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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wont state the name of this reputable siding company as it shouldn't matter, but I have had more than my share of bad luck in the last month because of this company. To make a long story short, I ordered the siding 4 wks prior to the job to make sure there was no lead time issues. Siding arrived looked at ALL the boxes everything stated the correct color, Antique Ivory. I did open one box and the customer and I both looked at it but didn't notice the difference in color as it was hard to see until placed next to the trim. I installed the trim and pull the first piece from the box, low and behold the WRONG color, Almond. Called the lumber yard, who called distributor, and so on. Was told it would be 2 wks tops for a new batch. Guess that is going to have to be how it is I wasn't going to change anything. Lumber yard owner says that more than likely they will let us keep the wrong color siding as it would be to costly to ship back and this would be compensation for my added time and a cost break to the customer. Apparently there was a lot that left the factory misboxed.

4 wks later siding shows up and they now want the first batch of siding back. OK, called the lumber yard and we talked about any compensation for me and/or my customer. I was told that the cost of the siding would remain the same as the value of the replacement siding was equal to the original and that there would be no compensation for me either. So we go from possibly having $2k worth of siding for compensation to absolutely nothing? Which is not that big of a deal to me other than I had to pack up on one job site and start another, load and unload tools and materials that were job specific.
When we started to install the 2nd batch of siding we noticed small defects, black smudges that would not wipe off, small scratches enough to be caught by the homeowner just beyond where the panels would overlap seams to scratches all along the entire panel near the bottom rib. The scratches are from the manufacturing or shipping process. Then we got into panels that would not clip into the previous panel, we fought this for an afternoon out of several boxes..yes the wall is straight and using a laser it was verified that it is also level.

So I had a phone conference with the lumber yard and distributor and took about 15 pictures and sent them to the distributor showing the bowed and scratched panels. The siding company/distributor has agreed to replace 98% of the siding for the job. They also want to compensate me for my "extra time spent" and I'm betting that in the end there will be an argument about what is extra time spent. These are items that I think should be included in the extra time spent: R&R defective panels, also had the electrician and power company already pull the electrical mast, and meter and set back on top of the siding and will need them there again, plumber for the out side spickets, telephone company for the phone box, telephone time and such.

I guess what I am looking for is feedback what others have done or had done in similar circumstances. Does the customer deserve a break on the cost of the siding now that they have been without siding for a month? They sure think they should, I see the ball from both courts, kind of stuck out in the middle, and also a distant family member. Any comments?
 

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Wow, that's a tough spot you're in. I feel your pain. Unfortunately, we've all been there a time or two if you've been in this business long enough. Obviously, this isn't your fault, nor is it the yard or distributor. It's purely a manufacturer's issue. Unless the second batch indeed was a shipping issue. Which will add yet ANOTHER layer of frustrating hand ringing if it was shipped by common carrier and not discovered at time of delivery.

Your customer absolutely deserves some sort of consideration for their frustration and wait. As do you, for all the extra time spent. Especially with regard to bringing out the utility companies for a second time. Unfortunately, in today's world of finger pointing and no one ever wanting to step to the plate and take any responsibility, you'll be darned lucky to get everything you "think" you and the homeowner deserve.

At this point, I wouldn't sign a single delivery ticket, until every last box was opened and inspected. All you can hope for at this point is the third time will indeed be a charm and you can salvage your reputation and not lose any $$$ on the job.

Good luck on this one.
 

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Wow what a mess. I guess in all the years of installing steel siding ,over 20 years have never had a situation like this. Have had some problems , but my supplier, wholesaler, has always treated me right on it . I rarely buy from a lumber yard unless it is a color my supplier does not have. or am trying to match the brand of siding. Some one along the line should be cutting you a break on the siding for all the problems. The yard or supplier as both are making a fair markup on the stuff.

Hopefully the new batch will be right and everything will turn out great.
 

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Just put the actual expenses in a summary (invoice, whatever) and get it to the powers that be. No BS, just hard numbers. It should be done immediately.

A good yard would eat it with the expectation they can recover it from the manufacturer or distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Completw&d

It is purely a manufacture issue there was NO damage to the boxes in shipping. I think they just got in a hurry trying to complete an order for the first mistake and it just didn't pay to get in a hurry!!

I think compensation on my part is just a code name for chalk it up to experience, finish the job and have a happy customer as far as the install.

