Demolition Cleanup Details

I have a dumb question.
I hired someone to do some major demolition involving pulling out sheetrock, wood paneling, removal of mirrors, tiles etc...
I specified in the contract that everything needs to be "bloomed clean" and "disposed", and for the most part it is, and I don't have a problem with that.
However, whenever 2x4s are pulled out from the wall, or sheet rock pulled down from the ceiling or wall, or wood paneling removed from concrete block walls, there are tons of staples, nails, screws still on the furring strip, or studs or concrete walls. They cannot stay there if I hire someone to hang new sheetrock they will have to get them out or cut them off. I would assume they should have been removed as part of demolition, right? It is not explicitely stated in the contract but I wonder if this is typical or usual customary.
I am talking about over 1000 SF of ceiling with these every 8 inches or so, and many wall surfaces. Who is responsible to take them out? Should this be included as part of demo? I would think so but I thought I asked before I complain about it.
Thanks,
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

First, I assume you mean "broom cleaned" instead of "bloomed clean"....But then, assumptions are the wrong thing to do, when it comes to a contract.
Instead of everyone trying to guess or assume exactly the wording of your contract. Why not spell it out here? What does your contract say? There is a difference between demo work, and prep work.... Are you trying to get prep work out of someone for free?
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The contract has no specific clause on who ought to remove all the nails and screws. The only thing I put in there states:
"Contractor agrees to remove all construction debris and leave the premises in broom clean condition upon project completion".
That's why I am trying to understand, when a sheetrock is removed, I have screws along every eight inches of every stud. Is removing them part of the demo work or part of the prep work for the sheetrock hanging project? I sort of assumed it's part of demo work, but that may be a wrong assumption.
Thanks,
MC
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I have done a few demo contracts, and if I was leading the job, I would make the assumption that pulling the nails is part of the demo. What is standard? Who knows. I really doubt there is 200 years worth of case law that would give you guidance on this issue. It would have been nice to have this spelled out in a contract, but here in the real world, a lot is left off of contracts. Drawing up a contract that spells out every single thing would practically be as much work as the job itself. That is why contracts have such terms as "workmanlike manner" and lawyers use terms such as "standard of the trade". IMO pulling nails would be part of the demo contract.
I would suggest you call your demo guy, and nicely ask if he could send someone back to pull the nails. If you haven't paid him you have some pretty good leverage. I guess if he refuses and pisses you off, you could go after him in small claims court, though it would be a hell of a lot easier to just pull the nails and get over it. This sort of thing is all part of the joy of general contracting.
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marson wrote:

In the real contracting world, a lot is NOT left out. I have no idea of the kind of outfits you have contracted with, but they do show a shady side. A simple clause saying "removal of all fasteners", or something to the effect of "walls to be drywall ready".
I've done government spec work, and you learn a lot without a lawyer. Details, details, and more details, define any contract.
Advising someone not to pay, is very poor advice, & asking for a lien on the property. Apparently, you haven't been involved in any lien processes. Property liens must be placed _within_ 30 days of non-payment. This places a burden on the property owner, which in some cases, the property owner must sue to get the lien off the property, even after the property owner paid up.
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Of course a lot is left out. Just a casual glance at this newsgroup over time shows many people don't even have a contract at all. And countless people have come in here with issues of this type. How many homeowner's would think to put in a clause stating that all nails have to be removed? I'm sure plenty, perhaps most, wouldn't even think of it when looking at a contract.
I have no idea of

Yeah, we know that would have avoided the problem, but that's already obvious.

So, you're expecting a typical homeowner contract to be done like a DOD contract? Hmmm, last time I checked, plenty has gone wrong there too hasn't it?

BS. No one should pay in full unless the work was competed to their reasonable satisfaction. To do so, gives up all your leverage. I would pay, but withhold an amount for the work in dispute. If they want to try to lien, let them go right ahead. You can sue them in small claims. Who cares if they put a lien on, unless you;re about to sell or refinance. Bottom line, no reason to just roll over and pay in full.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

This smartass attitude, is exactly why you end up with your tit in the wringer. If you're going to act like a general contractor, at least read a book or two.

Call BS all you want. My company has placed numerous liens on properties because of insurance has failed to make payment in full. Let me explain, there's no "trying to lien" as you suggest. It's a simple form you fill out.
You believe you know about liens, but in reality you don't. Yes, things end up in court, and that's what courts are for. But, the attitude of "I'm not paying you" may hold leverage against the kid cutting your yard. Doesn't scare anyone who actually in the contracting business.
I'd just as soon put a lien on a problem payer, than have a secretary make a phone call. It's that simple. And, once the problem payer pays in full, let them sue me to get the lien off. Business is business. If you can't handle a contract, being a homeowner, retain a lawyer for crying out loud.
The sniveling ilk of your kind, is repulsive.
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Nothing smartass at all about it. I'm simply pointing out that even with govt contracts, contrary to what you claim, disputes arise because the contract may not have covered everything. You expect Miami, or a typical homeowner, who maybe has demo work done once in their lifetime to be omniscient. Well, they aren't. I can see someone overlooking specifying that all nails and screws are to be removed from the stud faces.

