Search the forums

Loading

Need advice on new home construction problem

pegboxer's picture

Hello,  can you hold a builder liable if he does not build per the blueprint?  Our builder built the bathroom linen closet too deep and now it cannot accomodate the 32" in-swing door, per the blueprint.  He said the blueprint, which his material supplier drew, did not specifiy the closet depth, so he assumed it was a "standard" depth closet.  Instead of telling us about the problem up front, he installed with an "out-swing" door and now we discover that the door not only looks terrible sticking out in the hallway, but blocks a cold air return, gets in the way of entering/exiting our bedroom.  He also instructed the floor installer to install the floor with an "in-swing" door so now when you close the door, 3" of the hallway floor, which is different, extends into the bathroom.  The builder said he could not tear out the closet and make the closet depth smaller but did agree to install a smaller 28" bathroom door that will clear the closet.  So, that means a smaller door than all the others, and an already narrow bathroom is even more narrow due to the closet being too deep.  I also worry about accesibility issues down the road since we plan on retiring there.  My question is; can I insist that he repairs the bathroom so it is to blueprint, with a 32" in-swing door, which it could accomodate with a less deep linen closet.  What if he refuses, what can I do?  I already gave him final payment.  If he does agree,how long should I give him to make the necessary repairs. 

peg

Take this with a grain of salt.....

 

2 things.

If that's the only crap he produced, maybe forget it and change the door/closet yourself and then sit there hoping that was the only thing he screwed up.

 

To me it shows a disregard for your job, his reputation and your comfort.  

 

I'm going to assume this is a closet that was framed with walls rather than a pantry type cabinet that was set.

If that's true, him assuming it was standard depth, when the print clearly shows dimensions and location of walls, or at the least shows a wall that the door on the print will clear, is wrong.  You don't build wrong. 

The obvious other question would be, was this noticed b/4 drywall?

 

Some where in there is the two things.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Thanks for your input.  Yes,

Thanks for your input.  Yes, it is a closet, framed with walls.  The print shows the width dimensions of the closet but not the depth.  He blamed the blueprint desinger for this error and why he "assumed" it was standard depth.  I did mention HE was the one that got the blueprint designed by his material supplier in the first place.  The print clearly shows a 32"  in-swing bathroom door.  Boy, you said it, it makes us wonder what else we haven't discoverd yet.  He told us that he did not know the door wouldnt clear until he actually hung the door, which by this time the house was complete.  So, instead of letting us know of the problem he just hung the door as an out-swing door.  I did tell him that we  want the bathroom per print and if that means tearing out the walls and closet and doing the necessary repairs, that's what needs to be done.  He told me that he would do that, but we would have to pay  him and that he did nothing wrong with reversing the door.  I disagree, he deveated from the print and did not get our approval to do so. 

peg

On the print-

The closet-does it have a door?

Returns of any kind that come in from the side walls, defining the space or "opening" to the closet.  That would indicate the depth-there's a front of the closet and a back.  If merely a nook or opening, then it has no depth.

To me, that would tell anyone who looks at the print-depth and location.

 

As far as the door, if I understand correctly-he had the flooring run out of the hall (ooops, is this a private connected master bathroom?) and into the door opening, terminating under where the door would be if it swung into the bath (the original intention?).

By changing to an outswing-(I assume into the hall), the flooring from the hall (or BR) is visible in the bath with the door closed?

Won't change unless paid to do so?

Did you sign a change order for the wrong swing and the closet made full depth?  If not, then he needs to do it the way it was supposed to be done in the first place.

AND

it's the only right thing to do.  He builds a whole house and is going to nit-pic on this? 

 

Where did you find this guy?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Yes, the blueprint shows a

Yes, the blueprint shows a 24" closet door.  This is not a bathroom that connects to my bedroom, but my bedroom is in the same hallway.  Since he told the flooring guy the bathroom door would be an in-swing door, that is how the flooring guy laid it.  At this point the builder still did not notice the mistake of the closet door being too deep.  So, when the builder had to switch the bathroom door to an out-swing that created the problem of the hallway flooring showing into the bathroom when the door is closed....looks terrible! Nope, no change order, in fact he didn't even address the problem until we discovered it. He is a local builder in the area where the house was built and seemed to have a good reputation.  I know $hit happens and we are all human, I just wish he would have come clean with the mistake right away and not try to brush it off.  I told him if it goes to court, I doubt any Judge would say it's ok to not build per print without the owners consent as long as the door is "functional".  This just seems like such a rookie mistake!   Yup, he builds the whole house and is giving me a hard time about making it right...the way it's supposed to be.  He just doesn't want to eat the time and cost to fix it the right way.  So, do I hire someone else to fix and take him to court for damages? 

