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I recently had a shed built by what I thought was a reputable company. Now I'm in doubt about that quality of the construction, but I don't really have a reference to compare it to. I'm looking for experienced opinions.

At least one of the builders apparently had a problem holding the nail gun straight. Dozens of nails missed the studs, including some coming up out of the bottom sills of window frames. Here's one of the worst areas, in the roof. (The city building inspector passed this.)

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The prebuilt door frame is screwed tightly to the framing on the hinge side, so there's a half-inch gap on the lock side. As a result, the deadbolt is anchored in nothing but the wooden door frame and a couple of questionable-looking screws.

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Two of the windows are sitting directly on the bottom frame, leaving a large gap at the top. The other is visibly crooked. When I had new windows installed in my house, the builders carefully shimmed the windows so they were centered. I anticipate problems finishing the window casing with the large gap at the top.

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The windows are identical to those on my house, but the shed builders used molding half as thick, leaving this huge gap and protrusion. I'm concerned that water will enter here.

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Am I right to think that these are problems that should be fixed?

  • Did you source/specify the windows, doors, trim, etc., or did the builder? I might reluctantly live with the nails that missed, but that window work is crap and should be rejected straight away unless you told him exactly what materials to use. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 23 '16 at 22:08
  • @JimmyFix-it I sourced the windows. The builder only asked for the width and height. – Kevin Krumwiede Dec 23 '16 at 23:46
  • All is not lost. If you can shim up the window that's crooked until its plumb and square, it looks like you could add a simple 1 x 2 trim piece (miter the corners) and tuck it under the ext. window frame lip and nail it in place. Then caulk all the way round and paint. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 24 '16 at 1:01
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None of this should be acceptable if you are paying someone to build you a shed. Period. Yes it passes inspection because it is not a habitable space, meaning that code wouldn't allow someone to live there so the only thing the inspector cares about is "Will this collapse and fall on someone?"

I am thinking you paid this company money based on a more stringent guideline of the building not collapsing. I would make them fix each of these issues or tell them that you can find someone to do that and take that off their cost. If you have not paid them in full you have all the leverage you need. Any small claims court would not accept this from a professional company - it is not like you hired Joe from craigslist. Now if you have already paid them fully, your beef still is right but good luck getting them to fix anything other than the window and rescrew door.

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What did the shed companies project manager say? Regardless of code requirements, I wouldn't accept that quality of work - especially with the window.

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My $0.02

Nail misses on the rafter: The question here is how many hit. Impossible to tell with the roofing on.

Door framing: That's pretty typical - the gap may be a bit on the large side. I would expect the door frame to be shimmed out to the wall framing at at several points along the height. If you're concerned about the deadbolt, remove the screws and put a tighter fitting piece of lumber behind it with additional screws or nails.

Windows: Again, pretty typical. As long as the flange overlaps the wall well so that it could be nailed all around, it shouldn't be a problem. Look in the gaps with a flashlight - can you see the nail holes in the flange? If not it's probably fine. The nailing flange is also why the thickness of the molding doesn't matter as far as leaks are concerned. Leaks will come from improper flashing & siding, which you can't really see at this point anyway. If the window that's installed crooked doesn't open well, or any of the windows leak then that's a problem you should complain about.

It's definitely sloppy to a degree, but it's pretty typical for that type of construction. Other than trouble opening the crooked window or leaks, I doubt you'll get anywhere with the builder beyond possibly some more shims on the door. Overall, I don't think it's likely to cause you much trouble.

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