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Question DetailsAsked on 6/20/2013

Is it common practice for a concrete contractor to not remove the dirt and rocks that was dug up to pour a sidewalk?

We have approximately 2.7 cubic yards of dirt and rock left after the contractor dug it up, poured the sidewalk, and then his guys proceeded to spread the dirt and rock into an area of my backyard that didn't have grass so that it appeared that they removed the dirt. They also put a bunch of river rock into my grass that took me about 2 hours to rake back out. When we called them on it, they came back and took 4 whole wheel barrels full before telling us their truck couldn't handle it. We got them to come back, but they only took about a 3-cubic foot area when they came back and now the contractor is claiming they took it all, even though my gate, which swung perfectly before, won't even open because the mound of dirt is in the way. Unfortunately, my husband had already paid the contractor the 2nd half before I realized what his guys had done. And, of course, now he's not returning our calls. To top it off they took our 100 foot extension cord with their tools even though we told them it was not theirs. I was just curious if homeowners are expected to remove dirt before I file a claim with BBB. We signed a proposal (not a contract) that did state removal of "concrete, dirt, etc". The back of the proposal has general provisions, one of which states that the Contractor agrees to remove all debris and leave the premises in broom-clean condition. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Voted Best Answer

They figured they could skimp on you and get away with it - they should have hauled away all the demolished concrete and excavated material and left the work area in a workmanlike condition - commonly defined as "broom clean", meaning all debris shovelled and swept up, so no more than a bit of dust here and there left.

Document it with camera or cell phone, do notes with dates on your discussion with him and their return visits. If you have some before shots of the yard from family outings or pictures you have sent to friends, etc that would help too.

If you can stop payment (check or credit card) on the second payment, do so.

Tell him you are giving him 3 days to come back and clean it up right and return the extension cord, or you are reporting him. IF he does not shape up, your options include:

1) Record your complaint with the local contractor and/or business licensing agency (state or city)

2) Contact Angie's List customer service - they will help pursue your complaint

3) file a theft claim with police over the extension cord

4) file a written claim for damages with his bonding company

5) contact his insurance company about making a claim against his liability insurance

6) filing a complaint with any professional or contractor's association he belongs to

7) file complaint with BBB

8) file complaint with state consumer protection agency or attorney general's office, as applicable for your state (larger cities have one too)

9) talk to a lawyer about suing (probably not worth cost of actually doing it, but threat in the form of a letter from attorney with copies to his insurance and bonding company should bring quick resolution. You could sue for remediation cost and costs in small claims court - this is just the kind of case small claims court exists for.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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