Monday, January 17, 2011

Argh! Why aren't all exposed pieces of wood perfect?

Warning: I'm going to rant. Why can't all exposed pieces of wood be perfect? Why would you even think of using a slightly flawed piece of wood when it will be in full view?  I am speaking about the wood stringer for our main stair. I went to visit the work done today as the framers installed the supports and treads. I was quite disappointed to see a wood stringer that was less than perfect that will end up being exposed.  Argh. And to take it down now and replace it would be a tonne of work. So, now do I find a creative way to hide it? {My brain was spinning with lots of ideas on the way home, including using a piece of metal flashing to cover it}. Or do we "celebrate" the imperfection, and leave it as part of our "raw" staircase? Or do I insist it be re-done? And suffer to delay and extra cost? I am not too happy with some of the framing for the landings as well. I'll need to tweak that too. Not sure people understand the raising of the bar in quality when things are meant to be "exposed."

The first run of LVL stringers in place.

Almost made it to the top floor.
Just one run of stairs left.

Here's said crappy stringer up close.


  1. Although my biased love of imperfections is going to play in here, I think you should post a close-up to see how bad the stringer looks. I am a sucker for scars that tell stories and really enjoy the fact that you're leaving the steel exposed. Maybe this will play off of that as you said? One thing that came to mind is the butterfly wood stitches used to fix a split.

  2. Persian carpet makers always include a flaw in their work because only Allah is perfect.
    I'm a perfectionist too, so I understand your feeling that poor material or workmanship is frustrating.
    Explain the nature of the flaw. As Tyler said, post a close-up pic. - Jim

  3. Actually I don't even need a close up ... I can see what you are talking about and I totally understand how you feel Shafraaz - I'd rant too. I don't know what is wrong with the industry - it is almost as though people no longer take pride in their work.

    Perhaps they felt that you wanted everything to be "raw" or what they felt might be imperfect - but you would think that at the very least they would check with you. Sigh!! Just sayin ....

  4. OK! close-up of crappy stringer posted above!

    I like scars that tell stories too- but this wasn't a great story. Just an unfortunate piece of wood that was the only piece to choose from by the framer.

    Tyler: Thanks for the butterfly stitch idea- it may come into use later!

    Jim: Awesome reference to imperfection in the world. I don't want things to be absolutely perfect, but obvious flaws are something that really annoy me.

    Celtic Peasant: It's not necessarily the industry- but the need for someone to really watch like a hawk for the mis-use of materials and the poor installation. On commercial jobs, I do this all the time. For my own house, it gets personal.