I hired a local contractor to remodel our second floor bathroom, first time ever to hire out a job. We wanted the job done sooner than I could do it on my own. The problem is he way overran the contract time by 25 working days, did very shoddy workmanship with numerous errors which we found after terminating the agreement and lawyer involvement. What I found, upon trying to correct the plumbing part of the job, was that he cut a section (approximately 7" deep by 4" wide out of the 8x8 center support beam of our house to run a 1 1/2" drain line. The beam sits over the stairway so I can't add a post. I need help, suggestions, anything that will help us save our home from collapse this winter.. if not before. We are out of funds to hire anyone else. Thank you for any assistance you can offer.
I'm sorry you have run into this - sadly there are crooked and incompetent contractors out there who give everyone a bad name.
I know you will be gun shy but your best path will be to hire a different contractor to either advise you or to make repairs. If you cannot get a recommendation from friends or co-workers who have used a contractor they can recommend, you may be able to get a list of names from your local code department.
It's impossible to give accurate structural advice over the internet so a local guy is the way to go. From your description, you may be looking at sistering a steel plate alongside your cut beam to get it back to strength. A local guy could look at this and your other areas and give you enough information to decide how to move forward on this.
Thanks for yor honesty. Thats what hurts so bad, I should've done the job myself after work and weekends but I was hoping to get it done quickly. At least if I'd done it, there wouldn't be any cut beams.
First of all, does he have insurance? This should pay to have a reputable contractor fix it. Was he a licensed contractor? If so there may be funds available through a state or county fund to help you repair it. You could also sue in small claims court.
I have a hard time understanding why people don't go after these contractors financially. Get a judgement and make his life miserable until he makes it right.
if small-claims court in your area runs to $5000 or more, go there. take pictures. have a letter from a reputable contractor or the city inspector saying that crumbum severely damaged your house.
small-claims is quick, and generally no lawyers.
bad news is, crumbum "handymen" usually don't have bonds that pay off, and they quickly go chapter-7 on the business and pay $200 in fees to create a new corporation and continue to operate. so final recovery might need to go to the state contractor's performance fund, which takes longer.
if the guy made a big mistake, and is NOT incorporated, if you win in court, get the sheriff to lien him and hold a sheriff's sale of his tools, computer, truck, etc. to get recovery. that was such a bonehead play he made that frankly, putting him out of a business he's not competent in is a gift to the community.
may be overly cranky, but the guy is a menace. he should be selling shoes or insurance or hamburgers. none of them can kill his customers, a chopped-up main structure can.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
This is exactly why I don't hire contractors unless it's something I cannot do, and I always stay and watch. I always pretend it's because I'm curious and want to learn(I suppose it is, a bit) but it's mostly to make sure they don't do something bone headed like this.
Even major contractors do some dumb things. Especially when they have work backlogged and they're afraid of losing it. They will cut corners and often in obviously dumb ways. Seen way too much of it over the years.
Standard remodeling - $40 / hour
If you watch - $60 / hour
If you help - $80 / hour
If you tried to do it first - $100 / hour
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