Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:25 am 
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Just installed 3 1/4" white oak select (1,225 sq ft) and floor is squeaking and moving up and down in many places. The finisher says "you can't polish a t*rd" and is advising me to not have it finished until the movement of the boards is resolved. Before all of the installation was compete, I observed the staple pattern. They were ~12" per staple over the length of the board and 4" to 6" from the end of the board. When I look at NWFA standards, it seems the staples should be 6" to 8" not 12" over the length of the board and 2" to 4" not 4" to 6" from the end of the boards. The boards are perpendicular to the joist, 1/2" of plywood subfloor "install part of job" over existing 1/2 OSB is beneath and 1 1/2" staples were used. The contractor tells me the moisture was in spec when they installed it, it sat in the house of ~6 days. The contractor left the doors and windows open during installation they said to "let the dust out". We asked them not to do this and they continued to do it through the whole job. We feel like we have an inferior installation that is going to cause issues soon and that we will have to replace the entire floor.

Contractor says it is okay and wants to pop few nails in here and there and call it done. I want the entire floor pulled up and installed per NWFA standards at his cost.

I have an appointment with legal counsel this week, do I have a case? What are your recommendations? I also am talking with NWFA install inspectors to come and inspect and write a report. I

Thanks,


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Amish made hardwood

 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:29 am 
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Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
Quote:
squeaking and moving up and down


That sounds like the problem, or part of it. Sub floor not being flat.

http://www.uptownfloors.com/preparation ... r-wood.htm

Quote:
let the dust out


Nah, are you serious? Where's the job? Other conditions? Rh etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:57 am 
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Job is in Johnson City Tn. What about the staple pattern? Was humid, sprinkling rain most days during installation.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:21 am 
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Yes I agree there weren't enough staples (2" would have been better) used, but that's probably not the pulse of the problem. Not only does it sound like a bad sub floor condition, but maybe the product itself? 6 days doesn't mean much because it's never about time.

Btw staples hold extremely tight. That leads me to believe even more it's a sub floor flatness issue. If it was flat and the product was flat or milled well, the symptoms mentioned wouldn't exist. When was the installation finished? The subfloor could be drying out. That can cause squeaks too.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:33 am 
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Ken Fisher wrote:
Yes I agree there weren't enough staples (2" would have been better) used, but that's probably not the pulse of the problem. Not only does it sound like a bad sub floor condition, but maybe the product itself? 6 days doesn't mean much because it's never about time.

Btw staples hold extremely tight. That leads me to believe even more it's a sub floor flatness issue. If it was flat and the product was flat or milled well, the symptoms mentioned wouldn't exist. When was the installation finished? The subfloor could be drying out. That can cause squeaks too.


I do not know if the subfloor was installed correctly or not or if it was level or not. I do know they missed a quite a few joists with their screws as I have a part of the floor above an unfinished basement and you can see where some of the screws missed the joists. The plywood grain also was installed parallel to the joist instead of perpendicular. I do not know if the made sure the seams of the osb and the plywood were not aligned. Lots of potential issues I suppose. There was part of the floor that was not level that we noted before they started and they said they would level it but I do not think that they did. I can take a level and look at it but I am pretty sure they did not. Sounds like everything that they could do wrong they just about did, probably a few more things I do not even know about yet.

The wood came from Galax Va, a company called Woodplus. Could be something wrong with the product as well.... Sounds like I do not have a shortage of potential issues. All of them seem to me like the floor has to come up. A $14,000 pill no one will want to take (including the cost of the inspector coming up on Thursday). So much fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:58 am 
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Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
Use a stringline to check flat. Grab a partner and send him to one corner, you go to the opposite corner. Pull the string tight, lowering and raising as you go. Move to other areas and repeat.

You'll catch all the low and high areas. Let us know what it looks like.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Ken Fisher wrote:
Use a stringline to check flat. Grab a partner and send him to one corner, you go to the opposite corner. Pull the string tight, lowering and raising as you go. Move to other areas and repeat.

You'll catch all the low and high areas. Let us know what it looks like.



There are some places where it is not perfectly level, maybe 1/2 in the middle of the largest room ~20 x 30 with one corner about 3/4" lower over a 25 ft span.

I have an inspector from the NWFA list who was also recommended from a flooring company (not the one I am dealing with) coming out Thursday.

Would like to hear what folks think my chances are getting reimbursed for the removal of the floor (and possibly subfloor) and installed per NWFA specs.

Regards,


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:57 pm 
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What does your contract say concerning installation?


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Inspector visited on Thursday morning. He walked the floor and spot checked some of the staple patterns/distances. He checked the staple patterns of about a 10 sq ft area and found one ~3 ft board missing staples and found another board where there was not a staple close to the end on either of the connecting boards. He inspected the subfloor in areas where it was visible beneath the partially unfinished basement and found that some of the subfloors were slightly loose (house is 28 yrs old).

He was not concerned too much about the 12" spaces between staples and said that would be okay as long as there was adequate staples at the end.

His recommendations were to:
1. Secure the subfloor in certain places from beneath with an appropriate means. He mentioned J J Haines has some sort of angle piece that is screwed to the subfloor and joist and that it would pull the subfloor down.
2. Have the contractor go back and check the staples on the entire floor and address any boards missing staples completely and boards where there was not adequate stapling at the ends of each board. The contractor is to use countersink nails covered with appropriate colored putty.

