I Doubt All Contractors Are This Nice

The house next door was recently purchased. The place is a little rough so we were concerned about who might be buying it. A few weeks ago I met the new owner who told me that before he moved in he was going to have some interior work done, including having new floors installed. Once he moved in, he was going to get busy on the yard and exterior. Cool!
I came home from work the other day to see a couple of trucks in his driveway, a miter saw set up the yard, etc. All right, work has begun.
At roughly 6:30 SWMBO and I had just sat down for dinner when the doorbell rang.
"Hi, my name is Dave and I'm working on the house next door."
"Yes, Chris had told me that he was going to have some work done. What's up?"
"Well, I got started a couple of days late and Chris wants to move in this weekend, so would it be OK with you if I worked a little late tonight? I'm really trying to get back on schedule but if the noise is going to keep you up or bother your family, I'll stop."
"No, of course, go right ahead! We completely understand. We're glad that the place is being updated. Work as long as you want."
Wow! Now that was a breath of fresh air.
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On Fri, 27 Jul 2018 17:25:44 -0700, DerbyDad03 wrote:

And a delight to the contractor as well, I think. It's always a treat when the owner/neighbours understand that sometimes contractors get surprised. Thanks for passing on the good news story, DerbyDad!
Colin
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Chris is who you have to worry about. :-)
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On 7/27/2018 7:25 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

...
So what did "a little late" turn into...2 AM? <vbg>
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On Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 10:38:14 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

Actually, yes! Sort of.
I don't really know what time the construction noise stopped. With our windows closed (AC) we didn't really hear too much anyway. We went to bed around 11 and it was fine.
However, I got up to use the john at around 2AM and when I looked over the lights were still on and at least two guys were in the house. No noise that I heard, but they were still there.
They are still at it. They worked until at least 9 or 10 every day this week and all day today. I was doing some work on my deck so we had dueling miter saws going, but the first thing I had to do was figure out what radio station they were listening too. It was loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to enjoy, so I figured it was better to match it than try to drown it out. 90's rock with some new stuff mixed in. Fine with me, except for the commercials. That's why I listen to Pandora or public radio. I hate commercials.
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On 7/28/2018 6:08 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

...
Having the initiative to try to push and "catch up" is probably even more rare ime...
I've spent the last few days repairing the oak flooring in dining room/hallway that folks had covered with carpet in the major remodel almost 40(!) yr ago, now...I've packed up at about 9 PM, though, each day altho there's still the farm chores to get to as well so it's an inbetween task.
There was one large cut out area about 3x5 ft in the SW corner in front of the door to the living room I've no idea what that was about--there's nothing under there that I can tell and doesn't look as though the subflooring was cut thru anyway...Dad had filled it in with oak flooring before so just had to fix up a few strips that he had face-nailed with 8d commons and one strip where was an 1/8" gap I made a wide piece to fill in...if you know it's there you can spot it, but it's far less noticeable than the gap was before! :)
In SE corner there was a patch where HVAC contractor had cut in (as always, _very_ crudely w/ Sawzall) for a floor vent that wasn't put in as is in middle of final floor--I'm presuming perhaps that was done before they decided to open up the whole east wall into the entryway they created out of the old porch and was still against the existing wall when was done. It was just patched in with a piece of ply and some water putty to level...I managed to find some 1-1/2" oak flooring remnants in town left in the warehouse (he was surprised to find anything that narrow too, let me have the lot to get rid of it) but while they worked to fill in the SW corner, apparently they switched lots somewhere in the middle of the original because the east end is 13/16" thick instead of 3/4" and the groove/bead end up 1/16" low try ing to patch in with the new stuff. So, I had to make some to fill in that patch...turns out I didn't have a 1/4" bead cutter so I just chamfered the square corners a little with block plane for short run...worked out pretty well...
Now it's on to patch in the holes from the piping of the old original steam radiators and then see what will take to refinish...unfortunately, the drywall and painters took "carpet" to heart and spattered mud and paint everywhere liberally. :( It was stained really, really dark originally altho the wear areas are down to a reasonably nice color...I'm hoping to be able to keep some of the appearance rather than sand back to all bare wood...
I'm now on a mission to find the replacement dust corners that were on the stairs; the nail holes and outlines are there; to my surprise I have not found a bag full of them when they were removed to carpet the stairs...dad saved most everything else.
I've found one style of replacements with the nail hole in the center; these were nailed at each corner...any leads on alternatives to what seems to be the ubiquitous version would be welcome.
I don't want to full carpet the stairs again; probably will put down tread pads, though, on the steps...
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On Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 11:08:23 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