Oh really? And what do you then do with that little piece of paper? Does my house become worthless just because you put a lien on it? In fact, unless I'm selling it or refinancing, it doesn't amount to squat. Unless you're some timid little homeowner, about to be intimidated by a contractor who you believe failed to perform all the work required.
First, refusing to pay in full is the right thing to do, because if one just pays in full, that is one piece of evidence that a court will look at. As in, if the work was unaceptable, why did you pay in full? Second, just telling the contractor your not going to pay is the first step. Now, as the contractor, are you going to waste your time screwing around with a lien over the remaining $300 or are you going to just take out the nails or make a reasonable counteroffer. Hmmm, OK, maybe you would go file your mechanics lien. My next move is to sue you in small claims. There a judge will decide who's right and wrong, not you. The matter is resolved in court, where either side could win and goodbye big bad lien.

You make the foolish assumption that all states have identical laws regarding liens. They don't. Take a look at the below description of some of the requirements and steps involved. Pay particular attention to the last part, about having to FILE A LAWSUIT TO FORECLOSE THE LIEN WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME. You make it sound like there is no due process, all it takes is your word that someone owes you money and bingo, you have a lien and they must pay. Fortunately, it doesn't work that way. Basicly, the mechanics lien is there to prevent the property, which you enhanced, from being sold without the matter be RESOLVED. Note, RESOLVED and decided in your favor are two very different things.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanics_lien Creation and perfection Under the statutes, the lien is usually created by the performance of labor or the supplying of material that improves the property. Just what type of contribution counts as a valid basis for a mechanics lien varies, depending on the particular state statute that applies. Some common examples are:
Laborers, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers working on the project site; Lumber yards, plumbing supply houses and electrical suppliers; Architects and civil engineers who drew up the construction plans and specifications; and Offsite fabricators of specialty items that are ultimately incorporated into the project. Often, there is no simple dividing line that is useful in every state, or even in every case, for determining this eligibility. Deciding whether a party has a legitimate lien right may depend on examining court cases that have either upheld or rejected lien claims in the same state.
Unlike other security interests, in most states, mechanic's liens are given to contractors and material suppliers who may or may not have a direct contractual agreement with the owner of the land. In fact, this is often the norm because in most cases, the owner of the land contracts only with a general contractor (often called a "prime contractor"). The general contractor, in turn, hires subcontractors ("subs") and material suppliers ("suppliers") to perform the work. These subs and suppliers are entitled to liens on the owner's property to secure their payment from the general contractor.
However, to have an enforceable lien, it usually must be "perfected." This means that the holder of the lien must comply with the statutory requirements for maintaining and enforcing the lien. These requirements, which contain time limits, are generally as follows:
Providing the required preliminary notice to the property owner disclosing the entitlement to the lien (some states). Filing notices of commencement of work (some states). Filing notices in the required public records offices of the intention to file a lien if unpaid (some states). Filing the notice or claim of lien in the required public records offices within a specified period of time after the materials have been supplied or the work completed (all states). The law varies from state-to-state on both the triggering event and the timing of this. Some states require the filing within a period measured from the time when the claimant completes its work, while others specify the event as being after all work on the project has been completed. The filing time periods after the triggering event vary, with 4-6 months being common. Filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien within a specified time period.

I think readers here can figure out who's repulsive and how you run your business. You immediately classify someone like Miami who has a legitimate disagreement over work performed into basicly a dummy and a "problem payer." And then you indicate you make customers sue you to take a lien off after having been paid in full. Real professional.
Funny thing is, guys like you are the first to not pay someone else, like a sub, when they aren't happy with the work.
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On 9/8/2007 1:31 PM, B King wrote:

