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Builder Screw Up

Old 05-18-2007, 07:52 AM
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Must be hard going through life so perfect...
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:58 AM
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I have been there--- floor in gararge sloped to the inside (no drain) -- when it rained hard water came under the door( can't correct with roto zip)-- A relationship is great but you are paying the bill--- further if not corrected and the building inspector finding electric boxes covered he will not be happy--- mine were in the wrong location --- founded out before dry wall was up-- after that I was the inspector-- being nice is great however 6 workers at 20 /hr-- I pay do it right!--- Sorry about the problems maybe a good day fishing on Lake E
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:09 AM
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Eyehooker - 5/18/2007 8:58 AM I have been there--- floor in gararge sloped to the inside (no drain) -- when it rained hard water came under the door( can't correct with roto zip)--
Now THATS a screw up!
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:17 AM
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Just1more - 5/18/2007 8:09 AM



Eyehooker - 5/18/2007 8:58 AM I have been there--- floor in gararge sloped to the inside (no drain) -- when it rained hard water came under the door( can't correct with roto zip)--
Now THATS a screw up!

Yep. That's a big one. You have to watch them migos pouring concrete too.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:36 AM
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Just1more - 5/18/2007 7:18 AM

Brad1 - 5/17/2007 11:56 PM

Having a new home built. The drywall was hung this week. This evening, I noticed that the drywall installers went right over an outlet box with drywall. I took pictures of every wall of the house after the electrical inspection, and before the drywall was hung. Sure enough, one of my pictures shows the box (on the framing) that was covered with drywall. I text messaged the subcontractor letting him know that I found a box covered with drywall, but I'm not telling him where.

Needless to say, I'm pissed.
You are kidding me, right? You need to get a grip! [img]../images/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Most people have the misconception that construction is merely about hammering nails, pouring concrete, erecting steel and laying block. Thats BS! It's more about relationships! Owner-Contractor, Contractor-Subcontractor, etc. A bad relationship with your builder is not something you want! A good strong relationship is worth a great deal to both of you. COMMUNICATE with him and it will pay off!

Don't be a Richard Cranium.
Read the above post a few times. What happened to you is not a "screw up" but rather a very minor mistake that is easily corrected.

Playing "I have a secret" with your builder will not benefit you in ANY way shape or form. Many people do not realize the little extra's that builders throw in on the bubble for relationship value. You do not want to start getting hit with a CO for every little change/extra you want.

Try this approach.

Meet the GC/sub at the job. Tell them politely - "When looking through the house, I think there is an outlet box behind that piece of rock, can you guys check it for me and roto zip it out" then "Before you guys leave can we make sure a walk through is done and all outlets/switches, etc are open"

Trust me - they will not mind and it will benefit you in the long run.

Strictly as an analogy - do not win a battle to only lose a war.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:51 AM
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Just1more - 5/18/2007 6:18 AM
Brad1 - 5/17/2007 11:56 PM

Having a new home built. The drywall was hung this week. This evening, I noticed that the drywall installers went right over an outlet box with drywall. I took pictures of every wall of the house after the electrical inspection, and before the drywall was hung. Sure enough,one of mypictures shows the box (on the framing) that was covered with drywall. I text messaged the subcontractor letting him know that I found a box covered with drywall, but I'm not telling him where.

Needless to say, I'm pissed.
You are kidding me, right? You need to get a grip! [img]../images/emoticons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Most people have the misconception that construction is merely about hammering nails, pouring concrete, erecting steel and laying block. Thats BS! It's more about relationships! Owner-Contractor, Contractor-Subcontractor, etc. A bad relationship with your builder is not something you want! A good strong relationship is worth a great deal to both of you. COMMUNICATE with him and it will pay off!

