Painting is one of those callbacks that almost always falls under the “regular maintenance” clause of the warranty. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility, right? And, if your painter is doing his job, the exterior coats on your new homes should last well past the service call statute of limitations.

Unless he isn’t. Then, the tell-tale signs of a poor paint job might start to crop up sooner than they should (if ever), causing you to respond—if not be on the hook to repair—to calls from homeowners asking why their new homes look like heck after such a short time. And if you want to rescue that referral, you may have to do more than give up the name of your painting contractor.

Beyond that, and as paint problems become prevalent, you may have to take a look at your finish specs and perhaps even down to your building practices to root out the causes. A good paint job is, like a house, an assembly of methods and materials done right and in sequence, from the kiln-dried studs and moisture barriers to the quality of the cladding, its surface preparation, the right type of paint, and its application—the failure of any one of which can lead to problems.