Questioning Contractors Work.

9 Replies

I manage a two story 10 unit apartment complex in Los Angeles. We recently had an incident which involved a drunk driver crashing into our concrete stairs.

I contacted a contractor and he offered to repair them for $1300.

I've been tracking his work and am questioning whether it's being done correctly. 

My question persist on the following:

Concrete steps/stairs are made up by a series of plywood boxes stacked in which you then pour cement into.

While reviewing the work done I noticed that the contractor made plywood boxes but then covered them with a flat piece of wood then added cement on top. A couple of days later I noticed that the layer of cement now has spider web cracking everywhere.

My question to any fellow contractors. 

Is the process he took to repair the steps correct and is the spider web cracking normal?

If you didnt have a scope of the work , thats what you get . Its pretty ingenious   , but it wont last . That wasnt concrete it was morter mix or sand mix . It will fall off the plywood in about a month or so .  

Wow... That looks horrible. At a minimum, I would have demo'd the entire base of the stair and rebuilt.   What did your contract say?  What was the scope of work?  Why did you pick this contractor and not the other 5 that bid on the project? Was it permitted? Is that pressure treated lumber? What did the engineer say that designed the new stair landing?  Does that railing still carry the 100 or 200 psf required by code? Are the risers still within 3/8" of each other?

If you didn't ask those questions the first time around... looks like you will get a second chance to do it... sorry. 

FWIW spider web cracking in concrete is thin as a hair line and generally acceptable. You don't have spider web cracking. You have full fledged cracks... probably coming from people walking on the landing and the plywood flexing. I agree with Matthew that it will fail completely sooner than later. 

I would not call this a normal method of construction. Did you have a contract? Have you paid the contractor?

He patched concrete on the old steps, that will not work. He should of took out the old concrete steps and poured a brand new set of steps

Ouch, what a piece of work, how did he get his license? I hope you got permits and he pulled it, or a time and material guarantee, if not, good luck, bumpy road ahead.

Spider web cracks is not acceptable to me, one or two "hairline" cracks is, and certainly not within the first 3 months.

It doesn't look professional.  Consider an adjustment for final pay and get several bids to complete properly.  It will save you in the long term...

@Account Closed

This is not a concrete stair it's a wood framed stair with mortar/plaster finish.  Yes the spider crack is not acceptable in concrete stair but you can finish over the cracks for the mortar/plaster finish (although it is poor mortar job).  Message me if the finish work didn't fix the crack.

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