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Old 09-10-2007, 10:03 PM   #1
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Compensation for poor quality?


If a builder has produced a poorly constructed home that resulted in quite literally hundreds of lost hours of my time, am I being reasonable to request some form of compensation, be it money or services?

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Old 09-11-2007, 06:20 AM   #2
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Compensation for poor quality?


I can see how you would justify it in your mind's eye...BUT just because his workmanship doesn't meet your standards doesn't mean you he's obligated to reimburse you for your time/money/efforts. You can always ask...make your case, but I wouldn't hope for much.

That said, when did you close on the house? Did you mention any of the deficiencies during the walk through? What types of things are not working out like you'd expect?

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Old 09-11-2007, 06:33 AM   #3
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Compensation for poor quality?


if the house in question is not up to code in your area you may seek legal compensation but if it is just a matter of poor quality in your eyes that will be hard to get reimbursed for
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #4
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Compensation for poor quality?


Lost ''time'' has very little, if any, compensatory value ... even in a court of law (unless it's due to an injury).

You may feel vehemently that your time is valuable and that the builder has wasted a large amount of it.
On the other hand, the builder may feel that the time that you have used was ''voluntary'' (unrequested) and ''unneccesary''(due to your own - nervousness).
Now - I am not saying that either suggestion is a fact, as I do not know any details.... I am simply stating the most likely view points of each party.

Realistically, it will most likely boil down to a matter of personal opinion.
Thus, regardless of what you say, or how you view it, the ultimate factor will be if the other party (the builder) feels the same and is concerned with you being happy with the "transaction".
Chances are that you are not going to be a "repeat" customer, and the builder has no real vested interest (care or concern) to issue you a "refund" for your "loss", or, what you label as "your lost time".

Time is intangible, thus, if you are adamant about making this monetary request from the builder, you should have a written "log/journal" detailing the days and corresponding hours you feel that the builder "forced" you to spend on an unreasonable issue (that you feel he was ultimately responsible for).
You should also list those specific "issues" (that required your time) on each specific event (day/time).
If you have something like that, your "request" will have more substance to it, and may go further in making your point.
Realize, that even equiped with something like that in writing, the builder may still balk at your suggestion or request, especailly if he, or she, has already received final payment on the overall project.

- Anyways, just my 2 cents -

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 09-11-2007 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:46 AM   #5
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Compensation for poor quality?


For the record, I don't want to be unreasonable, but this builder and his repair crews have used up a lot of my time (more than 100 and probably approaching 200 hours). Since I work out of my home all of the construction noise has made it difficult, if not impossible to work during some construction periods. They have been very cavalier about all of the errors. We closed in April. And yes, all of these were discovered after the initial walk through. Here's a short list.

1. Family room ceiling problem. After 3 weeks, countless re-drywalling attempts, damaged carpet and hardwood foyers from the scaffolding, they discovered that the framers installed the wrong joist hangers (should have been 45 degree. They were 90 degree), which they must have beaten with a hammer to unsuccessfully create a 45 degree hanger.

2. Tin front porch roof was installed completely wrong and had to be replaced.

3. Gutters were not installed properly.

4. Window in morning room is extremely crooked. (I don't know what to do with this one, short of ripping out the window.

5. Garage floor wasn't poured properly and is in the process of being jackhammered an re-poured.

6. Front and side lawn and a holly tree were damaged by POD delivery truck.

7. Many electrical switches were wired incorrectly and had to be redone.

8. Part of hardwood foyer had to be replaced because of work crew damage.

9. Six crawlspace vents had holes in them. When they replaced and re-mortared the vents they used the wrong mortar color.

10. Several major drywall problems that left parts of my home covered in dust.

11. Rear gutter system wasn't designed properly, which forced me to invest in $600 worth of stone for drainage purposes.

12. HVAC drainage system eroded side yard.

13. Wrong post lights were installed on house and had to be replaced.

14. Family heirloom was damaged by one of the construction crews, but I can't identify which so I'll have to eat that one.

