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Thread: bitter about contractor

  1. #1
    DIY Member GregO's Avatar
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    Oct 2004

    Default bitter about contractor

    Anybody know any good contractors in Accokeek, MD (right on the Prince George's county/Charles county line)?

    A buddy of mine hired a "custom" remodeling firm (for premium $$$) to convert a half-bath to a full ADA bath and most everything they've done has been unprofessional, even the construction basics, although the electrical does seem to have been done properly.

    1. electrical

    1. using no shower pan preslope
    2. using only one-coat of redgard without reinforcing mesh around the drain and change-of-planes; redgard only extends from a few inches to 2 feet up the walls (to be tiled at least 6 feet high).
    3. installing new walls that are visibly out of true at least 3/4" relative to the original wall.
    4. notching 2x10 floor joists in the middle third of the span to recess the shower pan, making the joists 2x8s (spanning 14.5 feet) without additional support.
    5. using sanitary Ts instead of Ys for horizontal DWV runs
    6. installing 1.5" drain instead of 2" drain for ADA shower
    7. no vapor barrier in the shower with drywall and paper tape/spackling on the entire shower wall surround.
    8. installing the walls on top of the existing hardwood flooring instead of cutting the flooring away to allow the walls to sit atop the plywood subfloor
    9. grouting the entire bathroom perimeter where the tiles meet the walls
    10. contractor told us he would be pulling permits; no permits.

    Part of me wants to rip it all out and redo it, but I don't have time. This has been frustrating. There's more, but that's enough venting for now. Argh!!! Thanks for listening.

    Last edited by GregO; 08-26-2007 at 08:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    Get help here: www.handelonthelaw.com

  3. #3
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY


    Yup. Sue the b*stard.

    From the sounds of it, it absolutely does have to be ripped out & redone.

    He should be footing that bill.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking no permits....No payee the bill.

    I know by law in our state if you dont pull permits
    when doing a job of that size to have the work inspected.....

    you dont have to pay the bill

    he can drag you into small claims court and all you have
    to say is "show me the permits" that he never took out
    and the judge will rule in your favor...

    also your insurance company can worm out of paying
    for damages if the fellows work sets your home on fire
    some day......becasue no permits were pulled.....

    I would be pretty snotty about the 1.5 size drain
    that he installed in a shower mud floor????

    I dont think that they even make a shower pan drain in 1 1/2 so it is probably jacklegged in badly...

    Most likely he did not use the right type shower pan drain
    and the membrane is not attached properly under the concrete ...so most likely
    it will drip into the crawl space......

    and most likely you willhave to tear it all out..anyway ..

    If you still have most of the money call the local inspectors
    in your area and have them inspect his work...

    if you have not paid this jack leg.
    you hold all the cards.

    now how big is the fellow???

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold


    1. serious.
    2. serious.
    3. serious.
    4. serious.
    5. serious.
    6. serious, except if if if and if...
    7. no comment.
    8. serious.
    9. no comment.
    10. serious.

    Greg, you say there is more. Find a way to insert the hack guy's company name into the next post, somehow, so it eventually can get quoted by us all and then get picked up by search engines. Would that work?


  6. #6
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Cincinnati OH


    this contracter is WRONG!!!!!

  7. #7
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Marin Co. Ca.


    Make sure Your friend hires a lawyer that deals in const. issues! document it all.

    Where did He find these people?

  8. #8
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    SW Florida


    You also might want a respected contractor who could stand up in court and speak to the judge giving his professional opinion on the work. Good luck.
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  9. #9


    That sounds real bad. I agree with Mark on the drain. Really bad. Drywall in the shower also not the hot ticket.

    The only one on your list that I don't see being a problem is #8.


  10. #10


    I'm just wondering why you and your buddy let them complete the project once you noticed all these flaws. Or were you too busy to pop your head in there once in a while?

  11. #11
    DIY Member GregO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default bitter

    I live an hour away and have been talking with my friend almost daily about things he'd report they're doing. He lets them in each morning and updates them on things that need to be addressed. We had to fight them just to get the midspan support installed and a presloped shower pan. This whole job is out of necessity for his father's use.

    These bad results have been addressed, making them less bad had he/we not been watching them daily. He works full time and is taking care of his father during his little free time. We were hoping/expecting that this contractor would step up and do things properly (um, professionally) without any additional oversight. I cringe when I think about the crap that some contractors pull over on ignorant homeowners. The company owner sold the job pretty well, but their "pros" did not deliver. This sucks.

    There is a meeting with the contractor coming.

    Thanks for the replies. Greg

  12. #12


    And Contractors always think I'm a hard a$$ when I make them put everything in writing. They ask don't you trust us to do the job right. I say No everytime and they usually look at me and just keep writing.


  13. #13


    I make them put everything in writing.
    I'm a huge fan of working drawings, all specs called out and a copy taped to the wall. At times it seems overly vigilant and costly, but it always saves me money and headaches.

  14. #14
    G.C. 22+ years(in 3 states) Old Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Angry bad job...

    These type of stories are always bad for the rest of us contractors...
    He's probably a licensed(?)/contractor salesman type with either little or no experience who hires others to do the work!(sometimes called paper tigers)

    You have to become a real harda** when dealing with this guy.Not insisting on permits being pulled for this scope of work is a huge mistake on your friends part.That means no plans/drawings,specs to refer too.They are basically flying by the "seat of their pants" and are about to crash!
    I would check to see if he does have a license(might be why he didn't pull permits.)
    I would see about getting a respected contractor or inspector to look at this.Get a handle on this mess first/sue him later!
    I've "baby sat" other contractors(?) for homeowners to make sure they did the job right.See if you can find some one willing to do it.I did it because I
    HATE hearing these stories.This type of crap reflects on all of us.
    I doubt whether this guy has the skill or the experience to make this right but maybe with some one keeping an eye on him you can still salvage this.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes...

  15. #15
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
    Blog Entries

    Talking do a surpirse inspectin

    Tell me that you have not already paid this fellow in full and are afraid he will walk off the job if you
    get snotty???

    if you want to avoid messey troubles
    with this contractor, or you are reluctant to
    get into a screaming match or a fist fight.....,

    why dont you just call the local inspector and
    have him pay an un-announced visit???

    Get your stories straight and have him claim that he saw the trucks in the drive-way
    and wanted to see exactly what was going on..

    you intitally said that he had planned and promised
    to take out permits
    to do this job....then he did not do it...
    you should have stopped everything right there...

    that would be reason enough for me to bring out the big guns...
    he has already spit in your face....from the very onset of the job..

    you cant just sit there like a deer stareing into headlights
    and hope that its all gonna be ok......

    just let the inspector do the dirty work for you

    and hold onto the MONEY...dont give him another dime..
    cause he is never gonna make it right..
    and he is never gonna come back once he gets his
    next draw from you.


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