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I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?

 
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:13 PM   #21
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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When customers call me for estimates and aren't word-of-mouth referrals I ask whose name is on the deed during the initial meeting.
Weird. Never heard of anyone doing that before
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #22
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


I don't think I've ever heard of that either.
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #23
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


For permits here you have to have a copy of the mortgage survey and all the owners info and they have to sign off on it.
Either way i always look up the address on the countys website property search just to see what what
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:51 PM   #24
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


For what it is worth, the initial contact was a word of mouth contact. I had an opportunity to give a presentation to the historical society in this town and he was in attendance.

As far as sending a second invoice, it just seems dirty pool to ask this guy to pay for work done on his neighbors property.

I accept responsibility for not getting a clear project scope filled out. The job lasted two short days with a rain delay in between, so it is possible that the original contact did not see me completing the work on the wrong side of the line. I finished the right side on day one and came back, moved scaffold and completed the left "wrong" side on day 2.

After completion, I stopped by the guys office, just to tell him I was done and to try and sell a water proofing treatment. His assistant told me he had just gone home with a head ach, so I just left a message that we were done.

My thought on pursuing the Lawyer is simply the service was rendered in both a timely and quality manner, it was seriously needed, as the repairs filled in some really nasty erosion. And I would have charged him twice that amount if it was only his half I was looking at.

So my sales pitch is I'm offering a 50% discount on work that you need done. Unfortunately since I have already completed the work, my leverage is non existent. Being a lawyer, he will instantly recognize the futility of the situation and at best shake my hand and thank me for the good work. At worst he will attempt to extort me for fixing his wall.

I am not afraid of the damages extortion, since I have pictures and any three year old can see that the wall was failing. I did the work and I would hope that he could see that it was a good deal.

Who knows, maybe I can trade for legal representation on something down the road.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:08 PM   #25
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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Who knows, maybe I can trade for legal representation on something down the road.


Just keep your fingers crossed you never need any. It is the closest thing to throwing good money after bad you will ever experience.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:09 PM   #26
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


Sucks being out the money obviously but for the 750 I'd take it as a learning experience and cut my losses rather than pursue other options.

In my opinion makes you look as professional as possible given the strange situation
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:14 PM   #27
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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Just keep your fingers crossed you never need any. It is the closest thing to throwing good money after bad you will ever experience.
Signing a big contract might require legal representation. Just sayin...
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #28
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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As far as sending a second invoice, it just seems dirty pool to ask this guy to pay for work done on his neighbors property.
Maybe I don't get what happened here (wouldn't be the first time), but the guy agreed, even if it was verbal, for you to do work on a property that he didn't own. Why does he hold zero culpability? (look at that a lawyer type word). It's not a huge deal and it's not like you lost a ton of money but I'd be sending both invoices to that guy without doubt. I'd also be speaking to the lawyer. I have a very hard time believing that he;d try to get money from you for fixing his wall...unless the US truly is the insanely litigious place that some on this site make it out to be. Chances are he'll laugh about it and pay you. At least that is my experience with humans.

NOW if you had done something deceitful that would be different, but an honest mistake, most folks are likely to pay if they think the price is reasonable and they can afford it
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #29
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


Maybe the lawyer will give you some assistance in collecting on both invoices. Especially if he winds up with a free repair.

Maybe dropping off a packet of information on the work you did - before/after pictures, structural explanations, and a brief summary of why you repaired his side in the first place - will earn you a good future customer.

I don't think I would try to collect from the lawyer, not for fear of legal repercussions but because he wasn't your customer.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #30
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


It is probably a good idea to do a bit of a background check on any new client which you extend credit to.

That's right, you are rendering a service to them with the expectation of getting paid later.

