Appears Someone is about to get sued

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 210

    DVS, why don't you throw out a list of things you found wrong with this job and the ICPI specs your going to use to back up your conclusions.

    Were all curious and nobody knows what, where or when about this job.
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619


    A job done wrong that is litigated, can have issues that have nothing to do with ICPI.

    If your contract states that you're going to use Ruby Red pavers and you run out and need 1/3 a pallet of pavers to complete it, and you have some left overs of Rhinstone Red pavers, and you use those left over Rhinstone Red pavers to complete the job - then you as the contractor have not fulfilled the contract.

    1st of all the homeowner was NOT happy with the work AS IT WAS BEING CONSTRUCTED. He was not happy with the appearance, cosmetic items, and I have to agree - it looks terrible.

    2ndly There are also structural flaws. This is where guidlines from a governing body such as ICPI come into play.

    He refused to give the contractor the final payment.

    The contractor threatened legal action.

    The homeowner consulted with an attorney, and the attorney advised him to pay the contractor and that they would pursue legal action after paying. I do know from the previous case where I was an Expert Witness for the home owner - that this is the correct way to handle the situation. See, in most contractor's contracts it states that the client will pay attorney fees, court fees, etc. So, if a contractor sues a client, and the client agreed to pay all fees, even though the client may win the suit - he/she still has to pay the contractors legal expenses as they agreed to it.

    Upon my inspection of the patio I found the patio to be missing one key ingredient. An ingredient that is used for structural purposes. An ingredient that is specified by ICPI. Which the contractor's contract states something like "patio will be constructed within ICPI specifications....."

    Another flaw I found, is a flaw that I see all too often. A flaw that I am certain all other competent, quality contractors see all the time. Because this is the WWW and pending litigation, I will not be specific. We all know paver jobs entail an aggregate base of some sort. So with that said, I will say there are 2 issues involving the aggregate base.

    I also found a county building code violation. An apsect of the patio is not built to code. ICPI has nothing to do with local, county, or state building codes.

    Again, no elaborating - but there is an issue involving water, which ICPI has written specs for.

    There is psychology to this:

    -The home owner is clueless about construction. The man works in a unnamed large city, most likey with a good paying job that is connected to our tax dollars. My point is - he is a pure bred office worker.

    -There are many people doing hardscapes.

    -So he initially calls for estimates.

    -Again, all he knows is he wants a patio. He has no clue of all that goes into building a patio correctly.

    - He said he got 2-3 estimates.

    - He said he went with the lowest.

    - Ok, now at this point I can imagine what you folks are thinking. "that was his dumbness".

    - Well not so fast. Was it?

    - When I meet with a prospective client I have an album full of step by step pictures of the process. I go over each step and I discuss why it is critical to their prospective job. I sit down and I educate them. NOT ALL CONTRACTORS DO THIS. I KNOW this because HOME OWNERS tell me so. Many contractors will come out, go around back, get measurements, hand the client a paver catalog, and will say "pick a paver". And thats it.

    - I asked the man "did anyone go over the step by step process and show you pictures like theses? He responded "no, no one did".

    - How was this white collar worker to know any better? Just like when you go to a dentist - you're suspecting that the dentist knows what he/she is doing. When was the last time you asked your dentist to prove his competency before you allowed him to dig around in your mouth???

    - See, I try to put myself in a home owners shoes. I try to think of myself as working in an office, staring at a computer all day, analyzing numbers on a screen. Therefore I set forth the time to educate. You have to think like the average home owner if you want to be successful and if you strive to be the best. Not only is my intent to educate what to look for, but also to drive home the point that "we will not be the lowest price quote and here's why, if you're receiving lower quotes do they entail what I just went over?"

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  3. ztuttle7

    ztuttle7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I am just curious as to what was the results to this situation.
  4. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,095

    I agree. That money wouldn't be worth my time, let alone I wouldn't be interested in doing that. This is the time of year to make money from my real business.
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  5. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    And the winner of the ordeal LAWYERS!
  6. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    And this is why we have never joined ICPI. It provides nothing but trouble.
  7. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    my dad may be going to court over something like this, but in the reality of it, he has built multiple millions of dollars in patios, walkways, retaining walls, raised patios, and brick driveways, and some are over 15 years old no issues, no complaints. eveything is holding up just fine, and all the sudden one lady is trying to say he didn't build a retaining wall correctly, and the wall doesn't end correctly....the truth is the homeowner didn't have the money to have the wall step down, so they agreed a large rock would be put at the ends. and now she is unhappy for some reason, and wants half her money back...
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    RSK that is what a lot of things turn out to be. Sure there are some bad contractors, but the truth of the deal is the funds limits the job quality a lot of times. Reminds me of God in the garden with Adam. God tells Adam you look lonely I will make you a mate. God asks Adam what he wants, Adam says I want her to cook, clean, have babies etc,etc. God says wow that will cost you an arm and leg, Adam response what can I get for a rib?
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    Well......the first contractor/client court case I was involved in - the other contractor came to the stand saying "we've installed xxxxxx thousand square feet of pavers in x number of states". First words out of his mouth.

    And that was objected and sustained. Because as true as it may have been - it was irrelevant to the case at hand.

    General Motors has built hundreds of thousands of trucks. But they still have some lemons from time to time.

    Some contractors do in fact don't know what they're doing. A few months ago I had a thread (or was it a post?) about my buddy in Ohio who had a retaining wall built by a contractor of large size and flashy trucks, and the contractor's company did a horrible, incompetent job of building the wall.

  10. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    well in my dads case, he has personally never had a retaining wall, with or without stairs fail, or even start to lean, they always have correct drainage, and are built to industry standards. he even had merwin mason referring work to him, and did work at the owner of one of largest brick supplers house, and he's not the cheapest per sq. ft. he does what you do dvs, he brings a book of about 1000 pics, maybe more, of brick jobs he has done, and he informs the customer of what he will be doing. not just giving them a price and letting them pick solely off that.

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