I hired Leigh, the owner, to refinish my staircase. In particular, he was to:
• Sand the treads and hand rail
• Stain the treads and handrail a dark color and then clear coat them
• Sand and paint the risers white.
• Install new white pickets
A few issues came up during the job. I will describe some of them here.
A couple of areas on the handrail were stained lighter than the rest of the handrail. Leigh was going to come over one day when I was away to correct this plus do some final touch up on the risers and pick up a cheque which I had left for him. Upon returning home from my trip I found that he had not corrected the stain. I thought that he had forgot to do it or ran out of time, but when I questioned him about it he said he did try to correct it but it came out exactly the same. I find that too difficult to believe. What bothers me the most is that he didn't do the work, but said he did. It is not rocket science. If you put more stain on wood, it gets darker. It is clearly evident that nothing was done, but he is sticking to his story. I trusted him to do the work in my absence, but I was mistaken.
A power sander was used to sand the treads (i.e. the steps). Leigh and/or his helper gouged the risers (i.e. the vertical part of the step) on several of the steps while using the power sander. The gouges were quite obvious. They ignored these gouges and merely painted over them. When I questioned him as to why they did not fix the gouges, he actually said that I should have mentioned it to him before they painted the risers! He eventually agreed to fix the gouges, but it bothers me that I had to convince him that it was his responsibility and obligation to correct any damages that he or his workers caused. I have to wonder what would have happened if he was dealing with a single female or an elderly person that may not have known much about construction.
I summary, the project started out well but it did not finish well. I think it was because there was a major screw up, in addition to the above, that happened at the beginning of the project. It was corrected, but once again, only after I had to point it out. Since it was corrected I will not go into detail about it, however, correcting the problem set the timetable back a bit. As a result, near the end of the job he was in such a hurry to get to the next job that the workmanship and judgement suffered.
Problems arise on almost every job. It’s how those problems are dealt with that is so important. Leigh started out well, but he did not finish well.