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it is what it is
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I never been in this spot before.

I'll give you guys the quick version.

We finished a nice custom deck last week. In my opinion it turned out great. H.O. wanted to look it over then pay,not happy about that, but have nothing to hide.

Made contact with HO 5 days later since they we're not contacting us. Said they have few issues with the deck. Followed up at their house. The deck is made out of man-made plactic material, Problems are there is one rail that has a slight bow to it. No more than 1/4" over six feet at the most. Second problem a few of the deck boards feel loose. Well we used a biscuit system for expansion. So theres a little play not much at all.

I told them that these items are far from major and don't need to be addressed. Plus trying to fix these items could work against us when tryingto fix them making it worse.

So they are holding the final payment over are heads trying to get us to fix the impossible!

I don't want to lose my cool, i just want to get paid (since we have a good amount of money wrapped up in it)
Then I'll dick around with it on my free time.

I don;t know if it makes a difference but we're in WI

Any ideas would be great!
 

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I've never had problems with composite railings "bowing" unless not enough ballusters were used or the ballusters were not all the same length.

I'm guessing this biscuit system is a hidden fastener. Deck boards should definitely not feel "loose". Is this their imagination, or is it there? If it's there, you have to fix it, even if it means removing half the deck boards.

In the future, reword your contracts? How much % do they owe you? Should be no more than 10% (less, if your state allows). Anything more and of course they are going to pull this crap. Reword your contract for multiple draws on large jobs - leaving only a 5 or 10% retainer at completion.
 

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I've never had problems with composite railings "bowing" unless not enough ballusters were used or the ballusters were not all the same length.

I'm guessing this biscuit system is a hidden fastener. Deck boards should definitely not feel "loose". Is this their imagination, or is it there? If it's there, you have to fix it, even if it means removing half the deck boards.

In the future, reword your contracts? How much % do they owe you? Should be no more than 10% (less, if your state allows). Anything more and of course they are going to pull this crap. Reword your contract for multiple draws on large jobs - leaving only a 5 or 10% retainer at completion.
Like CC said that should be the max final pay. Seems some HOs think the final pay is the time to "renegotiate" the price.:furious:
 

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it is what it is
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The biscuit system is a hidden system that lets the boards slide for expansion. For the bow in the rail, it is not a vertical bow. it bows a little to the side. We use metal balusters also.

The balance is 30% for mid size jobs we do 40% down 30% rough and 30% final.

Never had a problem before, with this payment plan
 

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I have been building for a long time and just collecting 30% does not even pay for your material.

I collect 50% to start 40% when ready for rails then 10% at completion. One of the most important things to pay attention to in business is your cash flow. Collecting on a 30/70 will guarantee you cash flow problems. Double check with your state also to see if they have a limit on what you can collect to start.

This does not help your current issue but will help in the future.

Mark
 

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If you are really confidant that there is nothing wrong with your install and there complaints are just relative to the nature of the product----------Get the rep out to the site for both the railing and the decking. If the rep states in front of the customer that your install is correct, then the customer should pay up, if not, get from the rep, in writing his findings, bring it into small claims court, and it should be a slam dunk. G
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks genecarp,

Here's the kicker, we are also the distributer for this area of the decking material. rails and decking are the same brand.

So I think if I say that there is no problem, their going to feel like i'm just saying that, to be done with it.

If anything I see we'll be be making an adjustment to our draw system no matter what the size job or dollar amount.

It just makes me mad, like they just want to feel like they have power over a person. If a person went to a nice steakhouse they wouldn't say it was almost perfect, then tell the waiter they don't feel like paying yet and to bring a smaller steak to make it better. The steakhouse would tell them to pay, or they will call the cops. Then they would tell the people to get bent and never come back. :censored: they would do this if the steak sucked also!

But since we deal with peoples homes we get screwed! I know I can bring my lawyer into it but, man at the end of the day that just turns out to be a waste of money.

Sorry for the rant! but it felt good.

Thanks for the respones so far.
 

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What kind of decking and railing was it?
 

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Lumberrock is the material.
Never used or even hear of it, but a quick look at their website and the first thing that jumped out at me was MAINTENANCE FREE. That in itself is a bullchit statement. None of it is maintenance free, just low maintenance....I make that clear to my customers right up front.

Second thing is they think that their claim to fame is low expansion, but there gapping recommendatios are the same as the other manufacturers:laughing: Didn't really cover anything on fastening
 

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As an old vinyl installer, I think you need to go back and resell them on the advangages and why they chose this product. From the reading I ahve done on their web site, you need to have expansion there fore the loose feeling on the floor.
As far as the bow, can't you just replace the offending board, of course before you do this get a commitment to pay you when you are done.

This brings up a pet peeve of mine. Didn't you ask for tthe check when you were done? I always ask for the check to be ready when I am done. One way I prep people is to remind them on the last morning that I am working for them that this is my last day and will be needing or expecting a check when I am finished!!:thumbsup:

Only time I remember being stiffed is when I didn't follow the above procedure. :eek:
 

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Can you get a rep from the manufacturer out there? You had to buy it from someone. Have them look it over and talk with the customer and give you a written statement stating that the product is performing correctly. If it is not then replace it!
 

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As an old vinyl installer, I think you need to go back and resell them on the advangages and why they chose this product. From the reading I ahve done on their web site, you need to have expansion there fore the loose feeling on the floor.
As far as the bow, can't you just replace the offending board, of course before you do this get a commitment to pay you when you are done.

This brings up a pet peeve of mine. Didn't you ask for tthe check when you were done? I always ask for the check to be ready when I am done. One way I prep people is to remind them on the last morning that I am working for them that this is my last day and will be needing or expecting a check when I am finished!!:thumbsup:

Only time I remember being stiffed is when I didn't follow the above procedure. :eek:
I agree with Framer. Unless it was someone I knew and trusted I put in the contract when and how I was to be paid. Usually upon completion. When the customer signed the contract I asked them if there is any reason they can't pay me if the job is completed to their satisfaction and according to our agreement.
Then during the job I pumped them every day as to what they thought of the job and always asked them if they have any questions. That way when I was finished I'd already taken care of everything they were concerned about.
My advise is to go back and at least go through the motions of fixing what the customer wants. They sort of have you backed agaisnt the wall.
You could wait it out and threaten with legal action but even if you win you will lose in the long run because they will never be a happy customer.
 

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A 1/4" wrap in 6' is not an acceptable tolerance. Fix it. As far as the "loose" boards go, do what you need to to "tighten" them up.

Make the customer happy, get paid, simple. Then you get referrals.

And never, never, let anyone owe you more money than you are willing to loose. For me that's 10%
 
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