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my5sons 10-29-2008 12:02 PM

Contractor Nightmare - Front Porch Addition
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I kicked the contractor off the job site until he and I can get a building inspector out to review what he has done. I already paid him $3,000 and the materials aren't all on site yet.
What would you do in this situation? I don't want them screwing up my roof too.

Contractor should be following 2006 IBC and 2006 IRC.

1. No flashing on the ledger and siding.
2. 4x4 posts are not anchored to the concrete pad - contractor claims the weight of the roof will keep it down.
3. No permits applied for.
4. 4x4 posts run from the ground to the underside of the outer band, and then are angle nailed to the outer band.

photos hopefully explain my frustration...
In this photo, you can see the porch nearly completed.

This one is really ugly. This is the double beam that runs perpendicular to the house. They scabbed 2x4's to the back side of the 4x4 post and then nailed it in. This photo shows a 1 inch gap between the outerband and the double beam. The contractor is telling me he will just put 90 degree angle brackets on this and it will be fine. I asked him to install a 6x6 post, and he isn't willing to do that.

Look closely at this photo. The 4x4 does not run through the porch. It is 2 separate 4x4's. THe 4x4 on top is supporting the roof and is only angle nailed into the 5/4 decking boards.

Last photo (sorry for the attachment) shows a 4x4 that is just resting on the sidewalk. There are actually 2 of these. The contractor again says that this will be ok since the roof will put enough pressure on it to keep it stable.

RippySkippy 10-29-2008 12:13 PM

wow...I've seen some bad stuff...and yours rank right up there.

Do you have a contract?

Ron6519 10-29-2008 12:13 PM

Why did you let him start the job without approved plans and the permit?
This needs to be torn down.

my5sons 10-29-2008 12:21 PM

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Thanks for the replies guys. He showed me photos of other porches he had done, and he also had references who spoke highly of him. I received 3 quotes from 3 separate contractors and none of them told me that do plans. I told them what I wanted, and how high I wanted the roof, and they were supposed to do the job. As for the permit, I called the permit office and they told me no one had applied for a permit. His explanation is that he doesn't need one until it is framed completely. That is news to me. When I told him he needed the permit before he begins... he said "well yeah, technically."

:furious: This actually hurts more than you all can imagine. I don't have the money to continue this project without getting my $3,000 back. Fat chance doing that.

my5sons 10-29-2008 12:22 PM

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Originally Posted by Ron6519 (Post 178353)
Why did you let him start the job without approved plans and the permit?
This needs to be torn down.

I wish it was required, but in Greenville, South Carolina, no plans need to be submitted to inspector for residential work.

buletbob 10-29-2008 12:22 PM

your complaints are justified. good luck!

my5sons 10-29-2008 12:29 PM

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He also told me that it is my fault that the deck looks this way because my garage wall is "out of square". I asked him if he knew that before the job began? He said no, and I asked him why he doesn't ensure squareness before the job begins. :censored:

Shamus 10-29-2008 12:31 PM


What state are you in? Get the inspector out asap.

My first thought is to run this guy out of the business and soon before he hurts someone. Don't know the particulars but holly cow that's just incompetence, period. Please tell me he's a local handyman and not a licensed contractor. :censored::censored::censored:

buletbob 10-29-2008 12:34 PM

The same old saying, Its always the home owners fault. A good craftsmen will over come all obstacles. which it sounds,he is not one. BOB

my5sons 10-29-2008 12:40 PM

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Originally Posted by Shamus (Post 178369)

What state are you in? Get the inspector out asap.

My first thought is to run this guy out of the business and soon before he hurts someone. Don't know the particulars but holly cow that's just incompetence, period. Please tell me he's a local handyman and not a licensed contractor. :censored::censored::censored:

I removed the identifiers from this posting on his website, but this is what it says about his company...

They claim they follow the approved plans, specifications, and meet all required codes and acceptable standards ... explicitly, within budget, and on schedule.

I don't know if I could say that they have followed any standards... :(

They are licensed builders and members of the Home Builders Association and Better Business Bureau.

my5sons 10-29-2008 12:47 PM

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I just called the building inspector, they won't come out and take a look unless I have paid for a permit. The lady said that they are too busy. I need to apply for a permit first.

Ron6519 10-29-2008 01:09 PM

Many communities have a fund to compensate for poor work done by licensed contractors. There should also be a governing body that oversees licensed contractors. Both of these avenues should be persued if the contractor doesn't correct these issues.
Write a letter to him explaining the issues, especially the permit issue. Ask him to correct these issues in a specifed time frame. Mail it to him certified mail and wait for a response. If he doesn't respond by the deadline, start writing to those people who control his business and complain.
I would apply for the permit asap and get the inspector out there to detail exactly what is wrong with the project. Ask for a copy of his report for your records and include that in any letters you write.
Some people need the carrot, some people the stick. This guys attention needs to be gotten.

RippySkippy 10-29-2008 01:25 PM

FYI -- M5S, Never copy or post the "exact" wording from a web site...Google is too good and it's way too easy to find out who you are referring to. I would edit your post and get rid of the text and put it in your own words just to keep you out of hot water and potentially being seen as running his business down in a public forum, not that it shouldn't be done...but not at this stage.

I guess it's no on the contract?

my5sons 10-29-2008 01:33 PM

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Originally Posted by RippySkippy (Post 178402)
I guess it's no on the contract?

yes, we have a signed contract. It's signed by him, but he's never asked us for it back. It talks about satisfaction and a 1 year workmaship warranty. Like I said, he claims he's not done and he can fix it. How do you fix that without ripping the deck up?

A sidewalk can't support a roof can it?
Flashing needs to be installed behind the siding and under the deck boards right? They are already installed.

Also, he claims that he is getting a building inspector to come out tomorrow and make a report of what he has done so far. I don't want to apply for a permit, if he is going to do it. It will just be more money out of my pocket. I believe he has been doing a lot of business in my area and knows these inspectors. Should I be concerned?

Marvin Gardens 10-29-2008 01:47 PM

First off call the BBB. If he says he is a member and isn't they will go after him. Then file a complaint.

Second call the state. If he has a contractors license then file a monetary complaint. If he doesn't have a contractors license then file a complaint about not having a contractors license.

Third, call the county DA where you live and find out about criminal action for operating without a contractors license.

Forth, find out all you can about him. Get his home address and license of his vehicles. Go to small claims court and sue him. More than likely he will not show up. You will win by default.

After you have the judgment then file a lien against any property he owns. If you can't find any property then have his vehicle seized. The sheriff will do that and you have to pay for it. Once it has been seized then he has 30 days to either satisfy the the judgment or you can have the vehicle sold. If the vehicle doesn't bring in enough money then you can seize another vehilce. All the costs of doing this will be added on to the judgement so get recepts for everything.

Don't let this guy get away with this.

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