This is really bad. Look at the overhangs on the floorboards. Composite can't take much weight. This is a complete tear out.


The tread boards aren’t even down tight to the stringers. Trex flex’s like no other. Supposed to be on 12” OC. That overhang is gonna roll over so fast. I’d be amazed if the owner doesn’t feel that flex


Grooved bottoms are 9" OC. Full boards are 12" OC.


I’ve only installed the solid Trex. I thought 12” was crazy


They have an installation manual with some hefty requirements.


I apologize in advance... the flex seal guy swears it'll fix ANYTHING


Lmao, the forward apology really made that dad joke go down smooth


I have been accused of dad jokes 3 times in the last 3 days.....53 years old... is it time to hang up trying to make people laugh? I will bow out gracefully and catch a ride on the next ice floe that comes along........ lol


Not at all my dude. I pride myself on my awful dad jokes. I learned to accept my dad jokes for what they are The best dad jokes are the ones where after the punchline people jus look at you with that “Really?” Face lol


You are absolutely correct, kind sir. Live long and prosper.....


Agreed. This is an embarrassment.


Agreed. This is a travesty.


Un mamaracho!


The overhang issued could be fixed by installing the treads first and the risers afterwards.


Yeah, I’ve never seen anyone put risers on the stringer instead of the tread. I’m sorry, OP


Risers go on first so you can screw through the back into the tread, in interior finished stairs at least


Code calls for a 1" overhang of treads beyond the risers. This guy overshot that by a lot. Also the position of that knot on the outside stringer effectively makes that stringer a whole lot thinner than I'd want to carry a refrigerator up. To be fair he may have laid the whole thing out to match the existing handrail. It appears to be a whole lot older than the steps. I can't count the times I've had potential clients who have gotten quotes from other builders who just didn't want to pay for having it done right, and they tried to talk me into agreeing to do it the way they thought it could be done. I've tried to accommodate them before but that was decades ago. I learned that eating Ramen while looking for work was less hassle than doing stuff on the cheap. There were certainly one or more people who screwed up on this, but I can't tell who. It does need redone though before someone gets hurt.


Would it work to keep the wider step and add a horizontal 2"x4" treated board underneath each of the overhang fix that one issue?


That would make it sturdier at the overhang. If someone combined that with removing the treads and cutting the one next to the riser down to where the lead edge of the front tread was supported by the 2x4 it'd even pass code. But that leaves all that structural mess unaddressed.


“That” composite, yes. Trex is junk, but so is this overhang.


Also, should have used non-grooves here in my opinion..


Should have hired a carpenter.


If this was the only job, then I doubt you could find one that would bother. They’d quote fuck off prices at best.


Handyman is a word for someone who can’t get a license.


2 of the best carpenters i ever met, dont have a carpentry license. Never underestimate farmers or people that have the discipline to learn on their own.


My state has no contractors license. It’s done city by city and they have wildly different requirements.


First thing, tell him this work is unacceptable and ask if he can come back and do better


Yeah his stringer calculations are off lt looks like the risers need extending. And a few other things to make it right


What stringer calculations. I bought these at Home Depot, they were already cut. Home Depot must have cut them wrong.


We're these just stock stringers that were precut for you to buy at home depot. If yes did they calculate the same at your work site. Some times stock stronger will work in some applications but each job is different. Need to check the rise and run, the difference in the two elevations .In the picture it looks like the risers are short because the treads are leaning forward. The treads should be level. Put a level on a tread and pick it up until it level you will see it's off a an inch or two. That difference should have be split up in the risers cuts. I'm just trying to help and give sound advise. I'm sure you know now that stringer need to be knot free. Someday that outside one might split cause the knot is to close to the stair cut


But there not pre-cut. I see pencil mark's. Dude just cut 7" - 11". Just some cheap hack. I would have made the run longer less rise. Knots not good ! What is that 1 1/2 material left ? Lol


>ask Demand.


Things like this always reaffirm the feeling that I could make a damn good living doing this stuff if I ever had to..


Dude I totally agree. All you have to do is just actually show up and do good work and you will have more work than you could ever do.


That's how my dad does it. He's been doingbit for 30+ years now and has never had someone complain about the work he does.


