custom gate by professional ????

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Forum topic by Milliemoomoo posted 09-11-2020 02:19 PM 859 views 0 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 171 days

09-11-2020 02:19 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question modern pine

I have paid a professional to make some custom gates, his previous work was great.
However I am not so happy with these results, he states that there is always small gaps in gates, but i feel there is not much attention to detail and there are some obvious cut mistakes, it looks more like an amateur has done it.

Opinions as I am asking him to re-do the gates or am I being to harsh and picky? I am not a wood worker. Please let me know as I am not giving the final payment until I am happy.


35 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2863 posts in 1171 days

#1 posted 09-11-2020 02:24 PM

for me, being particular to “craftsmanship” that I am, (NOT OCD).
I would not accept that at all.
I would call him back – pronto.
also, I would question the fasteners (are they for exterior use ??).
did you fill in the gaps with wood putty – or did he.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View pottz's profile


14824 posts in 1993 days

#2 posted 09-11-2020 02:30 PM

that is total crap,i would not pay him a nickle,he needs to redo that gate,not professional at all.proper construction should not require putty to fill gaps.and as john mentioned those screws look questionable.good luck.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View controlfreak's profile


1763 posts in 610 days

#3 posted 09-11-2020 02:37 PM

I don’t know how big of a gate it is or if it is paint or stain ready but yikes!
Some of those screws are proud and next to another that was over driven to the point of splitting the stock. The screws were placed too close to the edge of the board know matter how you look at it. If this is going outside I don’t think it will last very long. I don’t know how much you have invested in this but some gaps maybe but random saw tracks and splits I say no. A picture of the whole gate would help understand the context.

View ChefHDAN's profile


1802 posts in 3858 days

#4 posted 09-11-2020 02:45 PM

Unless you got a “Goofy way below market price” for this work it is not acceptable, you need to recall him to meet expectations, especially since you were pleased with his previous work. It is possible this was done by one of his team and he did not take the time to inspect final production. I am frequently in a similar position as I cannot watch all of my team but they should know and meet the owners expectation of quality.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View tbone's profile


322 posts in 4693 days

#5 posted 09-11-2020 02:52 PM

Boy. There’s a lot going on in these few photos.
Since it’s an outdoor gate, the wood is likely to move much more than in a controlled environment. Knowing that, he should have taken care to do the best he can from the outset. You should start out with tight miters and countersunk and plugged fasteners.
Not drilling pilot holes is a big no-no for me. (Even the hole pattern on those 4 screws is way too close to the edges)
Those errant SkilSaw matks are certainly unacceptable.
Filling gaps with putty won’t last long when that wood contracts and/or expands.
If you’ve liked his previous work, try to explain to him that you expect nothing less on this project

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4586 days

#6 posted 09-11-2020 03:06 PM

Welcome to LJs
30+ year contractor here you’re not being picky, this is very sub-standard work , looks pretty much like a first-time gate builder but worse. What people think some times is that a person who does a great job framing or roofing are good at all aspects of construction ,so when these individuals are offered types of work that is not really in their realm of expertise they accept the work thinking they can do the work that has been offered to them. Your best defense against these kinds of problems is to ask lots of questions of the contractor or handyman about how many times they have built or repaired the kind of work you need and making it clear you won’t pay for substandard work.


View HokieKen's profile


16655 posts in 2147 days

#7 posted 09-11-2020 03:16 PM

It’s all been said but I’ll just throw another log on the fire. That’s poor work. I’d be embarrassed if I had built something like that for someone for free let alone if I was charging them for it.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View ibewjon's profile


2267 posts in 3802 days

#8 posted 09-11-2020 03:26 PM

Construction grade 2×4’s and 1x’s for an outside gate? The rest has been said. Total garbage. Most concrete forms look better than that, and they are temporary. Professional what?

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1538 posts in 736 days

#9 posted 09-11-2020 03:30 PM

Some very good work can be done by a guy with a skill saw in the driveway, however, this was not.

It pretty much shows the difference between construction work and craftsman’s work.
(This was not the latter of the two)

View Loren's profile


11019 posts in 4657 days

#10 posted 09-11-2020 03:36 PM

That’s not an impressive grade of lumber for sure. The chorus of disapproval is understandable but in relation to the price of the wood I do wonder what the job was bid at since the lumber is, to my mind, paint grade, so I see no problem with fillers. Why are some of the gaps and screw holes are filled and not others?

I’ve encountered clients who wanted cabinet grade work at construction grade prices. The difference is seasoned, and straight, wood.

View Milliemoomoo's profile


6 posts in 171 days

#11 posted 09-11-2020 03:47 PM

thank you all for your replies, it is indeed for outdoor use and is being stained, not painted.
I am very upset at this, all his previous work has been great.

I added more pics as requested but I know he needs to redo these. Thank-you for your help.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4586 days

#12 posted 09-11-2020 04:07 PM

Looks like it was built with a hatchet. On second thought don’t have them build another gate they don’t know what they are doing. Ask someone that lives close to you here on Lumberjocks to build them for you.


View pottz's profile


14824 posts in 1993 days

#13 posted 09-11-2020 04:11 PM

and it just gets worse,and i mean the worst ive ever seen!!!he’s not 10 years old is he?

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Aj2's profile


3670 posts in 2807 days

#14 posted 09-11-2020 04:14 PM

I wouldn’t pay for the gate. Outdoor woodworking for gates and benches tables seem like a very forgiving unsophisticated endeavor. But in reality they are not.
We have to follow rules that don’t apply to indoor woodworking.
If you really want to keep your guy I would like to suggest you find a gate that you like in a magazine that shows the steps on hows it’s built.
This is very rare for me to suggest this. In your case it not likely that gate or anything from him will not survive without guide.

Good Luck

-- Aj

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1538 posts in 736 days

#15 posted 09-11-2020 04:15 PM

Plywood??? Where is he using the plywood?

Do you have a whole picture of the gate?

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