I think a serious professional public review of this matter and the department should take place.

Just my opinion; from a guy with 50 years experience in exactly this.