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You know I don't come here for advice but I could use some now.
The floor guy works under the GC and he really f*c*k*d it up. The floors are white oak and due to design there were large areas to patch. He patched using red oak. Don't ask what the difference is if you don't know it doesn't matter.
After three attempts to stain evenly we are now hiring someone competent that will straighten it out.
Question that I need help on is that we pay the GC who then pays the sub. We are in a position where there are damages and so do we deduct some amount from final payment to GC who has been really great to work with or sue the floor guy who probably won't pay since I've since found out that he owes money to many.
So if I deduct the amount from the GC, he most likely will be stuck.
Kyle - where are you?
W67 - Not now.
The GC should offer you a make-good of some sort. Has he? If not, you can open the conversation (in writing) simply by asking how he's going to make good on it.
You don't need to worry how he works it out with the floor guy. Other people's problems.
If you trust the GC talk to him. He'll want to make the situation work. If things break down where you can't talk(and this is the last place you want to be as litigation costs time and money, then hire a lawyer. Think about making the situation better, how much this is costing you and mow much litigating to improve the situation will also cost. If you did your homework in selecting the G.C. then the choice should be clear.
Both good advise. There is another issue here in that my agreement with the GC permits me to bring in subs where the GC doesn't get his fee and in this case I've contracted with a floor company and that is out of the GC's domain. So it's a little more complicated.
In giving it some more thought, I retract my previous answer. Here's the correct answer ...
The only make-good is to take up the red oak and match the white oak. They're just too different, and they will outlast your stain cover-up.
Anyone in the future redoing the floor -- maybe that will be you -- will have to have an artist carefully stain each section separately, trying painstakingly to find a good match. And that will be impossible if a light stain (or no stain) is desired.
Specifically, the correct *GRADE* of white oak to match.
you are confusing the emotions/ relationships with the GC with a business transaction. The role of the GC in his contract and professional obligations to you, is to supervise and deliver the product as specified. Obviously the floor guy was brought by the GC who did not supervise him correctly. You do not have contractual relationships with the original floor guy so you can't sue him. Your GC is accountable to you and you should discuss the problem with him. The red oak needs to be removed. it is not a staining issue.You were negligent in hiring your own guy without discussing it with the GC you atr responsible for the difference in cost between the guy you brought and the potential price your GC would have charged to fix the problem.
realtime - excellent analysis, you sound like a lawyer.
Removal of the red oak at this stage is not possible. The new floor company will beach the hell of it and at that point both woods should be similar enough to come out OK - Does this sound reasonable?
Also, I'm not talking about the difference in cost but the sum already paid to the GC to the first floor company that is what is in question.
Agree with realtime. Who do you have the contractual relationship with? That is who you need to deal with to remedy this.
How is the GC responsible if you went outside his domain and independently contracted your own floor guy?
Sorry, I assume the first guy that screwed up was under the domain of the GC and the new one is outside. I would definitely take up the red oak and do it properly.
Bleaching won't change much.
Think of red oak and white oak not as two different hair colors, but as two entirely different species of tree -- which they are: Quercus rubra vs. Quercus alba) ... in fact each is in a separate subgenus.
While the pricing isn't that different, red oak is much more open-grained and (I believe) more susceptible to damage, warpage and splintering from changes in moisture. Probably not an issue for your purposes, but you'd never want to use it outdoors without a lot of sealing of the ends.
As a GC our job is to make sure that all the trades that are hired do the correct job. If one of my subs made an error I would take responsibility to. Ale it right. If I have a close relationship with my floor (a gc should have a good relationship with all subs) then the floor guy will make it up to me on other projects. You should deduct the amount it costs you to fix the problem
Sorry to hear. Agree with Primer05. Your floor guy works for the GC, not you. So, you deal direct with your GC and pay him accordingly. The GC will eat this cost with you and work it out with this so called floor sub.
Thanks everyone for your comments.
I have hired the new floor company to attempt to fix it and I think that it will be OK. The plan is to sand throughly and then bleach until all is the same then I will meet with them to fix new color. They start Monday and I'll report back after they are finnished it will take full week maybe more.
As far as the GC goes I have informed them that I will be taking a credit for the full amount that I've paid to date. Like you said they can work it out with their sub.
ieb, you are making a mistake here. Let the GC get his sub floor contractor to take up the flooring that is incorrect and repair it properly. Bleaching and staining will probably not solve your problem in the long run because red oak and white oak age differently and you will be facing this problem again and again as time goes by. If the GC can not get his sub floor contractor to make good on his work, then he will have to find another one who will fix the problem that sub flooring contractor A messed up. Only pay the GC for what you originally contracted and no more for the cost of correcting the mistake. It is his responsibility to deliver what was contracted for. In my opinion, this is what a good GC should and would do. If he refuses to correct the situation, then that is a different story, and your only recourse is to refuse to pay him any balance owed until he has delivered what he had been contracted to do. But do yourself a favor and fix the floor properly.
