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How picky should I be?

Posted by cbusmomof3 (My Page) on
Tue, May 1, 12 at 10:57

We are in the finishing stages of our new build. The trim is all painted and the hardwood floors (site finished) are being installed. The trim upstairs looks about as close to perfect as I think possible. However, on the first floor, I have spotted several spots where I can see the nail heads and some imperfections where it looks like they applied spackle and didn't get it sanded well enough. Some of these spots hit you right when you walk in the front door so it makes a bad first impression.

Obviously, I'm going to tell them these need to be fixed. My question is, how picky should I be when I am looking all over the house? I'm sure my super obsessed self is going to spot little things all over, but I know I need to be reasonable. What level of perfection should I expect from my painted trim? It's so new to me because I've always lived in older houses with stained trim.

As always, thank you for any advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How picky should I be?

You definitely should not be able to notice any imperfections in the trim unless you are looking very closely for it, in good light, AND have your eyeballs no more than a couple of feet from the trim. If it "hits you in the eye right when you walk in the front door" it needs to be fixed.

Sounds to me like two different people finished the trim upstairs and down. No craftsman who can (and did) get the upstairs as close to perfect as possible would leave the downstairs trim with nailheads showing and unsanded spackle.

Actually you're lucky because your builder won't be able to give you a song-and-dance about how " you're too picky because that (downstairs) is as good as trim work CAN be done." The upstairs work is proof positive to the contrary. LOL! Tell your builder to send whomever did the trim finish UPSTAIRS to come and fix the hack work that was done downstairs.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Cbusmom...i don't think that you're far from our new build....painters have just finished the trim. Let me know if you'd like to stop by and compare so you can tell your builder you've seen other work.


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RE: How picky should I be?

If you can notice it standing 4' back in ordinary room light, then it needs to be addressed. If you have to get closer or use supplemental light to see the problem then you are being too picky.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Thank you all very much.

l_w_o-That's just the answer I need. I can live with that and the problems I've noticed definitely fit within that criteria and will need to be addressed. Thanks.

ohlaches-Where are you building???


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RE: How picky should I be?

Picky? Sounds detailed and thorough, to me. Same as anyone would expect from the professionals, building their home :)


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RE: How picky should I be?

I'm in Powell....right around the corner from your builder's house. Didn't know for sure which develoment you are in, but figure you probably aren't too far.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Wild! In Woodland Hall?


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RE: How picky should I be?

Add this to your punch list. I can "see" screw heads from the drywall. The walls are sanded, primed and painted (3 coats) and I can see it in just the right light. I talked to the drywall/paint team and they asked me to add it to their punch list. This is a great mom & pop group that are truly dedicated to getting the job done right.


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RE: How picky should I be?

The mandatory government warranty I work under says blemishes visible from 1,800 mm (about six feet) perpendicular under normal lighting conditions are unacceptable. However, nail pops from normal shrinkage are not warranteed. In practice, most builders repair nail pops, but will not always repaint, as that may require painting whole walls to perfectly blend in the repair.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Worthy-Thanks! That brings up another question. When do nail pops typically stop happening after construction is completed?

I am anticipating these nail pops after we move in, but since I'm not using flat paint, I'm thinking I won't have my builder repair them. I'll just wait and fix them once that time period of "popping" is over. Then I can repaint the entire wall and not expect to have to do it again in the near future.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Actually, Woodland Glen : ). Even though our build has taken a long time (almost done!) I've been very happy with the workmanship of the subs.


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RE: How picky should I be?

I think I saw your house! I was driving through Woodland Glen and Woodland Hall looking at shutters and I stumbled upon it. I remembered from your elevation and shingle posts. It looks great!

I've actually been very happy with the workmanship of our most of our subs too. I did do a thorough walk through today and the only problem area is that one I've already pointed out to them. I know exactly which guy prepped that area, so hopefully I can request one of the other crew members fix it :-)


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RE: How picky should I be?

When do nail pops typically stop happening after construction is completed?

Pops continue for several years as the framing lumber shrinks, warps, bows and twists. That's why I sometimes use laminated lumber in bathroom walls to be sure I won't be called back to replace popped bath/shower tiles. I also like non-structural steel for basement walls.


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RE: How picky should I be?

Thanks! I'm sure they'll make it right for you. I was worried about the shutters until they went up....I had just gotten so used to seeing it without them. Good luck with the rest of the build!


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RE: How picky should I be?

ohlaches-Thanks! You too!!

worthy-Wow, I didn't realize the popping continued for so long. Good to know.


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