What kind of work does he do? Just curious.


One step down from a contractor. I've seen him move walls (not load bearing), install cabinets, replace fascia, build furniture (like from scratch), and redo decks.


Cool, basically a standard carpenter.


I'd say he's one step up if he's making furniture from scratch. That's like top tier shit there


Yeah good point.


This has worked for me for 2 1/2 years now. Never advertised just word of mouth and i have more work than I can manage. Say what you'll do and do what you say. If its too much for you or you dont know what you're doing, just politely decline and clearly say why. Ive gotten many call backs from people whom i had previously declined to see if i could do something else for them. It shows that you're honest and trustworthy. I dont make great money but its getting better as I realize how much i was under pricing my work. For example, i was charging about 250 labor to replace a basic entry door. I had a guy start by saying home depot wanted a little over a grand to install a $300 door. Well shit I quoted him 775 - he was happy as hell and so was I. Plus I fixed a gfci outlet he had wired up wrong that hadnt worked for months and fixed a storm door closer he couldnt figure out for free. I know he'll tell anybody that will listen about that.


Yup, so this is basically what I do with my bobcat. I got a great deal on a used 863 Bobcat with loads of attachments. I only work for friends or friends of friends and I still do more than I would like to. I charge $125/hr for me and the machine and I haven't had a single person scoff at that rate. It might be time to up it.


I do handman stuff on the side sometimes for a few local rental cabins and man does it pay much better than my actual job


My (good) problem is that my actual job pays as much or more than I should rightly charge for my level of carpentry work, so doing this on the side only detracts from my free time. Most of the time I do it because it's fun, but I've got myself into a few situations that I would have rathered just bail on.




I mean, it’s not that much more work to pour a quick pad under that. Obviously easier and cheap enough for said handyman to just do preemptively. Regardless, if you (or the handyman) dig out those scraps and some rocks, you can pour a bag or two of quick setting concrete under and it should last for a while. If you notice settling then you can shim with plastic or PT shims. If the scope of work was just to replace stringers he should have still mentioned this to you. However, if it was to build new, or refurbish/repair stairs I’m surprised he missed or ignored this.






I know. Agreed. This dude is a hack. I feel like they should be ripped out and replaced.


there’s no reason someone replacing those stringers shouldn’t have landed them all on the existing concrete. they only needed to be extended another 2-3”, which isn’t hard to do with treads as narrow as those are. if they couldn’t extend the stringers, they should have poured the added pad behind the existing one before installing them. i would not have paid whoever did this work until they made it right


Honest question, could they put some gravel or stone under and maybe flush a patio stone with bottom of the stairs? Or would that cause issues down the road?


Probably need some DPM between the contact of the stone and timber if it’s not treated. You could but I think you’d have an aneurysm trying to flush it up.


I agree with this.




Yup, that crack is inching up the knot. This flight would only be useful for very short term construction stairs. Only way this job is acceptable is A) super temporary while the real ones are being fitted, this set could be pulled out and put back each day. Especially if only 1 access to the house. B) build me stairs for less than $400.


1. Inconsistent step height 2. Tread overhang 3. Stair stringer not on pad 4. Debris left on job 5. Over cuts - edit-low quality cuts 6. Remove, plan & start over.


Also, surely the splitting knot in that stringer is a concern. That's the weakest part of the stair. It has far less material there than is typical of the stairs I build at work (apprentice stair builder).


Yep, that knot should not be there in the first photo. Should have cut from that side.


I believe the code is 3.5" wide at the narrowest part so these may be ok... but yeah the knot is unfortunate.


\#4: I think most of that debris is holding up the stringers.


The overhang could be fixed by putting the treads on first followed by the risers. There is ZERO issue with any overcuts. I don't think you bothered to look at the photo.


That only reduces the overhang by 3/4"... probably still not good enough


Stairs should not be done by a handy man. This was a hack. Perfect example of u get what u pay for. Please call a legit carpenter that knows how to do deck stairs.


