What Would You Do? - Excavation & Site Work - Contractor Talk

What Would You Do?

 
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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What Would You Do?


Had a homeowner call me about damage done to new slider he thinks we may have done. We dug well trench which was under said slider. Backfilled with skidsteer. Looked like something dragged across the plywood ripping the typar and hitting side on side of slider door. Cracked the frame.

Is it possible we did it. Sure. Maybe even probable. My only problem is that my employees didn't see or notice anything. My brother in law even said the typar was ripped before they got there but he didn't notice cracked frame which isn't surprising considering you'd have to look up close. The damage is a good 3' off the ground which also makes me think it wasn't us.

This may be a moot point because the neighbor has a camera set up so he can check during his build. Hopefully this recorded something so we all can know what happened. The lumber company wants $1000 for frame which probably doesn't include labor to swap it out.

Really not sure I want to pay this because there is framers lull, concrete trucks and delivery trucks which could have done this.
Just wondering how other people would handle this. Homeowner has been a great client. Probably one of the best ones i've ever had.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: What Would You Do?


Pictures pictures pictures take pictures of everything.

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Old 11-03-2015, 09:34 PM   #3
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Re: What Would You Do?


Man that's tough, kind of a pissing match at this point. He said she said! Split it with them if you made any money on the job, but tell them we still don't think we did it?

That is why I'm glad we don't do much residential at all if any really. Commercial clients are little easier to deal with these issues in my experience.

Good luck!
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: What Would You Do?


hmm...maybe even probable..
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: What Would You Do?


If there are that many people working there, and they aren't subs of yours he would need to provide great evidence it was your guys.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:14 PM   #6
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Re: What Would You Do?


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Originally Posted by Moxley-Kidwell View Post
Man that's tough, kind of a pissing match at this point. He said she said! Split it with them if you made any money on the job, but tell them we still don't think we did it?

That is why I'm glad we don't do much residential at all if any really. Commercial clients are little easier to deal with these issues in my experience.

Good luck!
This is the first time this has happened in 38 years of business. Homeowner is real nice guy. Even the way he is approaching this has been better than most people would ever be. Still waiting on neighbors camera. He is out of town until tomorrow.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:22 PM   #7
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Re: What Would You Do?


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Originally Posted by Moxley-Kidwell View Post
Man that's tough, kind of a pissing match at this point. He said she said! Split it with them if you made any money on the job, but tell them we still don't think we did it?

That is why I'm glad we don't do much residential at all if any really. Commercial clients are little easier to deal with these issues in my experience.

Good luck!
This is the first time this has happened in 38 years of business. Homeowner is real nice guy. Even the way he is approaching this has been better than most people would ever be. Still waiting on neighbors camera. He is out of town until tomorrow.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: What Would You Do?


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hmm...maybe even probable..
I'm pretty realistic. We were working in that area with machinery that could have damaged slider. Things happen. My guys would tell me if they knowingly did it. Honestly have no problem paying if it was our mistake. My problem is paying for someone else's mistake especially if they knew they did it and didn't say anything.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:32 PM   #9
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Re: What Would You Do?


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If there are that many people working there, and they aren't subs of yours he would need to provide great evidence it was your guys.
Nobody on-site that day besides my guys. Actually don't want to get in pissing match because I've done a majority of the houses on the street and there are a few houses that will be going out to bid next year. Hard feelings will result in lost work. Rather split the difference and avoid bad karma.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: What Would You Do?


Good luck man. At least you're looking forward, some people are penny wise and dollar foolish. Sometimes you got to spend a little to make more.
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:38 PM   #11
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Re: What Would You Do?


What ever you decide to do will be guided by your gut and ethics....

You have been around too long for it to be any different....
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: What Would You Do?


Had a similar situation on a past job. Customers f-250 ended up with a dented bumper somehow. We had a skid loader on the job. No one had any memory of being near the truck but the bumper got hit by something. The boss paid for it but to this day he doesn't believe it was his loader. I do. His son in law worked for him and hit everything in sight with the dumb thing.

By your description of the damage it sounds like damage that a loader would cause.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: What Would You Do?