Just for grins B King what is the name of your company and where do you do business? You know...so if anyone would want to hire you we would know how to contact you. You /are/ a contractor aren't you?
--
Ted
I wasn\'t born in Texas but
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Leins must be placed withing 30 days? This varies by state, Perry Mason. In some states, you are required to give pre len notice before you start to retain lien rights, so if the owner didn't sign such a notice, the contractor couldn't file a lien anyway.. I'll stand by my post. The OP shouldn'tt pay the guy until he asks him to send someone over to pull the nails. This is hardly risking a lien.
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Let me clarify the situation further. This is not a confrontation between me and the contractor. I am merely asking questions and doing homework before I ask him. He has not refused to remove them, I just wanted to make sure removal of them is standard. Yes I failed to state this in the contract, but I incorrectly assumed if sheetrock goes the nails and screws go, my bad.
Here are a few pictures so it is crystal clear what I am talking about:
Ceiling sheet rock removed:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/demo/P1010313.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/demo/P1010312.jpg
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/demo/P1010314.jpg
see many of the staples and screws still have bits of sheetrock with them.
Here is a view of some of the framing with the door jamb and the rough opening removed. Apparently some of the lumber were nailed from the other side of the sister studs, so we got long nails sticking out:
http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w67/143house/demo/P1010322.jpg
Is it reasonable to expect those to be removed?
No it is not stated in the contract, so if it's not spec'ed then it's not covered, then obviously I made a bad assumption and a back breaking lesson if I have to do it myself.
Thanks!
MC
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wrote:

Trying to follow the thread, you mentioned you visited the site frequently... This would've been a perfect time to bring it up while the workers/boss was there. Saves him time and effort.
Why would you remove the RO? (changing a wall?) I'm just a DIY person, but those headers don't seem to have enough support. Did you go too far in lumber removal - too expose the header nails?
BTW, protect that wire!
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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The interesting thing in this thread is that no one has answered the actual question. And that is if anyone has had similar demo work done, if it's not specifically called out in the contract, did it include removal of the sheetrock nails, screws, etc that are on the stud faces?
My own oppiniion is that it should, because the nails/screws are part of the sheetrock surface that is specd for removal in the contract. The contract also says all debris are to be removed, which might also be construed to mean the nails still in the studs, however I think viewing it as part of the sheetrock surface is more appropriate.
I don't think the contractor should be required to remove the nails left sticking out that were driven in around the door frame from the other side. Those nails were not part of the material being removed, but are part of the rest of the structure.
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Well since I did not specific in the contract, then it lies with me. I will try to get rid of the ones on the studs myself, and perhaps hire the drywall people to deal with the ceiling ones.
I don't think there is a tool designed to remove exposed nails/staples right?
MC
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clipped

I haven't followed this thread much. From looking at one picture of the ceiling, it looks like you might do better by just removing the furring strips, rather than the nails. I sympathize with your situation, but I sure wouldn't want to pay skilled drywall installers to pull nails. Have you questioned them as to whether they can cut off the nails? Might go a bit faster, and surely they have had similar situations.
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A 12" pair of electricians pliers and a "twist of the wrist" works for me in such cases. If it weren't for the remainder of the paper and rock around the nails, you could just bang them in flush with yer hammer.
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wrote:

Hit those tiny staples with a framing hammer (notched head face) and watch the remains fall too the floor. Pull some nails and/or hammer some. Be done with it. If the job appalled me or I was not able to do it myself. One laborer can!
-- Oren
"I don't have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it."
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If you were doing this project for yourself and by yourself I doubt that you would remove all nails and staples. You might hammer then all flush. You would probably miss some and still be hammering them flush when you go to install the new finish.
The nails at the jamb certainly do NOT look like something for the demolition man to handle.
You can certainly ask, but if I had contracted it with you the most I would consider would be to hammer to flush on the ceiling (grudgingly, I might add) and I would do nothing at the jamb.
Perhaps it would be a better approach to ask how much the fella wanted to clean it all up. It might be fairly inexpensive. There is something really strange going on at that jamb. It is almost as if the last guys used a used header or two on something. The nails are not normal and are old. If they had been nailed into what was just removed, they would be shiny.
--
______________________________
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MiamiCuse wrote:

I am a general contractor and here is my answer. I have had both scenarios and there is no definitive standard. I have had a lot of demo done by others and generally, if the demo subcontractor deals with the nails/screws, they do not remove them. They drive them in or bend them over. They do not do a real good job of this, so I always assume that I will be doing some prep work for drywall.
I do not allow them to leave the drywall remnants on the screws as the OP has in his situation. In the process of removing these bits, the demo guys will usually break off screws and bend over nails.
Sometimes I do not want the nails and/or screws left in, and in those situations, I put a guy or two with the demo crew to oversee and help with REMOVAL of said fasteners.
Every situation is different, but in general, I expect the demo guys to do a rough clean of the studs. I always expect to do SOME prep work to get ready for wall coverings.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Thanks for the advise. I talked to the demo guy and he felt it should not be part of the demo project but should be done by the drywall guys. He thinks for him to pound in or remove every staple or nail will take "forever". So I have to do it myself or hire the drywall prep guy to do it. A lesson learned definitely. Next time my contract will be detailed to the Nth degree.
MC
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