Never having been nor having a need to sue..............

beats me.

However, you need to give him ample time (not much) to do the fix.

You could go to small claims and see if they can help.

 

I hope you find an answer to this, best of luck.  Damn shame you can't hold final payment.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


You say ...

You say "the print shows the width dimensions of the closet but not hte depth".   If so how did you expect him to know how deep to frame the closet.  Of course it can be fixed with white glue, so members of this board tell me.

.

Since he is the builder and

Since he is the builder and the one who had the blueprint drawn, it would be HIS responsibilty to confirm the depth of the closet if there are no dimensions noted....he should not have "assumed."  How in the world would I know, I'm not a builder, that was what I was paying him for.  As far as your comment of fixing it with white glue...not sure what that means.  Are you telling me you can tear out walls and a closet, move them back and glue them back together?  Um, sure hope you're not a builder.

peg

"do" had been here a while, asks questions that pertain to I think a build he is contemplating.

However, all too often he asks, gets replies and then as some do...........

doesn't heed the information given..............and lately it seems, pokes fun at the giver.

 

Doesn't show much class I don't think.

But then again, I'm just a dumb carpenter that knows enough to know what I don't know ..........

yet.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


SIdewise remarks

Hey, Cal you are one of the in between guys.  I think if you are honest with yourself you would have to admit to numerous classless gouding rewards.  You walk a fine line there, usually helpful, but you can not seem to resist a dig yourself at times.  Bit of the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.

.

I think that any real builder

I think that any real builder or conscientious DIYer here will agree that the your builder is 1) at fault, and 2) a bonehead. As to whether he can be held liable is a matter best discussed with an attorney. If I were in your shoes, I'd pay for a couple of hours of one's time. A lawsuit will probably never get filed on this. But if you get the right attorney his/her letter to the contractor will pursuade him to make things right. If you've no legal standing, your attorney will let you know this. Then you can move on and hire someone else to make the closet and door right. Don't give your present contractor another nickel.

peg

"do" had been here a while, asks questions that pertain to I think a build he is contemplating.

However, all too often he asks, gets replies and then as some do...........

doesn't heed the information given..............and lately it seems, pokes fun at the giver.

 

Doesn't show much class I don't think.

But then again, I'm just a dumb carpenter that knows enough to know what I don't know ..........

yet.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Thank you everyone for your

Thank you everyone for your much needed advice and opinions.  At this point the builder says he thinks installing a bi-fold door to the closet and placing the track as far back (recessed) as possible will give enough clearance to install the door back to a 32"  "inswing".  We'll see.  I guess it's better than tearing out walls and closets at this point.  If it doesn't  work, someone else suggested installing cabinet doors, those could be recessed in pretty far but I'm not familiar with them as a "closet".  I also noticed two large, deep scratches that were put in my kitchen flooring during the build.....I can only guess what he's going to say about that!

Sorry about the confusion

Sorry for the confusion around my joke at another posters expense.  There are several very nice guys who post here, but you have to be careful on this board some people pretend to be experts and give you bad information.  One guy recently suggested fixing a saging and cracked floor joist with wood glue., 

Then there are the guys who just want to be A-holes.  If you stay here long you will meet them all.  Then there are the great guys who try to help everyone out.  You just have to wade through the buttheads.

.

wrong door dimensions

This problem should have come up when they framed the door opening. If the blueprints says 32" door (RO 34") the "redlight" should have come on right away. To change or omit to get h.o. permission confirm lays the problem in the builder's hand.

I would insist to have it changed at his time and expense.

You paid him the final draw. What about the holdback? Do you have any financial leverage left? What about the warranty?

The narrow door could give you problems later on if you would need a larger opening (wheelchair access)

Legal solution is always expensive (both sides); it would be the last resort

I'm confused.    Weren't

I'm confused. 

 

Weren't the drawings done to scale?

 

If so why not put a ruler on the plans? There should be something that tells scale, e.g. 1/4" = 1' 

 

How about an architect's scale?

I've framed a few houses over the years, and it's common for a dimension not to be called out. In those cases, I'd check the plans with an architect's scale or simply by adding or subtracting other dimensions on the plan.  