Randy

I buy from the local lumber yard cause it is close and convenient for me. Siding distributor is 150 miles away. NEVER have I had this many problems with this lumber yard, service has always been top notch.

MR Latone
The distributor/yard are both VERY adamant that they owe the customer nothing for the inconvenience they have caused. Like I said they see it in the fact the value of the siding is same as it always has been.
 

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Completw&d

It is purely a manufacture issue there was NO damage to the boxes in shipping. I think they just got in a hurry trying to complete an order for the first mistake and it just didn't pay to get in a hurry!!

I think compensation on my part is just a code name for chalk it up to experience, finish the job and have a happy customer as far as the install.

Randy

I buy from the local lumber yard cause it is close and convenient for me. Siding distributor is 150 miles away. NEVER have I had this many problems with this lumber yard, service has always been top notch.

MR Latone
The distributor/yard are both VERY adamant that they owe the customer nothing for the inconvenience they have caused. Like I said they see it in the fact the value of the siding is same as it always has been.
I don't think that the inconvenience should be paid for either. I am referring to your direct additional expense for any work you have done that requires redoing as a result of their mistake.

I don't see how the homeowner is due anything. It's unfortunate, but there should be no expectation here.

I also reiterate that I am referring to a service oriented supplier, that is what I mean by a "good yard".
 

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I don't think that the inconvenience should be paid for either. I am referring to your direct additional expense for any work you have done that requires redoing as a result of their mistake.

I don't see how the homeowner is due anything. It's unfortunate, but there should be no expectation here.

I also reiterate that I am referring to a service oriented supplier, that is what I mean by a "good yard".
Years ago I had a couple of batches of siding where the top lock was rolled to tight to lock up right . I made a tool to open it up right there by salvaging the siding. But my supplier, Aside discounted the material to me , that is what I call a good supplier. Rarely have I seen a yard do that.
 

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Years ago I had a couple of batches of siding where the top lock was rolled to tight to lock up right . I made a tool to open it up right there by salvaging the siding. But my supplier, Aside discounted the material to me , that is what I call a good supplier. Rarely have I seen a yard do that.
I buy roofing/siding from a roofing/siding supplier who would not even hesitate to make it right.

The lumber yards around here are pretty good to their lumber customers. I can't say for sure how they would respond, I just know what I have come to appreciate.

It goes to show how important relationships in the supply channel truly are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I thought I should bring this post up to speed, but its pretty lengthy....After the third order of siding was received we tore off all of the siding from the second shipment and started from scratch. The third order was actually snapping together, but some pieces, 50% or more, still had scratches on them starting about 1.5" from the end and 1/4" off the bottom, the scratch was about 1/8" wide by 3/4" long down to bare metal most of the time. The first 2 or 3 boxes were pretty good and then it was all down hill from there. We struck out on having enough full panels and had to order another 6SQ of siding. At this point the owner of the lumber yard was down to asking me what I wanted done? Well I would like enough siding that I can complete the job and make both the customer and I happy knowing the job is completed with worthy products. He procedes to tell me that I might just have to over look some defects as he isn't sure that we can get perfect siding. I told him that perfect siding was the only acceptable solution to this problem. The lumber yard suggested that he was going to make a pitch to the siding company that they could eat the siding and the customer/me could eat my labor and we would be free to start siding with a different brand of siding all together. At this point I was almost half way done with the siding and the customer didn't like that option any more than I did.

Fourth batch of siding is delivered 11/15 at 9 AM and at 11 AM it is loaded back on the delivery truck and headed back to the lumber yard as being rejected. I opened all six boxes and 95% of the panels had the very same scratch as the previous batches. This time because the boxes were stacked up high I was able to see what was causing these scratches. The machine that makes the back cut on each end was leaving a bur that was hanging down and during shipment was tearing its way through the paper between the two sheets and pvc coating to bare metal. I brought this to the attention of the lumber yard and once again we were at limbo to see what the manufacture was going to try this time.

Two weeks later, November 27, the fifth batch of siding shows up at the lumber yard. This time they have totally redone there packaging by laying the panels face to face with a sheet of paper between them and not alternating them, also they only put 8 pieces to a box instead of 10 in case the crowded boxes were to blame for the hard to clip together pieces. I picked the siding up 3 days later after opening them and finding NO scratches. It was a joy to work with panels that we didn't have to sort through to find a perfect one and was the easiest of all shipments to snap together. Even the homeowner could see the increased productivity. We are now down to waiting for the electrician and utility crews to move everything and we will finally be able to finish this job 4 months after we started it!!!

