Yes, Call them Back

Okay, so it's been a month since your project was complete.

They finished the checklist, and you cut them the last check. The General Contractor (GC) drove away and you breathed a big sigh of relief and exhaustion.

But about two weeks later you noticed a problem.

Maybe big, maybe small, but it seems significant. (Not “picky”. The picky ones are a tough call and, of course, everybody's idea of what's picky is different. If it's an objective issue, you may be able to look to a legal quality standard for your state. If it's not objective, it's tough.)
So you've been agonizing for two weeks about whether to call the GC and ask that the problem be fixed.

“But it could be an expensive fix!”

“I don't want to be a 'problem customer'!”

“What if he doesn't return my call?”

Call him. Just do it.

Don't be defensive, don't be aggressive, just tell him the situation and ask him to stop by and take a look at what could be done.

Let me give you several reasons to do this, from the other side of the fence:

First, if there's a problem with my work, I want to know! Think about it. I'm leaving woodwork behind me all over town. I do my best. I use time-tested, scientifically-sound methods. I'm very careful.

But how do I really know how my woodwork holds up over years and decades unless people tell me? If my crown miters start pulling apart after 5 years, I need to come up with a better method. I want to know.

Second, many times what seems major to a client seems small potatoes to the contractor. The one who built it is the one who knows how to fix it. Usually very inexpensively. Just call.

Third, a wise contractor knows that pleasing a reasonable customer is the most profitable path, in the long run. There is no outcome I can think of that would be worse than a broken relationship between me and you (my client). Wouldn't it be silly to work for weeks or months to please you, then lose all that by not coming back to fix a problem? Not a chance! Make that call!