From comes this story about deck leaks and more

From a great website, named appropriately, contractors from hell comes this not so funny story…beware the idiots out there and do your homework first.

Late February, we got the scratch and brown coat. Shortly thereafter, it rained. We leaked just as before but now it was spreading itself out. We told this new supervisor that we needed to address this now – he says he’ll talk to the contractor. He called back, and the contractor had just left out of town for the weekend and when he got back, he’d speak with him. He gets back in town and says he’ll send the Pro Deck guy out. Deck guy doesn’t show up-says it’s not the deck, probably the drains. We ask the contractor to open a section of the wall/ceiling so we can do a water test to determine the source-he says we have to wait until drywall. We argue….

It’s now April and this started New Years Eve-actually, in mid-October when it first rained. With camera in hand to document, we cut out a 4 x 4 opening in the ceiling, exposing the drains and immediately see some mold. Then we performed the water test on the deck, expecting the drains to fail-nothing.

Ten-fifteen seconds pass and suddenly the ceiling begins to leak-we see it coming from the deck. So it was the deck that had failed. Yet we endured so much unnecessary water damage and stress because of his refusal to open the ceiling and do a simple water test.

The substrate put down was incompatible with the decking material that was applied over it. Now the Pro Deck guy knew it, but still went ahead with it. The contractor should have ordered plywood for the flooring system, not OSB, which is flake board and basically much more porous.

So we lost carpeting, ceilings and walls damaged as a result of both their negligence and shoddy workmanship. The workers report back to the contractor and now he and the ProDeck guy go at it.

We call the contractor and tell him that he needs to get over to the house today-no more putting us off. We demanded that he gets one of his workers over to open the ceiling to do a water test and get those damn French doors installed…

We were overwhelmed-how many more screw-ups does it take before it’s over? I felt like I was smack in the middle of a Three Stooges movie. A worker showed up the next day to open the ceiling.

A few days go by, the Pro Deck guy shows up and inspects the deck and says, “I told him not to use that OSB board, it’s cheap and not right for this application.. .there goes my reputation.” Your reputation! What about all the damage we’ve sustained?? I asked him why he went ahead and put the material down even though he could clearly see it was the incorrect substrate? Just shakes his head and says something about contractors’ insurance paying for the damages and gets on the phone. This is around the 12th of April 2000.

I talked to the contractor and he stated that the Pro Deck guy would be coming back when there was a break in the rains for at least several days. But he needed to get his workers over to the house first to tear out the floor and replace it with the correct substrate He promised that the plans for the exterior stairs were being done by the engineer as well as the footing issue (still from the previous year and unresolved) but will be ready for his supervisor to pick up at the City the following day.

Oh, and by the way, he’s talking to me on his way to the airport for yet another vacation-two weeks. Gee, I’d like to take even a week’s vacation but I have to run this project while the contractor either screws up, does a no-show or takes a vacation.

I drilled him on what he has and has not done-promises (yeah right) that he’s given his supervisor very specific instructions on handling the engineer and getting the plans over to the City. How many times have I heard this now?

It had been nearly a month that any work has been performed with the exception of taking care of leaks. The contractor was lying on a sunny beach in Cabo and we were mopping up water in the house-and freezing…