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Old 01-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #1
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Hi all, I am new to the forum. I'm hoping that someone can tell me what is wrong with this wood. I had a guy come out to knock out an enclosed patio and install new posts. He put these posts in. He only used 4x4 pine (I believe) even though I wanted Cedar (he said it was too expensive). He only attached it at the top with metal plates and he "forgot" to connect them to the concrete. There are 4 posts. 2 swing in the wind. I tried to get him to fix it and he avoided me for months so I am taking him to small claims. My court date is Tuesday.
I have a ton of pictures to show the judge, as well as a video of the posts swinging around. But what I want to know is why these posts look chewed up and split. These pictures were taken about 4 months after he installed. He SAID it was pressure treated but I don't know. I also priced all the material he used and he COULD have done cedar. I'm so frustrated. Its hard being a woman cause contractors just walk all over us. Worst part is... this guy was a highschool friend I've known for 20 years.


Thanks in advance!

Amy


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CLICK THIS PICTURE TO SEE THE VIDEO


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Old 01-05-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Doesn't look like any pressure treat i've ever seen. As to what species it is, I don't know, but it must be some kind of low grade lumber considering how torn up it is.

Besides that, if they are just sitting on concrete and 2 of the 4 move, then they were cut too short or the others too long. Not to mention i'll bet they should have some kind of bracket installed to hold them in place.


I'm just a plumber though, you should wait for someone more knowledgeable on the subject to confirm the points i've made.

As far as your lawsuit : Does he have a license? Did you ask him to see his license? Does this job require a permit? I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's up to the homeowner to ask for licensing information and make sure the proper permit process is followed.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Gee where do I start?
#1 He did not take the time to pick through the pile to find limber in better condition.
#2 There is no post cap.
#3 There is no post base.
#4 There is no footing below the post built into the slab to support it.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...E-LPCZ-LCE.asp

http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...BA-ABU-ABW.asp

Oh ya you got ripped off.

Post should never be in direct contact with the slab or there going to rot.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


That wood is not pressure treated, as has been said before; no post caps no post bases. Bases should be stand-off type.
You said that this is supposed to be an enclosed patio?
It is possible that you do not need nor are required by code to have footings under the posts. This would depend on how much the over-all assembly weighs.
You have not said where this is; Canada, New Mexico, etc?

BTW...your friend from high school for 20 years is an a-hole.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Who built that roof system? There's the fashia bord on the end of it to help keep the rafters from twisting and rotting out on the ends.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


While it's possible it is pressure treated, I really doubt it is.
And he didn't "forget" to fasten the bottom of posts, he obviously never planned to in the first place.
Find someone a little more trustworthy to fix that. If you don't require footings, that should be a pretty easy fix.

Also, you need to do something with those exposed roof rafter ends or they will rot away pretty quick.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Very poor grade of material. It does look like treated, but still should not sit directly on the end grain. It will rot, as these posts are almost always cut from the center of the log and do not absorb chemicals completely.
I cannot believe anyone would use such a low quality material for an exposed post, but I see it pretty often.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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I agree it does look like pressure treated But still looks like poop.
Some one saw an easy mark. Such ashame, spoils it for all of use that care about what we do.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I agree it does look like pressure treated But still looks like poop.
Some one saw an easy mark. Such ashame, spoils it for all of use that care about what we do.
I am curious guys, what is it about this lumber that leads you to think it may be treated?
Maybe I am just missing something form my experience with other, very obviously noticeable (green or brown coloring) (dimpled textures) treated lumbers though.

Thanks guys.

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:15 PM   #10
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


#1 it's rare to see untreated 4 X 4's.
#2 Untreated 4 X 4's would have had rounded outside corners and been a much better grade.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
#1 it's rare to see untreated 4 X 4's.
#2 Untreated 4 X 4's would have had rounded outside corners and been a much better grade.
Interesting.
What kind of treatment is clear like that?
Here in California all we see are brown (Wolmanized) and green (AQC?) treated lumbers, so I see I may have spoken out of turn by saying that it is not treated lumber.

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
I am curious guys, what is it about this lumber that leads you to think it may be treated?
It's treated pine, something I never seen before until I moved to the Midwest and is the worst crap I've ever worked with.

Treated lumber on the West Coast is usually incised Hem/Fir and and looks completely different.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:26 PM   #13
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
Interesting.
What kind of treatment is clear like that?
I've seen some light colored treated wood. And remember, she said those have been outside for 4 months when that pic was taken. She didn't say where she lives, but the lack of gutters on all the houses tell me it's somewhere warm and sunny (at least warmer and sunnier than where I live).