Sounds like a lot of work, but fun. Making new stuff look old, bad jobs look good, etc.
The guys next store have been at it all day. Apparently Chris has to be out of his former place on Tuesday, so the rush to finish is on. 9PM and they are still shooting nails.
I just finished the deck work (for today). Because of the slope of my lot, the deck that we get to from the first floor at the back of the house is about 7' off the ground. It's enclosed in lattice and we store some stuff under it. Years ago I had some spare pieces of corrugated fiberglass panels so I put them under the deck to keep the "important" stuff somewhat dry. I only had enough to do less than half and I finally decided to do it all with white Tuftex panels, including a gutter behind the front beam to collect the water and send it where I want.
SWMBO helped me put the panels up and decided they look so nice that the under-deck deserved a floor. So I spent most of today trying to level the area so I can put down landscaping timbers (LT) to support the PT plywood floor. Will it last forever? No, but if it stays dry under there, I'll be gone before it needs to be replaced. I had a few LT lying around from another SWMBO project, but I needed 6 more, plus the plywood. Off to Home Depot I go. 10 minutes away. Uh, yeah, right. Not this time.
The plywood is at one end of the store and the LT are at the other end in Lawn & Garden. Unbeknownst to me, this store now has this screwed up system where you have to pay for the LT first, then they let you in the secret gate and help you load them in. You can't just go out in the yard, load them on a cart and pay at a register. Unfortunately, I asked the wrong question: "Are you sure you have 6 out there?" "Oh yeah, we've got a couple of dozen."
So I walk all the way back to the other end of the store, where the plywood (and my van) is, pay for everything, load the plywood and drive over to lawn and garden. They open the secret gate and direct me to a pile of the most twisted, warped and split LT that I've ever seen. The "couple of dozen" had obviously already been pick through and rejected. The whole pile was one big mess. I guess I should have asked if they had 6 *usable* LT.
I told the guy to forget it. I want my money back. "OK, take your receipt over to Returns and they'll refund your money."
"Will they? What am I 'returning'?"
"Just show them your receipt."
"Why would they give me my money back? I have no product to return."
"Oh...yeah. OK, I'll walk over with you."
So I stand in the Return line fuming and wait for 2 people who actually had product to return get their money back. It's not like I could leave and "return" them later cuz I had nothing to return.
OK, over to Lowe's. The only things that made Lowe's better is that 1 - I could actually look at the product before paying for it and 2 - They had fewer POS LT to sort through before I walked out.
Out in the parking lot I called the next closest HD. I told them I needed 6 LT and I wanted to see them before I paid for them. "No problem. They are outside in Lawn & Garden, Aisle 5." Next I asked him if he knew if they had 6 ("That's all, just 6.") "We have over 200. I just brought down a new stack." Hallelujah!
2 hours wasted. Did I finish the floor? No. I've got about 2 hours of work left. Gee, what a coincidence.
Now I get to get all sweaty and dirty (again) after I come home from work tomorrow.
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Menards gives you a yard ticket and receipt. When you enter and exit, you show the guard your yard ticket and receipt, which he scans to create a record. If you decide to return the items without picking them up yet, you can tell the nice and sometimes quite pretty lady at the returns desk that and it's not a problem.
If HD isn't doing that, they'll hopefully figure it out soon.
Puckdropper
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 2:19:34 AM UTC-4, Puckdropper wrote:

Maybe they'll start figuring it out after I send my email to their customer service dept today.
My biggest issue is the inability to actually look at you want to buy before you buy it, especially when it comes to lumber and especially at home centers where everyone knows that you have to factor "sort time" into your shopping schedule because of the low quality. I don't mind yard tickets at real lumber yards where I'm more confident that I'll find decent boards, but home centers are notorious for having so much crap.
Regardless of whether customers can "return" the item now or later, they shouldn't have to wait in line twice, once to pay and then again if the product on the shelf sucks. Obviously the root cause is the low quality product but they just make it worse with their "pay first" process. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might think they hope that people will settle for the crap since they have already paid.
When you get the Menard's yard ticket, are you trapped in your vehicle while everyone in front of you sorts through whichever pile of crap they are picking from?
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 7:00:15 AM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

In HS I worked summers in a "real" lumber yard (1970's). Customers were not permitted to sort thru the bunks of lumber. Take from the top, or be charged a "Pick Premium". Lumber damaged by forklift handling was the exception.
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On 7/30/2018 8:51 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

