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Old 05-14-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


Hi --

I need advice about a new deck that a contractor constructed for us (completed yesterday). We just noticed today that 3 or 4 or the deck balusters are split at the lower end, from the nailing. The contractor is coming back on Monday to do some roof work, and I want to point these out to him and ask him to replace them. We like the contractor and overall appreciate the good work.

My spouse thinks we should let this go - I think we should discuss this with the contractor.

Advice?

Thanks.

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Old 05-14-2010, 04:17 PM   #2
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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Hi --

I need advice about a new deck that a contractor constructed for us (completed yesterday). We just noticed today that 3 or 4 or the deck balusters are split at the lower end, from the nailing. The contractor is coming back on Monday to do some roof work, and I want to point these out to him and ask him to replace them. We like the contractor and overall appreciate the good work.

My spouse thinks we should let this go - I think we should discuss this with the contractor.

Advice?

Thanks.
The balusters should be replaced. Suggest to the contractor the concept of, "pre drilling". They love the guidance.
Ron

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Old 05-14-2010, 05:06 PM   #3
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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The balusters should be replaced. Suggest to the contractor the concept of, "pre drilling". They love the guidance.
Ron
Um, Ron--they love the guidance? You're going to get me yelled at, I think.

They did work fast, as my husband pointed out, and so didn't pre-drill the holes--which I wouldn't have cared about if the splitting hadn't shown up. How would you do it: would you say "Scott, I'd like to have these balusters replaced b/c of the splitting" or "Scott--these balusters split because they weren't pre-drilled" and wait to see what he says.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


i would just play dumb. Show them to him and ask him if he thinks it will be a problem in the future. He will know that you noticed it and should take it upon himself to fix it. I know If I were the contractor I would fix. Stuff like that happens all the time.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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Um, Ron--they love the guidance? You're going to get me yelled at, I think.

They did work fast, as my husband pointed out, and so didn't pre-drill the holes--which I wouldn't have cared about if the splitting hadn't shown up. How would you do it: would you say "Scott, I'd like to have these balusters replaced b/c of the splitting" or "Scott--these balusters split because they weren't pre-drilled" and wait to see what he says.
This is an insignificant cost issue. Play to his professionalism. Any good contractor would replace the balusters in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


Don’t tell your contractor "how to do it", especially if all else is good. Just ask him to change the 3-4 pickets. It should take 5-10 min.

A small punch list from customers is a very common thing and any contractor that cares about customer satisfaction and good referrals won’t bat a eye.

If he spends 20 min. telling you why he shouldn’t make you happy with a 5 min. fix then hold back some bucks at the end till he does.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:46 AM   #7
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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....
If he spends 20 min. telling you why he shouldnĺt make you happy with a 5 min. fix then hold back some bucks at the end till he does.
If only. I paid him before he left on Thursday. Naive, I guess - it never occurred to me to closely inspect things. I just admired the overall work and wrote the check.

I under-counted before: there are 11 balusters with cracks. I'm assuming that any contractor with a reputation to maintain would be glad for the chance to put this right, especially since we've arranged with him to do some roof repair and would be glad to recommend him in the future.

Right?
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Old 05-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #8
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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If only. I paid him before he left on Thursday. Naive, I guess - it never occurred to me to closely inspect things. I just admired the overall work and wrote the check.

I under-counted before: there are 11 balusters with cracks. I'm assuming that any contractor with a reputation to maintain would be glad for the chance to put this right, especially since we've arranged with him to do some roof repair and would be glad to recommend him in the future.

Right?
The time-frame should make no difference to any reputable contractor. I can't imagine anyone but a sloven hack saying, "Ah Ha! You didn't catch those splits before I got the check... I'm home, free."

If he any kind of a man worth rehiring, he'll fix them.

But, for Pete's sake, don't let him do your roof work if it does happen to turn out that he baulks on these baluster repairs.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:14 AM   #9
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


The contractor who built our deck placed the deck floor boards right together. My husband asked him about spacing since he had in the past built a deck by our pool and had left open space between boards. The contractor, though, told him that as the boards dried, the proper amount of space would open up between them. So in addition to the split-baluster problem, now I'm worried that the deck floor hasn't been done properly, and that rain water is simply going to always pool on the deck as it has been doing these last few days (apparently building a deck affects the upper atmosphere, causing increased rain...)

Should I be worried?

Last edited by Carolina; 05-17-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: change title
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:15 PM   #10
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


I installed my PT boards as tight as I could, I even used a clamp/small sledge to get them tight
Plenty of space between the boards after they dried

What type of wood ?
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:41 PM   #11
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


Type of wood and location will have a tremendous bearing on this.

So as Dave asked, what type of wood and where do you live.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


We live in the upper northwest corner of S.C. The wood is pine, which I know tends to split.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:41 PM   #13
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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We live in the upper northwest corner of S.C. The wood is pine, which I know tends to split.
Is this pressure treated southern yellow pine? If so, it shouldn't be an issue. You said he did the other deck. Was the installation the same? Are there any issues with that deck?
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:20 PM   #14
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


No, my husband did the other one, years ago, but it's a ground-level deck, no railings so no balusters to worry about. (Sorry - I added the deck floor question to the original thread on balusters; may be confusing.) But on this new contractor-built deck, about 11 balusters have splits at the site where the nails were air-hammered in, so I've been seeking (and getting) advice about how to handle that with the contractor when he returns to do some roof work (Wed.). Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:33 PM   #15
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Deck balusters (3 or 4) split when nailed--replace?


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No, my husband did the other one, years ago, but it's a ground-level deck, no railings so no balusters to worry about. (Sorry - I added the deck floor question to the original thread on balusters; may be confusing.) But on this new contractor-built deck, about 11 balusters have splits at the site where the nails were air-hammered in, so I've been seeking (and getting) advice about how to handle that with the contractor when he returns to do some roof work (Wed.). Thanks!
It would help if you answered the questions.
It doesn't really matter who did the other deck, but more about the construction methodology. The type of wood and the way it was installed.
Ron

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