Bad caulking job on my baseboards help!

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Posted by: from Hamilton
9/13/2012 at 9:34:17 PM

Hi there. I hired a "handyman" to install my baseboard trim in my condo, and boy did he do a bad job. the cuts look fine it is the caulking he put on looks so bad. it was just slopped on and so messy, looks like a child did the task. I am so upset and don't know what I can do or what a hired professional can do about it for me? Thanks so much!


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Date/Time9/13/2012 at 11:07:30 PM

Hi Maegan,

Do you have any pictures? If the cuts are fine, then one would assume he has the skills to do the job right. Show him the pictures or have him come back to re-do the job right. Alternatively, you may need to get someone else to re-do the caulking. Hopefully, the caulking can be removed to the point where re-caulking is not too difficult.

Brett Barager, MSW

Lone-Wolf Contracting

(A Division of Lone-Wolf Enterprises)


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Extreme Projects Inc in Toronto
Date/Time9/13/2012 at 11:09:18 PM

Hey Megan,

Sometimes the problem is they prove cheap And they cut corners u can take that caulking off it tends to stick so someone has to be carefull and their is a tools for that it's 5 dollars.

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Date/Time9/13/2012 at 11:34:21 PM

Hi Maegan,

I feel your frustration. If the cuts seem fine, then i'd look to have the caulking re-done. It shouldn't be too difficult to remove old caulking. Any pictures you may have would help! As well, when looking for a 'Handyman' to hire I'd strongly suggest looking for a company who has a been in business for many years and has a great reputation within the community.

All the best :)


Steve Soper, Owner

Offic: 289-203-1150 | Fax: 289-203-1151

Mr. Handyman of Richmond Hill and Southwest Markham

346 Newkirk Rd., Unit 9. Richmond Hill, ON., L4C 0A9

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Syed Painting & Handyman Services in Brampton
Date/Time9/13/2012 at 11:57:54 PM

Well hiring a handyman is not a bad idea but i dont really thin he was a "handyman". The bad job is a bad job! no matter if cuts look fine.

I hope he didnt use the silicon. if he used paintable caulking then its easy to fix. I mean not easy if its in whole apartment but compare to silicon.

Do you ha the paint that you used on wall? because removing and redoing the caulking may need some touchups. You still have to hire a handyman to do the job but make sure you tell him exactly what you want. sign a contract (very important), dont pay advance (because you dont have to!) and thoroughly inspect the work after its done.


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Steve from SM Construction in Hamilton
Date/Time9/14/2012 at 12:18:13 AM

Hi Maegan,

it sounds like he might have been in a rush to finish the job, if his cuts are good then he would be capable

of caulking the baseboards no problem!

Another possibility could be he used glue for the baseboards and put more than enough on it and when he squeezed the baseboards the glue might have come out as blobs and he wiped it as if it were caulking.

Steve Meszaros

289.975.4050 ext. 234

fax: 289.975.9039

Building Your Vision From The Ground Up!

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Date/Time9/14/2012 at 1:20:02 AM

Hello Maegan

It really would help to know the brand of caulking. He he used thermoplastic elastomeric, then wait a week to let it cure and it should peel off end to end with little effort, if it is still messy then let it cure longer. It all depends on room temperature.


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Date/Time9/14/2012 at 1:20:18 AM

Hi Meagan,

Sorry to hear about your experience. Understandably, a bad caulking job can be worse than no caulking at all!

It is important to get a very smooth, professional line when caulking;, and this is especially true where you will be painting the wall attached to this baseboard.

The poorly applied caulking on your baseboards can be removed, and without seeing photos of the work, I can only assume that the entire area will need to be redone. The first step would be to contact the person who did this messy job, to remove the caulking and do the job properly. If he cannot caulk the baseboard in a clean manner, he should be willing to provide you with someone skilled in this area. I am hoping you worked with a written contract.

Best of luck to you.

Mark Brown

Articulous Renovations Ltd.

Ottawa, Canada


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Gaby from Amg Renovation in Hearst
Date/Time9/14/2012 at 5:53:39 AM

Hi Maegan

don't want to be the bad one here, but allot of people say that in here should I hire a professional? that's the risk of hiring a beginner or so called himself carpenter and trying to save money, you know the job might be just like yours. We (CERTIFIED AND LICENCE CARPENTERS) paid to go to school and read books and right inter provincial test for clients like you to do a good job and guaranty, clients always say we are expensive to hire but here is the perfect example, you paid that clown once and now you will pay again for a professional? that's expensive, I hope lesson learn and take a professional the first time you will see we are not that expensive. good luck with your baseboard.

I'm not only pointing you Maegan but some (professional) we do it but don't like to play with other one's mess. Pay once and get it done right the first time, that's allot less expensive.


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Date/Time9/14/2012 at 7:15:44 AM

Well Maegan, everyone else seems to have said what needs to be done. Typically, the caulking used is a latex water-base like "Dap" or "Alex". Hopefully that's what they used. If so, yes, it should be done neatly; but also, it should be painted over or it will hold dust and discolour over time.


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Maegan in Hamilton
Date/Time9/14/2012 at 8:14:44 AM

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Yes he used DAP i believe and it says it is paintable. i have now learned my lesson! i will never hire a man off kijiji without looking into his work....i didn't think someone could caulk this bad to be honest. i should have known better because i watch HGTV all the time lol.

Thanks everyone i am looking into getting it repaired ASAP.

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Date/Time9/14/2012 at 12:32:55 PM

Hi Maegan,

Stewart here of Sct Floorcoverings.Typically "bad caulking' is the result of either using too much caulk or using an Inappropriate type of caulking, sometimes exessive caulking can be removed with fine sand paper.

Best regards,


Sct Floorcoverings, Mississauga.

Ph# 289-814-3023

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Northhouse Fabrications Inc. in Thunder Bay
Date/Time9/14/2012 at 12:47:56 PM

1.) "V" (cut) the old stuff out.

2.) re-apply minimal new stuff

3.) dip your rag covered finger in a cup of water and smooth it out (also wiping clear the excessive)

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John from JALS Corporation in Welland
Date/Time9/16/2012 at 11:00:40 AM


I feel for you, It just shows poor judgement on the Handyman that did the work in the first place, it does not mean that all Handyman services are like that. I would call him /her ask them to take a look and redo if they can. If not I would contact a finish painter they would be able to help you out

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Pavel from Lutcor Homes Inc in Kelowna
Date/Time9/17/2012 at 1:17:01 AM

Best leave caulking to professional painters. They will fill everything in properly and when finished your trim will look like its one continuous piece.

Some finishing carpenters are decent at caulking but I never let them do the caulking on my projects. Painters are trained specifically about caulking and the amount of caulking they do its not worth having issues like you just described.

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Date/Time9/19/2012 at 2:25:49 PM

Hi Maegan

I'd like to ask you whether he was a BBB accredited business or not? If he is than he has something to lose if you launch a complaint about the poor workmanship. If he isn't than I'd say "caveat emptor"..let the buyer beware.

Check contractors background out. Find out if they have affiliations that require high standards of behaviour and performance. If they don't have a history and background move on until you find reputable people who have proven themselves in the public marketplace and have a history.

You get what you pay for hire reliable, committed performers,

All the best.


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