New Home Blues

Old 07-30-05, 09:12 AM
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New Home Blues

The tile contracter for my new home did a poor job. To try to make up for it he has offered to tile my patio ( 350sf ) but labor is on me. After stateing that I should not have to pay labor, he backed out on istalling the tile and told me to find my own installer. This is where my questions come in as I need to verify what my installer told me,with some one with no financial stake in the issue. This will help me in not being taken advantage of by the original contractor when I tell him what my installer told me. Here is what he told me.

1. Need a grade5 exterior tile
2. If I choose a ceramic over porcelain it needs to be sealed from moisture.
3. Need to use a full flex cement to stop possible cracking caused by cracking of the underlying slab. If not he will not warranty the work.
3. All he uses is a 1/2" trowel to aid in leveling.

As I see it these requirments will add to the cost of job to the orig. contractor , witch he won't want, so I need to know if my installers statements are what is needed to do a quality job.

Thanks SHOO
Old 07-30-05, 10:22 AM
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Why would you want someone that screwed up once on your home, doing more of the same work somewhere else, what did he do that came out bad the first time?

Is this for outside install in a freeze thaw region?, if so, any Porcelain will work fine, if glazed, PEI rating of 4 or5 is fine.

Regular Ceramic never needs sealing, but it is a worse choice for outdoors, porcelain is less absobant and a better choice for outdoors, also need to know the condition of the slab, cracks, paint sealers, size.

Flex thinset should be used, but won't stop cracking if the slab cracks, a crack isolation membrane will, but onlt if it cracks even, no vertical movement.

No need for any 1/2" trowel, unless big tile and the slab is off, it should be leveled before setting the tile, if this is an issue.
Old 07-30-05, 07:09 PM
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Make sure tile is rated for outdoor use. Glazed is preferred. Unglazed requires keeping it sealed.

Purchase tile from a dealer who guarantees installation. Concrete patio should be perfectly flat. Self-leveling compound can be used. If concrete is cracked, a crack isolation membrane is recommended.
Old 07-31-05, 07:16 AM
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Thank you both for your input. I love this technology. No matter what help you need you can find someone somewhere who is willing to help.

Tileman, freezing is not much of an issue as I live in Florida. There were a number of smaller issues that were addressed before or just after moving in. My biggest gripe is the work done in the kitchen. He said some one walked on the floor and he replaced 30 tiles ( 16Ē) Even if this was true the tiles had varying grout lines and a LOT of spots that were uneven to the point that I and my grandson have both stubbed our toes. I didnít notice this till I moved in and started walking on the floor with bare feet. By then tearing up the floor and redoing it was not practical or convenient.

It is a family run business and it was one of his two sons that did the poor work. I felt that he should be the one to try to make tings right by doing some extra work at no cost to me (and using the other son). He didnít see it that way. Itís too bad that some people care more about money than doing the right thing.

Thanks again and God Bless
Old 07-31-05, 07:25 AM
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I would take him to court and get my money back for the hack job he already left you with, maybe threaten him with small claims court or speak to a lawyer, this guy obviously doesn't care what you think or wants to make things right, hope he's licensed and insured, file a complaint, don't let him walk all over you, take pictures and document everything.
Old 08-02-05, 08:04 AM
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Tile job


I really feel for your plight. I have been there before and am in about the same boat again, unfortunately. Tileman is right. You need to immediately take pictures of everything and write down everything that took place prior to and after moving in, especially concerning who could have actually been in there to walk on the tile, as that is their source of contention (if you had not moved in, who walked on it?). It doesn't matter if your "journal" has to be back-dated, or if it is completely accurate. Just do the best that you can to document what took place when. If you have actual dates for everything, that's great. If you don't, just estimate and make a note that it is the estimated date.

Definitely file a complaint with the BBB. You are helping to protect others from going through this same thing by doing so. As for hiring a lawyer, that is a different story. I can almost guarantee that the lawyer will cost more than the original tile job, unless you go to legal aid or find a lawyer that wants to do the job for free. Small claims court wouldn't cost you so much, but could net you very little, depending on the laws in your state (had a judge tell me that just because the judgement was in my favor didn't mean I'd ever get any recompensation, because they weren't in the collections business!).

Now, if you happen to have one of those news channels that really loves to dig up and broadcast dirt, you might have a much better weapon. From experience, these cads smirk at the threat of small claims suits AND hiring a lawyer, but cringe at bad publicity. Bad publicity can effectively put them out of business, and they know it. I would ask around and investigate this angle, see if a newscrew is available, then call that contractor and let them know he can either make good or become instantly famous.

Good Luck!
Old 08-05-05, 12:10 AM
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Exclamation Act Now

Although I now reside in Maryland, my family has owned a G.C. firm in FL since 1982. Florida is one of the strictest states when it comes to contractor faults.

The walking on tile excuse is BS as the cracks were either due to an unleval slab or improper mortar bedding, both contractor blame.
You can start with:

Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Online Services

But also your options depend on the county you live in. Was this a development or private build?

You may not realize it but your mortgage company can be your number one go to guy to enforce the corrected work. They have the most to lose from faulty construction and if you have a conventional (Fannie-mae approved) loan this contractor can face federal penalties.

This is the bottom line, end your discussions with the contractor and start them with City Hall. Make the contractor come up with those BS excuses with your city/county building inspectors.

Shody work in one place usually means shody work elsewhere. With all the hurricane damage, Contractors have been flocking to Florida from everywhere to make as much $$$$$ as possible. There is a reason a contractor must be Bonded (insured), HE WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS ACTIONS.

Don't let it go, please. It will only take a few hours and some phone calls to put the preassure on them and off of you. In these cases there is no point in talking to the contractor after he has already shown malice in dis-regarding "Verbal" comprimises. From now on, stay calm and let those with the power to hold him acountable deal with these issues and GET IT IN WRITING!!!

Any further help you need re: FL resources, just ask. My father and I have been a part of that state for a LOOOOOOONg time and most recently partnered with DiVosta in the building of Abaco just below Jupiter,FL at the top boundry of Palm Beach (PGA BLVD)

One question, how long has your home been complete-as in you have taken ocupancy?

Keep us posted
Old 08-06-05, 07:05 PM
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Taking Pictures ASAP!

Take pictures ASAP! Great advice for this post... I really like the picture taking advice before and immediately after the work is complete. Especially on a new home when multiple subs are coming in and out all the time. In my own experience with counter tops one of the major complaints from contractors are defects in our product... which timed pictures revealed to be inadvertantly caused by other subcontractors. Know who is coming each day and get pictures before and after the work is complete. You might be surprised what you find and it how it may turn out to be great evidence down the road!


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