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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't often get to work in new construction homes but I am right now and need to do a bit of ranting.

Construction lumber and fine finish lumber are two completely different animals and those of us who work with the oak moldings and cabinetry have some real hurdles to overcome every time we tackle a new home.

I spent my day today trimming out some real nice Anderson windows in a new home. I have not yet learned the art of bending wood moldings to meet the window casings when the builders can't seem to get them right.

A casement picture window with side lite crank outs on either side has to be installed at the same exact height and depth as the side lite windows. I guess I will never understand the thought process where the GC expects the finish guy to fix his mistakes.

I have windows tilted on the face where they are 3.5 inches inset on the bottom and 3 3/4" at the top. Oak moldings just don't bend that far. My customer actually worked with me today and saw every obstacle I had to overcome. He did this because when I looked over the job I refused to give an estimated price and instead went with an hourly rate. At the end of the day my customer was fully aware that his builder slammed things together and he now has to pay the price to make it all come together.

The finished product is what the customer has to live with and look at for eternity. I had to uninstall an exterior door and reinstall it today just so the moldings would marry to the sheet rock in an acceptable manner. The tin guy was already there to wrap & caulk it and I sure messed up his job. The owner is on the phone right now with the builder and arguing the cost of making the unnecessary repairs had the doors and windows been installed right from the git-go.

Gary
 

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Gary, i definately hear you, i dont know how long you have been trimming homes but unfortunately what you describe is very common. The thing that makes a trim man good is his ability to deal with the ****ed up stuff that is thrown at us, a little shimming, a little carving of the sheetrock, a little tapered ext jam etc,,,,.As long as you get paid, meet the challenge head on, and make it look sweet. G
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea Gene, I think when it comes to new construction these days I want to change my company name to "Creative Carpentry" !

I have done all that you mentioned in the above post on this job and I am coming in behind one of the premier builders in my area. I really do want to pitch a b. i. t. c. h. but I don't know how to speak Mexican.

Maybe I should just change the company name to "Next to nothing woodworking" because that's what it takes to get the jobs these days.

Gary
 

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Maybe you've already tried this, but if you run into issues such as out of plumb framing or windows not lining up right, then you should be able to have the framer come back and fix his mistakes for you, run that through the builder.

Working as a pick up carpenter for a framing company I've had to make plenty of repairs due to complaints from finish carpenters.
 

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Is this for a homeowner who contracted his own home?
If a general contractor is involved, why isn't he responsible for the whole job, including yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent question Warren and the answer comes right down to a home owner who is being his own GC and farming every job out to subs.

I think if I could ever afford to build my own home using subs I would want to do it the same way but where this becomes a major problem is in our own knowledge of the trades and our ability to be on the scene and watching for shoddy work all day long. Seems to me the finish guys get to see all the mistakes.

Gary
 

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I'd definitely charge the customer/HO for what it is worth (including the PITA factor).

Anything real bad, have him bring the framer back in to fix HIS mistake.
 

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That is exactly why I prefer to frame the buildings I trim. I realize that perfection is merely a goal and almost never a reality. The closer it is to perfect in the rough, the closer you can get to perfection in the finish. The beauty of Andersen windows, which is also the cause of the problem sometimes, is that once the windows are installed, there is a certain amount of "Fudge Factor" in the margins. Sometimes you can push or pull the the offending corner of the window to get back an eighth or so on the setback from the face of the drywall. A shim and a screw after pulling the stops on the casement windows will pin it in place. Many times on the double hung 400 series, the nailing fins hang up on the edge of the sheathing, going unoticed by the installer. That'll hold the window out by almost 1/4". That's one reason why I rout my openings with a guide bearing bit. The 200 series has an integral flange and is rarely a problem.
There again, sometimes the framer will pay little attention to detail when framing the opening. That pi55es me off.:furious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You think you got it bad? Try being the painter or paperhanger. We are at the end of the whole line and all the crap gets pushed off on us to fix.

A little caulk, a little paint, makes a carpenter what he ain't. :jester:
I don't disagree with you PWG but I have grown to hate that title of "Carpenter".

