Your opinion on a plumbing contractor

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Zeus103363

Zeus103363

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Joined
Jul 1, 2012
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401
Location
Sweet Home Louisiana
Hi. I was looking for some advice on a situation I have and don't really know the norms. First part of this year my wife and I started on a new addition to our house...1100 sq ft to a brick house. I contracted the dirt work, concrete, ruff carpentry, plumbing and hvac and brick laying and shingles out. The rest is up to me. Everything went well except for my plumber. He gave me a quote of $4400. His quote:

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Here is the problem. In his quote it says payment as 40% ruff in, 40% top out, and 20% trim out. Now my dumb way of thinking, as his quote doesn't say, is RUFF IN is everything under ground, TOP OUT is everything above ground to get ready for Sheetrock, and TRIM OUT is setting commode, sinks etc. But according to my plumber It is RUFF IN piping just under the slab, TOP OUT is just above the slab, and TRIM OUT is everything else. He came and done the "under slab" part. Got concret poured. and he doped off a bill for 40%-$1750. I payed. next, after the walls went up, they came to do the in wall plumbing and vents out the top. They did that and set 1 bathtub and left another bill for 40%-$1750. I had to balk at this as if I was 80% payed I didn't see he had done 80% of the work. well, any who, when they pressured up the water lines, they let the water run into the bath tub, and filled it up about 2". I called and complained and he explained that he always does the sewer connection last. My wife and I fretted over this for several weeks as we feel he should have connected the sewer first. Any who, He turned me over to his lawyer for no payment. Obviously he is in a bind for some money and according to some of his kin folks he is in over his head financially. Anyway, we went to see his lawyer, who I knew from school, and owns some property I mentioned in a different thread. My wife and I plead our case. Get the plumber to come make this sewer tie in and I will pay his 2nd payment of 40%-$1750. And as a good show of faith, here is a check. Hold it and tell the plumber its his "after the tie in is done." Anyway, I think the lawyer cashed the check like ASAP. So now three weeks and no plumbers. We have standing water in a brand new bathtub that stinks up the whole house. After calling and leaving message after message today I got mad. I called and got a angry at his brother the phone answer guy. He never knows anything. I called 9 more times in a 45 minute stretch and surprising to me the plumber answered. I had so many questions. First I asked why hadn't he called. I had payed good money and even went and did what I shouldn't have done and payed that second payment waiting to get this sewer tie in so we can drain out this bathtub. Anyway, he proceeded to get very angry, and cussed me like a dog. He got very ugly. and hung up the phone. He called me rite back and really cussed me again and said I was a piece of **** ya know. anyway, after I told him I had him recorded cussing me, he gave a long pause and then said he was coming out tomorrow to make that tie in. My wife has been on me non stop wanted this stinky water out of the house. I had to get angry at the plumber, and take a cussing to get him to come out. My question to you all is what is the standard for plumbing? His way or mine. I am now stuck with a stained bathtub full of water in a $125,000 addition and a hurt inside from quite a cussing. Should I have cut my losses and fired him and got lawyer? We have had 10" of rain in the last 3 days. After he calmed down, he says he is coming tomorrow. I don't really care if he cuts up the yard I just want this water out and my wife off my back. I asked him at one point on the phone if he was finished cussing me, and he said he was cussing the situation and that I shouldn't have made him mad. Said I was talking to him like a little Bi**h. I am alittle surprised for him to talk to me this way. He's quote doesn't say anything about what is getting done and when. Am I in the wrong or is my plumber in the wrong?


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kyle1!

kyle1!

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Fort Dodge IA
Why can't you just scoop this water out of the tub and then sponge the rest of it out? Time to get some legal help on your side for the first plumber and find someone else to finish the job. I would not want to deal with this person again if that is the way they conduct business. Looks like you didn't get enough detail on your quote and this might end up being a learning experience for you.
 
Zeus103363

Zeus103363

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
401
Location
Sweet Home Louisiana
I agree on the learning experience. Next time it will be a different plumber, and everything will be itemized down to the last can of glue. wW tried our best to clean it out as best as we could, guess you would have to see this tub to understand it has water in the "piping" as it has some water jets in the bottom which is what's full of water. Can't scoop that out but man what a stink!