If someone dragged something across the ply and Typar and hit the door frame they definitely knew they did it. I hope for your sake that the neighbor's camera shows the damage being done clearly and that your guys aren't lying to you.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: What Would You Do?


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Originally Posted by Morning Wood View Post
If someone dragged something across the ply and Typar and hit the door frame they definitely knew they did it. I hope for your sake that the neighbor's camera shows the damage being done clearly and that your guys aren't lying to you.
The 2 are employees are my brother in law and 72 year guy that has worked for us close to 20 yrs. Not at all worried that they would lie.
Camera doesn't catch that corner so its still a mystery.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:47 PM   #15
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Re: What Would You Do?


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Pictures pictures pictures take pictures of everything.
Thats the only way to go. When I was a site super, that was always the first thing I did when arriving on site. While the crew was unchaining equipment, and getting the tool trailer unhooked at set up, I walked the entire site, and took pictures of everything. I even got my crew into the habit of taking pictures.

To this day, I show up for work in the morning, and take pictures of the equipment I'm running. I take pictures of any damage I come across on site. At this point its just to cover my own ass, but it has come in handy for some supers I have worked for
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:31 AM   #16
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Re: What Would You Do?


I'm sure you probably don't wanna hear this but you don't actually think: "Really not sure I want to pay this because there is framers lull, concrete trucks and delivery trucks which could have done this."

You already got your answer "Is it possible we did it. Sure. Maybe even probable."

I'm sure if any of these companies did the damage, the homeowner would be all over theirs a$$ and not wait for you to show up so he can blame on you and try to collect.

The damage is 3' off the ground, and with and skidsteer or whatever you used to dig, the equipment could easily cause the damage... most likely it was during digging. S^*t happens... the bucket jerked during digging, or when he turned he miscalculated the bucket was to close to the house and scraped the side of the house and didn't look close enough to see the damage to the frame, because the house wrap was hanging and covering the damage or they just not telling you everything. You be the judge of that... But in the meantime, this is your business and your name on it, handle it as you see it fit...

I can give you one word of advice when you deal with situations like this... If you sure 101% you didn't caused that damage and you can prove that, don't offer to split a bill, provide the proof and move on.

If there is no proof, and you doubt that your guys telling everything what happened and you clearly have doubts, take care of it and move on, not only you save your reputation, you will do a honorable thing and that will get your company some good points.

Next time tell your Brother in-law when he gets to the job site, inspect everything before he starts (I'm sure that is already your policy) and if there is previous damage in the area he be working at, take a picture... Today everyone got a camera built into their phones, and I'm sure if he saw that damage when he arrived, the first thing he would do is take a picture of that so you don't get blamed for that.

With that said, everyone should do that before starting any job, indoors or out, always inspect surrounding area you be working at, i.e check for existing "anything".i.e driveway cracks, sidewalk cracks, furniture damage, etc and take pictures and let the HO know right away if you notice damage before you start working, so it won't come back to bite you in the a$$.

Good luck, I hope it works out.
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Old 11-09-2015, 05:55 PM   #17
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Re: What Would You Do?


That's another reason I take tons of photos from start to finish...If driveways or aprons have cracks or are stained, they get documented. All work areas get documented, especially day 1. Heck, I take lots of photos during estimates as well .

You can never have too many before and afters, saved my butt a few times and people realize you ain't kidding around if you need to whip out proof.

It's never been a widespread issue of client complaints for me, but certain peeps you'll run into during the course of a career has the potential to be pretty large.

Some people just can't sleep at night unless they've screwed somebody that day
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Old 11-09-2015, 06:41 PM   #18
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Re: What Would You Do?


Pictures saved my butt last winter. Wrapping up a bathroom and the client says my subs scratched up her hardwood stairs.

I like to take a lot of pictures of the path to the work site if it winds through someone's house. I had 8 photos of the stairs alone. I proved that they were previously damaged and a lot cleaner than before I had arrived.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:23 PM   #19
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Re: What Would You Do?


Never thought of taking pics or inspecting job-site before starting but that will have to start doing it. Anything to avoid this type of problem.
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Old 11-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #20
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Re: What Would You Do?


I am about to pull 2 really nice sliders out of a house tomm. Come get them for free if you can use them.

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