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Work Warranty, Repair

 
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:49 AM   #1
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Work Warranty, Repair


Hello everyone, nice to have someone to talk to about construction issues and business. I was on while back but have not been on in while.

I have a question about warrantying your work as a contractor. Usually I put a 1 year warranty on all craftsmanship of our work. We do all types of renovations both residential and commercial. This, however, is a residential issue with a deck we built. First off, in almost 10 years I have never gotten called back for anything wrong with the work we do. So we have good track record.

This deck was built over 6 years ago and the homeowner, who has never called us to do anything else in the 6 years, has called my because they are selling the house. Their inspector had dug up one of the 2 footings and noticed it was only 24" deep when it should be 36" min. Now, I know what it should had been, and I assume all my help does as well. Turns out the helper I had working ont his job is back with me after not working with us for few years but I have always kept in touch. He does not recall the job, but I know I left him there with another helper to do the footings. When I was "SWINGING A HAMMER", I always dug to 40" to be safe with every footing we did...and I told all my guys the same. Well obviously they did not listen and thought they could get away with it.

I went to check and they are right it was 24". Now the repair will be pretty involved because the inspector does not want an under pin, he wants new footing next to old. And it will be a challenge to get to one of them because of the pavers going up to the deck. Needless to say it will be decent amount in materials and labor for couple guys for a day.

What should I do? I obviously am going to do the repair but do I charge? it is out of my warranty period...which is actually not on this contract they signed.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:03 AM   #2
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Didn't do it right the first time so it seems you have eat the cost.

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Old 06-24-2015, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Fix it - period. Had the rules changed in the six years to him requesting new fasteners etc, different story. It wasn't built to code to begin with.

Appreciate the fact that it's just the one footing you have to deal with...
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


I would check see what the code was 6 years ago. If it called for 24" then you can argue that it was done appropriately. If you had a permit and an inspection you could put it back on the municipality for approving it. If either case has validity then you could probably get the issue grandfathered.

Now in the case where neither situation applies, I'd fix it at no cost simply because the owner paid for you in full to do it the way that you promised to do it.
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Is the inspector a home inspector? He has no right to demand a fix, nor can he say what the fix must be
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
I would check see what the code was 6 years ago. If it called for 24" then you can argue that it was done appropriately.
I can't see New York being 24" for code when we've been 30" here in Missouri for as long as I know of...
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


The statute of limitations has probably expired in New York. I would do as you think best, including the possibilities of hiring an engineer, under pining, digging them up, or absolutely nothing.

What I would not do is involve the inspector in any way. He is completely out of his job scope and authority. Deal with the HO's only.

http://www.thsh.com/documents/Statut...ns11-10-10.pdf

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Old 06-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


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Originally Posted by Creter View Post
I can't see New York being 24" for code when we've been 30" here in Missouri for as long as I know of...
The soil might be different between the two states. The last time I did a deck in Maryland, they called for making the hole 30" deep but the footing only had to be 24" because the height of the deck was less than 2 steps from the ground.
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:12 PM   #9
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


So what you're saying is the town inspector didn't do his job and passed it anyway...

Either way... fix it... less headaches... it's not a warranty issue, but a business practice issue... and the right thing to do...
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:19 PM   #10
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Quote:
Originally Posted by tedanderson View Post
The soil might be different between the two states. The last time I did a deck in Maryland, they called for making the hole 30" deep but the footing only had to be 24" because the height of the deck was less than 2 steps from the ground.
I would imagine the soil varies from the two states as it varies widely in our region.

30" deep is for FROST around here. I assumed New York was as cold or colder than Missouri...
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:11 PM   #11
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Two things I see wrong with this thread. Ten years building and not one call back ? Yea right and I'm a chinese fighter pilot. Footing specs being changed don't think so. Fix it and take it on the chin. Sounds like you need to watch the help a little closer and get out of the truck a little more often.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:22 PM   #12
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


like everyone else said.

if you can't prove it not wrong, then it wasn't done correctly.

fix right the 2nd time. "what a catchy phrase"
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:40 PM   #13
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


What inspector digs a hole to find that out?
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:48 PM   #14
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Quote:
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What inspector digs a hole to find that out?
An inspector who had run out of things to find to justify his outsized fee?
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:33 PM   #15
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


If its a home inspector then it doesnt mean anything that he doesnt want an underpin. If thats the better option due to pavers ect then thats what you do. I would even bring some updated fasteners with you and put them on. Always put the show on, graciously.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:36 PM   #16
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Quote:
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What inspector digs a hole to find that out?
An inspector in December made someone dig a hole next to the pre cast deck footing things whatever they are called. Then he complained he couldnt see inside my chimney they way he wanted. Fun times.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:02 PM   #17
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Quote:
Originally Posted by kingcarpenter View Post
Two things I see wrong with this thread. Ten years building and not one call back ? Yea right and I'm a chinese fighter pilot. Footing specs being changed don't think so. Fix it and take it on the chin. Sounds like you need to watch the help a little closer and get out of the truck a little more often.
As soon as I read that line I started to laugh. In the last 10 yrs, I've had call backs from little things here and there. Most of the time they're minor and a good opportunity to learn how to prevent moving forward...further adapting our skillset.

I was always told "A great carpenter isn't a man who makes mistakes, it's a man you knows how to fix them when they do happen."
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:06 PM   #18
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


As for your situation, I would remind them that you ARE out of warranty but because the footing depth wasn't satisfactory in the first place, you'll handle the repair free of charge to guarantee their satisfaction. This will hopefully gain you some good will with the HOs, maybe they'll hire you on their next house.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:28 PM   #19
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


When I did my deck had to be over 42" deep to pass ten years ago and I still had a little heaving


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Old 06-30-2015, 10:58 AM   #20
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Re: Work Warranty, Repair


Thanks for all the input guys..even the wise a## remarks


I will be fixing it, underpin for an 8x13 deck should be more than sufficient. Otherwise I can move the girder out to the edge of deck and just add 2 new ones.

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