Friday, July 06, 2007


The eternal optimist in me had hoped for better.

Rejuvenation was a big No Go for the back band trim I need. I called their store in Portland. Yes, they have the exact back band profile I need in stock. Yes, it is Douglas Fir. Yes, it is more than 75% less expensive than quotes I have been getting locally for something that only comes close to what I need.

No, they will not send it to me. No, not even if I pay shipping and whatever handling charge/profit they need. No, not even if they are my last option.

They are not equipped to ship.

Really? Cuz they shipped a pretty elaborate dining room lamp to me complete with 5 glass shades, and it arrived in one piece. I could be wrong, but it would seem 5 sticks of wood would be a whole heck of a lot easier.

No, they will not even give me the name of the millwork company that makes the back band for them so I can ask them if they will ship to me.


So, I got off the phone with Portland and contacted Siwek Lumber & Millwork, a local company and my last hope. I asked them if I could fax the profile I need to them and they could check if they have anything close and give me call back. If they had something I'd drive across town to see it. The guy was not thrilled but he said yes. When I hadn't heard from them by the end of the day, I called back. The guy I had spoken to earlier had gone home. No, he didn't check. No, the guy now answering the phone would not check......if the fax was sent to the other guy. No one ever got back to me. Good grief.

I think the thing that makes me so fricken frustrated is that these companies have positioned themselves in the market as a friend to old house owners. All of their marketing proclaims to the world that they understand what it is to work on old houses. They tell warm fuzzy stories about how they helped people restore their homes. Unlike the big box stores, they are all about customer service.

Uh huh.


Kathy from NJ said...

I was going to suggest that you contact the owner of Rejuvenation, when I googled them to find the info needed I saw that you already contacted the boss. I am really astounded that he wouldn't help you, especially because you are a member of But I have another idea. There are housebloggers who live near the store, put out a plea for help from a fellow houseblogger. You might find someone willing to buy it for you and take it to one of those "We Ship" places and get it to you.

Kathy from NJ said...

These housebloggers are in the Portland area and went to Rejuvenation to purchase a light fixture for the kitchen. Maybe contact them?

StuccoHouse said...

Kathy - Oh, I expect no special favors because I have a blog ;-) I did think it was a bit ironic that he was saying sales were down and thought I'd give him an idea why. I'm frustrated.

Thanks for your ideas though....the funny thing is that I am going to a work conference in Portland next fall. That said, I think I am "off" of that company for the remainder of my restoration. I'll stop at McCoy Millwork & SchooolHouse Electric while I'm there though.

Thankfully, there is a local MN lighting company that will create any piece I see in a R catalog ;-)

Joe said...

You might try calling McCoy and asking if they can get that back band, even though it is not in their catalog. They say the ship any quantity anywhere and I've gotten excellent customer service from them. I had them deliver all of my kitchen moulding locally since I don't have a pickup. They screwed up and sent MDF instead of hemlock. The sales guy showed up at my doorstep with the right stuff on his way home from work.

As for Rejuvenation, I understand your frustration, but I don't think they don't ship anything from their Portland store. I'd bet your lighting fixture came from their Seattle warehouse.

StuccoHouse said...

Joe - I will give McCoy a call. I have their catalog of profiles and they don't have what I need there....but who knows.

I've now contacted almost 15 mills or resellers and am getting weary of the whole topic. For $200+, I can get something close to what I want. For $100+ I can get something not very close to what I need and in somewhat inappropriate wood.

To put things in perspective, I can get stock back band profiles for less than $5 for a 10 ft. strip at the home stores. My whole window would be about $15.

Josh said...

This whole sad saga deserves a big, "Grrrrrrrr." And then a cool adult beverage. Stay strong, Stucco.

cristina said...

How frustrating! You're doing an amazing job, so don't get discouraged now!! There are a few custom millwork places in Rochester-if it isn't too far--not sure if any would be cheaper.
Nigon Woodworks 507 282-1895 (I'm sure they're expensive)
Amish Made Woodwork 507 346-7255
Millwork Plus Incorp. 507 287-8373
Good luck!

Tiny Oak Park Bungalow said...

That's funny they are not equipped to ship - I think my dining room fixture came in a 5'x5' box - I barely got it from work to home.

There's gotta be a housblogger out that way that can help. There is a place out here that is also pretty good you may want to check their stock and if they ship.

StuccoHouse said...

Josh - Ah, yes. Many a Mike's Hard Lemonade has been consumed in the restoration of this house ;-) And I do believe you are correct that one could be used now. Maybe I should take it out to my backyard and page through the new Rejuvenation catalog that arrive in my mailbox yesterday. I love irony.

Cristina - Thanks a ton for those names & numbers. I will give them a call. Now that I know an exact match is out there, its so hard for me to go ahead and buy something that just comes close. I could use a little road trip.

Tiny - Those were my thoughts exactly. I worked in retail for many years and would have thought nothing of packing something like that up and sending it to a customer. I was absolutely willing to pay. But lamps is there thing, so I guess it was out of their "official" duties.

