ADVICE! See Pics-Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

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  #1  
Old 07-23-07, 06:26 PM
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ADVICE! See Pics-Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

I've posted on the site and got great advice finishing my basement. I've since sold my previous house (with all that work in my basement) and now having a new house built.

Base Footings are "done", some step footings to be done this Wednesday and the poured foundation walls to follow.

My problem is I'm already questioning the builders methods and dont know if I'm being overly concerned.

Footings are 8"X18" and below frost line per local code (Va.) but have no ReBar.....?
I figured must be using a heavy press and I asked what mix is in the footings and he said....2500lb....?? (I'm thinking...2500 and no rebarr???)

Foundation walls are to be 8"X9' poured (not block)...but the footings are not keyed nor vertical Rebar inserted...I asked How are these walls anchored to the footings? He said they don't need to be anchored and that the weight keeps in place...... I said the plan calls for key or vert rebar every 4 feet.....and he said....well we can do that if thats what you want....I said its already poured...how will you do it? ...he said he'll drill holes in footings and drop the rebar in....

I'm not that familiar with poured walls but dont they need to anchor somehow to the footings? I'm not on the San Andreas fault line but ....what the...?

I also asked about the pending patio footings and he said....I'm going to pour pillars on 8' centers and pour on gravel on grade...... I said I'd heard of that for posts on a deck but not for a poured patio......???


I'm no expert so I'm asking for advice........are these standards of the trade?

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo4iz1/

(not sure how to insert a link to my site..hope it works)

Thanks.FF
 

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  #2  
Old 07-23-07, 07:13 PM
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I've only done one concrete project myself but that's not the way I'd want it.

I'd want the rebar poured in the footer and a key. It's that's the way it's written in the contract he signed I'd make him get his mistake out of the hole and fire him. Get a contractor that knows what he's doing. My guess is he has cheap hired help that don't know what they are doing and now that the concrete is hard it's easier to try to buffalo the owner than fix his mistake.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 07:53 PM
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You are going to need rebar in the footer, as well as a solid way to tie the wall to the foundation.

Has this job been inspected at all?
I'd call my local code enforcement office and ask some questions.

If it's in the contract, make em do it, after all, you paid for it.
 
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Old 07-23-07, 08:39 PM
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ADVICE! See Pics-Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

In many areas, steel rebar is not required in footings and 2500 psi may be acceptable under most codes. Around here, all concrete is 3000 psi minimum as established by the industy. 3500 psi is common. You usually cannot buy concrete for a driveway lower than 4000 psi (per supplier standard/guarantee).

Contrary to popular myths and misconceptions there is really very little vertical load on a footing. - Full basements built out of wood have been approved for 30+ years and concrete footings were not required. Only "compacted" 3/4" rock base.

For an engineered foundation, an an engineer could eliminate footings if he had good enough soil.

The reinforcement in a residential footing really does nothing except provide a level base to work off without compaction.

In VA, you have a 24" or 36" deep beam (foundation wall) sitting on an 8" deep beam (the footing). - The foundation wall is 6 to 20 times stiffer and stronger than a footing, do the footing never sees any major load anf only provides a level base to measure and work off.

The foundation wall should be attached to the footing to guarantee continuity and stability. - Make sure they are attached.

Some codes require that the basement slab (3 1/2" minimum) be poured on the footings and directly against the foundation wall to prevent wall movement. - This precludes some of the questionable waterproofing methods.

Dick
 
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Old 07-23-07, 08:51 PM
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The key is for waterproofing, the rebar is used to tie the footing and walls together. Personally, I would want both, but technically, he is correct.
 
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Old 07-24-07, 05:55 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I am going to talk with the inspections dept. today and then meet with my builder. I had read a bit and am going to check out IBC from local tech library. I did read, dependent on soil, that walls can be poured on soil bed.

The anchoring of the wall to the footer concerns me. It seems bad practice to go back and drill holes and set rebar when it could have so easily been placed in the fresh mix prior to setup. I assume the issue with that would have been true positioning of the rebar relative to the pending true position of the forms for the walls.

How is a block wall anchored to a footing?

