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All home improvement contractors must die

By robo_dev ·
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//begin rant 1.0//

Why is it that when you pay somebody to do work, they never do it right the first time? Is it a lack of education, poor genetics, lack of pre-natal care? Did their mother smoke (crack?) during the pregnancy?

Why does it fall on me, the homeowner, to educate the contractor about building codes, best practices, and common sense?

For example, right now I am getting the raised wood deck replaced on my house. I did LOTS of due dillgence, checked references, etc.

And yet....

I'm having to explain to them:

- why a 'temporary beam' to pass inspection is a bad idea
- why soil contact with wood is bad
- why 3/8" bolts are not code-compliant for guard-rail attachment
- why it's a bad idea to tap their ungrounded extension cord into the 30AMP service-disconnect for my AC unit.
- why joist hangers exist, and the startling news that there are even different size joist hangers for different sized joists...so therefore using a 8" hanger on a 10" joist is not correct.

Or why it's a bad idea to let one of the worker's 8 year old son roam unsupervised under the deck (on temporary supports) for three hours last Friday. (have that on CCTV footage)

Today I found they installed the posts in the ground, using only the (code minimum) 12" of concrete in the hole, the rest filled up with soil. Technically it 'meets code' but keep in mind the Southern US is second only to Hawaii for termites.

After a somewhat heated argument with the owner of the deck company, I have made the vow...never again hire anybody to do anything. I used to do it all myself, and I guess I need to get back to that again.

//end rant//

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Defiantly a

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to contractors are evil

Learning Experience though wasn't it.

Though I'm not quite sure why anyone would want to suffer so badly.

Col

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"Experience"

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Defiantly a

is what you get stuck with when you didn't get what you really wanted.

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Yes, it was a learning experience

by GSG In reply to Defiantly a

I learned that if you are a 14 year old boy, with oppositional defiance disorder, who has on 2 separate occasions vandalized schools to the tune of thousands of dollars, and you get mad at Grandpa and steal his car, then drive it at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, hit a house, and run off, then you will get arrested. And, if you've stolen a loaded pistol and tell the jail psychologist that you stold it because you wanted to know what it was like to kill someone, then despite the over $25,000 dollars worth of damage to my house, you will be sentenced to probation until the psychologist determines you can be released from the child psych hospital.

So the kid was "Punished" with a 2 week stay at a psych facility, also known as "summer camp".

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Quibble.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to contractors are evil

Depending on the circumstances, I can understand not sealing the deck. Sometimes the wood is still 'green' and hasn't fully dried out yet. -IF- that was the case, the original owner should have been informed and should have sealed it himself after four to six months.

However, not sinking the posts is inexcusable.

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You would be right, except

by GSG In reply to Quibble.

The deck was built when the house was, and the builder let his daughter live in it for 5 years before I bought it. The wood was no longer green.

The joists on the deck are still good, so the plan is to rip up the planking (that was screwed to the joists with DRYWALL SCREWS), and temporarily shore up the joists, while they dig the holes and fill with concrete, then attach the joists to the permanent posts.

My task now is to find a couple of reputable comanies to come out and give me quotes. I know what the materials should cost if I did it myself, so I at least have a general idea of that part of the quote.

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If you do the posts one at a time,

by CharlieSpencer In reply to You would be right, excep ...

[snicker] Did he tape and mud the seams between the planks too?

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Why would he?

by GSG In reply to If you do the posts one a ...

He certainly didn't mud about 1/3 of the seams on the actual drywall in my house. He taped them all, just didn't mud them. Oh, and in some cases the drywall is NAILED in.

I knew all of this going in, and I got the house for under the appraisal, so it was worth it to me. Luckily, Dad used to work construction, so we did a lot of skim coats, sanding, etc... before we repainted.

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Well, of course he nailed the dry wall!

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Why would he?

What choice did he have? He used all the screws up out on the deck, remember? Geez, you're a dumb@$$

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Hung some cabinets

by GSG In reply to Well, of course he nailed ...

I wanted some cabinets in my laundry room. We took several measurements, I bought unfinished cabinets, and my dad finished them for me, and cut them to fit. We went to hang them, and the walls at the back of the cabinet were 1/2 inch narrower than at the front of the cabinet. A cabinet isn't that deep, so tell me how there can be that much of a discrepancy.

Well, we finally got those cabinets to fit. The good news is that they were wedged in so tight, that no one needed to hold them up while they were screwed in. I figure that the laundry room might be the safest room in the house.

The whole house is like this. There's not a door that can hang straight, or a straight line anywhere in the house. It makes home improvement "interesting".

Oh, and the fuse box was mislabeled. Who knew that if you flipped the breaker labeled "Kitchen" and the one labeled "Kitchen GFCI" that you wouldn't actually turn off the GFCI ciruit to the kitchen? Luckily, it was only my thumb that got electrocuted. I ended up having to turn off electricity to the whole house to change that outlet.

I also found that electrocution causes me to curse like a sailor at top volume.

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Ugh...

by cmiller5400 In reply to Well, of course he nailed ...

Sad part is you shouldn't have felt much with a correctly installed GFCI, it should have tripped nearly immediately.

I'm pretty sure when I was younger that I was hit with 220 (unplugging an electric dryer), Not a pretty sight. Talk about cursing.

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