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Question DetailsAsked on 6/6/2014

My siding contractor nailed into my electrical wiring, who is responsible?

The siding contractor was installing Hardie Plank on my home and when I came home I did not have power to the part of my house where they had started their work. I am assuming that they nailed into an electrical wire within the wall. The contractor says that he is not responsible since it clearly states on his quote that he is not responsible for damage to the home. I did not sign a contract or any paperwork before he started the work. Who is responsible for the cost of an electrician to repair the wiring, and the costs of tearing apart and repairing the walls to get to the wiring replaced?

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2 Answers


Depending on the state you are in the quote may be considered a contract. Especially if you gave him a downpayment. You must have given him a deposit or I doubt he would have started. There must have been something strange with the wiring on your home or the nails he was using normally would not have hit the wires, the nails used for Hardie Plank are only about 1 1/2 inches long and should not have hit any wires on normal construction.

I have been in business for over 40 years and would not even know a lawyer to call if a problem came up like this as I would take care of a problem like this myself through subs I use. I have a working relationship with plumbers and electricians and with a problem like this if it hapened would work with me to fix it.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


As Don said, a contractor would usually just get this fixed himself, but granted more expensive because the plankk is already up.

I presume you checked the breaker, and that it is not just a case of a worker using an outlet for a large saw and tripping the breaker. Or that a contractor turned off the power for safety purposes before starting ?

Starting the work without a contract is not a good idea - and puts you under the terms of his bid/quote by implied contract by default - which means if he burns your home down or such, you have effectively waived your right to sue or claim against his insurance. You might argue that in court, but you are starting off on the losing end of the stick.

Check his nail length - as Don said, normal house, assuming no insulation board, would be at least 2x4 studs (3-1/2" wide) and wiring is supposed to be in center 1" of that, so there should have been at least 1-1/4" of stud before he hit the wire - add minimum 7/16 sheathing and 5/16 minimum plank product thickness equals exactly 2 inches - so unless his nails were longer than 2" he should not have hit properly centered wiring and would not be considered at fault. And as Don says, normal siding nails penetrate less than that.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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