A geography lesson

I keep seeing various advertisements from competitors, saying they build to North American Standard (NAS). Well I hate to break the news to them, but MEXICO is in North America, as is Belize or New York. So what exactly are they saying, is it that they build to the lowest possible standard or the highest or is it just advertising mumbo jumbo and they never learned simple geography. Why not put it to a simple test. A while back, a fellow came here from North of the Mexican border (NOB) and set up shop as a contractor, he was originally a carpenter (long gone now). He put out ads saying he built everything to North American Standard (what ever that means) and that he had numerous trade certificates for construction. Sounds impressive right? How about we look at house wiring as one example of supposed NAS. In Yucatan Mexico, house wiring is stranded wire not solid, so how can he build to NAS, if he can’t even get the material? Ever notice wiring here is wrapped in tape and marret’s are not used at junctions. Simple reason, wire nuts are meant for solid core wire and if used on stranded wire it is easy to get one of the strands outside of the marret and cause a possible short. But, taping wires is not allowed (NOB) so once again how do they build to NAS? The answer is simple they don’t, after all most houses (NOB) are wood framed construction, not cinder block as used in Mexico. So a contractor may have years of experience building in the USA or Canada, but that really means nothing in the grand scheme of things here. Houses are not made of wood here, nor are the walls made of drywall and insulated. What really needs to be asked is how many block houses have they built on rock foundations and then finished with viga supported roofs. Obviously these supposed contractor’s are simply relying on the Mexican construction crews to get the job done and the only NAS maybe a smooth wall finish and ground wires.

So if you are talking to a contractor and they say they do everything to NORTH AMERICAN STANDARD, remind them Mexico is in North America, as is Belize, so what standard do they mean and more importantly will every detail be to the same standard. Bet it won’t !

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