If you see that they owe money to everyone except the funeral home, you might want to stay away from them.
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Old 11-07-2014, 11:11 PM   #31
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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Mistake 2. The little stuff was all on the left side of the wall, and the big hole was on the right. I did not understand that the center line of the wall was actually the property line. So the small stuff I repaired is owned by a lawyer who did not ask nor approve the repairs.
How do you properly repair a wall on one side only?

The guy wanted the wall fixed, you did it after verbal approvement of the total price. So you goofed with the invoicing, but still did all of the work for the price he agreed to. No big deal, send him a corrected invoice for the full amount with an apology for the oops.

Shouldn't be any need to deal with the lawyer at all.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:04 AM   #32
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


Correct, I completed the repair on the original contacts side as agreed. The error was in sending an invoice for just one of the estimates, not both. He requested two estimates.

I based the estimates on a project scope that was more than the owners request. The way I split the estimates turned out to be exactly the way the property is divided.

I can't in good conscious bill the first guy for repairs that I did for the second guy, even though I was ignorant of the difference. If I had invoiced both estimates to the original customer, I would refund the $750 because he did not receive the benefit of these services.

It is kinda like a scope change except that it is after the fact and completed in ignorance.

The confusing part is this wall is the back of one building and I have no idea who owns the second story of the building, or if it just divides in half even though it is an abandoned apartment that takes up the whole upper floor. The back wall ownership is divided in half, how these two owners determine who pays for a new roof or anything else is anyone's guess.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:18 AM   #33
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


Is it possible that the two neighbors had an agreement between themselves that your customer would handle the hiring of a contractor to repair the wall and that the lawyer is actually expecting to receive an invoice from you? How was the note written by your customer on the invoice you sent worded?

Edit: I believe that you can, in good conscience, bill your customer for the entire wall. This confusion is not your fault, it is his.

Last edited by Agility; 11-08-2014 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:43 AM   #34
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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My Dad had his knee replacement surgery back in June. We went in to see him in pre-op when my Mom (extensive health care background) looks at his chart.....they marked the wrong knee. I told them they should have let it go and got two for one.
I don't think he has a leg to stand on
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:54 AM   #35
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


I would absolutely tak to the lawyer. You touched his property without his consent. At the least you need to go and explain yourself. Just stop in some time when he isn't busy and chat for 5 minutes...in my experience he'll chuckle and probably pay you for the work. But you can't just pretend it never happened
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:10 PM   #36
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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Originally Posted by dom-mas
I would absolutely tak to the lawyer. You touched his property without his consent. At the least you need to go and explain yourself. Just stop in some time when he isn't busy and chat for 5 minutes...in my experience he'll chuckle and probably pay you for the work. But you can't just pretend it never happened
Yup that's the best thing, hell he probably will thank you and keep your name for future work to his home
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:06 PM   #37
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


Just a quick follow up. I had time to stop into the law office today and talk to the owner. He was a real nice guy, wanted to know what it is I do and what I did to his building. Asked how I am getting along and offered to pay the price of my estimate without question. Practically talked my leg off.

Small town, so your mileage may vary, but I guess the old saying about not painting with a wide brush might have a little truth to it.

He asked for a quote on pointing the rest of the building as I soon as I told him that he has some issues that I did not address.

I am sending him an invoice for work completed and an estimate for work that should be done next spring.
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:53 PM   #38
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


I work for a lot of lawyers...even some "super" lawyers .

Without question, then tend to be some of my best clients.

I'ts like the good looking girl in high school that everybody is afraid to ask out...they often live a lonely existence.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:43 PM   #39
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Re: I Fixed The Wrong Wall, Now What?


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I work for a lot of lawyers...even some "super" lawyers .

Without question, then tend to be some of my best clients.

I'ts like the good looking girl in high school that everybody is afraid to ask out...they often live a lonely existence.
I'm working for a lawyer as we speak, he's just a no nonsense kind of guy, which I like. He's a very nice guy as c well. He told me "My father (who was also a lawyer) always told me to never mess with the working man". I said, jokingly, "because the working man doesn't have anything".

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