If "Licensed", the quickest path to a fix is to call the building inspector, whom will tie those stairs off with red flagging, then tell the "hack" to resolve the inspectors concerns at no cost you, and of course he won't, then the next call is the state licensing board, which usually has a process of reviewing a complaint, and if in your favor, you pay for the repair against his "bond". Not that easy, but in principal that's how it works. In practice, you will expend more time and effort than simply setting up a simple form and dumping some quickcrete in it.


Old stairs guy here, these photos are sad. I hate to waste matl. so I would yank them and fix. Are they 4-5 Risers? 36" Out to out? 1 .. Stringers or horse needs to be 12" on center max for composite. could be braced or blocked out. 2 .. Riser should be cut down and installed after treads. 3 .. nose too big, trim back of treads to maybe 5/8" max 4 .. flush out matl on outside and add a 2x12 skirt to add bearing 5 .. maybe add a small pad of concrete against house to catch stringer or place a 4x4 post under to support. Could concrete screw to foundation. 6 .. Treads should be solid version, not grooved. But they will work I would not let your handyman do repairs. He did enough.


Jesus. I'd love to be a fly on the wall hearing the conversation you had with him over this.. What a pile of shit


This must be the same handyman that worked on my house before I bought it 🤔


Haha. Yeah or maybe the guy who owned my house before. Every single thing he did is half-assed. I ripped up some tile in the bathroom, he had stacked up coins on the corner of the tiles to set the height with little blobs of thinset everywhere


Something that no one has mentioned is there aren’t enough stringers. That span between the stringers is to wide for composite, should be 16” or less, some manufacturers want 10” on center. That looks like it’s 18” or better.


Somebody showed this guy how to cut stringers and he went out and got insurance. Lmao


We know this isn't a carpenters work.This is not even a handyman work. This is someone who is claiming to be a handyman


Rip it all out. It's not worth saving. That stringer has no integrity left with that big knot there.


Besides the other dozen things wrong with this, that knot is something that an experienced carpenter would never do. The first thing you do when cutting stringers is to check for defects and see if they can be positioned so that they are cut out. If not, then you don’t use that piece.


Sounds like you know what’s what. Do over. Correctly.


File against his bond and get your money back. Offer him a chance to pay it back first though. This is where hiring licensed and bonded is helpful. It doesn’t guarantee that they know what their doing it just guarantee you have some recourse if the mess up.


You hired a ‘Handy Man’ not a Carpenter, it’s on a level I’d expect.


small claims court


It looks like the stringers were made from 2x10s, considering that those deck boards are 11"" together, and the PVC is 3/4", there should only be an inch and 3/4 max of overhang. Since they weren't made from 2x12, the handy man couldn't achieve a 10" depth. What's sad is that he looks like he knows how to do it, but corners every step of the way. That's going to need a rebuild... sorry 😞


Almost everyone sucks at their jobs nowadays.


I heard somewhere it’s because “nobody wants to work anymore.”


It's because MOST employers pay shit and have literally no benefits for their workers. I work Union have the best insurance there is, yet almost every day I feel like I might as well quit because wages haven't even come close to keeping up with cost of living. For th most part it's like this in almost every job???


This was sarcasm and I agree there’s a lot of employers that underpay and overwork . On the flip side there’s also business owners who value someone who gives a damn and has attention to detail. I started out getting screwed by a couple gc’s that had me doing everything under the sun for $12-$15 . Found a good small business owner after leaving there and I almost thought he was joking when he told me what he was going to pay me .


So you think no job is better than your union job?


LOL.........................are you asking me???? That's quite a reach there isn't it??


Call him back out. Also dont take the cheapest bid


Clearly that bottom existing concrete slab is a bit janky as it must not be perpendicular to the house. He should have put the treads on first and then the risers. This would reduce the overhang by 3/4". The open knot on the lower part of the stringers is a failure point. He did a sloppy job with the shims.


Someone is going to trip walking up those stairs very soon! That nose comes out way way to far over the riser. Composite should not span more than 12” oc honestly. So at least one more stringer is needed. New stairs need permits and this clearly didn’t get one. Hire someone new and move on!


Don't hire a hm to do carpentry. Would you hire a plumber for electrical?


It might be because it’s hard to find carpenter for such small work. I’ve been trying a few years now, to repair/partially replace a front porch. All I can find is handymen and even they’re mighty reluctant. (It’s roof supporting or we’d diy the god damn thing.)


