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  1. #1
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    Default New Deck Build - Dirt Build UP

    Hi All,

    I am having a deck constructed for me out of blackbutt here in South East Melbourne. As it has been quite wet of late the deck while being constructed has some dirt/mud on it. While this effect the overall appearance or will a simple clean with napisan remove all the foreign mater?

    My builder is good in terms of finish but very slow and a little unreliable in attendance due to juggling jobs.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post
    My builder is good in terms of finish but very slow and a little unreliable in attendance due to juggling jobs
    Wouldn't it be ironic if the builder in question frequents this forum.

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    possibly but it is what I have said to him as well

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    any advice on this? Also what do we think about split board at screw point, is it unreasonable to expect these to be swapped out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ErrolFlynn View Post
    Wouldn't it be ironic if the builder in question frequents this forum.
    goodzilla has simply described most builders

    goodzilla, I would not be happy with split boards due to screwing the ends. It is totally avoidable with the right tools and care.

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    Split boards are definitely not ok.

    Just like a cracked paver or tile.
    Make him replace it.

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    Most decks end up looking a little dirty once completed. I just worked on an iron bark deck that was finished 2 months ago. It looked a little silver, had pencil marks from the screw placements & other odds & ends. A very quick 80 grit sanding with an random orbital sander, vacuum or blow off any dust & then give it a very good hosing with water. No chemicals will be needed. It will look nice & bright again. This deck was around 40 m2 & I had it sanded on my hands & knees in around 2 hours.


    good luck

    jim

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    Hands and knees for 2 hours?
    bugger that....duct tape a broom stick to the sander!

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    2 hours of hands & knee 80 grit sanding is a very easy day considering some other days restoring decks.

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    Actually why not go all the way and mount half a dozen sanders on a steel plate with a handle...

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    Or a drum sander for larger areas, ROS for the harder to reach areas?

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    Sure why not ! But don't stop with just 6 ROS make it a dozen & remote controlled from a drone watching while I am at home conversing with the beer fridge !

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimj View Post
    Sure why not ! But don't stop with just 6 ROS make it a dozen & remote controlled from a drone watching while I am at home conversing with the beer fridge !

    Might be easier just to hire a labourer
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    Thanks for the replies I will take it up with him, also am I being to fastidious in asking for crooked screws to be fixed as well and driven to just below board height? Some screws are wonky and slightly raised (which will make sandy a bit harder in the future if the counter sink has not been driven low enough

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    Be as fastidious as you like,need or want to be. It takes no more effort, time or skill to countersink each screw perfectly. Look for a 1-1.5mm depth on each, all uniformly sunk & straight not crooked, bent or stripped. Eventually ,sooner or later you may want to have this deck sanded & sanding and steel do not mix well.

    best of luck

    jimj restore-a-deck.com.au

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post
    Thanks for the replies I will take it up with him, also am I being to fastidious in asking for crooked screws to be fixed as well and driven to just below board height? Some screws are wonky and slightly raised (which will make sandy a bit harder in the future if the counter sink has not been driven low enough

    Not at all.
    As with the cracked/split boards, that's not OK.

    You're paying him to do it properly, not rush it and do a half-arsed job.
    He'll probably groan and roll his eyes behind your back for asking/telling him to replace the split boards and set the screws straight and at the right depth...
    But you have every right to demand the job gets done the way it should be.

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  17. #17
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    The only reason there are so many less than average tradesman around is the reluctance of Australians to complain and demand quality and customer service.
    Old story ... it seems we are too laid back and take whatever is dished out.
    Agreed with Platypus, demand a good job unless you are getting this done as a favour for free.
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    not free, paying a fair price to someone whom we had checked out previous work.

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    Get him to fix it.

    Or get someone else to finish it and tell the current bloke that you will pay him for the work he's done MINUS the time it will take the new bloke to fix his dodgy work.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatypusGardens View Post
    Actually why not go all the way and mount half a dozen sanders on a steel plate with a handle...

    Better still, hire a slave and get them to do it, while you sit back with a coldie.
    Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    Better still, hire a slave and get them to do it, while you sit back with a coldie.