My big problem is determining what is code and what would be standard practice verses what is above and beyond.........the builder often answers a question with...well if thats what you want...... which implies thats extra $$...but my point of view is it should be standard practice...

Thanks again for the advice an I'l keep posted. Regards. FF
 
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Old 07-24-07, 06:02 AM
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ADVICE! See Pics-Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

If you are lucky enough to be under a building code, make sure the inspector looks at it and you talk to him. You are paying for this with your permit. He can establish the minimums that the code establishes.

If you want something over and above the minimum, I would imagine it would be extra unless it was included in your contract.

Dick
 
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Old 07-24-07, 06:03 AM
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If you think of why you are "tying", you will see that it does not matter if you drill and insert rebar. Any significant force will be lateral, not in the vertical plane (unless there is a flooding issue that would introduce an uplift situation).
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FairwayFatty View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am going to talk with the inspections dept. today and then meet with my builder. I had read a bit and am going to check out IBC from local tech library. I did read, dependent on soil, that walls can be poured on soil bed.

The anchoring of the wall to the footer concerns me. It seems bad practice to go back and drill holes and set rebar when it could have so easily been placed in the fresh mix prior to setup. I assume the issue with that would have been true positioning of the rebar relative to the pending true position of the forms for the walls.

FF
The key way is not just for water proofing. It also keeps the wall on top of the footer after the rebar rusts away, in the event of freezing and lifting the wall will settle right back where it was instead of moving a fraction of an inch every time the ground is jiggled a little bit.
 
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Old 07-27-07, 07:59 PM
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I beg to differ, sir, because if the rebar rusts the wall will be rubble long before the capability of the remaining bar falls below strength requirements.

(We are speaking of slab to wall keyway, not slab to slab keyway)
 
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Old 07-27-07, 08:00 PM
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Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

Jack -

Have you ever looked at the IRC for foundation requirements?

I suggest you do before you get any further or do your second project.

Even a plain block foundation does not require dowels out of the footing, but it is good practice in a poured wall to help locate the wall steel.

Walls do not move even in the case of a hurricane. It is usually required to have the floos slab poured directly against the foundation wall, which precludes any movement inward. Obviously, in a basement, the soil prevents and outward movement.

Soil jiggling????

Dick
 
  #12  
Old 07-27-07, 10:52 PM
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I spoke with builder about rebar for walls and he said they did not do it yet but the sub doing the walls will drill and insert once the outer wall forms are set (10" X 9' walls) he said they dont put them in when pouring the footer as they dont have true position of the formed wall and also that someone messing around (thieves or kids) the work site after hrs. might impale themselves on it. He also said they'd tie horizontal rebar runs into the verticals.

Inspector commented that rebar is not reqd. and then stated that in our area that deep into grade a poured foundation can be set on compacted gravel bed....!?? yikes

Heres a couple of others relative to concrete........

I will have an 8' X 66' patio along the outside of the rear wall. Two feet beyond the rear wall will have to be compacted "fill dirt" then gravel for the patio base The builder said that a true footer that size and length would be too costly and said he will use those quikrete pier forms (12" x 4') thru the fill and below frost line every 8 feet and pour the patio on them. I told him I never heard of that for a slab of concrete and he said the inspector felt it would be fine.....I said I'd like it to be monlithic pour he didnt think that was necessary....ever heard of pouring a patio like this on piers? Would monolithic help?

NExt one......

builder says I will have to have an 8" step down when walking out of the basement doors to the patio. This is a sloping lot (front down to rear) and reasons stated are accumulative from maintaining the garage slab elevation in front of house, maintaining the remaining earth in front to slope water away and it would require too much fill and concrete in the patio (mentioned above) to raise it up flush basically says he could'nt dig deeper or go further up the hill How uncommon is it to have a step down out of your basement doors like this? I'm still arguing this point with him. I think i'll trip every time i go in regardless if beers or not!

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo4iz1/

Thanks for the input. FF
 
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Old 07-28-07, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
Jack -

Have you ever looked at the IRC for foundation requirements?

I suggest you do before you get any further or do your second project.

