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mako 10-23-2006 10:02 AM

Home remodel disaster
Hi everyone, this is my first post.

I am having another bedroom built into my house to accommodate a new baby coming next month. The contractor and his crew have been great through the process.
On Friday, one of the framers used our upstairs toilet and walked away for awhile. He claims it was his first time using that toilet.

It was clogged with baby wipes, and had overflowed for over an hour before it was noticed. We now have thousands of dollars worth of damage from upstairs and down into the garage.

My family and I have been living in an apartment while the construction has been going on, and I have only been there to take a look at progress.

Who is responsible for this? Does anyone here have any experience with something like this? We just did a major slab leak/plumbing repair last month so insurance is out of the question.

dougrus 10-23-2006 10:40 AM

Well, I dont know if I missed something here let me be sure I have this straight. This guy uses the toilet and............where did the baby wipes come from? Was HE using the baby wipes in lieu of toilet paper?
Either way, Im sure if the guy used you toilet he didnt do anything too out of the ordinary. I dont think its really anyones "fault" per se if he was just using the tiolet....I mean there isnt an expectation where, after a guy uses a toilet, he is going to hang around to make sure it doesnt overflow. Besides there is no way to prove that the toilet wasnt already clogged before he used it. I guess if he admits that he clogged the toilet he should most definetly clean up the mess....BUT that leads me to my second question....
If the overflowed toilet water sat for an hour Im sure maybe some stuff is water stained etc, but where are you getting this calculation of "thousands" of dollars worth of other words what actually was "destroyed" by one hour of standing water? Im not saying things were not damaged Im just trying to think of what could have sustained that much damage form an overflow of this type and duration of time.

mako 10-23-2006 10:56 AM

Thanks for the response. Within 5 hours they had the drywall cut out 18 inches from the floor in the two bedrooms next to the bathroom, all carpet and padding cut out, sink, and cabinet pulled out, door jamb casing cut out, entire garage moved into my dining room, and the garage ceiling drywall cut out. The two bedrooms that they cut into were just remodeled, and everything was brand new.
The water damage company that was called out has these huge dryer machines help dry the wet wood. The water damage company racked up a $2000 bill for all of the hours put in from Friday until today. The baby wipes were in our 1 year old bedroom next to the bathroom.

dougrus 10-23-2006 03:36 PM

Who called the "emergency water repair team"? Did you?
I am confused because in my mind I am seeing a toilet overflowing onto the floor and leaving only a neglegable amount of water sitting on the floor. Nowhere near enough to penetrate the walls, seep through whatever flooring you have and do significant damage to the subfloor...did the valve fail to shut the water off after the toilet filled and just kept dumping onto the floor? How high was the water level that they needed to cut out drywall??
Maybe you live in an area of very high humidity where they are super paranoid about mold?
I had a bad toilet problem once and water dumped all over the floor and leaked a little down into the subfloor...sure, got a few water stains on the plywood and joists but no real damage done...
I suppose I could see the garage celing where maybe the drywall got really saturated in an area, but thats easily fixed...
Maybe Im just not understanding the whole of what actually happened.
Anybody else seeing something that Im not?

majakdragon 10-23-2006 04:45 PM

Mako, I hope you will let us all know where THAT MUCH water came from. Toilet overflow = 1-1/2 gallons of water at the most. Unless the toilet didn't shut off as noted above. Hopefully the contractors insurance is paying for this mess.

melanieb67 10-23-2006 05:31 PM

I have also had the same flood. Our upstairs toilet overflowed and the water did not shut off. This destroyed a ceiling in a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, the garage ceiling, two walls (garage and stairwell) and a large portion of my hardwood floors in my entry/living room as well as the carpet in the bedroom upstairs and down. Ours ran for no more than 2 hours, and our damage was $17k. I can see where that damage could come from. Our insurance covered it. I cannot imagine that your contractor would be liable for this as there is an expectation of the toilet working. Hopefully, as a good customer service gesture, your contractor may offer to absorb some of the cost (no pun intended).

Good Luck!

mako 10-23-2006 05:32 PM

Yes, the toilet kept on running. I don't know why. The GC says I need to contact my insurance, or just pay out of pocket for the repair work.

mako 10-23-2006 05:35 PM


Originally Posted by melanieb67 (Post 21644)
covered it. I cannot imagine that your contractor would be liable for this as there is an expectation of the toilet working. Hopefully, as a good customer service gesture, your contractor may offer to absorb some of the cost (no pun intended).

Good Luck!

Well, the toilet worked fine before we moved out so the construction could start.
I witnessed the guys using the toilet when I would occasionally pop in to look at the completed work, so the toilet has been ok until Friday.

melanieb67 10-23-2006 05:38 PM

Thats unfortunate for you, I dont believe that you can legally get him to pay it tho. Ours was deemed a "no fault" accident by our insurance company.

slickshift 10-23-2006 06:56 PM

I'd submit the claim
I suppose states could be different, but if I understand it correctly, if your Ins. Co. feels the GC's Ins. Co. could be held accountable, they won't hesitate to contact them

slickshift 10-23-2006 06:58 PM


Originally Posted by mako (Post 21645)
The GC says I need to contact my insurance, or just pay out of pocket for the repair work.

Did you see his certificate of insurance?

mako 10-24-2006 12:14 AM

So I was going to open up a claim, but since we had a major slab leak fixed 45 days ago, we have a cooling off period to where we can't make any claims. I let the contractor know this, and that I didn't have any more budget to fix it.

Check out the response from the contractor.

"That's fine. I didn't really think you would step up to the plate here. So I will step up as I already have and take care of the damages. You're actually lucky to have me, but you wont know that until the next time. No Problem, it's handled. "

Not the professional response I was looking for.

Bonus 10-24-2006 01:15 AM

I don't get it. He is going to handle the damages and you don't think he's being professional?

RBoncelet 11-03-2006 01:15 PM

Broken Garage Joists
Duplicate post from another thread.

KUIPORNG 11-03-2006 01:37 PM

I think the insurance company should be response for that... 45 days cool off period is non-sense.... accident is accident... who can control when it will happen...

if the contractor said he will fix it, that literally means he will pay for the damage out of his pocket... for that, even he said somthing really bad... I totally think you should be contented and eat it... you may got hurt a little bit, but the contractor is kind of got hurt big time.. even he is part of the cause...but it should really the insurance company's expense no matter who's fault is that...

it is normal to have toilet got clog... even with normal use if the human waste is too big... but have a continue running water out is really the main problem... and that you cannot blame it happens only after you move out... that type of damage is accumulative over years...

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