Don't be a Richard Cranium.
Thanks. I'll try and remember that when my house catches fire due to an electrical fire.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:01 AM
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billinstuart - 5/18/2007 6:43 AM Why should the electrician suffer?
No one blamed the electrician. He did his job. The location of the boxes were not marked on the floor, but each box protruded from the wall 1/2".

billinstuart - 5/18/2007 6:43 AM Is it the contractors fault some illegal immigrant
Uh ... the answer to that is YES. He hired the installers, not me. I'm the customer here. Get it?

billinstuart - 5/18/2007 6:43 AM Is easily rectified mistake?
Ok then, you tell me exactly how every box that is covered can be located. You do that, I'll shut up. You can't do that, you shut up. Deal ?
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:06 AM
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Tireless - 5/18/2007 6:42 AM All the builder has to do is run a sound wave down the wiring to locate each and every box in the house......rotozip the perfect hole and you are good to go.
Thanks Tireless.

I never heard of using a sound wave for locating the boxes. That is the type of "sound" advice (pun intended) that I was looking for. I'll look into the sound wave approach and request that my builder does that.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:08 AM
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Brad1 - 5/18/2007 10:01 AM

Ok then, you tell me exactly how every box that is covered can be located. You do that, I'll shut up. You can't do that, you shut up. Deal ?
It's called a Toner. Now shush.

Brad, all kidding aside. Don't make an issue like this something it doesn't need to be. Have you had other issues prior to this?
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:09 AM
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Brad1 - 5/18/2007 9:01 AM
Ok then, you tell me exactly how every box that is covered can be located.
I already told you how it can be done......I know it works since they used that method when we rebuilt our entire house. Good luck.

EDIT: just read your post just1more - "toner" ... yup, that's what they called it.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:12 AM
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Brad1,
As an architect of custom homes I work with builders and home owners every day. There are always issues that need to be resolved and solved when putting something as complex as a house together. Over the years the best projects are the ones where everyone is up front about mistakes and shortcomings that always occur. Whether its my screw up, the contractors or subs or the homeowner stuff happens. If the relationship with the builder has been good up until now I just cant see how not being up front with him can help you out in the long run.
I can tell you that any new house will have issues that will require attention after you move in, whether its a door that's not hung right or a plaster crack that opens after some framing has shrunk, you'll likely need to have the contractor back to 'fix' something. I think it will be a lot tougher to get his attention down the road if you hold this against him never mind that I just dont think it's the right thing to do. Just my .02 cents for what ever its worth.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:37 AM
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Brad1 I am also building a house and am at the exact same spot you are right now - they are finishing the drywall today. I also took pictures of the walls before the insulation and drywall went up. I'm thinking tonight I will check them out and see what's what in light of what you found. I took pics of every wall (gotta love digital cameras, huh).
Have you had any other issues so far? I've had a few but nothing to lose sleep over.
The apron around the garage cracked and will have to be repoured. They want to replace the part that is cracked and I said that's great but will it match?

I also noticed that the 3 foundation vents are cracked. They are the kind that open automatically and the plastic housing is cracked on 3 of them, presumably from installation. Now I don't want to be a pain about this but this is a new house. I told them to replace them. So far that's it.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:47 AM
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Just1more, Thanks for the name of the device. Consider me put in my place.

Tireless, I was replying to someone else. But thanks again for mentioning the sound wave test.

Everyone, I've never had a home built before. I understand that mistakes will be made. And believe me, this issue with the covered up box was not the first mistake. Actually, there have been about 1/2 dozen so far. And I have kindly mentioned them to the GC. Some have been corrected, while some have not. The box behind the wall was the first that I consider to be a genuine safety issue. Again, let me emphasize that it is not this one box that is the issue. It is the boxes that are covered and not known about that are the issue. To those who put me down for getting worked up over this. How would you feel if you knew there was a possibility of an exposed live wire behind your wall, but you didn't know where it is. Not to mention your paying a quarter million dollars to be in that situation. Maybe your family's safety doesn't mean much to you, but mine matters alot to me. Trust me. I don't like screwing people. That is not my motivation. But if it comes down to screw, or get screwed, I prefer to give rather than receive.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:48 AM
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Brad1 - 5/18/2007 9:01 AM

Ok then, you tell me exactly how every box that is covered can be located. You do that, I'll shut up. You can't do that, you shut up. Deal ?
Easy:

1) A toner or microscanner

2) You can see the indentation

3) match everything up to the plans

In fact - since most hangers are paid by piece work, it is customary to install over the boxes and then cut them out with a rotozip - it is actually the fastest way to do it.