So, my contractor does not have any magnets and did not check it on Thursday or Friday so I went and checked it today (Saturday). I have checked about 700 of the 1,225 sq ft and found ~40 boards missing staples or any sort of fastener completely. About 25 of them were shorter boards (1-3 ft) but about 15 of them were longer (3-5 ft) were longer ones and there was an entire 15 ft row that had no staples or any sort of fastener in the middle of the kitchen area. There are about 30 boards without adequate stapling on the ends. I marked 200 places where there was not adequate stapling according to the inspectors standards and still have 500 sq ft to look at yet. My wife is upset that the hundreds of holes is going to ruin the appearance.

What say ye?


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:07 pm 
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I hadn't thought of what you mention. I've heard some installers would "skip nail" back in the day up in hill country...North Carolina. That means every other row.

It's obvious the job was done poorly according to the proof you acquired. Have them redo it. At least it's not prefinished. A lot of it can be reused if they removed it carefully. Wait. It's stapled. You'll probably lose a lot more by removal compared to staples.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:34 pm 
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For a brand new floor I would not be satisfied with the fixes the inspector recommended. Also, I would not want the original installer doing any more work for me. He couldn't do it right the first time....I wouldn't really on him to redo or even work on the inspector's recommended fixes. It would be a lot of work to get lots of good putty matches......your wife is right on this one. Plus face nailing has a greater potential for squeaking at some point in the future...a more secure way is 2 nails driven at an angle or a trim head screw....but again not for a brand new floor. Check your legal options i,e. small claims or a lawyer. I'd want the flooring removed, the subfloor secured, and a complete reinstallation.
If you go with the inspector's recommendation and you don't go over every inch of the floor then you may miss some problem areas and will be chasing the squeaks for a long time.....do you really think the installer is going to keep coming back in a timely manner to fix them?


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:15 am 
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, would prefer 10,000 to 1 ripping everything up and starting over and not letting the installer step foot in the house again. The installer says he is not going to do this since the inspector has not yet called for it. Right now, if I wanted to start today, I am out $15K, caveat emptor. I have talked with a small claims lawyer and since the inspectors report does not call for it being completely replaced, says I have less than zero chance.

Going back to the inspector and see if he will amend his report.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:11 am 
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That doesn't make sense. The inspector told you how it can be made to not squeak.....but that doesn't change the fact that is was not done correctly in the first place.

By telling you how the existing flooring can be fixed he is in effect implying that it was done incorrectly to begin with.

Tough to make those puttied face nail holes invisible. I don't get the lawyer's logic. Almost any product can be fixed but can't be sold as new. Does the flooring manufacturer have installation instructions? Were they followed? If not then installer didn't install properly.
I'd talk to another lawyer. Have you paid the installer? If so, did you use a credit card? If so, file a complaint with the credit card company.
You could also contact the Consumer Protection Division of your State's Attorney General's office. Is the installer a member of BBB? If so, file a complaint. There also be a Contractor Dispute Arbitration organization in your area....check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:45 pm 
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JIMMIEM wrote:
That doesn't make sense. The inspector told you how it can be made to not squeak.....but that doesn't change the fact that is was not done correctly in the first place.

By telling you how the existing flooring can be fixed he is in effect implying that it was done incorrectly to begin with.

Tough to make those puttied face nail holes invisible. I don't get the lawyer's logic. Almost any product can be fixed but can't be sold as new. Does the flooring manufacturer have installation instructions? Were they followed? If not then installer didn't install properly.
I'd talk to another lawyer. Have you paid the installer? If so, did you use a credit card? If so, file a complaint with the credit card company.
You could also contact the Consumer Protection Division of your State's Attorney General's office. Is the installer a member of BBB? If so, file a complaint. There also be a Contractor Dispute Arbitration organization in your area....check it out.


Myself, our finisher and others said the same thing about the subfloors, that was the contractors job to ensure this was correct. Still confused by the inspectors position. I am guessing he is just trying to find a middle ground, which could be wise in some cases, not this one though. I have not yet been able to find the installers instructions but they are not even close to NWFA specs for 3 1/4" t&g hardwood.

The installer has 85% of the money for the installation, yes I could retain the 15%. The 85% was paid by check (now cashed in his bank account). I will go the Consumer Protection Division, I will go to the BBB (he is a member and he is licensed NWFA hardwood installer) and I will check into the Contractor Dispute Arbitration, thanks for the tips. I have sent pictures and the data to both my installer and inspector and have again asked for a full refund from my installer. The inspector says give the installer a chance to make it right and he said he would amend his report if the installer does not do what is right. This whole thing has been a nightmare, my wife was in tears when I showed her the number of boards and nails needed and that the hardwood was installed over a faulty subfloor. This was to be our retirement home and, at this point, the floor is coming out at someone's expense. I am still holding out hope and will fight to the end but until I see the cash flow out of someone's pocket (show me the money) I am the only one out on this job so far.

Thank you for the comment, perspective and advice. I will let you know if I ever get any money or some other complete resolution from the installer.


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 Post subject: Re: Not enough staples
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:04 pm 
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I wonder why the inspector doesn't want to tell you what he believes the problem to be. Does he have some connection to your installer and trying to avoid 'throwing the installer under the bus'. If the inspector has some type of certification I would get in touch with the certifying agency and ask what they believe his obligation to you is.
I would think that an inspection report would state the reason that the problem exists. Didn't the lawyer you spoke to feel that this should have been included in the report? What is a Small Claims lawyer? Small Claims Courts exist so that claims that have a relatively low $ value can be litigated without the added expense of lawyers.
If the installation doesn't conform to NWFA or manufacturer guidelines and/or best industry standards and practices then the inspector should have no problem stating so in his report.....I'd consider filing a complaint against him too.
Is the inspector also an installer? Sometimes trades people resist 'badmouthing' fellow trades people.


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