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Question DetailsAsked on 9/5/2014

What can we do about a bad stamped concrete job?

We had hardscape work done, total job totaling over $20,000. The work included a small garbage pad and a patio. Several issues have come up including 1) the squeeze fins on the stamped concrete were not detailed resulting in an ugly appearance and sharp edges that concern us for our 2 year olds bare feet, 2) the step down off the garbage pad path to the yard is over 1 foot and we are concerned about ankle twists and water accumulation, 3) they did not protect our brick when pouring the concrete which has resulted in a large discoloration to the side of the house, and 4) there is a dip from a bad stamp in the middle of the larger patio. After lots of insisting on our part the contractor has stated they will grind the squeeze fins, but that is all. We have asked for black dirt to help the grade by the drop off, but were told not without us paying for the T&M as it is considered landscaping. We really feel what we got isn't what we wanted to pay for, but don't know what we could do.

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1 Answer


$20,000 for a patio - wow - either bog or more than just a patio, I hope.

1) different than the stamps I have seen maybe, which have the boltup fins on the up side so the pattern is continuous across the stamps, with only a very small amount of grinding or wet concrete tooling needed for the small linear flashing where the stamp sections fitted together. Perhaps he was using the flexible latex stamps, not rigid ones. Sounds like he is going to fix this issue, as he should.

2) Unfortunately, unless your design called for a step or dirt berm, in most code areas dropoffs from patios and decks of under 3 feet in height do not have to have a berm or railing or steps except at actual designated entry/exit points like stairs - though there does have to be at least one such place on each deck or porch if more than legal step height off ground, which is usually 6 to 7.5 inches per step depending on applicable code. So, assuming you have steps down somewhere off the patio doing something about this would be out of your pocket if not originally specified. I would have him just deliver the fill material you want at cost and dump it in your dive (typically about $6-15 for structural fill, $15-30/cy for topsoil), and place it yourself.

3) this was a mistake on their part to not coer the wall with plastic sheeting - they should pay for an expert (mason) to acid wash the lime (presuming this was lime splash from the concrete placement) off the brick.

4) The dip is flawed workmanship - he should prep the surface (typically sandblasting or high-pressure waterjetting but could be by grinding or bush hammering) and place an overlay epoxy modified resurfacing grout on it to level it, and restamp that to match, clearing away any edge squeezeout - which should be minimized by using protective taped-on plastic sheeting all around the repair area.

I would make up and present him with a formal written punchlist of deficiencies that need to be corrected before he gets final payment and before the job is considered "done".

If you have not made final payment you are in a strong bargaining position - if not, then in your discussions threaten to call his bond to get the finish up work done - for the few odd humdred $ work involved here that should get his attention.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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