contract responsiblity question

I hired a contractor to put in a cathederal ceiling in my house. He hired a structural engineer, pulled the permit, removed the old ceiling and put the new cieling up to the ridge line of my roof After it was done the inspector said that the LVL beam that was put up is blocking the ridge vent now and roof venting is needed.
When I called the contractor he tells me that since my contract with him was just for the framing he is not responsible for putting in the new ventilation.
My question is since the venting was fine before the cathederal was put in and he pulled the permit shouldn't he be responsible for fixing the problem identified by the building inspector? btw this is Massachusetts if it matters.
Thanks in advance for any help
Mike McCarthy
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If the contract says he doens't get paid until it passes inspection he is screwed. On the other hand, depending on how the contract is written you may be responsible for the extra cost. Also the engineer may have some liability. Lawyers are expensive. Sit down with everyone and resolve the problem.

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Thanks Art I thought it was something like that. If I remember correctly the contract mentions that he will pull the permit but I don't think there is anything about inspections. I will have to look at it again tonight.
I agree, using a lawyer for something like this would be overkill. I'm just building a case for when I call the contractor back. If he won't do it I will just hire someone else to do the vents, more money but less headaches.
Mike
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snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com wrote:
...posting order corrected...

...
Sounds like it wasn't addressed in the design that the contractor hired the engineer to do the structural but probably didn't provide him with the necessary inputs to know where the venting locations were to design around existing or account for them for the incorporation of existing locations.
That it was in a gc's scope to ensure that would also be somewhat dependent on how contract was done -- were you the gc subletting work or was the contractor the actual gc? That may have bearing depending on local rules/law...
The "sit down, work it out" advice is well given, but the details of who actually had responsibility isn't possible to be determined from information given here. I venture a guess (but it's purely that) that you probably had the actual overall responsibility but the contractor didn't really do all he should have done, either, but if he's a picky sob may be able to shirk. If you're lucky and have good relationship, might be able to at least get some shared responsibility. But, as stated, that's purely a guess on the basis that to get the permit it used the "homeowner limited project serves as own gc" clause of local law which took the contractor off the hook as the actual gc...
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dpb wrote:

I'm wondering if the OP will post a link to the contract so that we can see what the contract and bid actually stated? Scan them and put it onto tinypics or some such website. As you stated, it would be nice to see if the contractor hired was limited, by bid, to a specific scope of work, or if he had the authority to subcontract with other trades. Did the bid specify just the structural work with the OP acting as GC? Or was the bid for a GC to develop the scope of the work needed to be in compliance with all affected codes?
If I hire someone to re-do my ceiling, and that is all my bid called for, then the only permit needed would be the specifications for the things needed to properly support the ceiling. The contractor wouldn't assume responsibility for oversight of roofing contractors or HVAC specialists.
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Dave
www.davebbq.com
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on 10/12/2007 12:41 PM snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com said the following:

Did the builder leave all the attic rafters and ridge beam in place and just put up ceiling panels (sheetrock) on the original rafters along with the LVL beam as a decoration? I can't see where the ridge vent would now be blocked if he left everything in place, or he put in insulation without leaving an air path between the soffit vents and ridge vent. You have soffit vents, right?
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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No this isn't decoration, he cut the roof joists, replaced the old 2x6 ridge beam with a lvl and re-hung the joists on the lvl. The problem as that the lvl is significantly wider than the old 2x6 so it covers where the plywood sheating was cut to allow air flow.
And no I don't have soffit vents and these weren't part of the contract so I'm responsible for them.
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on 10/12/2007 2:04 PM snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com said the following:

OK. We got problems! You're gonna need to cut a wider ridge vent slot and a get a wider ridge vent. They make wide ridge vents, some as wide as 15.5 inches. See here for an example of various widths available. http://www.ebuild.com/products/productList.hwx/Q/roofing/vents-ridge/catCode.1658/resultSort.PriceAscMfrAsc or http://tinyurl.com/ysahdc
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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on 10/12/2007 2:27 PM willshak said the following:

http://www.ebuild.com/products/productList.hwx/Q/roofing/vents-ridge/catCode.1658/resultSort.PriceAscMfrAsc

I forgot to add. Maybe you can call the contractor back and have him do it. Maybe he'll cut you some slack on the price since he was partly, or completely, at fault. Perhaps you can have him do the soffits at the same time. Your house, your money. Hope it works out.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 12 Oct, 14:04, snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com wrote:

Totally uneducated opinion here:
Before the work was done, the structure was code compliant. An engineer drew up a set of plans that the contractor followed. I can see the contractor saying "Hey, I just followed instructions. I don't know anything about venting codes." In that case, the fault would fall to the engineer.
What if you had contracted to have door put in a wall that had electrical wires in it? Would you expect that when the work was completed the wires would be runnning across the floor? Of course not. In both cases I would think that the engineer who drew up the plans would have taken the venting (or wires) into account and included dealing with the issue in the plans.
OK, now if that's correct, the next thing to look at is this: If the original plans had dealt with the venting, what would have changed? Would roof vents simply had been added to the plan or would the existing vents been worked around in some fashion - and what would have been the cost differential? If roof vents would have been part of the original plan, then you would have been responsible for the cost anyway. If you have someone do them now, you have not been significantly harmed, so just go do it.
However, if the original vents could have been left as is and a different type of beam used - at the same cost - then any extra cost should be the responsibility of whoever caused the structure to be non- compliant - i.e. the engineer.
Bottom line - if the "fix" will cost you more than an original plan that dealt with the venting issue in the first, the engineer should bear that cost.
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DerbyDad03 wrote: ...

I don't necessarily agree--if the engineer was only contracted to design the structure and wasn't provided the other information, his responsibility started and stopped w/ providing adequate construction details compliant w/ local codes.
He can not be expected to compensate for conditions/constraints unknown to him owing to that information having not been provided to him or beyond the scope of his requested effort -- which it sounds like was the structural design of a beam of sufficient strength and construction detail for same. It would not be at all unreasonable for him to expect the HVAC/vent/electrical/etc. was in the purvey of someone else given his design for the cathedral ceiling structure.
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Uh, Mike. Could you please post that ONE more time?
Steve
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Just trying to get my point across!
Actually I was having a problem with my browser at the time of the post..
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snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com wrote:

The inspector said that roof venting is needed? They actually have regulations and standards for that sort of thing where you live?
You also say you have no soffit vents. where's the air that's supposed to exit these roof vents going to come from?
I'd move to a more regulation-friendly clime.
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On Oct 12, 12:41 pm, snipped-for-privacy@Jiffysoft.com wrote:

I talked with the Building Inspector and got a better explanation about what's going on. It appears that when the new roof was put on about 10 years ago they only cut the plywood on one side of the Ridge cap. This wasn't an issue because there was an Attic, the air could flow from one side to the other easily.
Now that the Cathederal is all the way up to the rafters Air can't get from one side to the other so the side that hasn't been cut needs to be fixed. The contractor was right that he was not responsible.
Thanks to all for posting.
Mike McCarthy
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