I had a deck built in Winnipeg, MB. The plat form of the deck itself looked great but the one corner sank. Once the contractor heard of the problem, he immediately made arrangements to come and see the issue. At first I was willing to let him fix and repair the problem but he broke my trust and I do not want him to fix the issue, I just want him to take the deck away and give me my money back.
What are my options? Can I take him to small claims?
Ground settling is quite common, ive redone decks on large condo projects wheres the building settled further than the decks, creating a negative slope towards the building. This happened even though all building codes where meet.
Thanks for your comments Nathan, i still owe a balance against this deck. Am i responsible to pay the balance even though i am not happy with the work?
As Nathan says, settling is very common and outside of the contractors control in most cases. A post settling isn't uncommon and your contractor wouldn't have e been aware (nor would have reason to believe) the soil would compact as it has.
Owing a balance on the job is a tricky proposition, if you have a contract then yes, you are. Without a contract you are still, but it's harder to enforce although in court a judge would side with the contractor if he made all reasonable attempts to remedy the situation and was unable to for some reason.
As for the fix, my suggestion would be have your contractor return and jack your deck up and shim the post. This will be a temporary fix and will require attention on a yearly to 6 month basis to monitor the settling. It will eventually stop settling, when it does you can have the post replaced permanently. There are other remedies, but they may result in the same problem reoccurring. It is also the simplest most cost effective measure.
Good luck with this.
Settling is common, and out of the contractors control. Give him the opportunity to remedy the situation and pay him in full upon completion. More often than not the balance owed is the difference between breaking even or making a small profit and not being paid hurts small business. We have employees that need paid to support their families. Although it may look like contractors have all kinds of $, in actuality we only make an honest wage and a shortfall such as this could mean the end of someone's business.
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