Andy Lee Finish Carpentry
Doors, Millwork & Cabinets

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"Precision Matters"
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This page is designed to help consumers understand the process of construction from inception to completion. It may include blogs, links or other social elements that are on par with the construction industry. None of the information here supercede's any writen contract between client and Andy Lee Finish Carpentry.

Grain or no Grain?

 Often times when I'm staining or painting a cabinet I wonder if the customer is expecting the grain to show through the paint or stain the way I am seeing it.  Part of my job is to produce something that the customer expects. That's not always something I can control when dealing with the inconsistant properties of natural wood. When a tree grows, it grows how it wants too. Open pores and closed pores both absorb stain differently, leaving a difference in color. Grain patterns can skid off like a racer without a steering wheel, or grain patterns can be straight as an arrow, or both!

My take on cabinet grade plywood..
A1  grade Plywood -  
"Face and back veneers are practically free from all defects". This is the most expensive grade of plywood but yields the best stain and clear coat appearance.

SHOP grade Plywood -  
"Contains minor imperfections and the panel is a high-grade product, but due to some defects, did not make the standards list for a higher grade". This is less expensive, but only 85% usable. Working with this plywood can yield a decent appearance, but with the time it takes to repair the imperfections, you  are better off purchasing  A1 Grade Plywood.

MDU -  
Medium Density Ultralight is a light weight and inexpensive engineered product. It's made from residual wood broken down into fibers. It is the best paint grade material for a smooth finish in my opinion, but lacks strength when used to support something heavy. It has no grain and it's not a plywood. It is my first choice for paint grade projects.

Here is a link to a great explaination of veneer plywood. Check it out!
Plywood Explained

Estimate or Bid price.. What's the difference?

Estimates: As a standard rule across most service businesses, If someone gives you an estimate and you agree to have them do the work.. the price may change. They won't "guarantee" the price will stay the same. They can show you receipts from material purchased and if the price of materials is higher than the original estimate, the customer will need to pay the extra costs. All costs are ON the table . Estimates can be used as a quick guide for clients who have thought about the work, but have no idea what the cost may be. Often times, I will give an estimate when I think the potential client wants "just a ball park figure". If the price is within the clients budget, I will then come back and double check my measurements and make my bid. Being a one man shop, this really helps with my time. My estimates are usually within 15-20% of my bid.

Bid:  This is like a guaranty that the price won't change. If the contractor or service company finds the cost of materials and labor are less than they thought, they keep the proceeds as their profit. If they find the cost of materials and labor was higher than they thought, they make less money. Things are NOT on the table .

 A proper bid can be still be adjusted but there is a fine-line here. Does the contractor stand by his word or did he make a mistake? If he did make a mistake, he can try to adjust the price with the clients consent. Personally, I don't ever re-adjust my bids. This is a learning process, and bids should be considered a solid understanding without change (unless the work involves extra costs associated with something not originally planned).
Crown Molding Unpainted
First off, Molding and Moulding are the same thing when referring to crown. The English pronunciation and the most commonly used here in the United States is, "Molding". The word derived from Europe where "moulding" is most commonly used.

 What to expect with a crown molding installation (unpainted).

When a carpenter installs crown molding in your home and does not paint it, you will expect to be left with nail holes in the molding, caulking and the paint preparation. These can include anything to fill a gap 1/8" or less. Light sanding is usually within the "paint prep", also. You may find light smudges on walls that will need to be touched up as well. Inevitably, the carpenter will have to touch the walls and inevitably, he will leave a smudge mark or two.  This is common construction practice recognized in the construction industry and falls under Divisions. Divisions are a way to divide the responsibilities of each trade on a job and are governed by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) . Again, recognized and used in all construction practices. Divisions are used to bid projects within the scope of work that need to be performed, according to each trade. Divisions also coincide with state license classifications. They are as follows:
Division 01 — General Requirements
Division 02 — Site Construction
Division 03 — Concrete
Division 04 — Masonry
Division 05 — Metals
Division 06 — Wood and Plastics
Division 07 — Thermal and Moisture Protection
Division 08 — Doors and Windows
Division 09 — Finishes
Division 10 — Specialties
Division 11 — Equipment
Division 12 — Furnishings
Division 13 — Special Construction
Division 14 — Conveying Systems
Division 15 — Mechanical
Division 16 — Electrical

When a carpenter installs crown molding, he (or she) is referencing the scope associated with Division 06 . A painter, on the other hand, would be referencing Division 09 when painting crown molding.

 In 2004, the sixteen divisions were updated to 50. They can be found here .