Andy

Senior Editor, Fine Homebuilding

I think an in-swing door in a

I think an in-swing door in a small closet doesn't make sense. It eats up most of the closet, so not much left for shelving & stuff.

Closet doors mostly stay closed, so why care if it blocks a return for a few minutes while you open it?  Doors should be sized for the function, not to match the sizes of others, so it shouldn't matter if it is different size.

Leave it be.

mister

Read the original post again, carefully.  Then read the rest of the replies, carefully.

The closed it in the bath (I think).  The location of the closet prohibited the original in swing 32" bathroom door.

thanks.

 

Hello, can you hold a builder liable if he does not build per the blueprint? Our builder built the bathroom linen closet too deep and now it cannot accomodate the 32" in-swing door, per the blueprint. He said the blueprint, which his material supplier drew, did not specifiy the closet depth, so he assumed it was a "standard" depth closet. Instead of telling us about the problem up front, he installed with an "out-swing" door and now we discover that the door not only looks terrible sticking out in the hallway, but blocks a cold air return, gets in the way of entering/exiting our bedroom. He also instructed the floor installer to install the floor with an "in-swing" door so now when you close the door, 3" of the hallway floor, which is different, extends into the bathroom. The builder said he could not tear out the closet and make the closet depth smaller but did agree to install a smaller 28" bathroom door that will clear the closet. So, that means a smaller door than all the others, and an already narrow bathroom is even more narrow due to the closet being too deep. I also worry about accesibility issues down the road since we plan on retiring there. My question is; can I insist that he repairs the bathroom so it is to blueprint, with a 32" in-swing door, which it could accomodate with a less deep linen closet. What if he refuses, what can I do? I already gave him final payment. If he does agree,how long should I give him to make the necessary repairs.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


You are correct.  Here's an

You are correct.  Here's an update:  The builder went ahead and installed a bi-fold door for the linen closet.  He recessed it back as far as he could and it did give enough room to allow the bathroom door to be installed as an "in-swing", like it should have been in the first place.  It does function fine and it looks "ok", the only time you would notice something isn't right is if you are standing in the bathroom with the bathroom door open, you can see the door extends into the frame opening of the bi-fold door.  I guess if you weren't looking for it you might not notice.  I suppose it beats the mess of tearing out the closet and rebuilding it.  I think the builder is lucky I'm settling for this, others probably wouldn't have. 

peg

I'm glad you managed a settlement and I'm sure he's happy you're so accepting.

 

After 40 yrs of working in the trade and dealing with customers, contractors and workers I still can't understand the way too often adversarial relationships that seem to occur.

Working on any project but especially on someones home should be a real team effort in order to produce the best damn result possible.  Too little communication and / or way to variable specifics have a lot to do with it.

As in your case, things need to be spelled out clearly and if there's any question, it should be asked.  To continue on and substitute "fixes" that compromise what's already been done isn't the way to go.

I put more weight on the contractor, he (they) should know better.  Many (most) homowners just don't know enough and really rely on the discretion of the contractor, architect or designer to guide them.  That is why continuing education in the trade, products, and materials is so important.  None of us know everything, but learning helps us all limit the number of mistakes.

One of the best reasons for these type of forums is that it puts a vast amount of not previously known information out there.  I try to gobble as much of it as possible. 

May the rest of your building experiences be smooth.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your wisdom.  This was my first (and probably last) new-home building experience.  What really got me mad is the attitude the builder developed when I told him it could not stay an "out-swing" door.  I asked him why he didn't tell me about the problem once he discovered it and he replied "he just wanted to finish the house."   I'm just hoping I don't discover other problems in the future he didn't tell me about.  With a project as big as building a home I realize mistakes can occur, we are all only human, but they need to be addressed in a professional manner, which he didn't.

You're welcome

Any future questions, stop on back.  Someone here just might be able to help.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Like Calvin said, read the

Like Calvin said, read the post again, you misunderstood.

So.........

how did it go?

Are you satisfied?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


Here's an update:  The

Here's an update:  The builder went ahead and installed a bi-fold door for the linen closet.  He recessed it back as far as he could and it did give enough room to allow the bathroom door to be installed as an "in-swing", like it should have been in the first place.  It does function fine and it looks "ok", the only time you would notice something isn't right is if you are standing in the bathroom with the bathroom door open, you can see the door extends into the frame opening of the bi-fold door.  I guess if you weren't looking for it you might not notice.  I suppose it beats the mess of tearing out the closet and rebuilding it.  I think the builder is lucky I'm settling for this, others probably wouldn't have.