    See post #13 for a more politically correct version of your idea.

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    some more photos of the poor finish? or is it just me again?img_1578.jpgimg_1579.jpgimg_1580.jpgimg_1581.jpgimg_1582.jpgimg_1583.jpgimg_1584.jpg

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    Oh. My. God.
    That is truly horrible.



    And why the hell did he do the stair treads that way with short little pieces?
    Yeh sure the deck boards run that way but seriously, that is dreadful.





    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post

    My builder is good in terms of finish


    I tend to disagree.


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  24. #24
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    Yeah, those steps

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    i am not sure why he decided to do the steps like that, but they dont work, how do I approach him so I can resolve this, his previous work was very good and that is why we went with him....

  26. #26
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    What's wrong with that? After all it's just a cubby house right?
    Or is the cubby house the other thread?
    I get so confused sometimes.
    I actually like the steps like that, reminds me of my first boat, the "builder" made the bottom with planks across the boat ... it was a bummer caulking it ...

    Seriously man, I think you are having us on, no carpenter would do that, not even a handyman, only someone disturbed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    What's wrong with that? After all it's just a cubby house right?
    Or is the cubby house the other thread?
    I get so confused sometimes.
    I actually like the steps like that, reminds me of my first boat, the "builder" made the bottom with planks across the boat ... it was a bummer caulking it ...

    Seriously man, I think you are having us on, no carpenter would do that, not even a handyman, only someone disturbed.
    Haha
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  28. #28
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    Ok let's pick this to bits.








    Boards not cut square or not laid straight












    Boards split












    Screws too close to edge











    Bad countersinking











    Stair treads the wrong way (according to me anyway)

    Full length boards only secured at the ends (not sure if this is how he intends to leave them)



    Bad countersinking
    uneven gaps
    Not even sure what is going on in the lower left corner















    No idea










    As always, if this is what it looks like on top, what's going on underneath.....?








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    I wish I was joking, I saw some of his work prior to signing away, and it was good and finished to a very good standard, but not sure what is going on here, I think the steps are that way as he was bored waiting for the next load of timber to arrive??????

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    "No IDea"

    Sorry forgot to mention this, this is the footing for a post that is now on the outside of the deck into what will be landscaped or lawn area. I thought it could have at least be trowelled or made smooth....

  31. #31
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    Are the post directly in concrete ?
    What is that black stuff all over the steps? Dirty boots?

    Sorry goodzilla, your deck may be perfectly recoverable with not that much work. I don't know about the post in concrete though yet even that can be fixed with some extra work.
    What seems bizarre is the seemingly appaling rookie mistakes that would point to seriously rethink about who will do the fixing. Either way it is called extra expense. Worst case scenario, the ACCC and a new builder.

    I have actually seen once a deck built that way, it was in one of those TV series, "Swamp people" The guys log a bald cypress, mill it and bang on a deck in a couple of days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post

    this is the footing for a post...

    Arrr I see now.


    Yeh that's not good.
    Not for a deck....

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  33. #33
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    What is the width of the boards, looks like batten screws are used to hold them down.

    IMO that job is a total waste of good timber, who is this guy an amateur, or does he only have one arm, that finish is very poor, not the worst I have seen but still very poor, I would give it a 3 out of 10.
    That needs rectifying, DON'T accept this as a finished job, DON'T pay him until it rectified, does he know you can buy Batten Screw Smart Bits.

    I have never seen stairs finished like that, they are terrible and very amateur., either he did not cut the ends of the boards or his saw is also out of adjustment, as none of the butt joins line up.
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    gal decking screws.....maybe?

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    Just so it is clear for all, this is not finished and is a work in progress to some degree, however in saying that I am showing you "finished Areas" and due to his lack of invoicing have paid approx 10% only of deck so far.

    What is the width of the boards - They are 130's and he is using type 17 battern screws, and they are or at least look like gal screws, this is not a finished project by a long stretch and I will discuss these issues with him tomorrow, there is a roof to be constructed as yet. Is there an issue with these screws, I should have demanded Stainless screws, besides asthetics is there an issue with these.