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Double_Diamond

Double_Diamond

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
53
Location
Shingletown, CA
I take the trim out portion of the work would be all the final hookups for the fixtures and making them functional. This would usually be installing valves, fixtures and things of that nature. On a side note, is there any reason you left the water in the tub other than to prove a point? You could have and should have drained it using a 5 gallon bucket and a sponge. I hope the tub isn't permanently stained because that could be big money. The other question is he turned you over to collections after only two weeks? That is a very short amount of time. Most contractors I know and have done business with are usually happy to receive payment in a month.
 
Zeus103363

Zeus103363

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
401
Location
Sweet Home Louisiana
I take the trim out portion of the work would be all the final hookups for the fixtures and making them functional. This would usually be installing valves, fixtures and things of that nature. On a side note, is there any reason you left the water in the tub other than to prove a point? You could have and should have drained it using a 5 gallon bucket and a sponge. I hope the tub isn't permanently stained because that could be big money. The other question is he turned you over to collections after only two weeks? That is a very short amount of time. Most contractors I know and have done business with are usually happy to receive payment in a month.


Yes, we did get as much water out as possible. This tub has water jets all over the bottom of the tub, and has a false bottom, and some piping. This is what's full and can't be trained as the piping under the slab is full of water. There are some stains in the tub. They pressured up the water system and drained it back into the tub and left the water. All this could have been avoided if they would have hooked up the sewer. They actually came this evening. Took them 3 hours to hook it up. 3 hours....been waiting on them for 2 months to get this dirty stinky water out of a 3k bathtub.


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PA Plumber

PA Plumber

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South Central PA
Disclaimer ~ The following points to ponder are free, and should have a value of $0.00 associated with them.

Tough situation.
Who's right? Don't know, but if attorneys are involved, they are the ones who will be the winners.
What to do now? Would it be fare to say you'd have between 1500 and 2 grand in an attorney to get this mess ironed out?
Figure 10 hours at $175/hr = 1750 plus aggravation.
Seems some dirt was easy to find on this guy, what about digging around and finding another plumber with a decent reputation? Is that possible?
I can appreciate this kind of thing is very stressful. I like to try to count blessings when things seems overwhelming.
Good luck.
 
Zeus103363

Zeus103363

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
401
Location
Sweet Home Louisiana
Disclaimer ~ The following points to ponder are free, and should have a value of $0.00 associated with them.

Tough situation.
Who's right? Don't know, but if attorneys are involved, they are the ones who will be the winners.
What to do now? Would it be fare to say you'd have between 1500 and 2 grand in an attorney to get this mess ironed out?
Figure 10 hours at $175/hr = 1750 plus aggravation.
Seems some dirt was easy to find on this guy, what about digging around and finding another plumber with a decent reputation? Is that possible?
I can appreciate this kind of thing is very stressful. I like to try to count blessings when things seems overwhelming.
Good luck.


Your lawyer costs are probably why he finally sent a crew out this evening and hooked this sewer up. I for the life of me still don't understand why he didn't itemize his bid. Just food for thought, I have used this guy several times in the past and has done nothing but highly reputable work. I guess a simple misunderstanding can lead to quite a mess. I guess I could have pressured him with a lawyer couple of weeks ago, but I was hoping he would come on and do what's right. He can't afford a lawyer anymore than I can!


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jr27236

jr27236

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Aug 27, 2015
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US
First off, you pay for work COMPLETED. Second when dealing with contractors, once you pay them and they set one screw, they can walk off the job and then you are tied up in small claims trying to recoup money you'll never see. Do your homework first and NEVER agree to a contract or description of work that is so vague it looks like a kindergartener wrote it. And the part about giving his lawyer a check!!! You knew him from school? He must not of been much of a friend then and is a "lawyer" now and if you were smart your answer should of been " have your client complete the work in this phase and he gets paid in full for that phase and until then he's not seeing any further payments" and what can that lawyer do........NOTHING!!! But to convey that message to his client, the crook, I mean plumber.

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mtfallsmikey

mtfallsmikey

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Feb 8, 2008
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Location
Mt. Falls Va.
As a former plumbing/HVAC contractor, his contract sucks, no details, no legalese as is required in today's sue-happy country. I would collect draws if I had to special-order fixtures (100% up front), at rough-in, and after trim out, rough in included water/drain lines, tested, inspected, final draw after all is complete/final inspection.
 

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