Concrete Steps

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We had new steps put in within 30 days a vertical crack appeared on the edg e of all the steps. It follows internal wooden form that was used form the outside wall. The contractor has suggested that they drill horizontal hole s through the side and fill it with a piece of re bar and epoxy. Then fill the crack with a very thin epoxy to prevent water from freezing in it and m aking it worst. I would be find with this if it would work. He also admitte d that it was probably his fault because of removing the outside form too s oon pulling the cement from the internal form. He also suggested maybe putt ing in big bolts. His last comment was that he would split the cost to redo the steps completely ( my half would be $800). When I balked at that he sa id a court of law would not back me because all concrete cracks. Not sure h ow to attach photo.
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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 3:01:00 PM UTC-4, c1gmlm wrote:

dge of all the steps. It follows internal wooden form that was used form th e outside wall. The contractor has suggested that they drill horizontal ho les through the side and fill it with a piece of re bar and epoxy. Then fil l the crack with a very thin epoxy to prevent water from freezing in it and making it worst. I would be find with this if it would work. He also admit ted that it was probably his fault because of removing the outside form too soon pulling the cement from the internal form. He also suggested maybe pu tting in big bolts. His last comment was that he would split the cost to re do the steps completely ( my half would be $800). When I balked at that he said a court of law would not back me because all concrete cracks. Not sure how to attach photo.
You can't attach a photo, but you can put a photo up at one of the places on the web that would allow us to see it. Without a least a pic, impossibl e to say very much. The contractor is right that all concrete is prone to cracking, but having serious cracks in 30 days is something very different and I doubt a court would side with him on that.
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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 3:01:00 PM UTC-4, c1gmlm wrote:

dge of all the steps. It follows internal wooden form that was used form th e outside wall. The contractor has suggested that they drill horizontal ho les through the side and fill it with a piece of re bar and epoxy. Then fil l the crack with a very thin epoxy to prevent water from freezing in it and making it worst. I would be find with this if it would work. He also admit ted that it was probably his fault because of removing the outside form too soon pulling the cement from the internal form. He also suggested maybe pu tting in big bolts. His last comment was that he would split the cost to re do the steps completely ( my half would be $800). When I balked at that he said a court of law would not back me because all concrete cracks. Not sure how to attach photo.
Hopefully you can sell the steps here
https://goo.gl/photos/pjswf6YGppdMoPz57
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Yes, I can see them. I'd say that's unacceptable, definitely not normal, and I would insist on the contractor re-pouring them. If it was on the side, then maybe I'd consider letting him try to fix it. The problem would seem to be, if it cracked because he took the form away too soon, what does that tell you? That crack must be deep, the side must have pulled away before it could cure, so you have a deep crack where that side portion is not intact with the rest of it. IMO, any attempted repair isn't going to last.
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On 7/31/2016 3:57 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Other than the crack, they are nice looking steps.
I built a small wall using polyurethane construction adhesive. If it was a clean break on older steps I'd try to repair it with that, but brand new steps I'd expect to be perfect. Could be a safety issue if it breaks in use.
I don't see any resolution that makes the contractor happy. Homeowner pays for and expects a perfect product. Let us know what the judge says.
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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 4:37:07 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

One thing he should consider before considering that route a possibility is who the contractor is. A real business, been around for years, the business has land, buildings, etc? Or a fly-by-night shyster working out of a house? Many of these small contractors already have plenty of judgments against them, but nobody can collect because the guy has all his assets in somebody else's name. Some of them don't even bother to show up in court.
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On 7/31/2016 3:45 PM, trader_4 wrote:

And the contractor, when guessing what the judge would do, should remember what he supposedly said to the customer about it being his fault, the fact that it cracked all the way through the steps in 30 days. If we were talking a year or two down the road and some freeze thaw cycles then "all concrete cracks" might fly. A situation like this screams "improper preparation and workmanship."
Check out the local courthouse for judgments against him and his company and if you don't find any, go after him if he won't replace the work and do it properly. Get your judgment, sit back awhile and then drop a garnishment on his bank account. You did pay by check, right?
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On 7/31/2016 2:07 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Is this "contractor" a LICENSED contractor? If not,you don't have to pay him if the job amount is over a low threshold.
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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 5:35:17 PM UTC-4, Taxed and Spent wrote:

That might be true in some states, depending on what the laws are, but it's not true everywhere.
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On 7/31/2016 6:11 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Yes, I realized that might be the case as soon as I sent.
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On 7/31/2016 4:45 PM, trader_4 wrote:

I went through that with the guy that built my house. If incorporated they hide behind the corporation and make the corporation liable and the corporation may have no assets to garnish. Their trucks and equipment may be in other family member names. All I got was a tax deduction on the loss but not a cent from him.
Our maintenance corporation got a small claims judgement against him which he refused to pay but they garnished his rentals office furniture so he paid.
If you don't pay a contractor that can put a lien on your property to get paid when or if it sells. My crooked builder was signing releases of liens for his subcontractors and not paying him for another home he built. The buyers lawyer said he had the choice of putting the contractor put in jail or trying to make things right - he did the latter.
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c1gmlm posted for all of us...

admitted that it was probably his fault because of removing the outside form too soon pulling the cement from the internal form. He also suggested maybe putting in big bolts. His last comment was that he would split the cost to redo the steps completely ( my half would be $800). When I balked at that he said a court of law would not back me because all concrete cracks. Not sure how to attach photo.

Have him redo them at his expense. He admitted fault. Any "fix" would detract from the look.
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On 7/31/2016 3:00 PM, c1gmlm wrote:

Concrete does not bend. Internal stress and resultant movement shows up as a crack.
Often concrete cracks because the earth settles beneath it. That's why it is so critical to dig footings down to undisturbed soil. Some contractors are cheap/lazy and don't do this.
My guess - either the contractor didn't build the form properly or he screwed up the footing.
Of course a competent building inspector would have caught bad form design and maybe improper footings. Was a permit obtained?
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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 5:26:22 PM UTC-4, Grumpy Old White Guy wrote:

That is a very good point.

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On Sunday, July 31, 2016 at 5:26:22 PM UTC-4, Grumpy Old White Guy wrote:

No permit for this job.
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On 7/31/2016 5:31 PM, c1gmlm wrote:

Usually permits are not required for such a job but you can't trust building inspectors either. When I sued my builder I had a tussle with the county and county people were generally in bed with contractors.
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On 07/31/2016 07:06 PM, Frank wrote:

Ouch! You got hit with the perfect storm...an incompetent builder *and* a crooked building inspector.
Sad because the whole point of building inspections is to protect the homeowner from shoddy workmanship.
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Brent posted for all of us...

If you are talking about the inspection done by the AHJ then no it is not. The inspections are done so the contractor conforms to the AHJ. These are minimums. Handrails?
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On 8/1/2016 4:58 AM, Brent wrote:

Don't forget about the part where they generate income from fees and higher taxes.
I paid for a permit for my roof and for a she. No one evert stopped to look at them but they did cash the checks.
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Ed Pawlowski posted for all of us...

The inspectors know the players, remember they are only enforcing the rules of the AHJ. Not workmanship unless it's in the rules. If you want workmanship inspected then hire one; or we may as well send the cops around to snoop on everything.
I know the tax song and dance but you can fight it if you desire. I don't think they really reassess the property it's just the of gov't to raise taxes to cover their spending-good or bad.
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