Joe, good catch on the square-edge corners.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
As far as your lawsuit : Does he have a license? Did you ask him to see his license? Does this job require a permit? I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's up to the homeowner to ask for licensing information and make sure the proper permit process is followed.
Hi Alan, thanks for your reply. He SAID he has a license, but now I'm doubting he does, however, I believe in the State of Texas (I live in Dallas), they don't HAVE to have one. He supposedly worked for a construction company called XXX Construction. Shortly after he did the work, he put himself on Angie's List (yes, I gave him an F and he is in their penalty box). He is XTZ Construction in Garland, TX. He "hired" a friend to help. I guess he "sub contracted" and that person suposedly does this type of work for a living and he TOLD me he was licensed too. I also gave him an F on Angie's List. He is ZYX Construction in Wylie, TX (for anyone that has an Angie's list and cares to read the entire ugly review).

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Gee where do I start?
#1 He did not take the time to pick through the pile to find limber in better condition.
#2 There is no post cap.
#3 There is no post base.
#4 There is no footing below the post built into the slab to support it.
http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...E-LPCZ-LCE.asp

http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...BA-ABU-ABW.asp

Oh ya you got ripped off.

Post should never be in direct contact with the slab or there going to rot.
Hi Joecaption! Thanks for the links! I knew it should be connected to the concrete but didn't know about the top cap, however, I DID notice that he didn't connect the boards at the top and used several "shims" to fill a gap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyGump View Post
You said that this is supposed to be an enclosed patio?
You have not said where this is; Canada, New Mexico, etc?
BTW...your friend from high school for 20 years is an a-hole.
Andy.
Hi Andy! Thanks for the reply. It WAS enclosed, sorta. Yet one more person that ripped me off. My cousins husband built the enclosed patio. Didn't finish, didn't use the right material, etc... I got so frustrated with him I just told him to LEAVE. Few years later, storm came through and tore the whole side of the patio off. It was crap anyways so when the insurance company gave me money to fix it (and I had to pay the 1800 dollar deductible), I decided to just tear out the walls and put in posts and just leave it as a covered patio, not enclosed. You are also right. TOTAL A-HOLE. At least I have all the email correspondence where he told me NOT to work with contractors that were going to screw me over, that he would do the job and do it right. Yeah, learned my lesson. Don't even get me started on what he did to my fence. He had the NERVE to threaten ME when I said I was taking him to court.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrongdave View Post
While it's possible it is pressure treated, I really doubt it is.
And he didn't "forget" to fasten the bottom of posts, he obviously never planned to in the first place.
Find someone a little more trustworthy to fix that.
Also, you need to do something with those exposed roof rafter ends or they will rot away pretty quick.
Hi Wrongdave! Thanks for the reply. When I sent him the video he told me that he and the other guy "forgot" to attach to the concrete. He sent me a picture of some L bracket metal type thing and said they would come install those. I told him NO, you will take the post out and use the footing like you are supposed to. He agreed and then I never heard from him again (I have it all in emails). Also fighting with him about the fence. He didnt set the posts even and the panels wouldn't attach so he left out 26 of the bolts that hold the fence to the post. SIGH. He tried to say that wind probably blew them out. I'm blonde, but not that blonde!
As soon as I win the case and he pays me my money back, I'll hire someone after doing an extensive reference check. But until then, I can't fix the patio or fence. He took all my money, wouldn't give me an invoice (so I didn't get my depreciation check) and I'm at the mercy of the judge now. I contracted West Nile over the summer so I was fighting with him about it while on my death bed. Sad. I'm a single mom and I rescue mastiffs and he KNOWS all this. He knows how important the safety of my backyard is because of my dogs. Just sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troubleseeker View Post
Very poor grade of material. It does look like treated, but still should not sit directly on the end grain. I cannot believe anyone would use such a low quality material for an exposed post, but I see it pretty often.
Hi Troubleseeker! Thanks for your reply. He told me since he wasn't doing cedar, he would get a high quality pine that would last a long time. He literally used 7 metal fence posts and material to connect them to the existing fence (1/2 a$$) and the four posts for the patio and he charged me 1200 for material. SIGH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Some one saw an easy mark. Such ashame, spoils it for all of use that care about what we do.
Yes, unfortnately many contractors lately have seen me as an easy mark but I dont let them pull one over on me. I let my guard down with him cause I've known him forever. the one good thing for me is that he had someone here helping but I didn't know who until 3 days ago when the person told me that he tried to get him to fix it all right but he said it wasn't necessary. I have it all in writing so I'll be able to use that as evidence too.

I truly appreciate everyone's replies! I hate even going outside because it reminds me of a friend basically stealing $2000 dollars from me.

Last edited by beenthere; 01-06-2013 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Remove names
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:28 PM   #15
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Can someone tell me what is wrong with this 4x4 Lumber?


Its several months old at this point so the color from the treatment can mellow out. Untreated would be much lighter, figure like the color on a wall stud 2x4

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