Even a plain block foundation does not require dowels out of the footing, but it is good practice in a poured wall to help locate the wall steel.

Walls do not move even in the case of a hurricane. It is usually required to have the floos slab poured directly against the foundation wall, which precludes any movement inward. Obviously, in a basement, the soil prevents and outward movement.

Soil jiggling????

Dick
What keeps it from pushing in?

You don't have any earth quakes in your area? The soil from new construction never settles in your projects? You don't have any heavy equipment involved in your building projects? Have you ever lived near a highway? How about a quarry? A rail road track?

I've lived near enough to all of those to feel the "jiggle" and in Indiana it gets below freezing, especially on the exposed area of a walk out basement.

All the rebar I've seen was made of steel. Steel rusts. It rusts faster when it get's wet. I've lived in several and rehabbed a few hundred year old houses.

It costs absolutely nothing to make a key way in wet cement. It's just plain silly not to do it if you know you are going to pour a wall on top of that footer next.

On top of all those reasons, according to the poster, it was in the contract. It was what was agreed to. It's what the customer paid for. None of these excuses, reasons, or what ever you want to call them were brought up until after the concrete is hard and the job wasn't done as agreed.

I don't care if the customer just thinks it will make the fairy princess gods smile on his house, he's owed what was in the contract. It doesn't matter one whit what the code will allow if they agreed to do it.

Seems a pretty standard and reasonable practice to me to put in a keyway any where there will be mating concrete surfaces if you want them to stay in the same relative positions.
http://www.waybuilder.net/sweethaven/BldgConst/Building01/default.asp?iNum=0603

But that's just me. It's what I'd want. If it's what I contracted for and paid for, it's what I'd have.
 
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Old 07-28-07, 08:12 AM
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His specifications call for either, and if you think there is no cost in forming a keyway, it only shows that you have never done it, especially if there are vertical rebar stubs.

Rebar can rust, and if it does, it expands with enough pressure to destroy concrete, in which case the key will be of no value.

Keyways are a good thing, they are just not required for for this type of structure. The basement slab itself is the "key".

Fairway Fatty, I have never heard of pouring a patio on piers, but it should work fine. 66' long is too long for a monolithic slab, so I assume he wll center the piers and provide control joints in between.

Don't know about the step down from a basment, I am having a hard time visualizing it.
 
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Old 07-28-07, 08:45 AM
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Seems you fellows have a sidebar issue!

I posted a couple of sketches for the patio issue and in essence when stepping out of the house and onto the patio I would have to step down.....similar to stepping down typical to most attached garages....around here anyway.

I should have clarified on the Patio as a "monolithic".....I told my builder that if this were done on piers I wanted the front edge and the 2 sides to be about 12" thick similar to a mono pour so that if or as the earth settled I would not ever see the bottom edge of the 4" slab and that it captured the earth....just my thought....since he f$%&#$% on the key and the rebar....
FF

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Old 07-28-07, 12:25 PM
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I would feel uneasy about that patio unless there was a retaining wall in front of and below it, personally.
 
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Old 07-28-07, 08:45 PM
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ADVICE! See Pics-Footings have NO Key or Re-Bar with Poured Foundation Walls

After looking at the photos, i really see no problems with the construction and it appears to be normal for Virginia (including the soil) and within most model codes.

TS has a good point about the patio area. The drawings are probably not accurate regarding the slope beyond the patio, but the photos show a substantial slope away from the home.

You will have a natural "slip plane" where the fill around the pation is placed. There will undoubtedly be some additional disturbance of the soil in that area. The natural tendancy is to let the ground "grow over", which would be a mistake. You can have severe erosion if you just have leafy plants.

You should plan some vegitation that will resist erosion better than the usual weeds and natural growth.

As an engineer, I would build a segmental retaining wall a way down the slope to "bench" the slope and reduce the artificial slope near the home that was created by the construction. This more gradual slope could then be planted in natural vegetation anf the wall would not be seen.

Dick
 
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Old 07-30-07, 09:38 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Not sure if I should make new post but heres more questions..........

