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Old 07-07-2008, 12:36 PM   #1
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


We went to a local (Wisconsin) door and cabinet place to order solid flat panel doors, frames, and trim. We paid for all materials and finishing. We hired a person to come out and install the 12 doors & trim. The quote came back at $800.
On Tuesday he arrived at 7:30am and left by 2pm - he hung 9 doors (the other three needed to be re-routed as they swung the wrong way)
On Wednesday he needed to build in a closet 1 foot as the doors were ordered to small - we provided 2x4's, he provided the rest. He arrived at 7am and left by 2pm the remaining 9 doors were trimmed out.

Here is the issue... The trim is cracked through at every spot there was a nail or the mitered corners to not line up. We ordered replacement trim 50 pieces at 7 foot lengths. He claims some can be selvaged and recut and thinks only 20 needed to be reordered.

We do not want him back in to finish the work and are already looking for a replacement. We have yet to "square up" on payment as he said he would over 20 pieces of replacement but I don't think he is entitled to the $800 quote as the work needs to be re-done.

Pictures available at http://sbrault.myphotoalbum.com/view...umName=album01

What would be a fair compromise?

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Old 07-07-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


I agree with you. The installation is poor. How did you get this guy??
How are the doors hung, do they work and close fine??
If so he is entitled to something. I would give him 1/3rd of whats owed . and chalk the rest up to lack of experience of hiring a contractor.
By law he does have the option of making things right. before you through him off the job. But what I can see from the photo's he lacks the skills and high standards to take a second chance on the project. Talk to him and come to a compromise that both of you can agree upon. He Works from 7.30-2.00pm sounds like he has a 4.00-12.0am job. Is he licensed and insured???
If not use this to your advantage to negotiate your payout to him.(report him) Good luck Bob.


Last edited by buletbob; 07-07-2008 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:59 PM   #3
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


I would agree that it is poor. Some of them could be fixed. Not all of them need to be replaced. The good sections of long pieces could be used to make short pieces. The splits look like poor material.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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This guy came very highly recommended from co-workers. They are all very shocked with my pictures. He is recently retired from my place of employement. He did carpentry on the side during his working career and is now doing more full time in his retirement.

The doors do work and close fine. Everything was routed and pre-hung.

It was a cash job on the side - so there is no formal contract in place so we did not even discuss him being licensed and insured.

It has been a very big learning experence & I just want to know what would be fair/reasonable for everyone involved.
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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I would agree that it is poor. Some of them could be fixed. Not all of them need to be replaced. The good sections of long pieces could be used to make short pieces. The splits look like poor material.
The material is solid maple. We did not buy stuff from a Menards or Home Depot. It was custom milled to match the remaining trim in the house.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


Your first mistake was not requesting a contract. You have little leverage against him, other than appealing to his professional ethics, assuming he has any.
I've seen hardwood like that split before (I trimmed a kitchen in hickory which was prone to splitting) and after the first split, figured that predrilling and hand nailing was be required.
AT any rate, you need to sit down with the guy, explain your disatisfaction, and arrive at a mutually agreeable compensation for the work that was done. Only you can determine how much it is worth to you,
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:33 PM   #7
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrault View Post
This guy came very highly recommended from co-workers. They are all very shocked with my pictures. He is recently retired from my place of employement. He did carpentry on the side during his working career and is now doing more full time in his retirement.

The doors do work and close fine. Everything was routed and pre-hung.

It was a cash job on the side - so there is no formal contract in place so we did not even discuss him being licensed and insured.

It has been a very big learning experence & I just want to know what would be fair/reasonable for everyone involved.
Sorry...I think you got exactly what you paid for (or didn't pay for). Hopefully you'll hire a licensed professional next time. At least you didn't have him build an addition for you.

As for how much you pay for this bad install...one or both of you is going to end up being unhappy.

J

P.S. Maybe because of him knowing a lot of the same people you do, you'll have an amicable outcome, just don't count on it.

Last edited by Jay123; 07-07-2008 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:41 PM   #8
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Hack job. I don't care how highly he came recommended. That guy is NO CARPENTER.

Let me say this, I have met many people that do all kinds of "work on the side" and also claim to be able to do all kinds of "home improvements".
Many of them claim to know how to do carpentry - in connection with the above- ..... but the final product, often reveals all.

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 07-07-2008 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


Well...this really is a DIY site, not a "how much" site
But....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrault
It was a cash job on the side - so there is no formal contract in place so we did not even discuss him being licensed and insured.
....I just want to know what would be fair/reasonable for everyone involved.
There's pretty much no way to gauge that, what is reasonable I mean
For a real contractor then maybe we could throw out a few numbers

But obviously (or maybe not obviously), someone operating under the radar (and possibly illegally) should not be charging even close to what a professional would

My personal assumption is he's not recently retired from carpentry
That would also lower the "value" quite a bit more
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Old 07-07-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


I agree that he's a terrible trim carpenter. That's very amateur DIY level work, not the level of work you should expect from a supposed professional that's charging you money. That's the kind of work I see on a regular basis where someone that doesn't know how to do carpentry has a friend help them and pays them in beer. I've installed a lot of trim in my day, but I have no idea how you could crack the edge of the casing that badly with a trim nail...And if I did, I'd never consider leaving it. His miters don't even come close to meeting. I could go on.

You need to ask him to come over to express your concerns in a professional manner. Leave the money out of it. Show him parts of his work that you consider to be acceptable work, and tell him that is what you expect at all the joints. If he wants the money "owed" to him, assume that you'll never see him again before deciding whether or not to pay him.

I'd say you're all wet on materials costs. A professional trim carpenter would have ordered the material himself, not asked you to source it. That way, if he messes a piece up, it is on him. I think that he should make the installation right, but you should probably pay for the materials and chalk it up to experience.
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
That's the kind of work I see on a regular basis where someone that doesn't know how to do carpentry has a friend help them and pays them in beer. ....
Beer is standard U.S. currency in many verbal home improvement contracts (not ours).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I've installed a lot of trim in my day, but I have no idea how you could crack the edge of the casing that badly with a trim nail....
Looks kinda like he used too large a nail (gauge) for that inside door jamb attachment point (?).
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:26 AM   #12
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


Yeah, it looks like he was using a 16 or even 15 gauge nailer, which is much more likely to crack the slim parts of the casing than an 18 ga. nailer.

Have him get some of these (yeah, right...I know)...http://www.miterclamp.com/ ....and assemble the casing on the a table/floor prior to installaion....a little glue in the miter and these clamps and you've got a perfectly put together miter.

He can then use a bead of construction adhesive on the back of the casing and a 23 ga. nailer for nailing to the door jamb (18 ga. into the sheetrock on the fatter part of the trim, 15/16 ga. will work if he stays away from the edges, but you have the bigger nail holes, plus the bigger nails won't be necessary if you use the construction adhesive) and viola... no cracks.

Of course if you want to remove the trim, get ready for some sheetrock repair...

Granted, I know this is a fantasy scenario (and exactly how I would do it) for someone who obviously cares little for the end result (your "carpenter")....but you never know, he may win the lotto and decide to invest in some good quality tools.

Good luck

J
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:51 PM   #13
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Acceptable work? How much should payment be?


For the work you described, I would have charged you $1850.00 plus any materials. You should pay the man, you got exactly what you had coming.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
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For the work you described, I would have charged you $1850.00 plus any materials. You should pay the man, you got exactly what you had coming.
There is some merit in that statement...
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:53 PM   #15
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Pay the man. Redo the trim yourself . You got a great deal on 12 maple doors. Some time you actully get what you pay for!!

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