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Question DetailsAsked on 1/6/2012

Builder used wall tile on bath floor and also interior of shower curb tile cracking. contacted atty for him to come and fix other things.

Had state inspectors here. They said to get atty. Have gotten estimates. Have had to replace ceiling fans because wrong size. Builder avoided me. Said he would come here and never did until the lawyer letter. Bottom line is drywall crumbling, tile cracking was told by builder he would allow x amount to fill in space where plans said double door went. The contractor measured the space, I saw him do it and took pictures of all...from dying trees to cracked tile to concrete walk cracking within 2-3 months. What to do? Please Help. Thank You very much for any help you can give.

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2 Answers


We are going to need a bit more information to help more: Are we talking about a renovation, new construction, new addition? How long ago? Work done last month, last year, 5 years ago?

Inspectors are for code compliance only; they deal with safety issues, so an inspector, while typically an expert in construction can recognize shoddy work, etc. they are not reliable or even usable resources when you have a construction problem like you are describing. In fact, they cannot testify as an inspector on your behalf, unless it deals with code violations.

So what you need are estimates from other, experienced contractors. You also need to document carefully (photos, videos, written documents from manufacturer's representatives) any shoddy work. For example, some tile may be used on the floor and walls, while others specifically state their intended areas of use. Contact the local dealer of the tile, invite them to come out: They will want to come out because this builder will give their product a bad name if he is "promoting" their product. They will be able to put in writing any deficincies (wrong tile set, wrong spacing, wrong backing, poor supports, etc) that give you evidence.

The wrong sized ceiling fans (do you mean exhaust fans?) could be a code issue, but again having another builder write up the error and include the costs to replace the fans will give you damages to seek in court.

Ultimately you will need to have the work fixed / redone, which will have a cost. You will need at least three separate estimates of this work. I would suggest you invite the contractors bidding to do destructive investigations (this means allow them to remove a section of tiles and cut into the walls / floors to see what is there, cut a part of the sidewalk out, etc). This will allow you to document what is there and confirm with standards if it is acceptable or not. Hiring a lawyer to help you hold the contractor responsible for the funds you will spend to have the work redone is a smart move.

As a final piece of advice; next time around hire a licensed architect who has construction administration experience. Although you may not need design work, the architect will review the work as each stage begins to confirm manufacturer's requirements, code compliance and industry standards are met. The cost of the architect will be far less than a lawyer, and will be returned easily in piece of mind knowing that you don't have to be an expert or trust the builder not to do it wrong; you have an architect to protect you.

Good luck!


Answered 8 years ago by Kenny Johnson


Is this a custom local builder or a large tract home builder? If it is a large tract builder there are likely other complaints filed with your attorney general and there may be pending litigation. This could be the case for small custom builder as well but there usually has to be several cases before the AG's office will take it on. If you can join in with the AG on a larger builder you may be able to save some atorney's fees. You'll still want your own representation but it will save the amount of billable work your attorney will have to do.

I don't know which type of builder this is but I am on a mission to warn everyone about tract builders. I have yet to set foot in one of their homes that is completely problem free. They typically cram as many homes as they can into an area whether it is buildable or not to maximize profit and municipalities love it becasue of the tax base increase. Sometimes it's within months and sometimes it takes years but problems do surface.

Answered 8 years ago by Todd's Home Services

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