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Old 10-09-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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ok, heres my situation. Building a new house for myself, I am acting as the general contractor. The concrete guys poured my basement floor a few months ago. Before the subfloor went on,it rained a few times and I noticed lots of water pooling at 1 end of the slab and at both walls, funny thing is to get the water to the floor drain I have to squeege it over there. I am not a concrete man but I know this is not right. I have the concrete guy come out to look, and he says its ok because the floor drain is only for flooding, and its acceptable because its only 1/2 inch high in the middle . ok hes feeding me a bunch of bull of course. My question is should I be held responsible to pay for such a screw up.

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Old 10-09-2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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Your concrete sub is responsible for building the floor in accordance with the plans and specifications. As the general, you are required to supply the sub with the plans and specifications. So you need to review your plans and specifications to determine if the sub met them. If so, any modifications you require at this time should be paid by you. If they failed to meet the plans and specs, then they should be required to remedy the defect at their own cost.

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Old 10-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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As Daniel said, it's all on the plans. If you didn't go over the plans with him or specifically give them to him and tell him to follow them to the "T", it's on you. These have been reviewed by the local B.D. for minimum safety. I would study up on them when the framer comes as well as the other subs or you may have trouble at final inspection (or not even know it). Plastic under the slab, control joints or not, material between slab edge/stem wall, perimeter insulation, thickened inside footings for piers, etc. are all on the plans for minimum. Up to you as the general to add any others that would be favorable as a homeowner to save money on heating/cooling, etc. Put them on the plans. Unless you have knowledge of the different trades and minimum codes, you are stepping into big shoes.

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Old 10-09-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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i wouldn't have thought that I needed to specify that the foor slopes to the floor drain
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:32 AM   #5
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As GC, it's your job to make sure the job gets done correctly. Assuming everybody knows what their doing will get expensive.
There's a reason General Contractors get paid for their experience.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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Based on many years of field construction experience, the general rule is that the contractor is responsible for building what is on the plans, unless the plans are unbuildable. Plans can be unbuildable for a variety of reasons, for example they call for a part that is not available, they contain mathematical errors, the plans are in violation of building code, the plans are not stamped (assuming they need to be). You get the idea.

If the sub or general feels that the plans are unbuildable, they write a change order, which is always going to cost the owner money or time. There may be an adjudication process to determine what changes are required. The architect or engineer may be called upon to modify the plans. Or the sub may simply submit a recommended change (with cost) that is accepted by the owner.

In the case where plans are ambiguous, and the owner believes that the sub misinterpreted the plans, there is usually a process for resolving the dispute. If the plans are unambiguous but do not meet the owner's requirements (there is no slope to drain shown on the plans), the sub is 100 percent correct in building to the plans, and filing a change order for cost to later modify the building. Things get dicey if the sub knowingly builds to plans that the sub is aware fail to meet code. That case gets into the realm of difficult interpretation, and obscure law.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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I have poured thousands of yards of concrete in basement floors, and not once was an entire floor pitched to ONE floor drain.

I HAVE seen older floors that pitched to 3 or more drains, but never to one, and these floors were certainly of older construction. Typical protocal (at least in my market) is to pitch a few foot radius around each drain, as their major job is to mearly pick up water from condensate off of the furnace.

If you wanted something differnet than normal protocal, I think it should have been stated clearly during the bidding process, as this certainly becomes more more for the contractor.

As for acceptable deviations in a basement floor elevation, I'd don't know of any "concrete" number in residential construction. IMPO, I'd say 1/4" variance is outstanding, and 1/2" would more than likely be acceptable. To find the EXACT variation takes some accurite measuring though.

PS, most GC's and HO's reuest not pitching the entire floor, as it's far easier to finish the space off later.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:35 AM   #8
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slope & drainage should have been on the plans & you should have ck'd the work in progress,,, it all comes down to who's responsible & its the gc's for accepting the work.

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