To cabinetman: I authorized the installation of pine. He swore it was plenty strong enough, painted easier than oak, and was much cheaper. He said he could get pine that looks really nice and that many people use pine for trim. So I said it was fine as long as it was paintable and strong. We had already specifically said no knotty pine, and I know not all pine looks that bad, so I thought he meant to install a nicer kind. Not having ever done filling and sanding of wood, I don’t know if it would be more work to do that or if it would be easier to just have someone come replace it. If it isn’t too big of a deal then maybe we can do it. There is about 115 feet (if I figured it right) of trim to fix (top, bottom and sides). It looks like a major pain in the butt but maybe it isn’t as bad as I fear?
To woodnthings: I was told MDF wasn’t a great idea because it can be destroyed if it gets wet. I’m afraid if we left a window open and it rained in or something that it might be ruined. I’m talking about not just the moulding sort of trim but also the trim on the inside of the window (casement?) … that is all knotty pine. So I’m guessing MDF wouldn’t be good for someplace potentially so close to the elements? From the outside, the addition blends with any other farmhouse in the area. The inside was where the important integration was to take place…matching hardwood flooring and trim as much as possible. I live in western Michigan where there is LOTS of moisture and humidity…our grass usually stays green even in the dry season. It’s sort of jungley around here. So moisture is a concern.
To GeorgeC: I’m not sure what financial aspects you mean. I don’t know what “prime” is. However, we had a contract, 1/3 to pay at the signing of the contract, 1/3 the day ground was broken, and 1/3 upon completion. We’ve discovered that on the building permit he valued the addition at almost a third less than the contract price and we’ve already paid 2/3rds. He demanded the final 1/3 before he was done and never appeared on the site again after we said we’d be happy to pay him the final third when the work was done, according to the contract. He never said he was short on money to finish the job. He left us with 7 code violations and 1 workmanship violation. Since then the state has filed a formal complaint against him for a myriad of administrative rule and occupational code violations.
To pennyroyal’s: It seemed incongruous to ask what to do about the trim without attempting to explain why we are in this situation. The reason the trim wasn’t noticed is that the addition was separated by the house by thick plastic, one of us works from early morning till night and the other of us is disabled. It didn’t occur to us to have to follow him around to make sure he was doing things correctly. We know tools were on the sills because we saw them there when having to inspect what kind of mess we were left with. We realize now just now naïve and stupid we were. Yes, too many things weren’t in writing. The contract said “trim” but not specifically what kind. Having done nothing like this ever in the past, we had no idea how things were supposed to be or what we should have been doing. We’ve learned a TON about where we messed up since then...like…believing him when he said he had a license when he didn’t (he has one now but not until a couple months after the contract was signed). Indeed we were totally stupid and ignorant. No question about it. Nevertheless, it has to be fixed and I’m trying to figure out how best to do that. So, no, we don’t need to have our dissatisfaction justified. It has been justified many times already by the building inspector and 5 general contractors.
Last edited by arobin; 07-05-2009 at 07:54 PM.