Help with contractor!
Iím having a contractor do major improvements to my home. So far things arenít going well.
Iím having a room added on the back of my house. There is already a roof and concrete slab there that was a patio.
They were just going to set the band and 2X6 on the slab. Plus run six-inch ductwork under these. With the floor on top it would have mashed the duck down to 4 inches. Second the slab is not that level. They were just going to shim it to make it level. Also when I asked if the siding that I will have installed would come down to the same level on my home as the addition they said no. That the siding would be two different levels. So they laid the block to the same level as the rest of the house. They charged me to disassemble the band and 2X6. Now they set the band and 2X6 right on the blocks and I would think that there should be some kind of plastic between the two? They also built ďknee wallsĒ (looks like a ladder laid on its side) to support the 2X6 between the blocks. Because the 2x6 run 16 feet. Should they have used pillars made of blocks instead?
Second I had my electrical service run underground. In the process they messed up my entire back yard. They didnít put the soil back in a mound over the trench but just scattered it around the yard. Now after a rain its running into the yard of the guy behind me cause I am on a hill. Last thing they ran service from my house to my detached garage. The conduit came out of the ground and enters the garage about 5 feet above the ground. I asked the electrical inspector if it had to be this way and he said no, that they could have come into the garage lower and run the conduit on up to the breaker box inside. They have just started and already having problems. I am going to hire a private inspector to look at the work done so far.
Yes, it is time to hire an inspector or check for a building permit (if there is a building permit there should be a city or county inspector to enforce it).
It bothers me that a contractor would use 2 X 6 X 16' for floor joists; even with the knee wall. Is the lumber treated that is in contact with concrete (including the concrete blocks)?
I would consider stopping the work while it can be corrected and have a serious talk with the contractor. Ask him to produce the permit, proof of insurance; both liability and workers compenstaion. I hope you haven't paid him anything and can stop any payments in order to hire a real contractor to do the job right.
Have you ever seen Holmes on Homes on TV? He would have a field day on your job, according to what you have told us.
After allot of complaining the construction guys built two knee walls. So the span is no more than just over 5 feet. They run 22 feet long and are anchored to the concrete slab. The lumber is called ďpressure treatedĒ?
I did hire a private inspector to look at the job. According to the codes book he had (donít know if itís state or federal I was just so upset at the time I donít remember) what work that has been done so far is to code. He was here while the guys were working on the addition. I also checked with City Hall to see if they pulled a permit. They did and for whatever reason this city doesnít require that the permit be posted on the job site. City codes are almost non-existence here. Before I moved here I lived in a city in Michigan that was just the opposite. They checked everything!
After the floor joist are laid they are going to install AdvanTech on top. They were going to nail it down and I ask that in addition to the Dap that they use wood screws.
I am retired and can spend all day here if I need to but shouldnít have to. I know all contractors arenít bad but at this point it makes me hard to trust.
Yes I have already signed a contract and paid the first $6,200. But I also have new Silverline double hung windows in my garage for the whole house and new doors too. I did get an estimate on repairing my back yard.
Iím not done with them yet on the electrical yet.
It doesn't sound quite so bad now but I would insist on the conduit running inside the garage like the inspector said. It would be well if you stayed on the job and questioned items as they arise, although that will really get under the contractor's skin. He brought it on himself though, so I don't feel sorry for him. You should ask the ispector which code book he was using and get a copy so you can keep up with occourances.
Most important, don't pay him any more until you are perfectly satisfied with the work. Keep notes on things discussed so he can't try to slip one by you and invite the inspector back at the end of the job to help you make a punch list of every item that bothers you. Remember, once the contractor works off the punch list he will expect to be paid in full and you will never see him again; so be very thorough with the punch list.
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