Bathroom Reno Surprise
By Rob Blackstien
Our 2012 article about ensuring you get paid rings timeline if the endless stream of comments that has ensued from it is any indication.
For instance, Ottawa-based Laurent recently filed the following story. Anyone have any advice about how he should proceed?
I got surprised on the last day – second last day of the job: bathroom reno (customer bought all the tiles, appliances, and fixtures), and we were installing the vanity (tub and custom shower were already installed). It came with leveling bolts. When the customer saw that we needed to level the vanity, he freaked out saying his floor should have been level (we never talked or communicated leveling of any kind – just floor repairs). It was completely unrealistic since the floor would have had to be raised a full inch at the entrance into the bathroom (ensuite from bedroom).
Then he decided that the location of the shower head was off by 1.5″ (a location his wife, the designer, chose; a location I advised against, and the one I advised would have been where the husband wanted it).
Then he complained about the bathtub not draining properly… free standing tub on a sloped floor… he didn’t want me to use the leveling legs that came with the tub because it would show a gap where it met the tiled floor, and he didn’t want me to caulk it.
Then he decided that he was due a full new subfloor, not just replacing the area where we had to effect repairs. This is ludicrous since the contract stipulates “floor repairs” and not “floor replacements.”
After kicking me off the job site, he claims the drain of the tub was leaking. He said he filled it twice and both times it leaked. I reminded him that he kicked me off the job site and that he was in breach of contract. He got his own plumber.
Then he calls me to tell me that the tub faucet (free standing variety that has water lines coming from the floor) was flooding the ceiling cavity whenever he tried to fill the tub. He was implying that the piping I installed was leaking. I informed him that since the fixture only leaked when he tried to fill the tub, that the leak couldn’t possibly be in the piping I did, otherwise it would constantly be leaking. He claimed he didn’t understand any of that, and said he was calling a plumber.
I got this email from them a week ago:
“Hello Laurent, Just to keep you in the loop, we have begun the process of hiring experts to attend to each and every detail we have had problems with. When everything is completed and our cost are tallied, we will give you the details.”
The implication is that I am somewhat responsible for any costs they have incurred.
They are preventing me from honouring my part of the contract. It is my understanding that I am not liable for any of their costs because any deficiencies in my workmanship are covered by the warranty and that the contractor has to be given a reasonable chance to rectify any defects in workmanship. They are depriving me of over $4,000 in revenue (about 25 per cent of the total contract) as a result.
What are my options?