Retainer wall failed under warranty 3 times and was never properly repaired .
Retainer wall was installed with 5 year warranty . Failed in 2 years and took attorney to get them to repair . Wall failed again in 2 years . They did a repair. Wall failed again while still under warranty. They will again fix the wall but will not extend warranty . If they could not properly fix the wall after 3 tries and now will not extend the warranty if they again fix it , it tells me they do not have the confidence that it will last . I picked their company even though they were by far the highest bidder because the had a good web page , nice offices and a good BBB review . Now i know their main business seems to be concrete work . My work was all metal work . I feel they did not have the necessary experience to do this job when they started and from the different ways they have tried to repair the work i am convienced they still are not experienced in this type of construction . I told them i would let them come in again and mess up my yard to repair one more time but only if they agreed to an extended warranty which they refused . My next move is to take them to court .
I am asking BBB and will also ask the court if necessary for a full refund of original cost less the material cost . The materials are ok , the workmanship was the problem . I will also ask for refund of the monies i have spent to repasir the yard after their failed repair attempts . Each time they repaired the work it was under duress and they made no attempt to repair any damage to yard . I was told " it will grow back " and it did , all weeds .
I, William Hart, doing business first as Hart General Contracting and now Hartbeat Construction, have been in business for 31 years as a general contractor specializing in site preparation (dirt work and excavation), the construction of retaining walls and boat houses. Hartbeat Construction has been a member of the East Texas Better Business Bureau for 4 years and has not received a BBB negative complaint from any of its hundreds of past customers prior to the filing of the complaint by * *, *.
Mr.* contracted with Hartbeat Construction to build a retaining wall on his lakefront property in 2008. I constructed the retaining wall according to the manufacturer's plans and specifications, taking into consideration the site conditions of the * property. On August 8, 2008 I gave Mr. * a five year warranty for workmanship and materials. A true and correct copy of the original warranty is enclosed.
Contrary to Mr. *'s BBB complaint that the wall failed in year two, which would have been 2010, I did not receive any communication from Mr. * regarding issues with the wall until April 5, 2012, which was nearly four years after installation. A true and correct copy of the letter from Mr. * dated April 5, 2012 is enclosed. Before I could come to investigate Mr. *'s complaint, he decided to involve an attorney who contacted me on May 16, 2012. On May 19, 2012, I inspected the wall. Even though I determined that the wall had moved for some other reason than defective materials or workmanship, I realigned the wall at my own expense and to the satisfaction of Mr. * because I warrantied the wall for a five year period.
On March 25, 2013, almost 5 years after installation, I was contacted by Mr. * who complained that the wall was out of alignment. I responded to Mr. * by letter (enclosed) dated April 20, 2013 and suggested reasons why the will could be slightly out of alignment. In response and at my own expense, I contracted with Apex geoscience, inc. (APEX) and requested that a certified engineer inspect the site conditions and the retaining wall and prepare a report of their inspection.
On July 19, 2013, * delivered their report which I have enclosed. On page two of the report, * * *, P.E. stated that on the date of his inspection, my description of the original wall construction and 2012 repairs "appears consistent with the age, type and condition of the retention structure, as well as my observations. Thus, for purposes herein, I have presumed it to be reliable and verifiable."
Mr. * described the condition of the wall at the time of inspection to be, "displaced to an out-of-plumb condition of about four (4) to five (5) inches at the top toward water. Based upon the configuration, it is very doubtful that the bottom of the wall has been displaced inward or upslope toward the residence." Mr. * opined as to several possible reasons that could cause the "slightly tilted" condition and determined the most likely cause of the displacement to be:
(1) Drought conditions experienced on Lake Palestine approximately one (1) to two (2) hears ago, which disrupted the pore water equilibrium pressure between the upstream and downstream sides of the retaining structure;
(2) Movement of the deadman anchors to tension exerted by tiebacks; or
(3) Movement of the entire soil mass containing the anchors and the wall.