Damn, that's crazy. I'm a electrical contractor and I don't turn people down. These companies seem to forget where they came from and say screw the little jobs. I'm oposite, I like to get in and get out then get paid.


Man I swear I’d be rich working in some areas I see such bad work and handy men that are clearly not qualified


Rip it out and layout stringers properly so they land on the slab instead of buying ptemade stringers at HD


I can't tell if you're sarcastic or not. In case you are not, you get ahold of them and file a dispute. Try to get ahold of their insurance and have them pay to fix this. ​ If it were me I'd buy a couple of 18inch concrete tiles and just "extend" the pad with them. But that's janky and probably not safe, though, definitely better than a shim and a wedge


There should be a bulletin board wall of shame somewhere so things like these forever follow those "handymen" hacks that so eagerly butcher perfectly good materials and simple tasks...


I’m wondering if op was forcing him to use materials they had around the house and a very tight budget. I’ve had clients like this before and had to walk away because this is how the job would’ve looked if I hadn’t.


thats horrible sorry you got juked aint nothing small claims cant fix


Fill in with concrete.


What the fuck


Jack of all trades. Master of none.


“The complete saying was originally “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” Formerly intended as a compliment, the phrase means that a person is a generalist rather than a specialist, versatile and adept at many things.” This is the problem with our habit of shortening things. We don’t understand their original intention anymore. We shouldn’t ignore the old adage but the new one (in this case, at least).


The second part if that was never original. Its just A jack of all trades is a master of none.


This is totally normal for 80% of the handyman so called experienced.. They always show you references of other people's work.. Never trust a handyman ever


What’s with the surprise of quality? I’m always confused by those that pay for handyman prices and then get flabbergasted by the unprofessional service or quality. Is it done right, no. Is it done to a quality a tradesman would’ve e done it, no. … big deal then. Go drop that coin the first time and pay for results you want. Otherwise get fucked.


Pretty bad but did you do your due diligence in references and competent competing quotes?


The pad is not ideal but it should hold up fine. For the treads, I would remove both boards and rip down the back edge of the back board so you can push it tight to the riser and reinstall both boards with the front board having about a 1/4” or 1/2” overhang past the riser below it. EDIT: didn’t see all pictures before.. given that the right side stringer (if facing stairs from front) is not on the pad, this will likely be an issue as one side of the stair set will sink and wrack the whole thing.


That is stunningly bad. There isn't one single detail that was done properly. Unless you reviewed every step of the process and every detail with them, there is no way that the second round of work will be enough of an improvement to redeem them. The best answer solution is to ditch this (un)handyman and take the loss. In my dream world, they are watching this subreddit and learning that they have a LONG way to go before they can tell a client that this type of project is within their pay grade.


Very handy indeed


Very effective and efficient use of small scraps. A+ for effort and sustainability


More than a pencil overhang on a step is not good.


People that suck at their job suck. Get rid of this abortion and start over.


Is carpentry even licensed in most areas? Don't think it is. So you and Mr. Handyman really aren't too different, both have general contracting licenses / business licenses. I know I'll be downvoted for this.


The giant stack of trex board in the background suggests the "handyman" isn't yet finished with this job...


Looks like he used the wrong lumber to start 2x8s or 2x10s instead of 2x12s (probably to save money). Then he decided to shorten the tread to compensate but then decided to save more time by not trimming the rear tread board. The quick fix is pour concrete around and under the stair stringers and replace your tread boards with dimensional lumber of a close size.


So 100% refund then?


Don't pay until he comes back (or has someone else) fix it


Don’t pay the fucker till it’s right.


You could get a simson strong tie and band from under tread to 2 or 3 ft up underside of stringer. Not code, but would work if you got it tight. Best is to move the concrete or build new stairs. The most important step (I know) is to murder the builder


Scratch build


People PLZ stop hiring HandyMen to do skilled/contractor work, this is what happens, bonded doesn't mean skilled at stairs, handyman can change your filters, wash cars. "We" need to stop trying to save money, Cheap price = cheap work.