And the list goes on and on.

Last edited by kcrossley2; 09-11-2007 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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Compensation for poor quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post
.... Since I work out of my home all of the construction noise has made it difficult, if not impossible to work during some construction periods. They have been very cavalier about all of the errors.....
This may be a little cold, but:
If you had major construction/renovation work done on your home (which it sounds like) you probably should have opted to move your business out of the home, for the duration of the work.
If you chose to stay there, then it is a decision that you made and not the builder's. Construction turns any home upside down - during it's entire process. It is not a "quiet'' nor a ''dustless/clean'' endeavor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post
We closed in April. And yes, all of these were discovered after the initial walk through. Here's a short list.

1. Family room ceiling problem.....
2. Tin front porch roof....
3. Gutters...
4. Window....
5. Garage floor....
6. Front and side lawn and a holly tree were damaged....
7. Many electrical switches were wired incorrectly....
8. Part of hardwood foyer had to be replaced ....
9. Six crawlspace vents had holes in them....
10. Several major drywall problems .....
11. Rear gutter system....
12. HVAC drainage system eroded side yard.
13. Wrong post lights...
14. Family heirloom was damaged ....
...... And the list goes on and on.
Wow, that sounds like a problem-saturated jobsite. That really is alot to deal with on one project.
On the other side of the coin: You do need to realize that there are ALWAYS problems and issues at EVERY build, remodel, addition, or renovation. (Ususally, the larger the renovation, the more possibility for mistakes, damage and minor issues)

What I mean is that, it is common for some ''minor'' things to go wrong.
i.e: something that was overlooked by the electrician, or the HVAC contractor. Areas of new work can get damaged due to an incompetent laborer on a subcontractor's crew. A delivery truck accidently damages a portion of the landsacaping, etc, etc.

Sometimes the home owner doesn't realize how much has gone wrong on a project, if the Builder is able to catch the issue and make the corrections before it's noticed. The builder, in turn, won't broadcast the issues or the fact that they needed to correct them. That is why others may think the process is like ''lego-building'', when it NEVER is.
There will always be a proportionate amount of issues in direct relation to the "size, scope and complexity" of a given project.

Now in your defense, again, I will say: those are ALOT of areas to have issues in. The issues you listed and the number of them are unusual for one job. It does make you question the oversite and the competancy of any builder that has a record that look's like that - on just one project.

Now, is there anything that you can do about it? Not really, he's fixed just about everything that you listed (according to you).
If he fixes all the issues, then the builder has delivered on his end of the contract. The fact that it inconvenienced your "time" is not an enforcable restitution-related point, that could even be made in a court of law in such a situation.

What you are then faced with is the realization of the old saying: "Caveat Emptor" ....."Buyer Beware"

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 09-11-2007 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:14 AM   #7
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Compensation for poor quality?


No, no, no. This is NOT a remodel. It's new construction. The house should have been reasonably sound when we moved in. It wasn't. We expected none of this.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:36 AM   #8
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Compensation for poor quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post
No, no, no. This is NOT a remodel. It's new construction. The house should have been reasonably sound when we moved in. It wasn't. We expected none of this.
In that case, all you have to fall back on in terms of compensation is: If your contract says anything in your support.

Other than that, he is only obligated to discount or refund you - out of:
"the kindness of his heart".

(Also - realize: that all those issues have most likely cost the builder extra money to correct and resolve)
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:06 AM   #9
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Compensation for poor quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post
...the house should have been reasonably sound when we moved in. It wasn't. We expected none of this.
From your list...it sounds like your getting quite a few do-overs. I think your pretty lucky to get what you've gotten thus far. Still help me understand why, if you had this long list when you took possession, why didn't you demand that they be fixed before taking possession? If you accepted it then...what makes you think they should come back now that you've had a chance to more closely evaluate the structure. Was there something keeping you from standing up for yourself then....not after the fact?