Seems to me any out of work fool with a circle saw and hammer can wear the title but those of us who truly do the job to satisfaction get the lousy end of the stick.

You would have no real gripes coming in behind me for anything I had a hand in!
 

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You think you got it bad? Try being the painter or paperhanger. We are at the end of the whole line and all the crap gets pushed off on us to fix.

A little caulk, a little paint, makes a carpenter what he ain't. :jester:
The only complaint our painter has is the gunspray of holes he has to putty. :whistling Some guys don't realize that a breezy day at the shore will blow the door out of the opening if it's not installed properly. Keeping miters tight requires lots of shims and positive connection to the framing members from all directions. I like to pull the stops and hinge leafs to hide screws behind them, but the trim has to be securely fastened.
 

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Lone - I've read about this technique (fine homebuilding, jlc, etc.)

Do you use a flush cutting bit or something with a slight taper?
1/2" flush cutting bit. I prefer to sheath the walls after they are standing off of pumpjacks. The router makes fast work of the cutouts as we go along. No time wasted laying out and marking the opening and no plywood lips sticking in the holes.:thumbsup: I use the router for arched openings and radius wall plates too.
 

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Are you sure it's not "a lot of caulk, a lot of paint..."? :w00t:
Sometimes, it is.

The only complaint our painter has is the gunspray of holes he has to putty. :whistling
Holy crap that hit a nerve. Back when I started in this field, carpenters used a hammer, and actually thought about where they were placing the nail. Now it looks like some d1ck head with a machine gun attacked the frames. Geez, I hate puttying holes now. Lets not forget what happens when a "carpenter" puts down the hammer and picks up a caulk gun.
 

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Sometimes, it is.


Holy crap that hit a nerve. Back when I started in this field, carpenters used a hammer, and actually thought about where they were placing the nail. Now it looks like some d1ck head with a machine gun attacked the frames. Geez, I hate puttying holes now. Lets not forget what happens when a "carpenter" puts down the hammer and picks up a caulk gun.
I average 12 nails per leg casing, 6 to 8 in a head piece and 22 in the jambs. That is typical on my jobs. I use two sets of shims for each hinge, one high, one low. Bowed jambs from the millshop tick me off.
On the subject of caulk and putty, I hate the painters who take a beautifully fitted miter that is neatly glued and smears putty into the corners while puttying holes.:furious:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I get to use caulk, putty and paint in my own home but my customers want stains and varnish/poly and sins are hidden by accuracy with lots of shims and care.

We all have to work with a living canvas and wood will walk no matter what we do. When ever I get the opportunity to return to one of my finished homes I always look for the open joints that come from the natural expansion and contraction with humidity or the lack there of. I am not sure we or I can do it much better to accommodate all the various conditions but I know for sure my own personal pursuit of perfection has caused many stressful days.

My major gripe and purpose for posting this thread is to bring to light the fact that the trades have to work together so we are not working against each other. My saws cut straight and true and I have no idea what's up with the ones some builders use. I refuse to go in behind "Slap and Jamb" builders and I have spoken with a few tape and rock guys who will not even look at these builders jobs.

My customers often recommend me to their friends but if the truth be known, I don't get mentioned when their friends ask "Who was your builder"? When I ask that same question of my customers there are a few names I like to hear and a few more that make my skin crawl.

Mistakes are a part of this process but when every window and every door is a challenge there is a problem and it is a costly one in the end or at best, it will always be seen in the finished product with our names on them.

Gary
 

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if it's paint grade... let the painter fix it (pass the buck)

oh wait, i used to be that painter....

we make our own extention jamb when gaps are bad. usually knocking out most of the sheetrock that the casing will cover is enough to do the trick though

i think the only place i have seen a perfect job in all work... plumb, square, level, true, etc.... is on the architects derwing. and even still there are mistakes...
 

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usually knocking out most of the sheetrock that the casing will cover is enough to do the trick though

i think the only place i have seen a perfect job in all work... plumb, square, level, true, etc.... is on the architects derwing. and even still there are mistakes...
:thumbsup:
 
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