Stephanie said...

I am so sorry that Rejuvenation gave you such a hard time about such a small order. How incredibly frustrating! "Yes we have it, but no, we won't ship it to you." Why the heck not?!?!?!?! Their customer service is getting worse and worse by the day. They've instituted some pretty goofy policies lately. I've had almost the exact opposite experience of yours recently. I'm an interior designer and often order lighting for my clients. I live in Portland, within walking distance of Rejuventation's retail store (and less than a 10 minute drive from their factory in NW Portland.) They will no longer allow you to pick up lighting orders from their store. They have gone to a 100% shipping policy, with the exception of stock shades (if they have glass shade in stock, you can leave the store with them.) But now, even though I live just minutes away, I have to wait for client orders to be shipped to me (and if they are broken or scratched or damaged in some way, then I have to bring them back to the store and start the whole process all over again.) It's such a waste of time and resources. One of the sales people I dealt with recently said "well, at least it's free shipping." Um no - I don't think so - I think the huge jump in prices between this year and last may have a lot to do with the jump in copper prices as Rejuvenation claims, but I'm sure the higher prices also cover all of that "free shipping" to people who live right here in town. It's really frustrating.

I will second what Joe said - it's worth giving McCoy Millwork a call. I know you said they don't have the profile you are looking for in their catalog, but they may be able to obtain it for you. I've dealt with them on many occasions and they are truly awesome - so nice and so helpful, and they have lovely products to boot. It can't hurt to ask them. Even if they don't have it, they might be able to point you toward a company that does.

Good luck!

Jeff said...

I'm going to be in Portland this coming weekend, you want me to spit on their sidewalk for you?

Sorry to hear about your bug issues, but, knock on wood, I think I might have "re-prioritized their primary location preference" in the past week, and even with this big rain, nary a flier or crawler to be found. 12 Raid in-ground poison "ant houses", 10 indoor versions of the same, and 2 containers of the Ortho 12 month repellent spray, 12 inches wide, around every window, door, the entire foundation, and especially the gap in the front steps.

I know no matter what I say or do, they will return, so I might as well enjoy this 5 day break while I can!

I had your concrete guy out on Saturday. It was really funny, you should get a cut of his business. He said "the only time I get called up here is when someone reads a blog that a former customer has my name on..." I laughed, smiled to myself, and moved along with the estimate. He was a little high, and I was a bit surprised that his guarantee does not cover any shifting or sinking of the steps. Other than that, nice guy and fair.

Will let you know how things go. I would blog my house, but I am busy blogging my new baby instead! if you are bored!

StuccoHouse said...

Stephanie - Oh, that would drive me crazy. They have such nice stuff, but seem to be a bit out of touch with the whole customer thing. SchoolHouse Electric also has some very nice stuff....all I'm saying...

Jeff - Lol. If their store wasn't so cool, I'd tell you to go ahead.

Oh, the winged creatures in my attic aren't of the bug variety ;-) I couldn't figure out how you were so laid back about it with a baby....but I see we are talking about different variety of wings. I'll blog about it one of these days.

When I discovered carpenter ants (and yellow jackets) last year when I first started pulling down aluminum, I used something called MaxForce that I bought through Lesco out in Edina. It is awesome. I've also been treating all wood with BoraCare...which leaves them dead in their tracks.

That's funny about the concrete guy. I hope he didn't sound miffed at being named on my blog....I can't remember if I mentioned my blog to him. Did your other bids include shifting or sinking warranty? None of my bids offered anything more than rock pops, scaling, structural cracking & hairline cracks. I talked that over with my dad when I noticed that (structural engineer who specializes in conrete)....and he said the thing to worry about is the details of how they would pour the concrete (i.e. psi, rebar, thickness, curing, concrete source)...essentially by the time you needed a warranty, you are already screwed. I will say, the work he did is the same as the day he poured it.

Omg, how cute is that baby! That car seat photo is adorable...the buckle is almost as big as she is.

cristina said...

Would a packaging store in Portland pick up your order for you?? Just a thought.

StuccoHouse said...

Cristina - I've kind of entered that....they don't want to sell it to me.....well, I don't want to buy it from them anyway....phase. We'll see, if I can't find it elsewhere by this fall....maybe I'll stop there while I'm in town for work and mail the damn stuff home to myself. There has to be another place that has this stuff. The sad thing is that this is holding up the entire front of my house painting project which I swore I'd finish my the end of summer.

Anonymous said...

Go Here:

They are based in New York, ship by UPS. Cheap. They have a 1" by 1 5/16" back band. Don't know the price, but they are cheap. Use them all the time.


StuccoHouse said...

Guardian - Hmmm...interesting. I checked out their standard profiles and they appear to have the one I'm looking for (minor miracle). I had put this project on hold because I got tired of it all.....but I'll have to give them a call. Thanks for the tip!

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