    I have never seen stairs finished like that, they are terrible and very amateur., either he did not cut the ends of the boards or his saw is also out of adjustment, as none of the butt joins line up
    . - I thought this would be one of the easiest things to ensure that cuts are straight, but some are and some aren't.

    What is that black stuff all over the steps? Dirty boots? Yes there has been a lot of rain down here in Melbourne and the post holes and some previous landscaping have caused mud, which was the main reason in posting in the first instance.

    I will revert back after our discussions, but I am torn as to allow him to finish the build (after rectifying all the issues) or get in someone else....

    Thanks for all the feedback.

  36. #36
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    Batten screws for 130 wide boards, that's massive overkill, Gal screws not the best choice, SS would be the go but SS battens are VERY expensive.

    Question why batten screws, were these requested by you,or chosen by him ?
    I would speak to him, express your disappointment, and let him offer to rectify, make sure your very clear what your not happy with.

    I can see pencil lines drawn for the screws, I never use pencil as it's too hard to get off without sanding or using an eraser, white or purple chalk is all that's needed as it simply brushes off.

    I would be bringing up the following.

    1: Crooked cut boards ( will need re-cutting to rectify this

    2: Split boards (will need replacing to rectify this)

    3: Crooked screws lines (these are most noticeable because of the huge screws used)

    4: Inconsistency of countersinking of the screws (if he says it's hard to get even depth, that's BS, tell him go buy a smart bit), I have used them for years, from TRIM #8, #10, #12, #14 in Blackbutt, Merbau, Spotted Gum, Balau they all work fine and give repeated consistent depths.

    5: Orientation of the stair timbers (Although this can be done this way, this one has been executed poorly, and there is way too much steel visually because of the big screws)

    Does not matter if it's not finished, or a work in progress, what has been completed is of poor finish, and is a representation of how the rest will be finished.
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    Maybe he did the steps that way due to the board size and he didn't want to rip the boards down a tad, really a bit hard to fathom. Good steps demand time and thought and I am not sure he has it.

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    I wouldn't trust this guy to build a roof looking at that deck.....



    You say it's "not finished" although stuff like the split boards, bad countersinking, screws too close to the edge of boards - all major issues - are probably "finished" according to the builder.

    I'd put a halt to this project, get some legal advice and possibly give the builder the boot.
    Pay him for materials and get someone more competent to finish it.

    Stop defending this guy - he's doing a crap job - end of story.
    People always say "get him to fix it" but if this is what he's done so far, how can you be sure that he'll be able to do it properly?

    you say you've seen his other work, what was that?
    A deck?
    Stairs?



    I hate seeing poor work like this and often the client end up paying for it while the cowboy who built it carries on doing more shonky work.

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    I looked at a deck with roof and it had stairs and an entertainment area at a friend of a friends when I was looking to get quotes and references.

    To me I couldn't fault it and they couldn't praise him any more (and these people are more fastidious than me)

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    Well....I dunno then.

    We can sit here and complain about the work as shown in your pics for weeks but that won't change anything.
    You have to take action here and let him know that it's not ok.

    Excuses from the builder like "I have lots of different jobs on the go" or "I have a lot on my mind" are irrelevant.
    He's doing a bad job and you deserve better.
    Much better.



    Can you post some pics of the whole deck?
    Not so we can point out more faults, just curious as to the layout of the whole area.

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  41. #41
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    You did not say if post are straight in concrete as the one you show in the pic.
    Batten screws are overkill but some like it. Bunnings sells low grade SS batten screws (302) for a decent price, I agree that 304 or 316 are dear but not necessary for a deck. Changing screws at this stage would mean redo the whole deck. I would suggest to this worker to at least set up his drop saw correctly and use a new blade, every cut has whiskers.
    Screws too close to the end and cracking the board has no fix but replace the board. A 14 gage screw at an angle so close to the end will split any board every time.
    I agree with Metrix, the stairs can be done like that, but usually only if the tread is very wide, enough so that the board used across the tread is a long rectangle and has the appearance of a board. In this case the boards are so short that they are almost square and look ridiculous.
    Is the price quoted extremely cheap like an absolute bargain?
    Sorry Goodzilla it seems like we are all butting in in horror. I think we have never seen anything like it. At least I have not. well besides the Swamp People TV series and they nailed green boards down.
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    set up his drop saw correctly and use a new blade, every cut has whiskers.

