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Old 11-18-2018, 11:34 PM   #16
Davy
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The curb is the most critical area and where we see most leaks start. I would ask him the steps he took when installing the curb. If he nailed fiber board on the inside and top of the curb like most installers do in the Dallas area, it's another strike against him.
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Old 11-19-2018, 07:47 AM   #17
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Inspectors arent going to be able to assess anything without removing some of what's up. An inspection isn't necessary when the contractor disregards manufacturer's directions on proper installation of a product. Hopefully it all works out for you. Just know the people that have chimed in aren't just keyboard warriors, most of us are or were installers that take proper installation seriously.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:14 AM   #18
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In my view it's completely irrelevant whether the contractor is genuinely convinced of his methods and is "nice" about it. Ok, so he didn't "cheat" you but he still did it utterly wrong. That's his responsibility to establish proper knowledge before he builds showers.

Why would you push inspection on this? Are you trying to vindicate the installer to feel better about the installation? If so, I could somehow understand it from a psychological standpoint but the fact remains that you have a sub-par installation prone to failure.

From a mechanical standpoint, it's not the time to think about the mosaic but about dismantling this thing and do it properly.
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Old 11-19-2018, 09:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen
Even if we have questions about the quality of the work, he seems to genuinely believe he is doing the right thing.
Hate to pile on, Stephen, but in the words of my dear ol' daddy, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

You're paying for a new shower that meets contemporary professional standards and you're not getting that. If you're content with it, that's entirely up to you, of course, but what you're getting is prone to premature failure.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:02 AM   #20
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I don't disagree with anything you guys are saying. We do feel kind of trapped though.

We think the inspection is worthwhile, at least while its not finished because its something hes made specific representations about. Definitely not trying to reassure ourselves. We did think about hiring another contractor and getting an independent assessment but I'm not sure it would gain us anything.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:04 AM   #21
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The inspector will not know how waterproofing was done. The inspector will not know how the tile was bonded. The inspector may not even care. Why do you think the inspection is so worthwhile? Who cares what the inspector says. You already know it was a bad job and have already been told what is wrong. If the inspector says "looks ok", how does that change anything that has been said above??

it is true that MANY contractors build showers by slapping on cement board and tiling over it. No waterproofing and no poly sheeting.

Many showers were built like this long time ago with drywall and mastic, not even cement board.

The fact is, it would last the rest of your life if done properly. If done the way it looks like he did, there really is no telling how long it will last. The more you use the shower, the less life it will have. Water will seep into grout lines, regardless of what grout you use. Water will seep into corners and wick itself into the cement board. Without waterproofing, the cement board itself will be OK, but anything else in the wall will begin to slowly mold and rot. The curb is usually the first thing to go and leak water into the surrounding area.

Then there is the way he is attaching the tile. This is is a totally separate issue from the waterproofing. The way he is affixing the tile leaves hollow spots behind them makes them prone to fall off with any bumps, vibrations, etc. They may not ever fall, but it really is a half-assed way of doing it. If the wall wasn't plane and he needed to spot bond the tile to get them plane, he is doing it wrong. The walls should have been made plane before he mounted the cement board with shims or whatever.

good luck. it sounds like you are looking for a reason to settle and accept it. I wouldn't unless you are OK with moisture and mold in your walls.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:28 AM   #22
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In calling for the inspector, Mike, I believe Stephen is hoping that the inspector would fail the job and he'd have some concrete recourse with the contractor.

And if the inspector was doing his/her job properly, that's what would happen. Seems like a perfectly reasonable assumption - for someone who hasn't been through the inspection process before.

Those who have been through the process realize that most inspectors do not trouble themselves with the fine details. That's not how it should be, but that's how it is.

Stephen just wants ammunition. And those rounds are going to carry more weight with the contractor coming from the local inspection office than they will coming from an internet advice forum, unfortunate as that is.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:58 AM   #23
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Yes, as Dan says, just looking for ammunition. Unfortunately, I'm well aware of what can happen with city inspectors, I've witnessed both extremes. Its a small hope but nothing to lose by getting it done.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:09 AM   #24
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Along the same lines as Dan is suggesting, I think it's worth noting that city building inspections are about locally applicable code compliance. Those shouldn't be, but often are, subject to interpretation by the individual inspectors. Building codes are often pretty low hurdles for construction, and don't define a well made structure.

They typically don't inspect for workmanship or adherence to manufacturer's installation instructions or even logical good practice, but that's another subject. It occurs to me that building codes, in general, are mostly focused on safety, not goodness or longevity.


I can see a code compliance official looking at this and giving a green light. What then? You, as a client, drive the train. Uncomfortable as it may be, it's your money and you get a say in the outcome. Many contractors see that as interfering with their job, but IMHO thatcan be an ego thing or just a lack of understanding or education and perhaps unwillingness to learn.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:14 AM   #25
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I wonder if you would shoot yourself in the foot if the city inspector actually approves this installation.

Depending on the money invested in this, you might have excellent chances in small claims court if your contractor is unwilling to refund. It also depends on what your contract specifies. Is your contractor properly bonded and insured? Regardless, equipped with industry documentation, you could easily marshal all the photographic evidence yourself. You'll have to demolish it anyway if you want a proper installation.

By not giving in on this you might also teach the guy a valuable lesson. Maybe he'll rethink his approach and do better on future projects.
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:28 AM   #26
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exactly, if the inspector approves it you are NOT helping your situation but making it worse...

that is my opinion. Note: I am not a tradesman or tile expert, but an engineer and an attorney....
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:54 AM   #27
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I agree with Speed.

If you know the work is poor and wrong, stand on that. Letting an inspector who walks dozens of jobs a day weigh in on what you already KNOW to be an issue is a little shortsighted. Wether or not it’s right, a ‘yes’ from an inspector gives the contractor more standing and a reason to refund you at anything but full cost. Don’t do it. Meet the contractor as soon as possible with all your research, tear a tile off, point out flaws and tell him what the right path forward is, and he is welcome to redo the work correctly or refund your money. Time festers these wounds!

Be firm. He’s not really that nice of a guy if he’s doing junk work but ‘thinks’ it’s ok.

Just my opinion
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #28
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The contractor is bonded and insured, hes registered with the city as well. And we've not actually paid anything for the shower yet.

I'll think very carefully about getting the inspection done because you guys have valid points about that.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:53 PM   #29
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Great. You'll win this battle easily, then. The burden is on him to prove that he has installed this according to industry standards.
I'd be skeptical if he offered to redo it. If it were me, I'd try to get this contractor out of my house asap and find someone more competent.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:25 PM   #30
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Your inspector should be a Certified Tile Installer - a CTI certificate holder, or a well respected member of the NTCA such as a 5 Star contractor.

Or someone who is a court certified expert.
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