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I AM LIVID ...and pissed too--Here's why...

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Ecumenist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-13-06 06:29 PM
Original message
I AM LIVID ...and pissed too--Here's why...
Need input from other folks here...

We are building a home in rural northern California. This is a VERY large rural parcel that came with a road that only had to rehabbed. My husband and I consulted a local general contractor, licenced and bonded. WE made it clear that we needed to be 10' wide, NO MORE THAN 12' wide, with a 36' culvert, the encroachment was to be 40' wide tapering the aforementioned 10'. There was to be 6" of 3/4 base rock and he was to "blade off" a small hillock that was near the top of the parcel in the area of the homesite.

We wanted to get road in BEFORE the arrival of the rainy season. Said contractor phoned a week ago friday to say that he was going to put down the base rock to "pave" the roadbed..
Last wednesday, we got a phonecall from him where he was suddenly saying that the culvert had collapsed and that it "might b able to support the weight of a car". Long story to short, he went from the fault lying with the culvert, our requests AND somehow, the flurry of phone calls ended 1 day later with him suddenly coming up with the statement, (and I quote), "what are WE going to do?"

After trying to deduce when we became French, I started to do a slow burn...
Didn't hear one syllable from the moron again until tonight when Himself phoned said contractor to ask if he was finished with the road...


I need to impart this little gem of knowledge:

The county requires that ALL parts of the road be able to support a MINIMUM of 40K lbs... AND there is supposed to be a turnout for fire fighting vehicles @ the 300 foot mark, (the portion of the road is 550' long).

Imagine our suprise when we arrived on our property to find that our 10' road, was at the NARROWEST point... 17 FEET WIDE and averages 19.5 FEET wide in the rest of the road! We have a cheap knock off of I5 running down the DEAD center of the parcel. What about the culvert, you are probably going to ask? WELL, the culvert is just sitting on the UNPREPARED bottom of the ditch, with unpacked base and fill under and on top of it( the rain is ALREADY WASHING THE TOP PORTION OF THE FILL AROUND THE CULVERT!)... AND GET THIS... The culvert is propped up with WOODEN BLOCKS INSIDE OF IT, for Christ's sake!! Apparently, it collapsed when this rocket scientist drove a grader over said culvert with was covered by 2 INCHES OF BASE!! These culverts are supposed to have 1/2 the diameter of the culvert in PACKED BASE ROCK BETWEEN GRADE AND THE BEGINNING OF THE ASPHALT PAVING!! The edge of the road is SO UNEVEN that I swear it looks like the Green Giant had taken multiple bites out of the side of the road.

It just gets better from here... there's no way in hell that there is 6' of base on the road bed and what I laughingly refer to as the road has mounds of soil from animals WHO'VE already dug through the base...

The cherry on top of this nasty cake is this...IDIOT ACTUALLY CUT AND GRADED ONE OF THE MAJOR VERNAL STREAMBEDS and when we asked him why he did this, he actually tried to say that Sir Ecumenist had asked him to do this...

DH told this mental midget that he NEVER ASKED HIM TO DO THIS and that in fact, in California, you need a serious review for mitigation to do ANYTHING to a waterway of any sort, (naturally occurring ones). The lovely stream beds are a good part of the reason that we bought this propperty in the first place. Besides, if we'd wanted that to be done, I would think that we wouldn't ask him to destroy that stream bed ONLY IN THE MIDDLE 3RD OF THE COURSE, for criminy's sake!

Which brings us to this evening...Flat head contractor calls in response to the call DH placed, asking him if he was finished and started apologising PROFUSELY, (fat chance that this would relieve our anger).. We have another contractor coming out in the morning to take a look at this mess and see what can, if anything, be done to make this road somewhere near acceptable. Any advice?

"Bright Light" in this murky mess of road construction---We ain't paid a plug nickel, yet..

Any comments are fully and completely accepted and requested...

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Ecumenist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-15-06 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. KICK!! KICK!! KICK!!
:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :dem: :dem: :dem: :dem: :dem: :dem: :dem: :dem:
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TygrBright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-18-06 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Spend a few bucks on a lawyer...
...I think it'll save many more bucks and much headache in the long run. Sounds like you have a serious mess to deal with.

I don't know California law, but I know that in some states, you can send a contractor a notarized letter saying that you dispute particular charges (or even a whole bill) and will make no payments until the dispute is resolved. Some states require you to put the money in escrow. Resolution via civil court or licensed mediation.

IMHO, if you gave the contractor your instructions in writing, and/or received from him a bid with the specs you gave him in writing, you have a good case for making the contractor pay someone else to put it back just as it was before he started screwing with it.

If you don't have anything in writing it will be quite problematic.

Anyway, lawyer up...

regretfully,
Bright
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flying_wahini Donating Member (856 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-17-07 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. it's called small claims court.....
ick..... sounds like a nightmare,
best of luck to you,
hire someone else to fix it and tell the first guy
he will be hearing from your lawyer....
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Ecumenist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-18-07 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thank you Flying_Wahini...
We were forced to lawyer up and report him to the contractor's board here in California. We also found out that he indeed did contract this work out to someone known for shoddy work...This ain't looking good for him at all. Thank you for your advice and BTW, welcome to DU!! Tight glad to have ya here!! :hi:
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