View Full Version : Robertson Woodworks and Termites in Hawaii!!!

March 25th, 2006, 01:19 PM
I am an avid wood product enthusiast and just fell in love with Koa wood here in the Islands. I craft my own items mostly as a hobby these days as I'm retired but I recently renovated my house (I know, in this economy I must be nuts to over pay!) but my wife and I really wanted to enjoy our home and we've been putting it off for so long now that we decided to finally do it.

We hired a general contractor who we knew a little and he introduced us to Robertson Woodworks and the owner Tom Robertson. In my previous life I used to be an architect in Georgia and when we moved to Hawaii about 8 years ago, we met a lot of people in the industry so it was odd that I never heard of this company before. This should have been warning sign number 1 but we trusted the general so we consented to allow Robertson Woodworks to do our cabinets. The work was good, we were happy. Its been over a year now and we noticed there were these little black dots all where the wood was and the wood was getting soft. After further review it was due to TERMITES! I called Terminex and they checked and confirmed that so far it is just the cabinets. Based on the damage the Terminex technician theorized that the "cabinet guy used termite wood on my house!"

I called down to Robertson Woodworks and his office. The person who answered the phone was rude and said it was my problem now because its out of warranty. I went down there to Robertson's office which is located by the airport and was just shocked to see they keep their wood outdoors!!! In the open!!! The owner wasn't in at the time but one of the workers mentioned that termites is a problem in this area because of the sand and age of buildings.

I'm very worried about the possible problems now because I have all my beloved wood work, my house is wood, my memories are framed in beautiful koa and I'm concerned that because of my poor judgement and the neglect from this bad company, I have just put my home in jepardy! I'm seeking action with the general contractor but I want to share my experience with everyone so you don't have the same fate.

Here are just a few lessons I learned and would like to share with you:

1. In this climate of very busy construction you MUST pay EXTRA attention to the details.
2. Make sure you check out every subcontractor working on your house. I have learned that many times because it is so busy now, that general contractors are hiring anyone available, just to get the work done. This means those piss-poor business people with no scruples are busy and may be working on your home as they did on mine.
3. Protect your home against termites! If you have a NEW home, have the contractor install termite barriers on pipes and wires. Also be sure that the wood is treated and that every cut is treated as well. You break the protection with cuts in the wood. If you have an OLD home, install the ground deterrent device which. They help eliminate ground termites and is much cheaper than having to replace the frames and trusses in your home.
4. Finally, go with your gut. If you feel worried about the character of a person you're proposing to do business with, do not do it. That single decision could change your life forever. It did mine.

Aloha ~ Koa