That knot right there isn’t a good thing either. That’s something I would’ve cut out when I laid my stringers out. They look rocked forward as well which makes me think he botched his math on the layout. Overall just a poor job. Stairs have to be perfect or they’ll just become a trip hazard. These are a major trip hazard. If you don’t know how to do the math for stairs [this](https://www.calculator.net/stair-calculator.html) is a good starting point. Makes life pretty easy with the math portion.


Is the crack pipe insured?


Ghetto fix - dig out under and dry pack some concrete in there.


This is bad even for handyman standards!!!


Irony of it is that the composite treads probably would've fit perfectly if he'd just cut the stringers to the existing pad


If you can stomach just leaving it you could put some bricks under the stringers so they are more secure and won’t sink over time and just cut the overhang off those brown deck boards and not worry about it for a few years until you decide to replace it again using a better contractor


Looks like a dozen things you could point to that are wrong


Make sure you use your states “verify a contractor tool”. I can’t tell you how many guys have handed me cards that said “licensed, bonded, and insured.” But either didn’t show any license numbers or had random numbers printed.


Or used another contractor’s number. I had that happen to me with a tile contractor. Turns out they used the ccb# of one of their competitors! I now know to always check the state CCB. Report them to the CCB and file a claim with their insurer (if they’re truly legit and have one). Get your money back.


Install treads first, then add a triangular support beam under each overhang, then add custom height risers..


I’d rip it out and redo it properly.


Then make his insurers pay for the new job.


Take him on Juge Judy.


Insured? Ha! Bonded? Ha! A Jedi craves not these things


Sorry partner, it’s gotta’ go.


Can anyone tell me how NOT to hire contractors like this? This is all we have in Denver.


Lmaoo wtf is that


People become “handymen” when they aren’t good enough at 5 different trades to do any professionally. I’m an electrician and my carpentry is way better than this travesty


Tare it out and start over.


Handymen aren’t bonded. Nice one. They’re literally losers with a beer budget. Hire a contractor. Also put a 2x6 in front of it. Done.


Handyman are good for light bulbs and filters.


Laughing out loud


I’m not even a carpenter and I wouldn’t do this…. Woof. Rip that shit out


Call them and tell them they need to fix it.


OMG! You need to report this contractor to your state licensing board and the Better Business Bureau. Pretty sure there are code violations here. I would never do work like this. I couldn't live with myself.


That huge knot goes almost all the way to the cut corner. Anyone want to guess where it breaks first ?


Extend the concrete back!


Am I crazy or should this all be treated being outdoors and all?


Add a 2x6 across the front of each riser


A question was asked about these step. I just offered some feedback about the problems. So you confirmed that the stringer were cut at home depot at a 7 and 11. So nothing was calculated out cause maybe 7.5 or 8in risers would have worked better. Higher riser would make it sit better and the tread level. Also there is that big knot from a branch it looks like an 1in from the corner. That's a week point. In stair building you use almost knot free PT or Redwood no knots. This is just helpful info from one carpenter to another.


This is actually a more complex project than it appears, as the handrails are already in and the stairs need to work with the handrails; there also is probably limited space between the bottom of the stringer and the house or deck that it is going to, which limits the size of the treads Yes, it's poor quality work, but to get the code stairs you "really" want, you may have to loose the existing handrail and possible increase the size of the bottom landing. Some carpenters try too hard to accommodate to existing conditions whereas others may lay it out and just tell you it's not going to work as you had hoped. I've made estimation mistakes like this before; always when I've been in a hurry or wanted to be the "hero" repairman. I've always left the project right, but sometimes it's been at a loss to my income and pride. So, look at the parameters you have, use the rise/run rules for stairs and see if it's possible to get the treads that you want in the limits that you have. If its a non-inspection job, you can "cheat" on the rules a bit to make it work, but the stairs may always be a bit too steep and have awkwardly short treads.


That’s what happens when you pay someone 7 dollars an hour


Well if you could do the job yourself , "just no time" then surly you must know how to sort it, why you asking us ??


He didn’t say that.


What's the total run of the stairs? How is it fastened at the top? I would lift the bottom of those stairs up and add concrete slabs. No need to pour. It'll be a mess. Also, too much tread overhang. You'll have to extend the run on each step, by cutting back the rise of the stringer.