Mr. * went on and wrote, "A certain amount of movement of the deadman anchors and the wall (items 2 and 3 above) should be expected as normal, and is even required to "mobilize" the soil resistance. However, given the relatively low height of the wall, I suspect that some soil creep is occurring."
Most importantly, Mr. * observed, "The degree of movement as observed has not compromised the function of the wall; it continues to function as intended, and represents (thus far) a cosmetic concern only."
By letter dated July 22, 2013, I provided a copy of the * report to Mr. *. However, to satisfy Mr. *, I agreed to provide additional support to bolster the top of the retaining wall and described those agreed upon efforts in a letter to Mr. * dated August 19, 2013 (enclosed). The structural support was in fact added after the 5 year warranty period had expired.
Several months ago, Mr. * contacted me once again, complaining of a slight cosmetic tilting of the retaining wall. He asked me to realign the wall, which I verbally agreed to do, despite the fact that the original warranty period had expired. By letter dated July 19, 2014 (copy enclosed), Mr. * demanded that I extend the warranty period of the wall for an additional five years brier to beginning the work. I replied by letter dated July 22, 2014 (enclosed) wherein I agreed to perform certain tasks, but declined to extend the warranty for the reasons stated in the letter. Mr. * rejected my proposal by email dated July 23, 2014 (copy enclosed) and instead chose to file a complaint with the BBB.
In summary, Mr.* did not complain of any issues with the wall for nearly four years after the construction date and after a period of prolonged drought. A certified Professional Engineer examined the wall and determined that the likely causes for the slight tilting of the wall were not related to defective materials or workmanship. I realigned the wall during and after the warranty period expired at my own expense. I was willing to realign the wall once again, well outside the warranty period to satisfy a customer, but I cannot extend the warranty period for another five years.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The wall was installed and final payment made Oct 2 , 2008 with a 5 year warranty - Oct 2 , 2013
My dealings with Mr. Hart have been most difficult . In the past I have had to get an attorney to help , had many problems communicating with him , says one thing one time and a different thing next time ( sometimes its my fault - sometime its his ) .
I have documents , certified mail , cancelled checks and letters to support my claims .
The wall was not properly installed . The deadman were installed in slit which was dredged up from lake and would not support the deadman. The deadman did not have a cross piece in front to help hold them in place .When the pressure was applied they just cut through the silt like a knife .When the deadman first failed and the wall moved toward the water most of the welds that held the 4 inch angle to the pilings broke . When Mr. Hart came out to inspect the wall he told me that there were even places that had even failed to be welded.The wall was repaired twice . When it failed the third time we were approaching the end of the 5 year warranty . I asked that I be issued another warranty for an additional 5 years for workmanship only . Mr. Hart refused . I figured that if he did not have enough confidence in what he going to do to extend the warranty then they would just do what they had done in the past , the warranty would be out and i would have a substandard wall that I paid a super standard price for .
The engineering report pretty well sums up the situation (see report sent in by Mr. Hart - items 3 and 4 - Wall Conditions and Performance )
The deadman and tiebacks were the original problem .
The drought had nothing to do with my problem since the c-loc wall is porous and the water level is the same on both sides of the wall .If the wall was properly engineered and installed it should hold up the yard dirt on the land side . My watering the yard is no difference that it being rained so if the wall could not stand to be rained on ???
I also have a BBB report dated 3-22-10 against Mr. Hart that is almost identical to mine . Report says it was never resolved . From reading the report it looks like Mr. Hart always wants to put the blame on someone else like he is doing with me .
When I speak with Ms. * * she indicates there may be a problem because the warranty has expired . Yes , it is now expired but when I reported my last complaint to Mr. Hart the warranty was still in effect .
Hartbeat Construction web site has very little mention of retaining walls and when it does they are vinyl ( pvc ) not steel walls. I will be curious to find out how many steel walls Mr. Hart had installed before mine .
Unless Mr. Hart can show me a plan that I can approve as to how he will fix the wall and give me an additional 5 year warranty on workmanship OR refund all my monies paid to him and others that I had to hire to finished the work he was supposed to do i will be left with no other option than to take this to court .