There is complication that I hadn't mentioned.
The bldg is 135 yrs old and the floors and walls are not straight. Most of the wall have been fixed but here is the problem. We have had ventian plaster applied to the walls and the baseboards requied putty in some areas to fill in. This was done before we knew the extent of the floor problem.
So now if we take up the wrong boards we will damage the plaster. From what I know and have been told the repair of the palster will never look right and it will show the patches.
That means and let me know if wrong here that if we make the floor correct the walls will look bad and if we work with what we have the floors may not look right.
What to do.....
Paint the floors; what else can you do?
drdrd - Yes, can stain dark. At some point it will all look same but we don't want a dark floor.
Can you change the baseboards - i.e. make them higher so that any damage to the walls would be concealed?
that's not a bad idea.
ieb, I'm not clear on whether or not your GC was in charge of the total project, including the walls, or not. If so, then he must make it right, even if he found out that the floors were done improperly after he had finished the walls. Give him a chance to make it right. Once you hire outside people to fix the floors, the responsibilities get muddied. I feel bad for you. I know you are trying to do a nice thing for your contractor whom you feel otherwise performed for you. But this is business, and your GC should be jumping through hoops right now to figure out the best way to solve this problem that was under his watch. Yes, oak floors change color with age. Have you ever looked under an area rug on a wood floor that has been exposed to light. The wood is not the same color. I'm not sure how white oak and red oak age differently or stain differently. But in 3-5 years you will regret if you have a patchwork floor. Maybe Primer could address this better than I. But please do yourself a favor and let the GC handle this first. He is the one that you contracted with. He paid the sub, so he must make the sub correct the floor. If he is not willing to do that, then you have a different kind of problem. If he is a reputable GC, he knows what the right thing is to do. As soon as you step out of that contract and hire your own people, you will be relinquishing him of his responsibility in this matter because someone else got involved and it will be hard to prove who messed up what.
Well, the stress level is really building and the original floor guy is on vaca in Bolivia. I may give the GC one more time to get it right. My architect says that's the right thing to do. I'll decide tomorrow but this may not get resolved for several days more.
In the meantime - heavy drinking.
I would like to hear from the GCs on this:
1. The original floor guy had his second chance and screwed it up.
2. I have an expert opinion in writing stating that the patch was done with wrong wood.
3. I have contract right to bring in my own subs.
I don't think that I owe the GC anything.
NYRENewbie is right about the problems that could arise from someone else doing the floor. Since you have the venetian plaster it becomes more of a problem. If the new floor guy damages the walls in anyway you would need the original person who did the job to come in and fix it as they know what formula was used. A very good plasterer probably could max it but it might not be as good.
I do not see why it is a big deal to remove the flooring that does not match, if it does damage the walls the GC needs to have the plaster come back and fix it, of course at the GC's expense
I am unclear what it is that you want. You presented a problem, you got the same answer more or less from everyone, you occasionally add a bit of new information but it does not change the feedback you get. It seems like you are avoiding the real discussion with your GC including the walls, baseboards and the floor. Perhaps if you can report about your conversation with your GC we shall be in a better position to advice. Your concern that he/she will walk away from the job is what keeps you posting rather than communicating directly with him. Since you already have the legal right to bring your own trades, I am unclear why you are avoiding the straight talk and seek reassurances from all. either, you should continue to drink heavily or you can take most simple step of talking to the person in charge. (I am not referring to your spouse...)
P.S This is not a suggestion for diversion so more repetitious posting can take place but you did not inform all of us about your architect role in selecting the GC and supervising the work...
yes, it's complicated and I have a confernce call this loring with the architect and GC later this moring. The bottom line is that I don't have any confidence that the original floor co can correct it.
and I have had a continunig dialogue with both the GC and architect. What I am looking here and elsewhere are opinions and comments.
It's very important, prior to your conference call, that you completely accept the simple fact that bleaching and staining a completely different wood will NOT bring you a modicum of satisfaction.
The conversation you need to have with your GC has to be 100% about patching with a matching grade of WHITE OAK. Nothing else.
First I talked to a lawyer and then had a conference call with the GC and architect. I told them that the GCs sub was through and that I was bringing in a new floor company to replace the boards. The GC accepted that and also that I would chargeback to them any expense beyond original budget.
This may not be the end of it but at least back on track.
Thanks for listening to my drama and thanks to Alan and Primer.
Did you discuss with the GC that if any walls are damaged the cost to fix them would be his responsibility as well? I can see the new floor guy ( damaging the wall, it isnt the first time that would happen) and the GC charging you to fix it.
As one other option, can you not get the GC to bring in a different wood floor guy to fix this up? If he doesn't have a second floor sub, this GC sounds out of his depth. Keep the pressure on him.