Interesting Court Case Highlights Hazards of Hiring Non-Licensed Contractors

Use non-professional unlicensed waterproofers at your own risk…from the pages of a decision handed down from the Court of Appeals Division I in the State of Washington

After reading through this, I’m sure the repairs to redo the work by unqualified people will cost far more than it would have to just paid up front to do the job right.

Click our headline to read the whole decision if you care too…in fact I insist you do, because there is a very valuable lesson to be learnt here!

Lesson, going cheap does not save money! It costs…

Opinion Information Sheet

Docket Number: 61006-6
Title of Case: Berg Holdings, Et Al., Apps. vs. Pinnacle Realty Mgmt. Co., Resp.
File Date: 12/29/2008

Berg is the owner of Keeler's Corner, an apartment complex in Lynnwood.

In February 1999, Berg entered into the PMA with Pinnacle. The PMA set forth

the terms by which Pinnacle would manage Keeler's Corner on Berg's behalf.

Seven months after signing the PMA, Berg began major reconstruction on

the Keeler's Corner complex. The project included the complete stripping and

recladding of siding on the apartment buildings, as well as the reconstruction of

waterproofing for the apartment decks. Berg retained Marx/Okubo & Associates,

Ltd. as its construction representative and employed USA Construction and

Arne's Construction to repair and replace the siding on the entire complex. In

conjunction with this work, Marx/Okubo discussed with Pinnacle whether

Pinnacle could and would perform the deck waterproofing. Pinnacle employee

Dan McDougal agreed to waterproof the decks.

The two memoranda excerpted below are the only written record of the

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No. 61006-6-I (consol. with No. 61507-6-I)/3

parties' understanding regarding McDougal's work. The first memorandum was

a facsimile sent from Greg Arnold of Marx/Okubo to Pinnacle representative Pat

Stullick, a copy of which was also sent to Skip Berg, the owner of Berg Holdings:

I have spoken with Dan, the carpenter/waterproofer at the
project about waterproofing the decking which has required
removal and replacement. I don't have an exact amount of
new deck surface which requires waterproofing at the
buildings where work has proceeded and repairs have been
made, although the amount is far greater than was
anticipated, and far more than one man can handle on his
own, as was the original intention. He indicated that he
would be willing to hire one or perhaps two qualified
applicators he used to work with, along with a couple/few
unskilled laborers to accomplish the waterproofing. He is
ready to proceed on this, although is concerned about
bonding and insurance. I am wondering if he (and his
workers) might do the work as maintenance
workers/employees of Pinnacle. The other options include
getting a bid from a waterproofing contractor, or letting
Arne's Construction proceed with the waterproofing. I
mentioned to Skip [Berg] that there is an employee of Arne's
who used to be a waterproofing contractor, however, he is
the only qualified applicator with Arne's Construction and
would require more help. Both of these other options would
be more expensive than having Dan do the work.

The second memorandum was another facsimile sent from Greg Arnold to Pat


I spoke with Skip [Berg] this morning on the telephone. He
wants Dan to start the waterproofing of the repaired
deck/landings at Keeler's. We agreed that it was more a
Property Management scope of work, in that Dan is currently
under contract with Keeler's and Pinnacle.

Pinnacle and Berg did not enter into a separate written agreement setting forth

the terms under which McDougal would perform the waterproofing work on

Pinnacle's behalf.