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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
visited a client this morning telling me that her ipe deck had to be finished. Walking into the backyard, this deck really got my attention. I have done 4 decks in this neighborhood and noticed this deck not being finished and no work being done in the time we where building our decks. This was last year. This deck is a 1300 sq. foot Ipe deck with outdoor kitchen, pergolas etc. Not a deck for the DIY. Did had to be ugly last year. The contractor walked or kicked of the job and all the tools, wheelbarrows, trash, you name it. It is still there as they left it. This is 14 months ago!!!
The "deck builder" was a fence builder.
This project was definitely something he never should tackled after seeing the architectual drawnings.
I'm going to walk (probably run) away from this one. Funny thing is that she told me that the deck needs a few extra days to get it finished. She has no idea what she got on her hands. Attached are two pictures but I created a slide show of all pictures. If you want to see them give me your e-mail.
 

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John Hyatt
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3,658 Posts
Clemens Mon,I would like to see that show, www.deckmastersllc.com

I am thinking there is a very sad story behind that job, the Man must have really lost it. Latley I have seen two pretty good friends go completly off the deep end. Its a hard world just now. J.
 

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1,882 Posts
Same thing happened to me, but with a roof. The contractor walked, left all the tools and materials and just never showed up again...Come to find out, the guy got busted that night and also had warrants. He went to jail and ended up getting 7 years...:eek:...I think the homeowner ended up selling the tools to recoup some of her loss. :blink:
 

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Premium Member
Retired deck builder
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6,366 Posts
Looks like a mess. Hard to make your work look good when everything else is jacked. Hard to get people to pay what it's worth to make something like that right too.

Unless I was hard up for work I'd pass on that one.
 

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Banned
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356 Posts
I'd finish it. I'm used to cleaning up other peoples messes. And I have experience with IPE too. Only prob with IPE is that its beautiful when its fresh but turns Silver Grey if you let it weather. It needs to be sealed immediately...unless you like steel grey. Any cuts that go towards a wall or are going to be covered get sanded and sealed before being screwed into place.

Did you happen to notice if the screws were countersunk and/or plugged?

Was there any (REAL) equipment left on the Job site...Saws etc...?
Dude either died or got locked up!
I'm guessing they haven't paid anyone anything for the work have they?

That is a T&M job for sure!
 

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I eat sawdust.
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3,975 Posts
Will you at least let them know the "real deal" and what it would take to have a "real professional" (yourself) do it properly?

If she's willing to pay you to fix it, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

I'd definitely like to hear that contractor's story though. Would they be willing to tell you who it was that did it?
Maybe they were such bad customers that he went home and hung himself.
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish the Ipe was plugged. They used EBTY. I did two decks about 6 years ago with EBTY and found out that these clips are fighting a losing battle with Ipe. The picture shows it all. I'm sure it looked beautiful when they installed it (or at least I'm hoping). I send John the slideshow, maybe he is able to put it on the forum. Haven't figured it out yet because it is a little over 3mb
 

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Premium Member
Retired deck builder
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6,366 Posts
Is that plexiglass in the rails?

You got that right about the ebty's, no way they work with ipe. There is still folks out there that haven't learned that yet.
 

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John Hyatt
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3,658 Posts
I cant get it over here either, I did notice its a hard file to get out of.

Anyway the framing is a mess you cant really see it in the few pictures but it looks like some little high school kid got out there or someone on crack.
Fixing it.....Man a peson would just about have to start at the begining Im not even sure he put the posts in creet. Scabas,half driven screws/nails,strange joists, really silly stairway just about have to take that out all together, take the ipe off with a system but even then some of it is not going to go back on in the same place probley mix it all in some how. Posts stuck up in the air for something I cant figure out what. Might be less work to take the whole thing down and start again.

Its like the builder was in a trance or dreaming with tools in his hand. Too bad,major waste of good material and depending on the draw already given a lot of wasted money.

What ya gunna tell the Wallet Clemens????
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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3,809 Posts
I wish the Ipe was plugged. They used EBTY. I did two decks about 6 years ago with EBTY and found out that these clips are fighting a losing battle with Ipe. The picture shows it all. I'm sure it looked beautiful when they installed it (or at least I'm hoping). I send John the slideshow, maybe he is able to put it on the forum. Haven't figured it out yet because it is a little over 3mb
I'm not a fan of EBTYs either, but those outside boards are moving like they don't have anything holding them down at all. Fixing someone else's mess is always a headache, and very rarely PROFITABLE... Just when you think you know how far things need taken apart--you find something else.

