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Old 06-02-2015, 11:04 AM   #1
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Contractor Nightmare / Tiling


I'm coming to DIY Chatroom because I'm essentially giving up on the fact a contractor can do what I ask them to do, reasonably and reliably.

I have a couple of questions that I'll throw here, simply because it's all the same situation.

I hired a contractor on April 1, 2015 to come remove a wooden frame from a window in my bathroom and replace virtually my entire back shower wall with tile. The job was done, and although I wasn't completely happy with his tile work, I was happy it was done. I paid him, and he went on his way. Nearly two weeks later, yes, two weeks, I noticed a hairline crack forming in the grout of the newly tiled area below the window. I contacted the contractor, who stated he "didn't know why it would crack in that area, but until he can come back, it should be fine because it's been waterproofed". He set a date to return and repair his mess, and it fell through. He claimed he misread his calendar. We rescheduled another appointment, and again, he failed to come through. After numerous calls and emails, he finally replied with a picture showing his arm with a cast. I wished him farewell and told him I would get back in touch with him after my vacation. During my vacation, he emailed me asking when he could come complete the job. Convenient, huh? He knew I was on vacation and wasn't home. Not only that, but it also tells me that he's willing to repair his mess even with a cast. I returned from vacation and emailed him. And emailed him again. And emailed him again. Keep in mind, I'm a patient person, and this was in about a week long time frame. I left him a somewhat brash message, and he responded saying he would be here on 6/1, and if he couldn't make it on 6/1, he can guarantee 6/2. Needless to say, he's a no call/no show today, too. He's had just under two months to make good, and is just unreliable, and frankly, I'm peeved with his work as a whole now. How long should I wait before filing a small claim against his company? (BTW, before the question arises, he is licensed and insured in my state. He also 'warranteed' his work for the lifetime of the home, materials aside. But, they shouldn't be cracking after two weeks.)

Secondly, I have to redo the work myself now. I'm posting picture of the area that I need to redo. Do I use grout again or use caulk? I've read that I should use caulk in a bathroom, but I'm not completely sure. I've never done tile work, but there's always time to get familiar with it.

http://imgur.com/a/jStBa#0

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Last edited by xD Lucas; 06-02-2015 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:20 PM   #2
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Contractor Nightmare / Tiling


Very poor workmanship.
Don't think he has enough expertise to redo this satisfactorily.

Hope you can get problem taken care of.

RR

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Old 06-04-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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Agree with the Rooster. This guy's a hack. The 5" tiles in the shower seem to be okay (from what I can see anyway) but that window is a mess!

There are definitely many things wrong here but that huge grout line is the biggest. He should have used unsanded grout on the thin lines and sanded on the fatter ones. I'm wondering if he got lazy and kept using unsanded.

Oh, and I love the sideways tile in the sill...very classy.

If you have someone redo it, make sure they provide a detailed description of the defects that needed to be fixed. You'll want that for court. You may want to get the work done before you have him served so he doesn't have a chance to "fix" it. Any judge will agree you gave him enough chances.
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:02 PM   #4
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Tiling 101 says any change of plain or where it meets a different material silicone caulking is used.
Sure looks like you have a lot of lipping between the tiles. (not even)
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #5
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I'd skip the law suit and just tackle it myself if I were you. Just remove the grout where it contacts the window frame, and replace it with silicone caulk. It will be quicker, easier, less stressfull, and give better results than suing.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:07 PM   #6
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Color matched silicone zed caulk where different planes meet as noted, late fete, mapai, all make some. Ron
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davejss View Post
I'd skip the law suit and just tackle it myself if I were you. Just remove the grout where it contacts the window frame, and replace it with silicone caulk. It will be quicker, easier, less stressfull, and give better results than suing.
It would be a small claim lawsuit, and frankly, I'm not sure whether I can actually fix it myself. I don't have any experience in tiling, and wouldn't even know where to start.

