Feb 01, 2021 3:05 pm
Hi, I'm looking for some advice.
We have employed a licenced builder to renovate 2 small bathrooms in our house. it wasn't a cheap quote. Both bathroom were demolished on the first day of the job.
After screeing and waterproofing he tiled and grouted the floor then next day started tiling 2 walls in the en-suite. These two walls happen to be the shower walls.
At the end of the day he showed us his work and there were huge gaps between the tile and the wall. He had used a 'dob' method of just putting blobs of adhesive on the tile and fixing the the wall.
We know that's bad and bought a copy of the standard and called the manufacturer who also agreed that it was defective work.
Next day we confronted the builder and he assured us it was fine. He said he was so confident in his work that we would warranty the work forever! We said we would need that in writing. Obviously he wouldn't do that but he also would fix it.
Fast forward, he has been asking us to sack him so he can send us his bill to date. This we have refused because it would be quite hard to get the job finished from here without it costing a premium and no one would warranty a 1/2 finished job. (We are also living without a bathroom and any new tradesman would probably have a couple of months wait).
Eventually after threatening to get a building inspector he agreed that he would remove and reattach the bathroom tiles but would not re-waterproof the wall where he pulled off the tiles. Once again he told us that if we ask him to leave he would send his bill and be off.
We didn't see how the waterproof wouldn't be damaged in that process but he insisted in an email Sunday evening that he would not re-waterproof.
Monday morning he turns up and has had a change of heart. Now he tells us he will pull the wall tiles off and will do the waterproofing, he even says that if the junction between the wall and floor has adhesive stuck on it he will remove the floor tiles and basically restart the job from screeing upwards.
The reason for this is to ensure a continuous waterproof membrane if he can overlap the new and old waterproofing just above the floor/junction but if it is blocked with adhesive it will not make a continuous membrane, therefore potentially leak.
We are in agreement so he pulls of the tiles and unfortunately there is adhesive in places in this junction.
He changes his mind again and says he will not pull off the floor tiles. we ask him to work on the other bathroom whist we get someone in to asses it but he refuses. he will not do any more work untill we say yes to his proposal.
The rest of the day he spend grinding the glue blobs off the wall and trying to scrub of the glue from the wall/floor junction.
He is now insisting that it will all be fine if he just waterproofs the walls and it will never leak.
What should I do? The junction looks clean with just grout, but also quite scratched and not a dark blue colour (perhaps indicating that the blue coloured waterproofing has been damaged).
It is a shower so it is critical that it doesn't have weak spots in the waterproofing.
We may have to pay the money to get an inspector in to tell us what to do.
But he is also withholding working on the other bathroom. I am not sure if that is a tactic to encourage us to agree to what he wants or he is planning on walking away if we get someone in and they say the floor has to go.
We have 2 young kids and living without a bathroom is very hard.
If he does walk away do we have to pay anything?
Is it going to likely leak if we accept what he wants?
or should we get it assessed even if that takes a bit of time?
thank you and, sorry for the ridiculously long post.
Re: Bathroom Tiling and waterproofing2
Feb 01, 2021 7:57 pm
You should have sacked him the day he started dicking you around. But then no one has 20/20 hindsight.
Take a step back. Find a reputable building inspector. Take lots of pictures and document everything you discussed (dates/times).
But don’t have him back. If he sends a bill either pay only what he did before the waterproofing or send him the bill to redo his not up to standard work.
Re: Bathroom Tiling and waterproofing3
Feb 02, 2021 12:40 am
You seem like absolute nightmareish clients. The "dob" technqiue is used absolutely everywhere, and is not to code, however mostly necessary because 95% of walls are built like crap here in NSW atleast. It really is standard practice across the board, and probably 80-90% of bathrooms are tiled like this. Ive seen facades tiled with massive stone slabs with this technique, and passed by the inspectors here in NSW even though its not technichally to code. I genuinely feel bad for this builder, people like you are wretched.
Get another builder out, not some dumb inspector who got licensed through a 3 month course and apparently knows it all, and get his opinion. If not, then let the man continue with his work - hes licensed, and im assuming this is all done under his company insurance.
I dont know why people on this forum are so quick to take the side of the oppressed clients against the filthy tyrant builders.... disgusting.
Re: Bathroom Tiling and waterproofing4
Feb 02, 2021 10:35 am
The bathroom was a complete strip back with new walls, and even new beams built. He built all the villaboard walls so they are not irregular walls that would require a method of dobing.
There are standards for a reason.
Re: Bathroom Tiling and waterproofing6
Feb 02, 2021 11:27 pm
Gees moudzj, you sound like a filthy tyrant builder who doesn't like standards or customers with expectations.
Pretty stupid to say you couldn't make a dead straight wall square and plumb with nothing but lvl. Suppose you or your crew or the places you have worked are full of hacks.
To the OP, put a complaint in to fair trading. Tell the builder not to come back. Find another builder. One with references. Good luck. Tough spot you are in.
Re: Bathroom Tiling and waterproofing8
Feb 03, 2021 8:01 am
Is he licensed?
https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/trad ... erproofing
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