Now comes the tough part I am WAY over my estimated labor cost, the customer understands that this whole problem was a manufacture defect from the start. The customer and I have agreed on terms of what we think is fair to me and what should be billed to the manufacturer, as the distributor said they would see to it that I was compensated for my extra time. The lumber yard at one point around shipment three stated that he would be willing to sell the siding to the customer at his cost. IF I recall correctly he said he only makes $10 per SQ of siding. Really $10, that's it??? This will translate into a savings of $90 for the 9 SQ of siding. I would have thought that there would be more markup from him than that. I will call him tomorrow to double check these figures before writing the final bill.

Also now that it has taken 4 months to get acceptable materials, this project was started on 8/13/13, the customer is definitely thinking some compensation besides buying the siding at lumber yard cost should be offered to him. I know early on in this post several thought that he was not due any compensation for the delay in receiving quality siding, what is your opinion now? In the homeowners opinion he thinks that at a minimum he should get the siding at half cost or even free. I know to this manufacturer that this job amounts to peanuts, less than $3,000 for all the siding materials at my cost. I don't want to turn in a request/bill and have everyone look at me like I am totally out in left field but I also want to help in pleasing my customer to the best of my ability. In the end if my customer is not happy then I haven't done my job and if the installer/customer is not happy with the manufactures materials then that leads back to the lumber yard and distributorships and manufactures. I know you can't win them all but I sure like to put up a battle trying.
 

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Unless there were actual damages (a delayed sale of the property, for example) the manufacturer doesn't owe the customer anything, except maybe a letter that includes an apology for the delay, along with a description of the incredible persistence and willingness of everyone involved to make sure the customer got the right siding in the end. Stuff happens, and in this case everything came out right in the end. IMO.
 

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I say customer compensation = 0

Your work is another story. However, if you don't know what kind of compensation you might have at this point, I'm not sure you have much left to bargain with.

You really should have determined what your extra trouble was worth before now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Latone, you saying I should have presented my hourly rate and other fees to the siding company? I did. I couldn't have determined what my extra troubles were worth prior to the completion of the job at the end of this week.
 

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Personally I think the siding manufacture should make it right somehow. Sure maybe they don't owe you anything ,but after the second bad batch , third at most they should have inspected the quality control of the material a little better. Even the yard should of cut you a break on the stuff , specially if you do much business with them . I have seen how much the make on the siding , here anyhow, they are not giving to you for nothing. One of the reasons I buy mine right from the warehouse.

Deals like this no one ever comes out on it , specially you . All the extra work and time lose, hard to put a price on that mess. Hope you come out ok on the job. Steel siding is still a good product IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well after figuring out which hours were originally bid and what was "extra" due to the struggles of having to order this siding 5 times here is how things have turned out. I submitted a bill to Gentek/Revere in excess of $5,000. This was after setting down with the customer and them agreeing to some of the excess labor out of pocket. After waiting for things to go through the appropriate channels, I received an offer of $1200 with basically a take it or leave it offer attached. I talked with my yard, yards supplier and also a manufacture rep. and basically they have a generic price per SQ they allow. Essentially it doesn't matter to them if you make one trip or fifteen or have other associated expenses (electrician, and plumber) in this case. I kind of figured this is what it would all boil down to, kind of like working an insurance claim and the insurance company wanting the carpenter to work for nothing. Gentek makes millions/billions, manufacture rep makes 100k, lumber yard says he makes $20/SQ so I guess that does leave me for the peanuts!!! Just tired of being on the short end of the stick and I have had a couple of these(not all siding) in the last 2 yrs and it is starting to add up to some serious $$$$$. Seems darn near impossible to recover from these losses. Sorry my rant for the day.
 

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Sorry this turned out like this for you. Been down some what the same road with United Material, main office for Gentek/ Alside, with their older variegated colored siding. But because over all it is a good product still deal a lot with them today.

Really doubt yard only makes 20 a sq on the siding. Mine If I ask about what you are paying for steel side there? I am right at 170 a sq right from Alside.

Hope this year works out better for you , good luck.
 
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