Either way, I've already decided on the lawsuit. It cost me $1500 to remove a wooden frame and replace it with tile, and he's not getting away with it. I'm not even sure he should be in business at this point.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:02 PM   #8
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I am just a novice DIY'er. Done a few tiling jobs. Just finished my friends bathroom. I was feeling a little disappointed on the quality of my workmanship. I am feeling much better about my workmanship after seeing that photo.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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Is he licensed, Do you have a written contract, Was a permit pulled if needed in your area, Does he have insurance, Is he bonded, A little late now to ask these questions but do you have proof he did the work
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:41 PM   #10
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He may fundamentally be a handyman who is used to doing lower-end jobs in cheap houses for people who don't know or can't afford better.

From telephone tag he appears grossly unprofessional. Personally I think people who do that should not be working and should have their licenses revoked, but I doubt there are formal standards about that.

Court may be a hassle but it's not terrible to hold someone's feet to the fire for what they're doing. I would get a good contractor or two to look at the whole project and give you an estimate for fixing any problems and completing the work to what you specced in your original contract. The problem you see here may not be the only one that someone on-site will see.

Then consider going to small claims court/bonding company/etc... to get that amount, taking the estimate with you. This will obviously be easier if there was a contract and a permit pulled.

Still, especially if the size of the repair is small, a bad review on Angie's list, Yelp, or the like might do more good for your neighbors and is less hassle for you. (Just stick to the facts, be sure not to exaggerate anything because of how frustrating it is). If the only change you need is to pull out a bit of grout and replace it with caulk, a bad review might be a better option.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:13 AM   #11
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Again, I appreciate the responses I've seen, and it's really pushed me away from even allowing him to come back to my house. That said, there is more to ad to the story.

I sent him an email yesterday, which read as follows:

Quote:
This will be the last time I attempt to resolve this issue civilly before taking further action. You have made false promises, and failed to deliver on multiple occasions. I understand you have an injury, but setting up appointments and allowing them to fall through without so much as a phone call is unacceptable. I have even gone so far as to take off a day from work, and again, you failed to deliver. You were paid to complete a quality job, but it was not of good quality. I have had other contractors evaluate pictures of your work, and they have stated that in their opinion, it's "very poor workmanship". The entire project is cracking and has become very uneven. There is cracking along virtually every seam around the window, including some cracking away from the window. I have tried to resolve this issue every way I know how outside of taking legal action, but you have been virtually unresponsive via both, email and telephone. I will be available at approximately 7:00 PM tonight if you would like to discuss this matter via telephone.
Needless to say, he never called me. I attempted to call him at approximately 8:30 PM last night, and he "ended" the call sending me to voicemail. I left a message saying I was giving him the courtesy of a phone call one more time, but now we're pushing it into court. I went this morning and got the paperwork to file a claim, and I'm suing him for the entire amount of the project. In the meantime, I have another contractor coming to look at his work today. The new contractor has numerous good reviews and they're recommended by Home Advisor. (I'm not sure whether that means anything, but it sure does sound better.)

Also, I want to thank SPS-1 for his comment in that he's a "novice DIY'er", and my contractor was a "professional with 30 years experience" (his words, not mine), and my contractors work was much worse. Not to take anything away from SPS, but a paid contractor should be doing much better work than any DIY'er.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:22 AM   #12
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At least you can use the feedback in this forum to vet the next contractor. If he spots the same issues, good chance he knows what he's doing.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:23 PM   #13
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Another contractor came in and while not actually laughing about the work, he said the work was laughable. He said it's going to take about three days and cost about $850.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:00 PM   #14
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Lawsuit filed, we'll see the outcome on 7/23.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:48 AM   #15
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I feel for ya, don't get me wrong....

But you said..." I'm coming to DIY Chatroom because I'm essentially giving up on the fact a contractor can do what I ask them to do, reasonably and reliably."

You do realize most here giving you advice are contractors, right.?

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