GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Who should fix this one?

DIYJester | Posted in Project Management on

My wife sent me a text today, as I am out of town, showing our garage door completely smashed in. We had a concrete contractor at the house today and at least two loads of rock brought in. The concrete guy said it was like that when he arrived, just after the first rock truck. The rock trucking company also has not claimed responsibility. Any thoughts on how I should resolve this? The rock was ordered by the concrete guy and not me for clarification.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Call up the agent for your homeowner's policy. You should also file a police report.

    Your insurance agent will go after the insurance companies (if any) that cover the contractors... if possible.

  2. DIYJester | | #2

    Thank you Martin. We filled the police report, but they can't do much other than that as they say since we can't find missing items (yet) that it is not considered a crime or vandalism. I'll call our homeowners now.

  3. charlie_sullivan | | #3

    Missing items doesn't seem like a necessary criterion for something to qualify as vandalism!

    I hope your insurance agent is helpful.

  4. DIYJester | | #4

    Unfortunately I will have to pay the deductibles and only if they would decide to pursue subrogation could I get the money back.

    The police said since we couldn't prove it was intentional it could not be pursue other than through civil means.

  5. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #5

    I'd send (or have my lawyer send) a demand letter to the contractor. Something big hit the door, most likely a delivery truck. You'll want the names and addresses of the drivers and anyone else who was presentat the time thestone was delivered.
    Take pictures.

  6. user-1072251 | | #6

    looks like it hit the 3rd row of panels on the right side; probably while backing up. Which of those contractors has a truck with something sticking out the back?

  7. DIYJester | | #7

    The two types of vehicles that were there was a 45 tin dump truck with 19 tons of 1" clean. The other vehicle was a F350 with a skid steer trailer. I'm leaning towards the trailer. I am just going to tell the concrete contractor he needs to make a claim since he subbed out the rock.

  8. DIYJester | | #8

    We went to court today and unfortunately it seems as long as the contractor claims he didn't do it and you were not a witness to the damage, you have to assume a large bug hit the door and did the damage. We spent nearly an hour today in court trying to prove the UPS man or others did not do the damage. I asked the judge how I should be sure they did the work when I wasn't there to observe it, and that part of the job was considered assumed.

    Because we were not there nor did we have video, it seems without a lawyer we are getting screwed. Just a lesson to all you would be people hiring contractors, if you can't be there to witness the work, make sure you have cameras.

    We are now into a lawsuit costing possibly more to prove a contractor did more damage in what they did get done than to have poured the concrete by mixing it by bags, by hand. My 2 cents is most contractors are just out to make a quick buck and will never stand by any long term work because they know the law will protect them or their clients will have less income and won't be able to sue.

    With that I would also encourage all homeowners to require their contractors to cover, ANY and ALL damages done during the times that they are on on their property or not. If not you could end up in our situation with nearly $5000 of damage and you are still liable for contractor costs.

  9. user-2310254 | | #9

    An attorney once advised me that I should require contractors to add me as a named insured on their insurance policies. He stated this is a best-practice on most construction projects and typically costs about $25. As a named insured, I would be more protected should the contractor experience an accident while at my property. For example, if one of the contractor's workers is injured and he or his family decide to sue the contractor and me (as the homeowner), I will be able to rely on the contractor's insurance company. The attorney noted that a homeowner's policy does not offer complete protection. I can imagine there would be negative consequences if my insurer had to pay out a large settlement to close a claim against my personal policy.

    We haven't followed the attorney's advice (yet), but I would be curious if anyone else reading GBA has used this strategy to mitigate risk.

  10. DIYJester | | #10

    Steve thank you for the information. It is sad we must pay people to ensure contractors or anyone for that matter does the job they are supposed too.

    I have one more possible contractor I'll be using and will definitely consider your recommendation.

    I would say the best defense is to be present for the work or to have camers.

  11. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #11

    Steve: When I was practicing law, invariably owners required that they be named insureds on contractors' insurance policies. While these were commercial projects, there's no reason not to do the same on residential projects. Typically, there was no added cost.

    If you do that, the various insurers ( for the owner, GC and subs) get to fight about who is at fault, leaving the owner out of the dispute.

  12. user-2310254 | | #12

    Mike. A landscape contractor once told me about hiring a couple of guys to pour a concrete sidewalk. He was supervising the project but needed to leave for another appointment. Since he had used these fellows before and the work was almost done, he handed over their payment and drove off. When he returned a few hours later, the guys were gone and the sidewalk was ruined because they had completed the finish work. Apparently, they had packed up the moment he was out of sight. Lesson learned, I guess.

  13. dankolbert | | #13

    Sorry you got hosed. I'm a builder and have had a few situations like this over the years - knocked-over mailboxes, box trucks backing into a garage, etc - we use big equipment in relatively small areas with a lot of obstacles.

    Every time it's happened, my subcontractor or I has stepped in to make things right. It's never fun but part of doing business. Better luck in the future with your contractors. It's pretty shameful he's not willing to admit the obvious - he should be the one going after the stone guys if they're acting under his authority.

  14. Expert Member
    MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #14

    That's a bad situation and I'd be spitting mad. How did the situation change from you having to pay an insurance deductible to it costing you $5000?

  15. DIYJester | | #15

    Malcolm, we ended up with $1980 to try to replace the door with a like color, it didn't match so we have to replace the second door at $980, and our driveway entry gate which came at $2980. So we have nearly $5k of damage, not out of pocket. I had to pay the $1000 deductible and depending on what the judge decides, the contractor wants $2700 for backfillIng 38 tons of limestone. I'm hoping the judge has some sense.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |