Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-16-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
waiting for spring
 
arichard21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 171
Share |
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


okay, so here's the story.

Back in march 2006 we got a grant from "housing revitalization" for some much needed repairs to our house. The total grant was about 20k, including windows, doors, roof, electrical, etc.

The electrical is where we ran into big problems. The specs were spelled out and work began. We signed off on the project in oct 2007. By signed off, i mean that we agreed the work was "completed", weather it was done right or not. If it wasnt, we had to take it up with the contractor, who had to guarentee EVERYTHING for 1 year. At the time, I was just barely learning a little about electrical work, so I didnt know any better when I was watching the guy work.

Flash forward to Feb 2007, and I was talking to an electrician friend about junction boxes. He made it very clear to me that under no circumstances can you put a j-box behind drywall, or anywhere else that is not accessable. Then I remembered this guy using at least 2 of them behind sheetrock.

I decided to call an independant electrical inspector to go over our house. I knew that there would be some stuff that this guy didn't work on that might have to be fixed by me, and I was okay with that. The inspector walked out with 6 pages of violations. Some were minor (stapling, boxes not flush with drywall, etc) to major (weatherhead BELOW point of attachment, main panel too far from point of entry into house, etc).

I notified the contractor, as well as sending a copy to Housing Revitilization. The next few weeks was alot of arguing with both the contractor and H.R. about who was respolsible for what. The contractor worked a few days here and there and got the major issues out of the way first, like moving the main panel and extenging all the ccts, weatherhead, etc. Then he stopped showing up, and couldnt be reached for weeks at a time. When I would get ahold of him, he would come work for 2 hours here and there.

I met with a lawyer when all this first started, and basiclly what he told me was I had to give the guy a chance to make good on his work. The only way I could take any other action (insurance company, small claims, etc) was if he flat out refused to correct the work.

2 weeks ago, I tried calling him and his phone was disconnected. I got back in touch with the laywer I had spoken with and he recommended that I send a certified letter explaining that he had 10 days to communicate with us, and 30 days to complete the work and have it inspected and passed, otherwise we would file a claim with his insurance company.

Now I know some are going to ask about origional inspection... there was none. Well, technically there was, but it was only for the service entrance. None of the interior wiring was ever inspected. The guy who runs the grant program said that was an oversight on his part for not making sure the inspection was turned in before paying, but that still didnt have an effect on their involvment and it was still between myself and the contractor.


here are my questions:

can i legally file a claim with his ins if he doesnt contact me or complete the work in 30 days?

for wiring behind sheetrock that was never inspected, is he responsible for the repair of the sheetrock after it has to be torn out to be inspected? there is one room that HE did electrical, but I sheetrocked (and yes, he did tell me it was okay to close up because inspection had been done) and 3 other rooms that he sheetrocked and did electrical.

when we origionally called in the ind. inspector, he had to pass his findings on to the town code officer, who in turn handed us a violation for the electrical issues. it was a "fix imediate" order. Since then, he has been cool about giving us some slack, but now is saying if it is not finished in 30 days we will start recieving fines. if we do get a fine, can we hold the contractor responsible for paying it?

arichard21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 71
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Did you send the certified letter? Did you get the signed return receipt? I doubt you can file a court case without the signed return receipt or file an insurance claim assuming the electrician had insurance. Even if you have a signed return receipt, file a small claims court case and are granted a judgement against the electrician, it's up to you to collect any monies awarded. In my area it cost about $60 to file a small claims court case. I would also contact the electrician's insurance company and see if a policy was in effect when your work was done. There may be a time limit on claims.

I would demonstrate to the town's inspector that you are attempting to solve the problem, but it may take more than 30 days. He may cut you some more slack. In your area, is the home owner allowed to do his own electrical work?

In my area it's the electrician's responsibility to get the permit (only a licensed electrician can pull a permit) and it's the electrician's responsibility to call for the inspection. It's my responsibility to insure that no work is done to cover up the area needing inspection before approval by a city inspector. Two inspections are required, a rough in inspection and final inspection.

My garage project is currently on hold waiting for an inspection. I have been waiting 3 weeks. I can't install insulation or sheetrock until the rough in inspection.

spebby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 02:03 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,861
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


I think the center of the mistake here is really "The guy who runs the grant program said that was an oversight on his part for not making sure the inspection was turned in before paying,"....

and how can the guy said he is not responsible if he said he is responsible for that... did you talk to the lawyer for this statement if you can sue the granting company as well?
KUIPORNG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 302
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Well, I'll add in my opinion about burried junction boxes. I've yet seen a house that didn't have a few junction boxes burried behind walls. It happens you go along and either forgot to add another line then you have choices to make. You can splice it into a junction box which gets burried in a wall, you can put that junction box in the wall with a blank face and have the home owner scream why is there this stupid blank faced outlet in my wall now, or you can spend many hours or days trying to fix the problem by stringing in a new wire of which your boss won't allow (else risk him getting rid of you) or, perhaps it was there already.

If you have a couple burried I think that's normal, as much as electricians don't like to do it I haven't met a single one that said there wasn't a time when they were forced to do it. As long as it wasn't done everywhere I would let the burried box in the drywall issue rest, no one likes when it happens, and sometimes it just happens.

Last edited by Piedmont; 11-16-2007 at 04:10 PM.
Piedmont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
waiting for spring
 
arichard21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 171
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Did you send the certified letter? Did you get the signed return receipt?
yes, i sent the letter, and yes it was signed for. i was able to track it with USPS online.

I doubt you can file a court case without the signed return receipt or file an insurance claim assuming the electrician had insurance. Even if you have a signed return receipt, file a small claims court case and are granted a judgement against the electrician, it's up to you to collect any monies awarded. In my area it cost about $60 to file a small claims court case. I would also contact the electrician's insurance company and see if a policy was in effect when your work was done. There may be a time limit on claims.

he does have insurance, well at least at the time of the origional work. I have a copy of it that was provided from where we got the grant.


I would demonstrate to the town's inspector that you are attempting to solve the problem, but it may take more than 30 days. He may cut you some more slack. In your area, is the home owner allowed to do his own electrical work?

yes, we can do work on our own house. Around here, an "electrician" does not need to be licensed to do residential work. I have spoken with the code officer, and while he understands the situation, the violation was issued in feb and was a fix immediate order.

In my area it's the electrician's responsibility to get the permit (only a licensed electrician can pull a permit) and it's the electrician's responsibility to call for the inspection. It's my responsibility to insure that no work is done to cover up the area needing inspection before approval by a city inspector. Two inspections are required, a rough in inspection and final inspection.

it is the homeowners responsibility to get a permit, but the cintractors responsibility to have the inspection done. no rough in, or final.

My garage project is currently on hold waiting for an inspection. I have been waiting 3 weeks. I can't install insulation or sheetrock until the rough in inspection.

the electrical inspections are all independant, and the guy i use is usually avalible within a few days, as are most around here. it is pretty small town.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KUI****G View Post
I think the center of the mistake here is really "The guy who runs the grant program said that was an oversight on his part for not making sure the inspection was turned in before paying,"....

and how can the guy said he is not responsible if he said he is responsible for that... did you talk to the lawyer for this statement if you can sue the granting company as well?
i was told this by the guy who runs the program AFTER i spoke with the lawyer. the guy wont even return my calls anymore, because he sees me as a person who is annoying the hell out of him because i want my house fixed!

he keeps telling me that all dealings with them are done, and to deal with the electrician on this. the only thing he wants to hear from me about is getting him a copy of the final inspetion.
arichard21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,590
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


So as I understand it you have some reason to doubt what your lawyer is telling you to do and you think it would be better to seek legal advice on a DIY construction forum.
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 04:45 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 71
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


You have all the documentation you need to file a small claims case. Maybe that will cause the electrician to respond. However, even if you win the case, getting any money will be difficult. In my area, lawyers are not allowed in small claims court, you represent yourself. I would contact the insurance company immediately and start the claim process.

Also, I would start fixing the problems the inspector listed even if it means tearing out sheetrock. Fines can add up quickly. In my area, if you have any unpaid fines they get it from your income tax refund if you have one.
spebby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 04:48 PM   #8
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,779
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Unless he has a performance bond, insurance is used to cover any losses due to neglet.
I think the insurance issue is dead.
You should have checked to make sure the electrician was telling the truth about the inspections.
The inspector has every right to make you uncover everything that has not been inspected to allow him to see it.
Ultimately it is the homeowner that is responsible for permits and inspections.
If you do not like the advise the lawyer is giving, find a new one.


Piedmont: If you are advising that it is ok to bury j-boxes, and your boss allows this then you work for a hack. I don't think you have talked to real electricians that tell you it is ok and not to worry about buried boxes.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 06:02 PM   #9
waiting for spring
 
arichard21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 171
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
So as I understand it you have some reason to doubt what your lawyer is telling you to do and you think it would be better to seek legal advice on a DIY construction forum.
no, i am not doubting what the lawyer said. i am asking here because i know there are alot of professionals here and wanted to see what you all thought of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Unless he has a performance bond, insurance is used to cover any losses due to neglet.
I think the insurance issue is dead.
You should have checked to make sure the electrician was telling the truth about the inspections.
The inspector has every right to make you uncover everything that has not been inspected to allow him to see it.
Ultimately it is the homeowner that is responsible for permits and inspections.
If you do not like the advise the lawyer is giving, find a new one.


Piedmont: If you are advising that it is ok to bury j-boxes, and your boss allows this then you work for a hack. I don't think you have talked to real electricians that tell you it is ok and not to worry about buried boxes.

the issue of the insurance doesnt sound good, if it will be the way you say...

and yes, you are right that i should have checked on the inspecton process. at the time, i knew very little about electrical and remodeling in general, and was taking my first shot at drywall then.

hind sight is always 20/20.

and on the issue of j boxes in the wall, i would never trust one. but thats not totally waht this issue is about. its more that he was paid to do a job, that was done half assed. so even if something normallly would have been "let to slide", its not at this point. this guy is dangerous the way he does his electrical.




so a question to the pro's...

anyone ever been in a situation like this, but the other side?
arichard21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 08:47 PM   #10
Licensed Electrical Cont.
 
Speedy Petey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,826
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedmont View Post
Well, I'll add in my opinion about burried junction boxes. I've yet seen a house that didn't have a few junction boxes burried behind walls. It happens you go along and either forgot to add another line then you have choices to make. You can splice it into a junction box which gets burried in a wall, you can put that junction box in the wall with a blank face and have the home owner scream why is there this stupid blank faced outlet in my wall now, or you can spend many hours or days trying to fix the problem by stringing in a new wire of which your boss won't allow (else risk him getting rid of you) or, perhaps it was there already.

If you have a couple burried I think that's normal, as much as electricians don't like to do it I haven't met a single one that said there wasn't a time when they were forced to do it. As long as it wasn't done everywhere I would let the burried box in the drywall issue rest, no one likes when it happens, and sometimes it just happens.
Sorry Buddy, this is ABSOLUTELY NOT true. Your post makes no sense. ALL these scenarios are avoidable or fixable.
NOT all electricians do this, and NO, it is not "normal".
I have also seen many homes and businesses with buried j-boxes, and I have had to fix them all.
Yes, we have to make choices. Anyone who is conscientious and cares makes the right decision. Anyone who likes to keep their insurance rates down makes the right decision.
Your post is an insult to any REAL electrician who takes pride in their work!
__________________
Sometimes I feel like if I answer any more questions it is like someone trying to climb over a fence to jump off a bridge and me giving them a boost.
Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
Speedy Petey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 09:55 PM   #11
waiting for spring
 
arichard21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern NY
Posts: 171
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


this is kind of ironic, as it was the j-box issue that started the whole mess... if i hadnt noticed that, my family would have been at serious risk with this guys wiring.
arichard21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2007, 11:56 PM   #12
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Default

Electricial/Contractor woes - any advice?


i am surpised someone saying the buried junction box is ok for me it is heck no way i cant allow it.

I agree with Speedy Pete related to this matter.

i did see alot of area that they did buried the box and later on the time have wiring issue and have to troble shooting and i have to tone it to find the buried box and few case the connections was so bad it actally charred [ burnted] pretty good.

Our NEC code book say not allowed to have junction box buried in the wall at all. that stated for all area resdentail , commercal , industrial locations.

Merci, Marc

frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help Repair Garage Wall - Advice RandomJustice Building & Construction 8 07-28-2007 10:02 PM
Need Sheetrock repair advice Giterdone Carpentry 6 02-03-2007 08:38 AM
Help for painting trim and doors: We need your advice! AaronandSteph Painting 2 01-01-2007 10:16 PM
bathroom wall advice bigbrad123 General DIY Discussions 9 06-07-2006 07:26 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.