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Old 03-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


My contractor walked off, or should I say quit and we are now in legal war so I could get my money back. However, as of now he has excavated dirt right behind my home, put a footing, and set up the masonary blocks. However, we've had a terrible winter and so all the snow as melted into and around the trench as I call it and we are being hit with lots of rain. He refuses to pump out the water. What should I be concerned about? Will this affect the stability of the foundation,as it was done in temperatures of 26 degrees? Will I have to treat the land for termites? Will the water that has been sitting there affect my home?

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Old 03-11-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


This is an addition to your existing home? You're going to need to provide some more details, particularly pictures, in order to get some of the experts to be able to provide any advice, but, perosnally, it sounds like you need to engage the services of a local engineer. As an example, nobody here can be sure of the type of soil that you have, so while a first response may be that you need to rent a pump, it is conceivable that removing the water without adding some shoring could worsen the problem.

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Old 03-11-2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


Post photos of the issue so we can see what you're talking about.
Short answer on the water pooling, get a sump pump and pump it out yourself.
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Old 03-11-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


Why the falling out with your contractor? Are you upset that he is not able to meet scheduling because of weather delays and/or not able to keep abreast of mother nature? Did you expect him to work in server conditions? Maybe I'm wrong and he's a schmuck, but it takes two to tango.

I think the water is the least of your problems.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:54 PM   #5
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


LIHR- we signed a contract last july and the completion date was mid september. We stretched it till september because we wanted to give him time if weather may have been an issue. He didnt even start the project till November sighting permit issues which HE was supposed to take out himself and kept getting denied. Unfortunately, he wouldnt give back our money so we hoped he would do at least the work he was to complete with the money before the second phase.

Ron and Dexter- heres the picture
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:11 PM   #6
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


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LIHR-He didnt even start the project till November sighting permit issues which HE was supposed to take out himself and kept getting denied. Unfortunately, he wouldnt give back our money so we hoped he would do at least the work he was to complete with the money before the second phase.

Ron and Dexter- heres the picture

if licensing is required, is he? Why was the permit denied? Did you contact the building department to insure he is telling the truth?
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:20 PM   #7
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


Man this site can be brutal, almost like a woman being blamed for having caused her own rape.

Sorry to hear of the fallout with your contractor, and understandably, given the little bit of knowledge you have shared. Personally I would have looked for another before he got started.

That being said, how handy are you, what was comprised in Phase I of your project, is it basically the foundation?

Pump out the water and push the dirt into the hole.

More to discuss I am sure.

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Old 03-14-2011, 01:56 PM   #8
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


Anid730 -

It sounds like you are attempting to take on the responsibility of being a General contractor.

Since he was able to get a permit, there must be some drawings that were done by someone. The foundation wall "looks" good and possibly overdone considering it may be grouted solid. It looks straight and the anchor bolts may have been placed according to a drawing and look to be in a complying location. From the photo, there is no way to determine the vertical accuracy.

The 26F temperatures would have no real effect. Pumping out the water is minimal if there is a place to drain it. It would be good to backfill and let it settle for a while before compacting it a bit and complete filling inside the foundation. It looks like you will have a bit of a drainage/elevation problems judging by the sliding door elevation and the adjacent driveway since the wood should be at least 6" above the finished grade..

What is the purpose of the foundation added on? I assume there will be a 2x4 wall and a slab bearing on the 4" of the foundation next to a partial height block and sill plate on top of the block or a slab poured over the area and the sill installed on top of the slab.

More details would help sorting out what is needed based on the plans, uses and responsibilities since you have a contract somewhere.

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


I don't see anything obviously wrong with it in the pictures either, other than the fat that the water should be finding it's way to your existing draintile, assuming the basement has them. Rather than pump the water, you "could" punch a small hole in the soil down to exterior tile & let the sump pump do the work.

Two questions though:

- What is the concrete riser (or what appears to be) against the soil bank?
- Why did they leave the soil inside what appears to be a crawlspace??
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


It also seems the foundation is surrounded by soil higher then the top block.
What were the grading plans?
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:13 PM   #11
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


Sorry to hear you got dragged along by this so called "Contractor" He certainly was not forthcoming to say the least.
I don't know your locale and laws pertaining to contractors and I don't know the agreement between you both, but I would file a complaint nonetheless. Six months to complete what you show in your picture is totally unreasonable and you need to get some sort of satisfaction.

But with that said, you need to get your project completed. At least you're only out the money to get to that point. I would find a reputable contractor that can take you to finish. You probably will be spending more money than originally planned. As for the water pooling,,, it's not a problem.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #12
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Man this site can be brutal, almost like a woman being blamed for having caused her own rape.
I don't know about that. I've read enough threads like this in the past week to determine there is just a lot of nasty homeowners out there that just can't be satisfied no matter what, and THAT is part of why contractors charge so much money.

Always two sides to a story, and very little information given here. Why was the permits initially denied? Design issue? Not possible to confirm customers specs within zoning or building codes? Not enough information.

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Old 03-15-2011, 10:44 AM   #13
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


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I don't know about that. I've read enough threads like this in the past week to determine there is just a lot of nasty homeowners out there that just can't be satisfied no matter what, and THAT is part of why contractors charge so much money.

Always two sides to a story, and very little information given here. Why was the permits initially denied? Design issue? Not possible to confirm customers specs within zoning or building codes? Not enough information.

-- Joe
Exactly Joe, not enough information on either side of the fence, why jump on someone without knowing all the facts, it's just not righ.

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Old 03-15-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


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Man this site can be brutal, almost like a woman being blamed for having caused her own rape.
Because even though it is a DIY forum, many people here are contractors and any thread that has bad news on a contractor gets the same treatment.

In my eyes the homeowner states their requirements and the contractor designs to their specifications. I do project work with big businesses, try walking out on a contract with Anheuser.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #15
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Contractor walked off without completing foundation


To be honest, I'm not concerned about the contractor/HO situation, mostly because the OP didn't appear to be looking for help in that area, and this sight isn't geared to give legal/contract law advice. If I want drama, I can choose 200 channels of reality TV. I'd much rather just answer the questions asked directly, and maybe even warn of any possible unforseen issues that may arise that I've picked up along the way.

Now where's the OP????

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