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Old 03-13-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Issues with Trex Deck


I recently paid a contractor to install a Trex deck at my home. The deck was built lengthwise with two long boards end to end and they used screws. Within a few weeks after completion most of the boards started to split in the middle where the boards met in the middle. In any case we assumed those boards would be replaced and/or the deck job would get-re-done, as something clearly was done incorrectly. The contractor bought a couple new boards and cut about 12 short boards and replaced all the ends of the split boards. That leaves us with a patchwork/puzzle look in the middle as the short boards are scattered in no particular pattern.

What recourse do we have? We expect the job to be fixed as was originally done, and not haphazardly patchwork repaired, yet the contractor seems very reluctant. We've only had the deck 4 months and he was notified of the problem within weeks of completion.

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Old 03-13-2007, 08:23 PM   #2
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I recently paid a contractor to install a Trex deck at my home. The deck was built lengthwise with two long boards end to end and they used screws. Within a few weeks after completion most of the boards started to split in the middle where the boards met in the middle. In any case we assumed those boards would be replaced and/or the deck job would get-re-done, as something clearly was done incorrectly. The contractor bought a couple new boards and cut about 12 short boards and replaced all the ends of the split boards. That leaves us with a patchwork/puzzle look in the middle as the short boards are scattered in no particular pattern.

What recourse do we have? We expect the job to be fixed as was originally done, and not haphazardly patchwork repaired, yet the contractor seems very reluctant. We've only had the deck 4 months and he was notified of the problem within weeks of completion.

Evidently, Your hired contractor installed the decking incorrectly.
Whenever we install trex....we countersink the screws (Partially pre-drill leaving a pre-drilled round for the screw head)...this avoids damaging or splitting the material. (There are also other additonal measures we take when installing it).
It is common sense that when you are installing a costly or even a high end item, you are VERY carefull, take your time, ...even do 'test' installs prior to the actual project install....
If you run into an install issue - You STOP....and figure out what the problem is and correct it, before continuing the project....

If our workers did an install like that, we would feel completely responsible to 'foot' the cost for the decking material replacement. Yes, it would hurt us financially, but for most professionals: We put our name on every job we do, I would be ashamed to have our company name attached to such a deck project and would swallow the expense and fix it.....we would also apologize to the property owner and maybe even offer a discount on another desired project....

RECOURSE: Send a registered letter....(Signature required for receipt -DO NOT list your return address. Use an alternate or a PO box if you have one - so it can't be recognized and refused - Do not be nasty, but state your desires and a response dead line) - Do this all 'professionally' ...with a desire to come to an amicable solution... A pro:You stated that he is reluctant, but, he is not yet refusing to make the corrections.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-13-2007 at 08:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:37 PM   #3
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Issues with Trex Deck


What a poor responce from your installer. Were they a subcontractor from a big box store or a true independent deck installer?
AB is right on the money when installing. Personally, I only use Veranda, similar to Trex but a better grade and unforunately more expensive.
I've installed lots and never had a board split unless the base frame is faulty. It's a pain in the butt, but I predrill EVERY hole and countersink and use stainless steel deck screws.
You deserve better from your installer. I would insist at least on replacing the boards with the exact length they were origanally.
Good luck
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:59 PM   #4
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Agree with you AtlanticWB, about what the "contractor" should do, but from the original post, it is pretty obvious that you and I have a vastly different sense of responsibility than the hired "contractor" here.
I suggest that the owner document the poor work with detailed photos. Then send a copy of these, along with a certified letter explaining his concerns to the contractor, asking for a specific time frame for the problems to be addressed. He needs to establish a verifyable trail of good faith efforts to give the contractor a chance to address the issues. Follow with another letter stating that your first did not get any response ,if required, and restate the issues and the specific fixes you think are necessary. At this point , the owner is going to have to decide whether the problem is serious enough to warrant the costs of legal advice, or just call it a bad experience and fix the boards out of pocket and move on. Unfortunately, there are low lifes in every trade and profession.
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Atlantic....I only wish his response was more along those lines. We spoke to him yesterday and he said he would discuss it with his installer to "see what it would take". I'm not overly optimistic yet as he has a reluctant air to him. After the first time he told us no and told us how much he already spent on new board I knew we were in for trouble. VERY unprofessional in my opinion. I'll keep you updated.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-14-2007, 08:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Atlantic....I only wish his response was more along those lines. We spoke to him yesterday and he said he would discuss it with his installer to "see what it would take". I'm not overly optimistic yet as he has a reluctant air to him. After the first time he told us no and told us how much he already spent on new board I knew we were in for trouble. VERY unprofessional in my opinion. I'll keep you updated.

