sloppy finish work - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-20-2007, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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sloppy finish work

What should I do about the wood work my contractor just finished? The corners of the baseboards have gaps filled with something. The baseboards are stained oak so the filling is obvious. There are split pieces of wood on frames put on replacement doors. One of the doors appears to be hanging askew. The frame piece on the right is butted against the wall and the space gets gradually larger until it is about 1.5" at the bottom. The door that was in that same place did not have that problem so I don't see how the wall could be the problem. I am just sick about this.

Do these types of things justify redoing?

Thank you for your advice.
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 12:13 AM
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Is he paid?

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post #3 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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I held some until finish.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 05:40 AM
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No excuse for bad miters and split casing ends. I'd ask him if he'd mind fixing them. I usually pre-drill and hand nail the ends of any trim I think might split If I shoot a gun nail through it as well as glue the miters to seal the end grain. I also only use an 18 gauge gun nail these days. Oak tends to be brittle and the splitting is common, but should not be left as such.

In an old house with really bad outside corners at the bottom of the wall, especially old plaster walls, I've had to use a three piece corner insert to get a nice finish. It's basically where the two long runs come to meet at the corner I cut the ends at 22.5 instead of 45 and then insert a wedge with opposing 22.5 cuts to make the transition.

I've seen many guys blast trim with their big 15 guage nail guns and not only do the holes look horrible (especially on a natural finish) but it is overkill. We've been using the smaller gauge nails for many years now and have never had any failure with holding strength.

There's also the "you get what you pay for factor" If you hired a framer/sheet rocker who said he knows how to do finish work but does not have a lot of experience doing so and just gave you a price you couldn't refuse, well...

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post #5 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 07:50 AM
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My trick for not splitting the ends of trim with gun nails: notice which way the chisel point on the finish nails is aligned, and nail it so the chisel exerts force on the length of the grain, not across the grain. That makes the difference in 90% of cases where it would split one way but not the other. And yeah, with oak, don't nail too close to the ends and use smallest nails that will hold - or hand nail - like they all said above.


When you hire someone to do stain grade trim, and they accept, there's a basic level of quality that I hope everyone would take as an unspoken agreement. As a finish carpenter myself, I don't settle for anything that doesn't look pleasing or at least okay to the naked eye from a normal viewing angle. I mean, if you're laying on your belly and examining it, you can see little flaws in almost anything, but if it's really as bad as you say, then that's not good work. Can you get him to fess up to that and fix it, or if you feel he's really not capable, not pay him in full for not doing what he agreed... hopefully you can discuss it in a civil manner.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 07:55 AM
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About the door - check if the jambs are plumb. It's likely that your house has settled, and the old door settled with it. It's normal for carpenters to install doors plumb, and that's important for good swinging action.

However, if you're a finish carpenter, then you also pay attention to the visual effect, and if a wall is close and it's off plumb by 1-1/2" then that's a significant visual gaff. Sometimes it could justify installing a door off-plumb in a compromise. But if it's plumb then that's a grey area. Should probably have discussed it with you first.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-21-2007, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpete750 View Post
I held some until finish.
Like the others said, try a decent conversation and continue to withhold funds.

Tom
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-22-2007, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joesdad View Post
. . . I've seen many guys blast trim with their big 15 guage nail guns and not only do the holes look horrible (especially on a natural finish) but it is overkill....
Amen!
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-22-2007, 04:03 PM
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Call him back, show him EACH spot of your unhappiness, and ask him how quickly he can get it fixed.

Nancy

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David works in the Pro Sales Divison at Woodworker's Supply.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-29-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpete750 View Post
What should I do about the wood work my contractor just finished? The corners of the baseboards have gaps filled with something. The baseboards are stained oak so the filling is obvious. There are split pieces of wood on frames put on replacement doors. One of the doors appears to be hanging askew. The frame piece on the right is butted against the wall and the space gets gradually larger until it is about 1.5" at the bottom. The door that was in that same place did not have that problem so I don't see how the wall could be the problem. I am just sick about this.

Do these types of things justify redoing?

Thank you for your advice.
When you hire anyone you need to ensure they are capable first, a lot of home owners buy based on price and that keeps the forums a buzz with what do we do know. I have done it myself. If it is too good to be true it likely is. Not saying this is your case, it is the most common case. I know a lot of contractors who stay very busy fixing weekend warrior and none qualified homebuilder types stuff...if it is as bad as you say it is ask them to redo it…. what are they going to do say no…who cares if they say no. He may have had a bad day.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-09-2008, 05:10 PM
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I hate to say this, but quality workmanship is the scourge of our business.. I work in alot of High dollar homes and I see work that shouldn't even be allowed in a dog house... People accept too much for granted.. Have a good conversation with him and hold the money until the job is completed correctly and to your expectations... I go to alot of homes and do an inspection prior to starting a job... This causes confusion with the homeowner at times, but I make sure that they are aware of any problems with their home so that I don't get blamed for things... I truly believe education is a great tool...

My other problem is that I am very critical of a good job.. .Actually I am called anal in how I do things, but I get very few call backs and if I do, usually it is for more work... Thank goodness for that... Sorry for the tirade.. Poor quality workmanship drives me crazy... LOL..

Last edited by dpmcreations; 02-09-2008 at 05:13 PM.
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-12-2008, 01:06 AM
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The fact is, it sounds like bad work. You need to address this to him. In my contract, I stipulate that after the job is done, the owner is responsible for inspecting the work and making sure everything is satisfactory. If there's a problem, they need to notify me and I will correct it. In other words, if you're not satisfied with the job, what was the point of hiring a professional to do it?

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post #13 of 14 Old 02-12-2008, 09:25 PM
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Amen

Amen MMwood.. Regrettably I either can't live with myself or I just can't let a job be done incorrectly, but I offer to my customers a written, verbal, as well as a good ole hand shake that my work will either live up to their expectations or it will be redone until they are happy... This is not a false statement.. My customers will tell you..

Maybe I take too much pride, but I am proud of what I do and I am also proud as to the fact that People call me and I don't (thank goodness) have to advertise or beg for business.. Call me lucky, whatever.. I was in a house today that the Remodelers had put in a kitchen when the people were out of town and..

Needless to say damn... What an ugly, cheap, crappy job it was... Worst of all the house in bad condition is worth 2 or so million... Bad kitchen job in a house like that will cost the homeowner probably 75,000 or so dollarsif they would resell... Now I am coming in and having to redo their kitchen custom... 54 inch upper cabinets and the rest....

Thank God there are still people who value their abilities and their pride when they do a job....
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-13-2008, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of your words of support. I am having to have my kitchen, bathroom, doors, baseboards and shoes redone. the tiling is worse than the woodwork. What gets me the most about this -- besides the time, costs and aggravation -- is that I did all I was supposed to do before hiring this contractor. I followed all of the checklists, checked the references and still ended up in this mess.

Believe me. I have nothing but the greatest respect for the people on this forum who clearly take great pride in what they do. I fear that is a disappearing virtue.

Thank you again and I'll let yo know how the second remodel goes.
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