What Went Wrong

Large stones are falling from your chimney.
The builder used a glulam wrapper instead of required
house wrap.
Your steps are configured in a dangerous manner.
Flashing was never installed or was installed improperly.
Your timbers show telltale signs of a water leak.


At Soundhouse and the Building Consultants Group, we’ve seen it all, and more. Just as forensics experts determine what happened at the scene of a crime, Richard Russell delves into the scenes of construction mishaps featuring varying degrees of criminality. A court-designated forensics construction expert for 22 years, he testifies as an expert witness when a dispute ends up in court.


Forensics Expert

A forensics expert serves to educate the judge and/or jury about construction standards in each trade, the Uniform Building Code and manufacturers recommendations. Using models, resource books and demonstrations, the Building Consultants Group clarifies how construction materials are supposed to be used and function; this can prove how and why certain materials did not work in a given project.


Minute details in construction civil cases can be very unexciting but, nonetheless, overwhelming. The smallest and most obscure point can be pivotal. Comprehending cross-discipline thinking, or how different crafts and trades “interface” with each other, can be essential. Demonstrating this convincingly in an adversarial setting can be daunting.

Often Russell finds that builders don’t realize that quality standards exist and are printed out in black and white. Most frequently, he refers to the Uniform Building Code, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Residential Construction Performance Guide and to the Architectural Woodworking Institute’s Quality Standards.


Don’t try any of this at home – it can get very ugly!


  • Dangerous staircase

  • Glulam wrap used as house wrap

  • Landslide

  • Mortar fails in chimney

  • No house wrap under siding

  • Pipe not installed properly

  • Rot due to poor flashing

  • Water leak rots posts and beams

  • Water stains point to leak

Learn More
Learn more, or if you are involved in a dispute that needs immediate attention, please call Richard Russell at the Building Consultant’s Group, 360-376-3333, or send an email to rrussell@soundhousellc.com.