Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 5/20/2012

Contractor installed stair railing and spindles.Stain job very sloppy. After 2 weeks, wood splitting. Horrified! What to do?

We hired a contractor that received high ratings. Prior to construction, I was told that the cost of white pine had gone up and the contractor would require an additional $ 680 for supplies. The construction went well and I was pleased with the outcome. Then the staining guy arrived- I'd never seen him until the day he arrived for staining which made me a bit apprehensive. He did a super sloppy job with runs, uneven patches, missed spots.....I called the owner, he came out and said it did'nt look too bad, but he'd send staining guy back to patch things up. Staining guy failed to make things better, and made an even bigger mess with the finishing coat. Now, after less than two weeks, we've got splits in the wood and bowing- apparently, they purchased wood that's not completely dry. I really don't trust them to repair their damage. What recourse do I have? Honestly, I'd just like my money back- frustrated.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 Answers


If he has good ratings as you mentioned take the issue up with the source of those ratings. Is it Angie's List or the BBB? Both have complaint resolution assistance. Call him to give him a chance to redo the job. If he starts throwing out excuses for it not being his fault then he's done in your home. Either way, the stain person should not be back. Give him a chance to make it right and know about the problem. If his craftsmanship looked good when he left he may not realize there is such a problem. Of course any decent carpenter is going to notice wet wood and know he has to let it dry before he can do much with it. $680 is a pretty sharp increase in supplies for just a handrail. Were the pieces custom cut/milled? That could account for it but off the shelf parts wouldn't have gone up that drastically in a short period of time.

You'll have to communicate with the contractor, like it or not, to resolve the issues. Showing that you gave him every reasonable chance to make it right in court should legal action be taken will strengthen your case. Don't leave him in the house alone unless you know him to be honest and trustworthy now that there is a problem but I doubt you can be sure he is.

Todd Shell
Todd's Home Services

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Sounds like complete replacement of his work is what is needed - and tell him in no uncertain terms he needs a new finishing guy because you will not let the old one in. And he has to repair any damage from drips/splashes.

If he refuses or will not refund your money in entirety if that is what you want (which sounds like your best bet at this point, but which might or might not cover the cost if the mess goes beyond the railings themselves), then time to call his Bonding company for them to get it redone by another contractor.

White pine railings - that was probably the first mistake - railings, especially posts and spindles, should be hardwood, not softwood. If you want white wood then go with an elm or ash or similar - though since you say it was stained the usual factory oak stock materials would probably do fine.

If an AL - oh what is it, Premium or Prime level membership, then you have their vendor arbitration and vendor guarantee programs you might fall back on too.

And of course after all is said and done, sounds like an appropriate and not too complimentary Review is in order.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy