Do your rails hang low? Do they waggle to and fro? ….
I couldn’t resist a silly song to get Wednesday started. I’m in a good mood because we scored a little something for nothing. This little something is some help for our sagging deck rails.
We have a Fiberon composite railing on our deck which has begun to sag. Fiberon products are backed with a 20 year pro-rated warranty and if the claim is within 10 years they provide a full replacement. We knew the deck wasn’t very old since it does not show up on aerial photos of our house.
So, a few months ago I marched myself into Town Hall to see the construction permit that was pulled for our deck. This permit included the contractor, approximate price, and layout of the deck. It was the closest thing I could find to a proof of purchase. The permit also had the year 2004 on it which made me jump with joy since the deck is less than 10 years old.
I immediately snapped up a bunch of photographs of the deck and wrote to Fiberon with our story. I was keeping my fingers crossed that they would replace the railings that weren’t “installed by a Fiberon contractor” as their warranty states. So, when I got this reply I can’t say I was all that shocked that they wouldn’t replace the railings:
Thank you for contacting us with your concerns. Our warranty states that Fiberon railing will not crack, peel, blister, or suffer structural damaged from fungal decay when installed according to manufacturer’s guidelines. Your Fiberon railing appears to have been installed improperly by the absence of the required crush blocks supporting the bottom rails. The installation of Fiberon railing without the crush block will result in “sagging” of the bottom and eventually the top rails. The absence of this required added support can also lead to the breakdown of the structural stability of the railing system. Please review the enclosed installation guidelines for more detailed information. We are unable to grant your claim as there is no defect with the material itself but issues resulting from improper installation. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
In the instructions for the railing assembly it was very clear how the crush blocks were to be installed. I wrote back to Fiberon asking if I could purchase the required crush blocks so I could try to install them now instead of replacing the railings. They responded that they would actually recommend that we try to install them first and they would send them at no charge! Hooray! Fiberon has provided the best customer service I have ever experienced.
This situation is a good reminder to always read the instructions even if you think you know what you are doing. You might miss a step and not even realize it. It also makes me feel helpless when it comes to hiring a contractor. Do any of them know what they are really doing? Perhaps I have been watching too many episodes of Holmes on Homes and am scared of letting anyone else work in our house.
How do you feel about having a contractor work on your house? Do you have any good or bad experiences to share? Let us know!