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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just had a new composite deck installed this week. Come home on the final day and immediately notice it is not fully square. Granted, no one else will notice and my wife still hasn't noticed. I just got off phone with contractor and he's willing to slash $500 and try to fix it on Monday. He knew about it the whole time and just never said anything and proceeds to blame it on his laborers. I have no idea what he means by try to fix it but I know he doesn't mean ripping all the boards off. I think I'll be happy with just the discount but wanted to see what reasonable type of fixes are there for this, if any? Rip off a few boards and gradually rip them to make it look a little better? He was saying something about doing some type of trim piece on the actual deck, on top of the board too?

Thanks for your help!

636373
 

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I'm not a carpenter so definitely wait on some replies from the guys that know their stuff on here. To me, It's not a big deal. By the time you load the deck up with chairs and storage bins, well, no one but you will notice. I suppose he could pull off 2 or 3 rows and trim them each just enough so that you can get a squared up piece for that final row next to the house. Sure won't be fun and sure won't be easy.

PS That is a beautiful looking deck by the way.
 

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retired framer
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Sometime the foundation of the house is out of square and they make a correction at the floor level.
If that is the case it would take a real sharp deck guy to catch that and cut every joist a different length to make it work out for the decking.
If it was his fault the joist would be getting shorter at the far end.
If it was the house he would have cut all the joists are the same length.
The correction for the out of square house would be the joists getting longer on the far end.
 

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I'm guessing that deck cost you around 25 grand?
There's no excuse for that except incompetency.
The overall dimension of the deck framing should have been figured so
that the last piece was a full or almost full board, and not diminishing at all.
What a hack!
I'd be wanting more than $500.
And don't let him rip any boards down, or try
to cheat boards over, or any other HalfFast fix.
The only right fix is to remove all the
decking and straighten out the framing.
Not really realistic at this point.
I'd be trying to negotiate a four-figure discount.
 

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Framing Contractor
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Sometime the foundation of the house is out of square and they make a correction at the floor level.
If that is the case it would take a real sharp deck guy to catch that and cut every joist a different length to make it work out for the decking.
If it was his fault the joist would be getting shorter at the far end.
If it was the house he would have cut all the joists are the same length.
The correction for the out of square house would be the joists getting longer on the far end.
True, but that doesn't matter when you are only squaring the deck to ONE wall. Whenever we do a deck, we will run the joists long without the rim, then start the decking at the existing house. When we get close to the end, I will measure so that we can trim the joists, and end up with a full piece at that end also. Nobody cares if the 12' deck ends up 12' 2" or 11' 11" or whatever.
 

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retired framer
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True, but that doesn't matter when you are only squaring the deck to ONE wall. Whenever we do a deck, we will run the joists long without the rim, then start the decking at the existing house. When we get close to the end, I will measure so that we can trim the joists, and end up with a full piece at that end also. Nobody cares if the 12' deck ends up 12' 2" or 11' 11" or whatever.
Most people don't take that time, they cut all the joist the same length, add the rim and check the deck for square.
 

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Me, it wouldn't be worth changing it. Besides, I would rather the difference be against the house than on the outer end. Everyone would get a chance to see it there. I fully understand your displeasure and I'm not discounting that. Work out a number and settle with the contractor.
 

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Actually the deck could very well be square against the house. The fact that the decking is cut on a taper means that the joists at each end didn't protrude the same distance from the house. Either cut incorrectly, which is unlikely since the rim joist would have indicated that when they had to bend it into place. I suspect the box was framed first then each joist cut to fit. And that is where they should have noticed it. If they were all cut at once this couldn't have happened. Somebody measured wrong while framing. If they knew it was out of square, like the contractor said they could have made minute adjustments with the decking until it ran true. All that being said, get some nice benches to go along the wall and nobody but you will know.
 
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When I build a deck I measure every board I put down to make sure it comes out right. I looks like rather than checking they plowed ahead and got to the last board, then realized something was not right. The only reason it is off is carelessness.That would drive me crazy and eventually I would be pulling it all up for replacement. If it were mine, I wouldn’t care if he had to do it 3 times to get it right, I wouldn’t give them a dime until it was right.
 

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retired framer
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When I build a deck I measure every board I put down to make sure it comes out right. I looks like rather than checking they plowed ahead and got to the last board, then realized something was not right. The only reason it is off is carelessness.That would drive me crazy and eventually I would be pulling it all up for replacement. If it were mine, I wouldn’t care if he had to do it 3 times to get it right, I wouldn’t give them a dime until it was right.
If they removed some siding and flashed the rim, you could still get caught.
 

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It's not a "little thing" - it's a major mess.
Have you paid in full?
Is the deck builder licensed, bonded and insured?
If you accept this deck "as is" and $500 - you will lose sleep for years.
If you demand the thing fixed, technically you have to give this "deck builder" a chance, but only one chance, to fix it on his own dime.
Fixing this mess will result in damaged boards, something this contractor will have to pay for.
If this contractor fails to fix it right away, and if he is licensed and bonded, file a claim at your state board of contractors - they will use funds from the bond for repairs by another contractor.
And if he's not...you will be left with this mess and probably will never see that $500.

I guess the 3 screws on the door trim is another f-up story.
 

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and if he is licensed and bonded, file a claim at your state board of contractors - they will use funds from the bond for repairs by another contractor.
There is a difference between bondable and having a bond on a project. Unless he paid for a bond specifically for this project, there isn’t one. Typically you have to request that a bond be put in place on a project, and there will be a small cost which will typically show up on the proposal. When a contractor buys an insurance policy it automatically covers all his work. But a bond is project-specific.
 

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There is a difference between bondable and having a bond on a project. Unless he paid for a bond specifically for this project, there isn’t one. Typically you have to request that a bond be put in place on a project, and there will be a small cost which will typically show up on the proposal. When a contractor buys an insurance policy it automatically covers all his work. But a bond is project-specific.
It looks like your state is different.
Here you give the state $15,000 and you're bonded for all your jobs.
Don't have that amount? you get a bonding company to put out this amount to the state board and you make payments to your bonding company.
When I was active, I paid the state directly. I never liked middlemen.
 
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