My plan calls for poured walls...all around. I agreed with the builder when he proposed to frame the rear wall with 2 X 6 due to the qty. of windows and doors in the rear I've added.
Now a good portion of the left and right walls are going to be framed which I was unaware of until after the footings were poured. The framed walls are to be in the region starting from the step footings on each side and along the entire rear wall as mentioned. I was informed after asking and after the fact that the reasoning is that there is one door on right wall and one window on the left and its easier to frame and locate them when framed........ I explained to him that I can't help but feel the poured wall is much stronger and solid and that i would rather have had the location of door/window float +/- 6" and have the walls poured than to have them framed.
Also the footing areas along the framed rear and partial sides will require an additional 18" to bring their height up "even" with the rest of the footings and the eventual slab. Initialy this 18" was going to be formed and poured when the remaining walls were to be poured. Now he said he will block this 18" ht. along the side and rear and the rest of the walls will be poured. He said it would be more costly to pour as they don't have forms that height.

I don't have a lot of experience and can only gage his progress by the plans I stare at every nite and what I see on another house being built nearby, by someone else, and when things at my site are different than the plan and when visually different from the other building site...I ask questions. (Other house is sloping lot, has poured walls and stepped footings but they are all poured...no block....with thread studs for the sill plates).

After all that long windedness....my questions.

Is there a guideline as to when to frame or when to pour or block a wall?
Is the poured wall structurally stronger/solid than stick?
Is it that difficult to form/frame in windows or doors on a poured wall?
Why have a cinder block rear and partial side footings and not poured?
I've used the threaded sill plate studs/nuts in the footings in the past...how do they put these in block? Should threaded studs be placed in all the poured walls? I cringe that he is going to cut nail the sills down...everywhere....is that bad?

I'm sure most of these questions are "argumentative".....bottom line is what would you prefer or want or better yet, would you prefer if you were having it built? (other than...I'd fire the guy!....) I have seen and been in a few houses he has built over the years and they are very nice (one is my sister in-laws)...but... they are all of block foundation...he's only built one house in the past that had poured foundation....is this a difficult transition?

It seems that even though I've calmly attempted to discussed these topics he becomes "argumentative" and seems insulted....I just asked him that if we void from the plan I'd like to know beforehand and why...not after the fact and its what he decided. He told me he didn't like to be hassled......I am going to meet with him Wednesday.

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeo4iz1/

Thanks again for the feedback. FF
 
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Old 07-31-07, 06:56 AM
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Sometimes details change as they are being built, both in terms of the design and the method of construction.

It is not a problem to accurately place windows and doors in a poured wall, and forms are modular, so an 18" height should not be an issue.

It sounds to me like you are aggravating the crap out of this contractor with changes and constant supervision. That is, of course, your right, since it is your house, but it often does not make for the best outcome.

Personally, for the below grade sections I would insist on concrete or poured, but for the exposed sections would prefer stick for it's better insulation value.
 
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Old 07-31-07, 04:25 PM
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I understand that changes need to be made due to as found conditions during a build. I only asked that when a change is required that we discuss the best option to address it beforehand not be informed of the route that has already been taken after the fact.

I have not requested any of these changes.

I'm spending my life savings on a house that I expect to retire in. It is 30 miles from where I currently live. I've met the builder once at the site after the footings were poured and spoken with him 3 times via phone since the contract was signed in April...if thats aggravating the crap out of him ... I'm guilty.

The insulation comment on stick built walls is a valid point. This type of positives and negatives is what I was hoping to understand from my builder........before the decision is made and performed..... not afterwards.
 
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Old 07-31-07, 05:39 PM
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I understand about you wanting it done right, and would insist on no less. Of course, I have no way of knowing how much contact you have with your builder, or the conditions other than what you post.

(Not directed at you, just in general)

/Rant on

A common trap for homeowners is an expectation that the builder is not only building them a home, he is also teaching them how to build a home. When you sign a contract with a builder for a subsantial amount of money, you are expected to do due diligence. You should have 100% trust and confididence in your builder before you sign. Then you let him do his job. At various stages during construction, there should be on-site meetings to discuss progress, sign off on changes, and approve payments. All of this should be addressed in the contract.