Minor issues are one thing... but if the structure wasn't built right, it needs torn down and that will be an exceedingly hard pill to swallow for the HO.
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I haven't responded to her yet but the more I looked at this job the more I did find. She asked me how many more pictures do you need to take? My guts tells me it is better to tear it down and start over. It is just to much. Thes post sticking out supposed to be for a pergola. They are 6x6 and wrapped with 5/4x8. Some serious money here. I hated looking at it that this beatiful wood is wasted or at least a lot of it. Problem here too is that the whole pergola is planned for 2x ipe. And these post are bolted to the bandboard (not the joist) on a 2 foot overhang!!! Would love to see the face of the local inspector when he sees this.
 

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John Hyatt
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3,658 Posts
I saw that too Mon, no bearing to Anything all the stress on the band...ghesssss A couple on Gardenweb had done the same thing I finally talked them into adding posts below with a pier pad underneith however it was only like 2' above grade, but that thing would look pretty stupid with all those posts in addition to the others.


It might pop with a lot of work,Mac did a retro cover on an existing deck that came out good, Mabey you could fix the framing, remove all the ipe,check the conection to the house, clean up everything, ghessssss

Just from the look of it,and what I think it was suposed to be....in my area.. around $14,000 to begin with a $5000 over ride. I havent seen the plans of course....at least that.

You might pitch forget the cover,off the ipe,clean up the framing,simple stair way, no skirting stuff like that if money is tight for the girl. Or if She is not understanding what happened yet,after over a year, Just walk away. You right Damm Shame to do that to Ipe. J.
 

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Composite Decking Mfr
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135 Posts
That is insane. It looks like they're using the deck as is, also. Would the homeowner have some kind of insurance claim?
 

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Fine Deckbuilder
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402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Marty,
Yes they use the deck as it is now. Big time safety issues here. This deck needs a major overhaul in order to get it through inspection. Luckily I'm full till beginning October and I will thank here but no thanks.
Last year I did one similar but on a much smaller scale and it was a pain in the butt and took me a lot longer than I would hoped for.
 

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wannabe
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2,283 Posts
The contractor's in jail.... Even if the woman was a witch,no one would leave a grand worth of tools.

just my $.02......if you're even interested in doing the job

I would set a meeting with the building inspector, the HO, and yourself. That way you and the B.I. can come to an agreement about what needs done and the HO will be listening to everything. You'll also have the local official to back you up when explaining the costs involved.

If the contractor pulled a permit, the B.I. would know who was doing the work. You and the inspector may also be witness if a lawsuit is applicable.

If you've done other projects in the neighborhood and could possibly land more jobs, it may be worth your while to help this woman out and gain reputation......It's an interesting situation either way. Like others, I'm curious what the whole story is.
 

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WNY hit it right on the head! :thumbsup: Cover yourself, then cover yourself and cover yourself again.

Just looking at the few photos, I can't help but think what was going through this guys mind? Plex/glass rail installed, stringers not complete, a complete mess of a work site (I would go ballistic). Definatley a guy not thinking with a clear head. Too bad.

Good luck...I would love to see slideshow...thanks

L.W.
[email protected]
 

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Saw the slideshow. Rip it down and start over. You would spend more time repairing than starting over. Too bad, alot of wasted material. This could be a great opportunity for you.

I personally would be as honest and direct as possible. It has to come down and it is going to cost alot of money. Homeowners will need a few days to digest the fact it will have to come down if you present it to them carefully. To the point but not too abrasive. After that comes acceptance. If you project quality and honesty you will get it.

Keep in mind they are going to be hyper-sensitive that they will get burnt again. Reassurance and constant contact with them is key.

I have never seen one of this magnitude but in my past experience with similar situations, I drill it into my head that, yes it is going to be alot of work, but keep you eye on the prize. The prize being the end result of a beautiful deck, a rejuvinated homeowner, a decent payday and a sence of a great accomplishment! Once you believe that, it usually goes pretty easy. I would love to do this one.

Good luck!
:thumbsup:
edmontoncustomdecks.com
 
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