Get the contract out and read it closely to see if you have a leg to stand on. My guess is that given that he's trying to get things done, your time isn't worth anything.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:13 AM   #10
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Compensation for poor quality?


Although we had a laundry list of pre-closing items, all of these were discovered AFTER we wrote the big check and closed on the house. And BTW, my time IS worth something. That's the whole point of this thread. If I called up the builder and said hey, I need 100-200 hours of your time to help me do something, and by the way I'm not going to pay you, how would he respond?

Last edited by kcrossley2; 09-11-2007 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:39 AM   #11
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Compensation for poor quality?


He'd respond the same way you would, of course. But he never called you and asked you to spend a few hundred hours of your time on him. That's your choice, and to your benefit. I'm not saying you shouldn't have spent that time, but the builder would just as soon you didn't follow up on all this stuff. Does it make him a good builder? No. But he never asked you to spend time overseeing the project, and he shouldn't PAY you to do so. Any project takes time - some more than others, as you have unfortunately found - but no construction project comes with an allowance from the contractor for the money he'll pay you for your time spent coordinating the project and talking to the contractor.

It sounds like you're getting a lot of this stuff addressed by the contractor. I'd consider that great news, and leave it at that. Soon the project will be done, and you'll be able to just enjoy your house. Don't spend even more of your time worrying about how you can hurt the builder just because you are tired of what understandably sounds like a long and frustrating project. The only thing you'll likely get is a headache.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:46 AM   #12
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Compensation for poor quality?


This might be a resonable request, I don't know. I've only heard your side. So what do you do? Have you requested compensation from the builder? If he says no, will you go to court? Have you documented all the problems? Have pictures of everything? Copies of written complaints with signature verification that he received it? An email log of correspondance? Was there a clause in the original contract that addressed potential issues and how they would be resolved? Why not? Why didn't your lawyer deal with this?Did you have a lawyer look at the contract before you signed?
Unless you have some evidence or a clause in the contract protecting you, you are at the mercy of the builders descretion.
You can always take him to court.
Ron
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:47 AM   #13
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Compensation for poor quality?


I understand. I guess I'm feeling a little used. You would have thought that the builder would have done something like buy my wife and I dinner, or given us a Home Depot gift card or something to show his remorse for the situation. Instead, it's almost like it's my fault that I've discovered poor workmanship.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:50 AM   #14
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Compensation for poor quality?


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
This might be a resonable request, I don't know. I've only heard your side. So what do you do? Have you requested compensation from the builder? If he says no, will you go to court? Have you documented all the problems? Have pictures of everything? Copies of written complaints with signature verification that he received it? An email log of correspondance? Was there a clause in the original contract that addressed potential issues and how they would be resolved? Why not? Why didn't your lawyer deal with this?Did you have a lawyer look at the contract before you signed?
Unless you have some evidence or a clause in the contract protecting you, you are at the mercy of the builders descretion.
You can always take him to court.
Ron
I really don't want to take anyone to court. I just want the builder to understand what he has put my family through over the past four months. Quite frankly, I don't think they do. Clearly, I'm speaking from a position of frustration and I do appreciate everyone listening to my rants.

Last edited by kcrossley2; 09-11-2007 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:52 AM   #15
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Compensation for poor quality?


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Originally Posted by kcrossley2 View Post
I understand. I guess I'm feeling a little used. You would have thought that the builder would have done something like buy my wife and I dinner, or given us a Home Depot gift card or something to show his remorse for the situation. Instead, it's almost like it's my fault that I've discovered poor workmanship.
Yeah. I hear you. Like Atlantic said, I'm sure this stuff has cost the builder money to come back and fix/redo all the things that were messed up the first time. I think you're unlucky to have gotten a house that had such problems, but extremely lucky to be working with a builder who is so willing to fix those problems AFTER the deal. Maybe he's learned a few lessons about shortcuts, or oversight of subs. Hopefully he'll take measures to avoid these problems on the next project. No help to you, I know, but perhaps it will make you feel better.

I'm sure BOTH of you will be happy to see the end of this project.

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