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ck99 12-22-2009 01:52 AM

curbless shower disaster- code compliance??
Our house was remodeled by builder/seller just prior to our purchase in 2003. Bathroom has a curbless shower. We've just realized that membrane has been laying flat on the floor. The tile above it slopes up as we walk in then down toward the drain. So the water has been spilling out under the tile/hardwood floors for years. The subfloor and joists are rotten. My husband just put his foot through the floor and has torn up enough to see that the membrane is flat- no curb underneath the tile.

We want to understand our options so we have a strategy before we talk to the builder who is no longer a builder- now he's a home inspector.

I'm having a hard time understanding the code as it is applied to a curbless shower, although intuitively I do not think this shower complies. Surely a curbless shower must still have the membrane act in a way to contain the water?

What does the first line mean??

The code reads:
P2709.1 Construction.

Shower receptors shall have a finished curb threshold not less than 1 inch (25 mm) below the sides and back of the receptor. The curb shall be not less than 2 inches (51 mm) and not more than 9 inches (229 mm) deep when measured from the top of the curb to the top of the drain. The finished floor shall slope uniformly toward the drain not less than unit vertical in 12 units horizontal (2-percent slope) nor more than inch (13 mm), and floor drains shall be flanged to provide a water-tight joint in the floor.

Bob Mariani 12-22-2009 06:50 AM

This code is for a shower with a curb, not an open shower that you have. Curbless showers are allowed in the code, but the membrane should have been for the whole area that can get wet. The slope to the shower drain should start in the room so any water splashing out will drain back into the shower drain or a floor drain.

nap 12-22-2009 09:19 AM

So, what do you think Bob? Does ck99 have an action for a latent defect due to the improper building practices?

this is something you really need to speak with an attorney that deals with buildings to review the situation and see if you have a viable claim against the builder.

Bob Mariani 12-22-2009 12:13 PM

If you have water damage you have a claim. When it is done correctly it does not leak. Most all the time it is not done correctly. but lawsuits cost more than any potential claim. and the contractors or builders that do this low quality work will have no money for you to collect even if you do win. The amount to fix it on your own will be a fraction of the lawyer fees to sue.

firehawkmph 12-22-2009 06:59 PM

We want to understand our options so we have a strategy before we talk to the builder who is no longer a builder- now he's a home inspector.

Why don't you call him up to inspect the home as if you were going to buy or sell it? When he writes up that the shower is bad and done incorrectly, then you can say "gotcha". :whistling2:

Like Bob said, you will probably spend more getting attorneys involved than the repair, not counting the headaches of litigation. I would do one of two things, or maybe both. Ask the builder who did it if he will agree to foot part of the bill (half). It may be worth a try. I doubt you would get him to pay for the whole thing. If that doesn't work, I would just fix it and chalk it up to experience. I guess the third thing you could do is call Mike Holmes and see if he would come and fix it.

Mike Hawkins:)

Michael Thomas 12-22-2009 10:16 PM

Here are the guidelines I reference when inspecting curbless showers:

see the "Controlling Water" section for floor details.


Originally Posted by ck99 (Post 370541)
We want to understand our options so we have a strategy before we talk to the builder who is no longer a builder- now he's a home inspector...

Ouch. Unfortunately this is happening a lot as the construction industry slows down and people start looking for additional sources of income. Of course some contractors have the experience, knowledge and research skills to make excellent property inspectors, but many don't.

user1007 12-23-2009 05:04 AM

What did the title documents and related inspections disclose when you bought the house? You might have recourse against the seller? I would definitely talk to an attorney, and a good one, not necessarily the cheapest around, and not litigation crazy to see your options but not necessarily with the idea of litigating but as a very last of options. Just see what pressure points you have available. Sometimes a letter from a law office helps set the stage for discussions sort of like the old trick of firing a shot across the bow.

If the guy is out of the business, I can almost guarantee you he probably doesn't have assets to go after and collect even if you were to win a suit. Suiting him for fees and damages will go nowhere and as mentioned, I bet will cost you as much or more than just fixing this. You will probably get a judgment but will have nothing to collect even if you could afford that process of trying.

The idea of calling him into do a pre-sale inspection is disgusting and deceitful. I love it! If he were to fall for it you would have him. But again, then what. See what the attorney says. An hour with a nice attorney will at least make you feel better.

JohnFRWhipple 08-30-2011 11:21 PM

These codes are changing soon...


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