We recently purchased wall-to-call carpeting for our family room from Home
Depot, who contracted out the installation to a local firm. While the
carpet layer was stretching the carpet with some kind of stretching
contraption, he made a 5 inch hole in a wall. He stopped working and called
his supervisor, who came over to the house. The super evidently talked my
wife into believing that the wall was weakened from a water leak the year
before, and so they were not responsible for the damage. He had her sign
some form that said that the job was completed satisfactorily and didn't
leave her a copy. My wife knows very little about repairs and her English
is not that good. I guess she felt intimidated in that situation. Anyway I
just went to Home Depot and talked with a manager, who said that he would
look into the matter and call the carpet installer to get their side of the
story. My question is, how can we prove that the wall was strong enough for
the carpet installation? We've never had any trouble with the wall before.
Shouldn't the carpet installer have taken proper precautions to not damage
the wall? Thanks for any advice/suggestions.
Accidents happen. Doesn't sound difficult to repair, so it's not worth
making a federal case over it. If the installer/HD don't take care of
it, repair it yourself and move on. Your wife is a competent adult, and
should not have signed if the job was not satisfactory. We've all been
there, I think. If there was a leak in that area, then it's likely it
didn't take much to finish off the spot - my hubby "discovered" a wet
wall in my daughter's tub enclosure when he put his elbow through the
tiled wall :o) Stuff happens :o)
This is where common sense comes into play. If the HD manager and the
contractor both refuse to make adjustments, then the owner has choices.
Hire an attorney and pursue legal means. Or, bite the bullet and fix
the wall. A nice, firm letter to HD and the contractor might do it.
The choice is there - the time and efford and money it takes to hire an
attorney, when there was already a defect in the wall is one legitimate
choice. Probably easier and less stressful to do it one's self. The
weak spot should have been repaired when the leak was repaired. Now the
installer did a favor - you can peek inside the wall and see if the
framing is rotted or infested with termites :o)
There is a presumption in what you post that the wall was, in fact,
subjected to water damage. That has yet to be substantiated. I don't know
nor do any of the other posters.
Probably better than going the attorney/court route is ( if calm negotiation
fails ) is a formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau. A reputable
company does not want to have an adverse report on the BBB files. And the
process is free. I have used their services one time to resolve a dispute
and it was successful with no strain or cost on my part. All too often
people cry "lawyer, lawyer, let's sue". That should absolutely be the last
My rule of hand is smash the instalers head into the wall ,,, if it
goes through in 1 try , the walls are crap, if it takes 10 trys they
are good , if it takes 20 or mor , i plead insanity and ask for
I don't think you should have to.
The carpet layer punched a hole in your drywall. Happens every once
in a while, fixing it should be a cost of doing business for him. If
he won't do it, HD should. Without a fuss.
Be interesting to see what happens ... HD is not exactly renowned
for the quality of their installs (sub contracted) nor are they
renowned for acting quickly.
If they balk, fix it yourself with a California patch.
A "California" patch is a useful technique for repairing smaller
holes in drywall.
1) Clean up the hole into a neat square or rectangle.
2) Cut a piece of drywall an inch or so larger than the hole on all
3) Score the outline of the hole onto this piece ... leaving the
inch or so all around. Snap along your score lines and peel the
excess drywall off the paper backing. This should leave you with a
drywall patch the size of the hole, with a flap of drywall paper all
4) Mud around the hole and apply the patch, using the flap as if it
were drywall tape. Three coats.
You don't have to prove anything. Just look at the facts
FACT. Wall had no holes in it before carpet was installed
FACT. Installer made hole
FACT. Installer is responsible to fix his error.
FACT. HD used duress to get your wife to sign something.
This should not be a big deal. Accidents happen and this is really minor.
If HD does not fix it in a short period of time, you can always do to small
claims court. Give them a chance to fix it, if they refuse, go up the
ladder a notch or two. If not action, small claims court. I'm not one to
use that type of threat, but sometimes you have to.
Regarding the first "FACT":
we have a not well-refuted claim by the installer that the wall
was already water damaged. Drywall turns to mush when it gets wet.
Regarding the last "FACT":
a) It wasn't HD, it was the subcontractor
b) The "duress" bit is going to be the thing that's hard to prove.
So, in court, we'd have at least two of these "FACTS" in contention.
If you approach HD in a non-aggressive/non-argumentative fashion, there's
a good chance that HD will fix it simply as a good will gesture.
I've almost always had success with that approach, even when the company
had no real obligation, moral or otherwise, to help me. [+]
Frankly, if this gets to a court, nobody wins. Least of all you.
Companies like that can muster a lot more lawyers than you if they
feel their reputation is under threat.
Not worth the agony unless you make a hobby out of harrassing companies.
If HD won't do it, spare yourself a lot of wasted time, and fix it yourself.
- Purchased a device, and find that parts are missing a week later. The
retailer went out of business during that interval. The distributor
gave me the parts. Not because I threatened them (he was clearly ready
to dig his heels in), but because I suggested it was a "good will gesture".
"H'm, yeah, I can do that...".
- Had an alternator replaced on the car. A week later the belt blew out
necessitating a 450Km tow and a motel stay. A polite "why didn't
you notice the worn belt?" letter got a "we reviewed our records and we
don't think we goofed, but here's a cheque for your out of pocket".
- The bank goofed up on some retirement fund advice they gave to us,
resulting in a loss due to an obscure tax rule. Not _only_
did they make up the tax hit, not only did they give us the interest
we would have gotten if their advice had been correct in the first place,
they bought us a dinner. Not a single threat was necessary.
[Damn good bank that ;-)]
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
installer had a drywall repair person come out and fix the hole and when it
was done, you couldn't tell that a hole was ever there.
As for the quailty of HD installed carpet, they did a great job, and I
wouldn't hesitate to hire them again.
He used a carpet stretcher.
He was supposed to back it with a long two by four. Enough to straddle
the supports under the sheet rock.
If there were water damage the wall supports on the floor would have
You would have more than just a patch job.
If the hole is small baseboard should cover most of it.
Death to the christian military.
Thanks, everyone, for all the opinions and suggestions. I contacted the
manager of Home Depot and showed him pictures of the damage. He was able to
see that the wall in question looked perfect before the installation and was
properly concerned. He will contact the carpet installer on Tuesday after
the holiday weekend. I will determine a course of action after they give
their response. Fortunately I paid for the carpet and installation using
the Home Depot credit card. Because of the introductory offer, the payment
is not due until 1/05. As a last resort, I can challenge the payment then.
But I hope it is resolved way before then.
Hiring a lawyer to get money from HD is a waste of time. If an attorney
won't take the case on contingency, don't bother. The damage to the wall is
probably less than the attorney's fees. You're better off getting the damage
repaired by a licensed contractor with a written statement saying there was
no water damage, assuming there was none, then going to small claims court
with the bill to try to recover your expenses. But first, try to get HD to
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