The fence is not done yet. He has yet to finish the back and front gate.
Yesterday I went to take a look at the wood posts he erected for the gate.
I looked at it and can see with my eyes the post is not plumb, he actually
has to cut the wood board unevenly so it would be flush with the post. I
put a level up against it and it's off about an inch over 24 inches. So at
a six foot height it's leaning away from the gate 3 inches at the top.
I told him if he mount a gate on this the gate will be tilted. I demanded
that he redo the post and make it plumb. He said he knows what he is doing
and that once he mounts the gate the gate's weight will pull the post inward
and eventually after a year or so it will be plumb. I told him he should
wait for the concrete to set on the post and it shouldn't really drag 3
inches into the gate. If it does, what does that do to the corner post
which is now plumb? Will the corner posts be pulled along with it?
I am struggling whether to stop this job now or let him finish and get
someone else to remedy it. Either way it will cost me money.
Take a picture, do a simple website and run a classified ad with the
website's addy on it, in a local paper.
If the fence contractor considers his work 'normal', he won't have a
leg to stand on if he tries to get you to take down that website. (5
bucks per month, max)
..and of course the BBB and such.
I would cut my losses right now. Fire this guy. It's not going to get any
better. What's the point of continuing to pay him for something that is
going to need to be redone anyway? Yes, it's going to cost you to have it
replaced but why put more money into a loosing situation?
Any demo work at all will cost extra. Any rubbish removal will cost
extra, and it's all rubbish.
Pay for it once the right way, or pay for it three times the wrong
way. Once to build the hack job, once to have the hack job removed
and hauled away, and once to have the job done the right way.
I don't know which is the bigger piece of work - you or the fence!
The time to stop the work was a week ago when _everybody_ said the
fence was a total POS. You're digging yourself into a deeper hole by
letting him proceed.
As I said before, if you don't know what you're doing and aren't up to
the task of supervising the work, hire someone who is. It would have
been _cheaper_ than what you're going to be going through now.
Providing you do your business correctly, any cost at this stage should be
minimized by how well you did that.
Have you paid up front?
I build a couple of houses a year and handle most "turn key" subcontractor
work by paying a maximum of 50% upfront, the remainder to be paid at the end
of the job and only after it passes inspection ... both mine, and the local
Folks gripe and moan about municipal building regulations and codes, but as
a builder I welcome them wholeheartedly. It forces _everyone_ in the
process to do what they say they will do, and ultimately makes life easier
for all but those who do shoddy work.
In many locales these days fences are covered by municipal regulation. If
this is the case in yours, and even though you may not have a permit, it may
pay in the long run to pay additional fees and get that regulatory body
One of the real tight ropes that you have to watch with many in the building
industry these days is "retribution" ... it pays to be both careful, and
diplomatic, about how you handle this ... another benefit of having the
"code enforcement" guys to fall back on.
What ever you do, take the last above to heart, even though it may cost you
a bit more. Advice on how to proceed may be tempered by whether you have
already paid for the project.
He should be carrying around and using an 8' plumb level like it was
his third arm. Nothing gets nailed down unless the level says it's
dead on. Posts get sunk below the frostline (36" in the northeast).
Posts will not "plumb themselves;" in fact, they shouldn't move
at all once the concrete sets. If he says they'll move, that's a
BIG clue that something isn't right. Defective planks can be
avoided by buying from a reputable dealer. Who was his?
Necessary gaps are established by setting the pickets tight
against each other and letting them dry. If you can get a
thumb in between, that's a hazard that *you* might get sued
for later on.
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