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Old 10-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #1
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A New Way?


My contractor just walked out - he was installing a custom shower and I stepped in and let him know I thought he was not doing it right. I wanted to make sure I'm not missing something. (My background is YouTube how-to-do-it videos).

We took out the bathtub and I'm using a linear drain at one end of the shower (~5' long x 30" wide and using 1'x2' tiles. The 'contractor' was a friend of a friend that currently works for a reputable remodeling firm and he wants to branch out on his own. OK, fine and for $3,000 for labor I thought I'd let him do it.

After demo he seemed to do a good with he plumbing. He had to cut through the existing subfloor to bury some pipes and move the drain. He put that back with a few 2x4s on the underside. He then built the curb, sealed the plywood floor with some white sealant and laid the liner on top. He then put the green drywall on the walls down to within 1/2" of the floor of the liner.

Next, he put in about 1" of the concrete mix, the kind with the pebbles in it (I bought the Float mix from Home Depot but didn't want to use it). He let that dry overnight then put a sand mix layer - about 1/2"-3/4". So after that dried I checked with a level and over the 5' it sloped maybe 1/2". He said that was fine, that it sloped toward the drain. I said no, it should be at least 1/4" per foot. We when back and forth a few times. He agreed to make the 1/4" slope but he was going to make up the difference with the tile adhesive.

This is when I really to stepped in. (After some more back and forth) I had him do another coat of sand mix to get a 1/4" per foot slope.

He did and today he said he is not coming back. Was I out of line? Thanks for your comments.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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A hint should have been the green drywall. Not suitable for a shower. Should have been tile backer.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:53 PM   #3
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The time to find out if a contractor knows what he is doing is before you hire him. Check his references and try to determine if he is qualified and the quality of his work . On permitted construction I find most of my GCs using plumbers and electrician for that part of the job. Personally if I were a contractor and the owner hovered over me like a helicopter parent, I would settle up with for the amount of work done so far and walk. You-tube videos are hardly authoritative. They very in quality from complete hacks to people who actually know what they are doing. Unfortunately the median level is closer to hack than the pro. I don't know what you do for a living but how would you react if the boss hovered over your right shoulder and questioned everything you did.
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Old 10-21-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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Gee whiz, I'm only asking if the guy was doing things right. If I am out of line please let me know or report me.

And what I'm doing for a living is much less than I was 16 months ago (hence the low bid, no inspection process). But even now I think it's OK for my boss to check in now and then. It was day 6 I said something to him.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:30 PM   #5
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Bob,

You shoulda never hired him in the first place. Good riddance, he doesn't know how to build a shower, he already did several things wrong, more than I can count on one hand. Now what?

Also be careful with You Tube. So much garbage there too. Anyone who ever wanted to be a star can do so there. Lots of useful stuff too. How would you know?

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Old 10-21-2015, 07:21 PM   #6
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Bob. Sorry about my tone in my prior reply . It didn't come out quite right. Yes i should have added that overall I think you are quite correct that he was in over his head on building the shower. He may very well have other talents but showers is not one of them. I don't know how either. bathrooms are one of one things I farm out as well. You are probably lucky he walked. Try to find a mother guy. He should still do the job right but perhaps you can find some, bucks in the final finish materials etc.
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