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View Full Version : Home and Auto Question on my recourse for a contractor's mistake breaking a concrete pad


mlyonsd
06-25-2010, 07:57 PM
I have a 30 x 10 raised concrete porch with adjoining 12 x 4 ripped out and re-poured. Included in the bid is flowable fill for underneath the porch. There will also be a rather large step poured on top of the porch.

Anyway, the contractor was here yesterday pouring the flowable fill. I didn't see it happen but the cement truck ran over the corner of the concrete pad in front of my garage doors and in the process broke off about a 2 x 2 corner.

I didn't realize it happened until I got to work this morning and the contractor left me an email saying they would be back to pour the porch on Saturday, and oh btw I probably noticed what the truck had done. He wanted to know what they could do to make it right.

So they've admitted doing it. The pad is 20 x 28 on rather large piece. It was poured when I built the house 14 years ago. It's not in perfect condition and has a crack running all the way across it that I caulked years ago. It's somewhat pitted so I wouldn't call it super nice, but it was good enough I wasn't going to have it redone.

I don't see how they can cut the corner out and repour without it looking stupid.

Curious, what are my options and how much is the contractor responsible for?

jspchief
06-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Why don't you ask him about his ideas on how to fix it? Express your concerns about how it may look. Maybe something along the lines of you buy the concrete, he supplies the labor to do the whole slab? Not sure what concrete goes for, maybe that's too much on your end.

My guess is since he pointed it out up front, he has good intentions on taking care of you.

Bugeater
06-25-2010, 08:27 PM
20x28 with no control joints whatsoever?

Yeah, there's no way to fix that without it looking stupid. I guess a lot depends on the extent of the damage, if the broken piece is still basically in place and just cracked, and isn't going to pose a hazard, there's really not much point in repairing it IMO. But if it's shattered in a bunch of small pieces I'd at least want them to cut and repour the square.

I suppose you could stick him and the concrete company to replace the slab if you wanted to push it. If it was me and the damage to the concrete was only cosmetic, I'd probably just ask him to knock some money off the bill and live with it.

mlyonsd
06-25-2010, 08:32 PM
Why don't you ask him about his ideas on how to fix it? Express your concerns about how it may look. Maybe something along the lines of you buy the concrete, he supplies the labor to do the whole slab? Not sure what concrete goes for, maybe that's too much on your end.

My guess is since he pointed it out up front, he has good intentions on taking care of you.

Absolutely. I'm the kind of guy that has a cooler of bottled water and popped stacked in ice when they come to work. I know by treating them right they will do the same to me. And since they pointed it out I understand they are taking the high road.

Your suggestions are solid and I was planning on doing exactly what you suggest. I was just asking because he didn't offer a solution and wondered if anyone else had run into this kind of issue.

mlyonsd
06-25-2010, 08:44 PM
20x28 with no control joints whatsoever?

Yeah, there's no way to fix that without it looking stupid. I guess a lot depends on the extent of the damage, if the broken piece is still basically in place and just cracked, and isn't going to pose a hazard, there's really not much point in repairing it IMO. But if it's shattered in a bunch of small pieces I'd at least want them to cut and repour the square.

I suppose you could stick him and the concrete company to replace the slab if you wanted to push it. If it was me and the damage to the concrete was only cosmetic, I'd probably just ask him to knock some money off the bill and live with it.

Well it's already tipped and sticking up a quarter inch or so with the truck running over it. The entire section is surrounded by a gravel driveway so it will only continue to look worse. It's at the bottom end so the water drains right to that end of the pad.

I don't want to be a prick about it but cutting it out and patching will stick out IMO. Not to mention it will never stay in place.

I guess if I leave it I'm pretty sure it will bug me to where I'll rip the entire thing out in a few years. My problem is I have no idea what a piece like that costs as far as just materials go so he has me over a barrel.

And, replacing that big chunk wasn't in this year's budget.

