How to deal with a substrade deck miscalculation

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Posted by: from London
8/20/2016 at 4:23:35 PM


I recently hired a subtrade to build a deck, the area is 11'x16' with a 9x5 seating area built onto the corner. Half the deck is lagged into the house and there were to be 3 posts added to the perimeter of the deck for support and the house has a covered area with 2 6x6 posts that we attached to, there was to be a perimeter rim board in cedar that caps the end of the deck boards. and use the cedar as baseboards for the 2 existing posts.

Now they built the deck to 12' wide instead of 16', so they're 4' short. The other 2 posts are under the deck which are doing nothing. No perimeter trim board was installed, posts didn't have base and deck boards are overhanging the deck.

I bought all of the materials on account and the deck company picked them up.

I've paid them a $500 deposit towards $1400 in labour, he wants 1275 for his labour portion now.

A detailed deck drawing was given from the lumber yards program and given to the subtrade.

The clients are ok with the size and just want the detail work finished.

How would you proceed with this company. The deck company snapped about the $500 didn't offer to go back and fix it. He doesn't get that the deck is 4' short, 2 posts that were installed aren't doing anything and I'm in a situation with the client.

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

How to deal with a substrade deck miscalculation
How to deal with a substrade deck miscalculation
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Date/Time8/20/2016 at 6:29:34 PM

I would fire them. Don't pay them another cent as the were un able to do the job as described on the plans.

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Date/Time8/20/2016 at 9:37:12 PM

Settle at $1000, eat whatever profit that cuts into. Your company is only as good as your worst subtrades. The faster you can distance yourself from them the better. Hire someone else to finish the work. Remember we are in the industry of customer service.

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Dave from Crown Choice in Nanaimo
Date/Time8/20/2016 at 10:05:36 PM

I have to agree with Kirk. Settle for giving them another $500.00 so that no liens are filed and satisfy your client. Then distance yourself from the sub as it is clear they are not trustworthy.

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Date/Time8/21/2016 at 9:22:37 AM

Do not pay them anything else. what you require is your written Estimate from that Company detailing the scope of work required. Even if the work required is not very detailed as long as you have the drawing that has measurements on it the detail the size of the deck and how many posts required. It sounds like unfortunately you did not take out a permit, if you did and you have details of the placement and size of the various posts in writing, the law is on your side. If a lot of this is just word of mouth and no permit. Best is to just pay him to complete it the way you want and learn your lesson or take your chance on losing big in court your word against his.

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Mark from CMJ Renovations in Oakville
Date/Time8/22/2016 at 4:29:39 AM

You need to pay them and chalk it up to experience, you obviously hired the cheapest guy you could find and then you never followed up until they said they where done or you heard from the client.

As a general contractor (you) are responsible to ensure the job is done right, you are liable for everything, it also sounds like there is no permit as it is lagged to the house the inspector would have question the posts if they where in the wrong spot.

Pay them and be done with it, go and fix it your self and make sure it is safe and legal as you are 100% liable. Next time when you hire a sub trade check there past work as these guys are obviously not very smart.

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Date/Time8/24/2016 at 3:52:01 PM

I agree with the previous posters. I would call a meeting and lay out all the deficiencies you noted. Come up with a number that reflects those deficiencies and try to agree on a settllement and part ways. In the future be sure to review the design process for your subs.

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Date/Time8/24/2016 at 5:55:16 PM

Give them the opportunity to fix it right at their cost. You supplied the drawings, if they didn't know how to read prints, they should have hired someone who could. If they refuse to do it right, you have the option to take them to small claims. Assuming you had a written contract with the builder.

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