[snip]

Well, if you're looking to buy the same dimension lumber as the guy who was there first, of course you'll wait. OTOH, if you're getting something else it's just as likely you won't even have to deal with a Menard's employee. . . takes DIY to a new level! ;)

And is that lumber yard still around? Could be a reason for them being gone. Pick premium being one good reason. ;)
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 9:51:23 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

What was their return policy?
If I needed 20, I'd pay for 30, pick my boards and return 10 before they even made it to my vehicle.
Wash, rinse, repeat until I had 20 good boards.
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On 7/30/2018 6:00 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

[SNIP]

In addition to what Puckdropper says about Menard's, you can do your "shopping" for the wood before you even check out. Say you want cedar boards. Just go out to the shed and check out their stock. If you see sufficient (quality and quantity) for your needs, make the purchase and pull around back. Only worry is if there is a run on those boards and they clean them out in 5 minutes.
I've never run into a problem with picking lumber at Menard's. They either have it or they don't. I've heard, but yet to try this, but if you order up a quantity for decking for them to deliver, just order well over what you need. When delivered, cull the crap boards and set aside for return. No problem (allegedly).
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On Monday, July 30, 2018 at 10:02:54 AM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

That was difference at HD. When the L&G pointed towards the yard where the LT were, I started walking that direction. He said "You can't go out there on foot. Store policy. You need to pay and then drive in."

It's not always a matter of having it or not. Both HD and Lowe's *had* sufficient quantities, assuming I was going for this layout:
https://i.imgur.com/u1565c2.jpg

Does return include free pick-up?
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On 7/30/2018 9:46 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

What I meant was they either had what I wanted (quantity AND QUALITY) or they didn't. A number of times they have had quantity but not quality and so I'd wait for the next shipment. Difference being that I got what I wanted or I didn't and I knew it before I opened my wallet.

That I don't know, but I seriously doubt it. Project I'm considering is some decking in 10' lengths. Total quantity will be such that I don't want to screw around picking them up myself. Any necessary returns will be accomplished with either a van or friend's pick up.
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It wasn't when I did my deck. Menards uses a third party to handle deliveries, it costs $65 for them to make a trip out. Doesn't matter if they're picking up or delivering.
Speaking of the deck and delivery/pick up, I learned that just because they're delivering material doesn't mean you should max out on the board length. If you want to take them back, you don't have the vehicle to do it so it'll cost you another delivery fee to take them back. Keep it 12' or under and you can probably move it in a van or truck.
Puckdropper
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On 7/30/2018 2:58 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

GMTA. Already planned to do just that.
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There are several lumber yards around here, in addition to HD and Lowes. Whenever I can, I try to go with the locally owned yards, because they generally have higher quality, even if they have higher prices. It's not worth the time and effort to deal with low quality, so you don't really save money in the end.
Anyway, I recently purchased four 20' LVL beams for the porch addition I'm building on the back of my house. One of our local yards had the 2nd best price AND had them in stock, so I jumped on it. They only charged 30 bucks for delivery, too.
The truck showed up with the four LVLs and two 16' 2x10s, all banded together. I walked around the stack and everything looked fine. The truck dumped the load and left. Later in the day, I cut the bands and pulled the stack apart to discover a bunch of long and wide delaminations in the LVLs, and a diagonal split, over 2' long, up the end of one of the 2x10s. All these defects were on the inside/center of the stack. That is not a coincidence. I'm guessing the LVLs has sat outside in the rain for months and had been bouncing around construction sites, being returned over and over again and they were just hoping I'd be the sucker who finally kept them.
I will never buy another product from that yard.
There's a commercial supplier in town whom I called. They told be they were commercial, only, but then asked what I was building and what I needed. He ended up assigning me a salesman. I told him about the last LVLs I got and asked him about the quality of theirs. He said, "Man, we go through so many of these every day that they don't have time to sit around getting wet." They LVLs I got from them were the cheapest price with no delivery charge, and in great shape.
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Nope. Their outdoor yard is huge and has plenty of space to manuever around in. I think you could fit 3 cars side by side in their board shed and still have room to pull the lumber out of the racks. I wouldn't be surprised to find they've loaded the delivery semi in there.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

At my Menards they give you a surprising amount of freedom to wander around in their yard. They balance that by checking your car/truck and receipt as you exit at the gate. Works for me.
Bill

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