Funny thing is I was home at the time and heard the truck drive yell out the window "You don't want me to drive on that concrete do you?".

I hate acting like a mother hen so I went about my own business while they did their work. If I had been watching I'd have easily thrown myself down in front of the tire when I saw it was going to happen.

Bugeater
06-25-2010, 09:13 PM
Well it's already tipped and sticking up a quarter inch or so with the truck running over it. The entire section is surrounded by a gravel driveway so it will only continue to look worse. It's at the bottom end so the water drains right to that end of the pad.

I don't want to be a prick about it but cutting it out and patching will stick out IMO. Not to mention it will never stay in place.

I guess if I leave it I'm pretty sure it will bug me to where I'll rip the entire thing out in a few years. My problem is I have no idea what a piece like that costs as far as just materials go so he has me over a barrel.

And, replacing that big chunk wasn't in this year's budget.

Funny thing is I was home at the time and heard the truck drive yell out the window "You don't want me to drive on that concrete do you?".

I hate acting like a mother hen so I went about my own business while they did their work. If I had been watching I'd have easily thrown myself down in front of the tire when I saw it was going to happen.
I would imagine you could call a concrete company and ask what the going rate for a yard of concrete is, then it's just simple geometry to figure out how much it would take. If you do end up replacing it, put some friggin' control joints in it this time, that way if anything heaves or cracks or otherwise gets damaged, you can just replace the panel without it looking too weird.

Judge Smails
06-25-2010, 09:21 PM
The contractor should only be responsible for replacing what was run over. What he may initially propose is cutting out the corner a foot beyond the break and doweling the new piece into the existing pavement to keep them level.

If you can't live with the difference in concrete, maybe he could grout the joints on the patch, do some repair on the spalling, and you could just paint the patio for a consistent appearance.

cdcox
06-25-2010, 09:59 PM
Anything you own is going to look worse a year from now than it does today under the general principal of: shit happens. By your own admission your concrete pad already was showing some age. Somethings will age slowly, somethings quickly. I would chalk up the difference in concrete color resulting from his repair as a cost of owning property. I'd tell him that you want to choose between having him repair it, and giving you a discount and tell him to give his estimate for the discount, knowing that you might choose either option. After he gives you the value of the discount, make your choice and move on.

Phobia
06-25-2010, 11:04 PM
Sounds like he's one of the quality ones. There are probably several options. Negotiate the best deal for you that doesn't make him too unhappy.

GoHuge
06-26-2010, 02:46 AM
Yeah the only thing you can do is cut a certain section of it out and repour it. A yard of 3500 concrete is around $70. If it is 4" think you just figure the square feet and divide by 80. If it's 6" divide by 64 and that'll let you know how much concrete you'll need. Problem is getting a ready-mix company to bring out a 1/4 yard might be a bitch and they will charge a short load fee. You'll just have to drill into the existing piece and put rebar in it so there is some stability and conductivity to the existing concrete. It will more than likely crack on the coal joint. That's why you use some sort of expansion joints so a section can easily be taken out and repoured with the concrete only being a different color as the downside.

Flachief58
06-26-2010, 05:20 AM
I would say that he should repair the piece, then have the drive painted. You'll never see the repair, it'll hide the other flaws and you can chose from endless colors and patterns. There are do it yourself concrete paints or you can hire someone to do the work.

ChiefButthurt
06-26-2010, 06:14 AM
I would say that he should repair the piece, then have the drive painted. You'll never see the repair, it'll hide the other flaws and you can chose from endless colors and patterns. There are do it yourself concrete paints or you can hire someone to do the work.

Never paint concrete....it's a maintenance nightmare. Painting concrete and concrete stains that are offered in today's market for new concrete are not the same.

The concrete company is responsible for the damage regardless of what your contractor is saying.

mlyonsd
06-26-2010, 07:49 AM
I would imagine you could call a concrete company and ask what the going rate for a yard of concrete is, then it's just simple geometry to figure out how much it would take. If you do end up replacing it, put some friggin' control joints in it this time, that way if anything heaves or cracks or otherwise gets damaged, you can just replace the panel without it looking too weird.