    Seems to me that a lot of the cuts would have been done with circ saw....





    Sorry Goodzilla it seems like we are all butting in in horror. I think we have never seen anything like it.
    And yeh, we're not complaining for the sake of complaining or because we enjoy it.
    It really is a bad job.

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I think we have never seen anything like it. At least I have not. well besides the Swamp People TV series and they nailed green boards down.
    This is nothing to what I have seen, (look at one of my past posts on a not only poorly built deck but very dangerous one).
    http://www.renovateforum.com/f196/yo...k-deck-111835/

    This is still crap, if your paying good money for someone to do a job, they should do the job properly, it annoys me when I see work like this, it's not only a waste of materials, and the owner does not get what they paid for, the then have to either front up to the builder, and or take further action to have it rectified.

    Irrespective if this builder is busy, that does not give him the excuse to rush your job and finish it the way he has, after all it's you that has to live with the finished product.
    Are you sure it's the same guy that did your friends, I have seen builders send someone else in place of them when they are busy.
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    Mm, yes, I was sent the apprentice a few times and sent him back after a few hours of watching his quality work.
    Having said all we did, I still think there is more to this job than meets the eye.
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    Wow. Been a long time since I've seen dog @@@@@ work like that. How can someone possibly hold a trade licence and do work like that. I've seen plenty of RAG jobs before and rectified a lot too but seriously, that is up there with the worst of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by METRIX View Post
    This is nothing to what I have seen, (look at one of my past posts on a not only poorly built deck but very dangerous one).
    http://www.renovateforum.com/f196/yo...k-deck-111835/
    Yep, seen that culturally challenged workmanship before. Typical middle eastern dodgy cash job. I stopped employing those "workers" about 20 years ago. There are times when discrimination is actually very healthy... and it is so classic that the owners close rank and protect the scammer just not to lose face.
    Pathetic.
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    I have spoken to him and he has assured me that all the problem areas can and will be rectified. In terms of rectifying the boards being cut not straight, what should I demand he do to correct? He has stated that all screws will be set and screwed straight (he is having difficulty with the size of the screw).

    I did ask why he choose the large screw, and he stated that he wanted to ensure the boards didn't lift as the width of the boards are wide as discussed. He is a "nice guy" and is saying the right things, but time will tell.

    At this stage I won't be paying him until the issues are rectified.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post
    I have spoken to him and he has assured me that all the problem areas can and will be rectified. In terms of rectifying the boards being cut not straight, what should I demand he do to correct? He has stated that all screws will be set and screwed straight (he is having difficulty with the size of the screw).

    Does that include replacing all the split boards and the ones near the steps where some screw heads appear to be sitting further out than the edge of the boards.....?


    image.jpg


    From what I've seen in your photos, the majority of the boards should be ripped up and replaced.
    Doubt that will happen though....


    he stated that he wanted to ensure the boards didn't lift as the width of the boards are wide as discussed.
    I may be wrong here, but 3 normal screws per wide board should be enough...?




    At this stage I won't be paying him until the issues are rectified.....
    Spot on.
    Good on ya.


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    Yes I asked for the stairs to be fixed completely, he said he tried to do it that way to avoid having an exposed edge (as they are on top of existing concrete stairs). I said it looked ordinary with the current execution and needed to be changed.

    How would we define a normal screw?

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    ℱᎾℛUℳ ℂℒᎾᏇℕ PlatypusGardens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodzilla View Post

    stairs....he said he tried to do it that way to avoid having an exposed edge (as they are on top of existing concrete stairs).
    lost me there....

    How would we define a normal screw?
    About half the thickness of a batten screw and 50-ish mm long








    Might be easier if you give him your computer/phone/tablet, direct him to this thread and we'll help him out

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