Edit: - just saw your last post - what are the other 1/2 dozen issues?
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:58 AM
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FYI. The plans are moot in this dicussion.

Here's how the process works. The plans have the basic electrical design. Subsequent to framing, the builder's electrician meets with the customer to do an "electrical walkthrough". At that time, additional customer desired outlets, lighting, phone, cable, etc. are identified. The electrician does the work. The work is inspected. Then the drywall is hung. To the best of my knowledge, the plans do not reflect the additional work. Let me point out that this is how the builder operates. I did not hire anyone to do anything outside of the scope of the builder's standard operating procedure.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:19 AM
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First off your house isnt going to burn down. Electrician will probably find any covered boxes. You can probably see the crack in the board from the box. He's going to notice there is no plug on a wall. His wires are roughed in and left in the box. Most outlets will have one in and one out. If these arent connected via a plug, all others down the line wont work. 2 or 3 guys probably hung your house in a couple of days. Mistakes happen. There is no exposed live wire. Its in a box, where its safe,and it should have been grounded for rough inspection. Your 1000 times more likely to have a screw in a wire somewhere else that wasn't plated than have an issue in a buried box at the end of a line. If this is your biggest problem building a house consider youself lucky. Wait until your cabinets show up and one is wrong or the face frame cracked or some doors are ordered lefthand vs right. These things happen. Lets hear about the other 6 things. There are many issues that come up that can usually be corrected easily.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:25 AM
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Tone generator and inductive amplifier. I use them all the time at work, but they work BEST on shielded cabling. The generator has a tendancy to bleed over onto other cables(that you are not trying to locate) if they are unshielded. Not saying it wont work, but there are other ways to fix this.

On the point of the original post, today I will face several problems in the building industry, just like every day. While all of them are concerns for the customer, most of them will be insignificant. Thats the case with this one. No big deal. I can't go along with that "my house is going to burn down" theory. Little too much drama for me.

Try to help your builder out, and maybe he will look out for you in the future, if you dont pizz him off. That the way it works in the real world.

Good luck with your new home. Its the American Dream. Congratulations!
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:26 AM
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So what happens when a drywall screw hits a wire? Does it go unnoticed until one day zap or does the circuit short the first time powered up?
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:30 AM
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As much as people would like to have something as expensive as a house (or remodel) done correctly, without supervision, it just doesn't happen. That and since people generally don't have a new house built all that often it seems like an entirely difficult process. On the other side of the coin, to the contractor it's just a job, just like all the ones before, just like all the ones ahead, it's WORK. As a result they get sloppy, lazy or screw up just like everyone else does in a repetitive job. Sad, but true.

Do not micromanage. But do not just "hope" it'll all come together. Be interactive, probably more so than the contractor wants, but tough, it's YOUR money. Be prepared to pay more if you micromanage them, a LOT more.

Digital cameras are a HUGE help. Document the progress.

Do not just talk to the contractor(s), write it down. Use your own log book AND follow up on any conversations with a written note to them. People forget things, paper trails help refresh their memory when it comes time to explain the situation.

Do not hesitate to stop the work, including the payment, if things are going wrong. But be sure you understand how the contract for the work treats this. You DO have a contract, right?

And consider hiring an inspector of your own to go over the work in progress. If you're not capable or don't have the time/inclination to ride herd over this mess, then PAY SOMEONE to do it for you. Otherwise, you're stuck.

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Old 05-18-2007, 10:47 AM
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thresher15 - 5/18/2007 9:26 AM So what happens when a drywall screw hits a wire? Does it go unnoticed until one day zap or does the circuit short the first time powered up?
Isn't that the reason that the wires are set back 1 1/4" into the framing? I would hope that the drywallers aren't using screws longer than 1 1/2" inches.
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