Thanks again.
Good luck...and be professional - even if he isn't....
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:22 AM   #7
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Update. I told everyone our deck contractor was going to talk to his guy. He had told us he would do that and get back to us Friday. Well, Friday was yesterday and no call. This guy has us VERY disappointed to say the least. MANY thousands of dollars spent and this is how it goes. After the ridiculous "repair" job he didn't even bother to stop by or call.

In any case on Monday we will send a certified letter to him. Since he didn't contact us yesterday we thought it was best to not even try to call him as he's clearly trying to shake us.

Anything else we should keep in mind? Atlantic?

Thanks again for taking your time everyone. I would just like this to be done (the right way) and over with.

On a more positive note... HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!

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Old 03-17-2007, 09:34 AM   #8
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In any case on Monday we will send a certified letter to him. Since he didn't contact us yesterday we thought it was best to not even try to call him as he's clearly trying to shake us.
Anything else we should keep in mind? Atlantic?

If he doesn't respond to this, contact a lawyer. Make sure you document each and every conversation/communication that you have with him, the time you allow for a response...etc.
In any event, your lawyer will most likely advise you to get an estimate on the cost do the repairs (in this case it sounds like simply replacing the deck boards)...
From there, you 'may' be advised to go ahead and get the repairs and take him to court to pay for those repairs....

Whatever the case, keep us posted...
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Old 03-17-2007, 11:14 AM   #9
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If he doesn't respond to this, contact a lawyer. Make sure you document each and every conversation/communication that you have with him, the time you allow for a response...etc.
In any event, your lawyer will most likely advise you to get an estimate on the cost do the repairs (in this case it sounds like simply replacing the deck boards)...
From there, you 'may' be advised to go ahead and get the repairs and take him to court to pay for those repairs....

Whatever the case, keep us posted...
Thanks buddy.

I resized the pics, now I'm having trouble with my FTP. Hopefully you saw them. Maybe you can PM me your email addy and I'll zip them and send them to you.

If you don't mind of course.

Last edited by TrexConsumer; 03-17-2007 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:34 PM   #10
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Letter goes out today. Should we also take care of the BBB complaint or wait and see what action he takes after getting the letter?

Thanks
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:57 PM   #11
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Letter goes out today. Should we also take care of the BBB complaint or wait and see what action he takes after getting the letter?

Thanks
Give him a reasonable chance to reply to the letter....maybe he will go the extra mile ....
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:34 AM   #12
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Give him a reasonable chance to reply to the letter....maybe he will go the extra mile ....
Sounds fair. Say he gets the letter by Thursday this week how long do you think we should wait before taking the next step? A week? More?
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:02 PM   #13
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Sounds fair. Say he gets the letter by Thursday this week how long do you think we should wait before taking the next step? A week? More?
That's up to you. We have waited 2-3 weeks, just to be able to show that we did not jump the gun....that we waited a reasonable amount of time...

Example: a person could claim that they were away on vacation for a week or two.

Again, it's up to you...
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:03 PM   #14
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Remember, don't use your name or known address for the 'return address' or the 'sender'. If he recognizes it, he could refuse to sign for it....
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:17 AM   #15
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Delivered and signed for yesterday.

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