A little backstory:
I hired a general contractor to do a 3rd floor renovation including a
master bedroom, new bathroom, and walk-in closet. About 800 S.F.
total. We agreed to a price and time of work (30 days). It is
specified that the contractor is responsible for all permits. There is
a "liquidated damages clause" in the contract that states that for
every day past the completion date I am entitled to a 1% refund on the
total contract price.
There have been a lot of issues of the workers not showing up when
they're supposed to, work being done wrong the first time, and the
contractor generally not being in control of the project. I feel like
I need to talk to every worker who comes in the house to make sure
they know what they're supposed to be doing. The contractor does not
return my calls on a regular basis. The project is now 4 months and
About a month into the project, the contractor claimed that the
plumbing needed a lot more work than originally planned, and that the
only solution was to do the job without permits or "slap [me] with a
change order to the tune of $3-5000." He urged me to do it without
permits because he "didn't want to have to do that to [me]."
I brought in 2 plumbers to estimate the job and they agreed that it
could be done for what the contractor had originally estimated
(~$3000). The contractor, faced with this evidence, agreed to pull
all permits and complete the project as originally specified.
Well here's the latest issue. The framing, plumbing, drywall, taping,
mudding and paint had all been done on the 3rd floor bathroom when I
had a friend (who is also a contractor) come take a look at it for his
opinion. When he inspected the tub opening, we discovered that the
bathroom framing was not built to the correct dimensions. I told the
contractor to make the bathroom "as wide as is necessary to make this
American Standard Renaissance Whirlpool fit." (This is a whirlpool
tub that is the shape and size of a standard 5' tub.)
Well, in the installation instructions, it shows two ways of
installing the tub... recessed and drop-in. Since this tub will be
used in a shower situation, the recessed installation is what I was
after. The diagram shows the studs 60 and 1/4" apart, with the
stringers nailed directly to the studs. Then the tile bead kit goes
between the edge of the tub and against the studs. The drywall (or
whatever) and tile then come down to (and over) the lip of the tub and
are sealed, resulting in a downward slope toward the tub where the
tile meets the tub lip.
The workers did not look at the installation instructions. My friend
and I pulled them out of the box and they were still sealed. Instead
they just built the walls a little over 62" apart. Then they
drywalled everything and I painted it. When I discovered the error
and brought the situation to my contractor's attention, he said that
he could just tear out a section of the drywall and mount the
stringers to the framing (which he has done). He says that the tile
bead kit goes around the lip and then gets caulked--"won't be a
problem". However, this would mean that the edge of the tub would
simply abut the wall and tile (or even leave a small gap). It would
not be set recessed into the drywall and tile as shown in the
My friend (who is also a contractor) says that I should insist that he
take down drywall, move the outer wall, and do it right, or I may face
serious water problems resulting from the improper sealing between the
tub lip and the walls.
I am on the verge of hiring a lawyer to deal with my unruly and
seemingly incompetent general contractor (and who do I call about
that?) and I have no idea what should be done with this tub situation.
I would like to think that there would be a way to make it work, and I
am so sick of dealing with this that I would just like it to be DONE,
but I do not want to agree to anything with this A$$hOl3 of a
contractor that will cause me damage in the future and let him off the
I used to say that "I'm not looking to screw this guy" (regarding the
liquidated damages clause) but he has treated me with such disrespect
that I would not be upset if he lost a handful on this job. I just
want it done and I want it done right.
Please advise ASAP! I am at my wits end.