Wednesday, January 28, 2009

floor redux

Today I met with the project manager from the restoration company, the flooring contractor and the project manager from the flooring company to discuss the - uh - piss poor job the installer did putting in my floor. (For a description of each of the following pictures you can hold your mouse over the picture - unless you have Firefox, in which case you're just going to have to figure it out on your own.)

Mismatched trim and filler
I really hate complaining and it causes me stress to have to go and show people the things they did wrong. In addition I really want them all out of my house so I can clean it and have my house back. I like my house. I've had it for 10 years and basically it's decorated the way I like, it's comfortable and homey.

I have a nice fireplace that would be nice to sit in front of in this chilly weather, I have a deck I enjoy and basically - I like my house. But recently it's been dusty and there have been errant staples, nails and razor blades lying around. Trash in the back yard, trash in the front yard, random holes appearing in the walls and people in and out at all hours.

It's no longer a sanctuary, it's a souce of stress. I might mention here how great Dan's been in letting me stay with him so much over the last 3+ weeks as I think I very well may have lost my mind being here all the time. There is clutter, there is chaos and all my storage is gone. I clean my kitchen at night and dust my shelves and get home from work the next day to another 1mil layer of dust and grime across everything.

Note the HUGE gap and irregular cutsAnyway, back to the floor. This is the laminate floor I am talking about here. There's no point in even addressing the carpet situation until later. The first issues with the laminate flooring involve lazy finishing, at least those were the most obvious issues that led to me recognize other issues. It seems that they may have made all the flooring cuts from the wrong side of the laminate? or at least with a saw blade that needed to be changed. The edges were all chipped and there was a big damaged spot on the pantry floor that should have been noticed when they put the next board in - in fact would have been impossible to miss so I'm sure they were hoping I didn't notice. The chipped edges wouldn't be such a major deal I suppose except that a number of them actually stick out beyond the edge of the quarter round. If that wasn't bad enough, there are actually GAPS that stick out from under the quarter round. Somehow they seemed to think that was OK? There are a few thresholds where they pieced them with three pieces of laminate and tried to fix the joints with filler. When you look at the cuts it's clear that they weren't even cut straight to begin with - so they would never line up! Filler isn't for poor installations, filler is for later damage - or maybe tiny mistakes that aren't worth replacing. But when you use filler, shouldn't the filler at least match the floor? I would think so.

Black plastic peeling under the counterUnder the counter the kick panel has some kind of black plastic on it. The rest of the kick panels are black, so that's not an issue - the issue is that some of it's peeled back and some of it isn't. It's looks sloppy and like scraps. The trim 'matches' the floor - but when I look at it I see two different colors of trim. The guy from the flooring store tries to tell me that wood varies - and I think yeah, oak does look different from birch. Geesh guys. Use the same wood at least... But the other thing is that I have wood moulding all over my house. The light trim looks stupid on my floor. Get a clue. They should have stained it. And the joints are terrible. Someone needs to give these guys a miter saw or teach them how to use it.

I installed the first flooring with an ex, and granted he was pretty skilled in the woodworking department but he wasn't a flooring professional. The job we did on that floor was absolutely beautiful. There was one spot at the bottom of the stairs with a gap under the size of a pencil eraser. There were no chips, no other gaps, the seams were great and the floor looked great. I would expect a professional could do a job at least as good as I did. Wouldn't you?

Several of the closets had these bad seams and jointsSo that leads me to another issue that I wouldn't have mentioned if there hadn't been all the other problems... they laid the floor in the opposite direction of the original floor.

I looked up the installation guide for the flooring which states clearly that the flooring should be laid parallell to any light coming into the house and if light is not an issue, parallell to the longest wall in the room. If they had used either of those guidelines the flooring would have been laid in the other direction. And, as I mentioned before, the flooring they were replacing was laid in that direction...why would they take it upon themselves to change that? Unless they just weren't paying attention. And considering the condition of the rest of the floor the 'not paying attention' theory has got my vote.

This is to the right of my stove, if you look close you can see a gap between the floor and the trim - or you can click to enlarge the pictureThere's also a soft spot on the edge of the dining room that goes down pretty far when you step there. They seem not to know what that could be.

It occurs to me that after all the complaining I should probably remove any valuables from the house. Sigh. That installer was giving me some dirty looks....

In the backyard were boxes from the installation and a can of stain and a brush. Good thing the dogs didn't get into that.

There is some good news. The project manager from the restoration company is having the entire floor ripped out and they are starting from scratch. And they are laying the floor in the other direction.
Note the chipping from bad cutting - either from the wrong side or with an old saw bladeThe bad news is that means we have to go through all of this again, the tear out and the install. The install should only take about two days even if they do it right. Hopefully they will. I really don't want to continue with this.

This gap is just out in the middle of the floorMy State Farm representative will be made aware of the situation just in case they try to double charge for flooring installation or materials. I can't imagine they would be able to get away with that but you never know. I'm sure they are ticked but heck, I'm paying this same company $1,500 of my own money to replace the carpet in my office and on the stairs. Maybe I should re-think that!I don't even know what they were thinking here...
This last picture is in the small closet off my entry. Yes, I know it's a closet but imagine what they are charging insurance. See that tiny piece? It isn't even attached to anything. I can't even imagine what they were thinking? Perhaps that they were installing a floor for a blind person? That's the most rational explaination I have even though it implies a certain amount of laziness or dishonesty.

I'm glad the people that were here today recognize that this is a problem and that a poor job was done. I'm happy they are going to fix it and that there was very little argument about that. I just really wish it had been done right the first time as the whole 'house flood' scenario is bad enough as it is.