Yeah, when I was building the house one thing I messed up was not forcing the block/concrete guy to joint the pad. Out of all the contractors I hired when building, he's the one I wouldn't mind seeing going over a cliff in a bus.

mlyonsd
06-26-2010, 07:52 AM
Sounds like he's one of the quality ones. There are probably several options. Negotiate the best deal for you that doesn't make him too unhappy.

Yeah, I shoulda known you of all people wouldn't want to see a contractor unhappy. :)

Yeah I hear ya, it was an accident and finding common ground to correct it is the best way to go.

Bugeater
06-26-2010, 08:00 AM
Never paint concrete....it's a maintenance nightmare. Painting concrete and concrete stains that are offered in today's market for new concrete are not the same.

I agree as far as painting it, but there are high quality decorative coatings available that could be used to cover up the repair. The only problem is that they are nearly as expensive as replacing the concrete.

Ralphy Boy
06-26-2010, 08:12 AM
Just let them patch it and live with it. The guy did the stand up thing by admitting it and you've admitted it wasn't in the best shape anyway.

If you insist on him fixing it you could just have him cut out the first (however many) feet of the driveway, where they broke the concrete, all the way across and repour.

mikeyis4dcats.
06-26-2010, 11:59 AM
concrete should have control joints no more than every 15 feet to minimize cracking and every 30 feet maximum for expansion joint.

as others have said, the ready mix supplier ultimately technically is responsible, although the contractor allowed them to drive on the patio so he will end up eating the cost.

The only thing you can legally expect is repair of the damegd section but he may be willing to go further if he's conscientious. You may be able to begotiate a good deal on replacing more if you are willing to split the costs.

RedNeckRaider
06-26-2010, 12:33 PM
You should be able to have the section replaced to the nearest control joints. I have not read the thread so this may have been answered. The contractor assumes responsibilty as the mix truck was his sub and the contract is between you and him (assuming you have a proposal or contract) You may be able to strike a win win by working a deal to replace the entire slab at a discount (you have said it is rough but usable) Here is the catch if he replaces the damaged area in will not match the old slab and stand out. Good luck and I hope he is a stand up guy and you can work something out~

mlyonsd
06-26-2010, 01:18 PM
They just got done pouring the porch. Did a beautiful job.

Head guy said they could cut it behind where it's cracked and replace about an 8 foot section, on them.

If I want the entire thing re-done he said they'd rip the old one out since they broke it, and if I paid for all the materials they'd pour it for free.

I'm having him figure up the material cost and we'll go from there.

Pays to be nice to your contractor.....I wonder if providing them burgers and beer for lunch helped.

RedNeckRaider
06-26-2010, 01:30 PM
They just got done pouring the porch. Did a beautiful job.

Head guy said they could cut it behind where it's cracked and replace about an 8 foot section, on them.

If I want the entire thing re-done he said they'd rip the old one out since they broke it, and if I paid for all the materials they'd pour it for free.

I'm having him figure up the material cost and we'll go from there.

Pays to be nice to your contractor.....I think the grilled burgers and beer I wonder if providing them burgers and beer for lunch helped.

Cool sounds like the win win will happen. When men of honor meet it will always work out~

Hog Farmer
06-26-2010, 02:12 PM
They just got done pouring the porch. Did a beautiful job.

Head guy said they could cut it behind where it's cracked and replace about an 8 foot section, on them.

If I want the entire thing re-done he said they'd rip the old one out since they broke it, and if I paid for all the materials they'd pour it for free.

I'm having him figure up the material cost and we'll go from there.

Pays to be nice to your contractor.....I wonder if providing them burgers and beer for lunch helped.


I'd still take him out back and kick his ass when he gets done.








If I were you. :D