View Full Version : When things go bad...

Brian Stoddard
08-11-2008, 3:02 PM
You know how it is, some jobs just seem to spiral down fast. I completed a job on Friday that was pretty straight forward. Remove some old wood letters on an apartment building and replace with sheets of DiBond (paint and vinyl). It was big - 10' high by 18' wide - 5 sheets.

Get to the site and see that there are still cars parked where I need the rental lift to go, oh and wheres the lift? Get the manager to talk with the tenants after explaining that they are going to have to pay for the $800.00 rental (big lift) twice if I have to come back. Lift finally shows up an hour late and tries to go into the apartments after I warned them to unload on the street. He high centers and we spend too much time getting him back out to the road.

So there I am 3 hours later - the time I thought I would be done, just getting started. I start removing letters and the trim to realize that the size they gave me is too big and will overlap the siding so I will need to raise the panels away from the wall. Quick trip to Lowes for some 1x4's. Start getting them up and working my way across and battery 1 dies on the impact driver (love that thing) No problem, I have 2 more. Battery 2 which was fresh out of the charger dies. Battery 3 works but now I am worried about finishing the job. Sure enough the last panel - battery dies. I am an hour from my shop with no charger. Back to Lowes to by a charger (and battery) Have coffee and wait. Finally get last panel up to realize that the security light on that end was lower than I thought and it wont fit flush with the other panels. Place that one and work my way back - lowering every panel (30 screws each).

To make this all more fun - it was 70' up and 30' over - 5 story building on a high bank.


Finally done 8 hours later - then I forget to get a picture. Doh!

Joe Pelonio
08-11-2008, 5:07 PM
I've had days like that, well, probably not quite as bad. One in Particular was on Queen Ann, at the top of the hill, installing dimensional lettering on an office building with a boom truck. This was several years ago. First, there was no place to park the truck and get the extended ladder to reach, not because of cars but a wrought iron fence. Lesson learned, scout the site first. Then we discovered that when it was repainted they used some kind of anti-graffiti paint with teflon in it. Something I'd never run into before. The silicone would stick when it set, but the VHB would not. Each letter had to be
held on with duct tape which barely stuck until the silicone set up, and even then 3-4 of them fell off before we finished.

Doug Bergstrom
08-12-2008, 4:47 PM
Since we are sharing stories of "those days"

We were installing a small 4x5 sign with dimensional letters on 4x4 that we cover with Vinyl post wraps. Well we just had a new Lo... store open nearby so we tried theirs out instead of the ones we normally use. Put the post in, cemented had lunch while waiting for the cement to set up.. went to put the sleeves on and they do not fit. They make them so tight that just the swell of the wood was too much. Tried cutting some off the post nothing worked.. finally had to pull the post and cement drive about 1/2 hour away and find the smallest 4x4 I could and start over. 2 hour job took us about 6 hours.

Scott Shepherd
08-13-2008, 9:00 PM
Put the post in, cemented had lunch while waiting for the cement to set up.. went to put the sleeves on and they do not fit. They make them so tight that just the swell of the wood was too much.

Been there, done that. Had (5) 4' x 8' signs, vertical, so 10' of vinyl post wrap. Went to install them (by myself) prior to the installation, and had the same problem. After more than a hour wrestling with them and beating them on with a dead blow hammer (and getting them stuck), I finally took a SkilSaw and put the blade on a 45 and cut about 1" off the edges, putting a long bevel down them.

Not a fun job. Glad you mentioned it, I have 2 sleeves behind me right now, with 2 12' long posts in my truck right now. Posts came from Lo...., sleeves did not. Probably going to be a problem. Thanks for reminding me, I'll check it tomorrow!

Brian, thanks for sharing the story. You're not alone, that's for certain ;)

James Jaragosky
08-13-2008, 9:30 PM
Brian sorry to hear you had such a horrid time with this job.
I am sure unless you find a new line of work you will have other challenging days in your future.
Buddhist believe life is meant to be a challenge, if it were not we would get bored, and we all know the trouble we can get into when bored.
Can you drive by and grab some photos, I would love to see the completed job from a street level perspective.