At other times, a smart contractor will (nicely) ask you to leave the jobsite or not visit un-escorted at all, since he is ultimately responsible for the building and the lot until there is a C.O.

It is like buying sausage:

You really do not want or need to know the details of what is in that skin, you just want it to taste right.

/Rant off
 
  #22  
Old 07-31-07, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
At other times, a smart contractor will (nicely) ask you to leave the jobsite or not visit un-escorted at all, since he is ultimately responsible for the building and the lot until there is a C.O.
/Rant off
Any contractor that asked me to leave MY jobsite wouldn't be my contractor for very long. That's MY money he's spending, not his, and I'll visit MY jobsite any time and for any reason I see fit. I'd be wary of any contractor that didn't want me to see how he was building MY home.
 
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Old 07-31-07, 06:24 PM
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And if you fell and broke your leg, you would sue the crap out of said contractor. It is his liability, and you do not own it until the C.O.
 
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Old 07-31-07, 06:52 PM
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[QUOTE=Tscarborough;1211157] When you sign a contract with a builder for a subsantial amount of money, you are expected to do due diligence. /QUOTE]

Other than ensuring that he has a valid contractors license, how do you do that?

My sister and her husband just finished having a house built in Virginia. They had over thirty code violations. They were in large part responsible for the building inspector's retiring. They had an extensive contract that the builder signed. My sister is a remedial reading teacher. I told her that her students were building her house. She told me that she had already told her husband that!

I agree with the previous poster; I wouldn't worry about annoying the builder. GOOD LUCK!

Brady
 
  #25  
Old 07-31-07, 07:09 PM
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There are inspections done by the municipality. Generally these are good times to schedule onsite visits. This is also when you are able to determine that the actual construction is as specified and designed, and request changes/clarifications. The first one takes place very early, and they are sprinkled throughout the process at important stages of completion.

How do you ensure the contractor is reliable and have complete confidence in his finished product?

First, visit a completed home or 2. Second, visit a "working" house, scheduled with him for a 30 minute walkthrough, just to see how he handles the site. Third, you should check his references, in writing if possible. Most importantly, remember that the contract is a negotiable instrument between he and you. Do not sign until you are comfortable with the contract, and have had it reviewed by legal counsel. That is what is known as "due diligence".
 
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Old 07-31-07, 07:26 PM
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Ronald Reagan said it best, "Trust, but verify". That requires a treaty in his context, a contract for ours.
 
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Old 07-31-07, 08:01 PM
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"There are inspections done by the municipality. Generally these are good times to schedule onsite visits. This is also when you are able to determine that the actual construction is as specified and designed, and request changes/clarifications. The first one takes place very early, and they are sprinkled throughout the process at important stages of completion."

Good point, if you can schedule it.

"How do you ensure the contractor is reliable and have complete confidence in his finished product?

First, visit a completed home or 2. Second, visit a "working" house, scheduled with him for a 30 minute walkthrough, just to see how he handles the site. Third, you should check his references, in writing if possible. Most importantly, remember that the contract is a negotiable instrument between he and you. Do not sign until you are comfortable with the contract, and have had it reviewed by legal counsel. That is what is known as "due diligence".

Which part meets the legal definition of "due diligence" on the part of the buyer? My sister didn't have a problem with the contract; the builder just didn't follow it (may not have even read it).

Brady
 
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Old 07-31-07, 08:06 PM
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Then there is legal recourse. You are not obligated to ever visit the job site, and you do have a legal expectation that the home will be built as drawn and specified.
 
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Old 08-01-07, 05:33 AM
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Tscarborough> And if you fell and broke your leg, you would sue the crap out of said contractor.

Not likely, but there are probably some that would.

Tscarborough> It is his liability, and you do not own it until the C.O.[/QUOTE]

That implies that, should I so desire, I can walk away anytime I want to without any financial loss or risk, which isn't the case. He's spending my money, it's mine.
 
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Old 08-01-07, 07:44 AM
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It makes no such implication. You have a contractural agreement for the completed project. It does imply, however, that if it were to burn to the ground before completion that it would be his financial liability, not yours.
 
 

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