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Old 08-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
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Default Holding customers product as collateral for payment, ok?

To help set up our situation, this "remodeling" job had been going on for 2-1/2 years when my husband was hired. Previous trades had walked of the job and refused to never return.
So here is my story.
My husband was originally contracted for a painting job by the general contractor for a home remodel. Then the home owners decided in the middle of the project to take on the responsibilities of the "general contractor" duties, ie: scheduling, plumbers, electricians, etc...The project was completely out of sync with all the trades. There was no order of scheduling set in place. When the owners had started "seeing light at the end of the tunnel" for completion of their remodel. My husband was being pressured constantly by the owners to complete the job. In the meantime, there was damage done to walls due to product failure. This was out of my husbands control. The manufacture of the product nor the store would compensate him for doing the repairs. Then the home owners decided that they wanted the remaining painting done within a week, my husband explained to them this was not possible for him because he is a "one man show". (Which they all had known this in the beginning when he was hired)
They then decided to hire a different painting crew to finish the job. We had 3/4 of the project completed at the time of our release. This included the 36 doors that were repaired, sanded, primed and painted. The doors are in our shop at our residence (due to the work space we have available). The customer is now refusing to pay for the remainder of the bill because they are blaming him for the repairs that had to be done by the other painting company and the owners are complaining that this has costed them additional $10,000 dollars on top of 2 months mortgage. Well it would have been cheaper for them to let my husband finish the job and do the repairs then release him. So we are holding on to their doors as collateral. We have almost $3000.00 dollars of work invested in the doors alone. What legal course of action do we have to insist the customer must pay in order for the return of their doors? Or any advice on how anyone would handle this situation?
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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That's a tough situation. Not sure why you'd ask legal advice from a forum full of painters, (although you'll get plenty of it, no doubt). Hopefully your husband's contract included something about what IS and ISN'T included in the scope of work, and that damages and repairs are an extra, to be added to the original contract via signed Change Order.

Consult an attorney ASAP. All you will get here are opinions and advice. You need facts, specific to your situation and area. You need an attorney. Hope it all works out.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stelzerpaintinginc. View Post
That's a tough situation. Not sure why you'd ask legal advice from a forum full of painters, (although you'll get plenty of it, no doubt). Hopefully your husband's contract included something about what IS and ISN'T included in the scope of work, and that damages and repairs are an extra, to be added to the original contract via signed Change Order.

Consult an attorney ASAP. All you will get here are opinions and advice. You need facts, specific to your situation and area. You need an attorney. Hope it all works out.
ABSOLUTELY! Do not wait another day!
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for your response. I was basically looking for some advice or if anyone had been in this sort of situation and what they did. We had a contract written outlining what would be done and anything outside of the scope of work would be charged at an hourly rate. Ie: This would include repairs to walls and mill work that was made by other trades. However our situation was due to product failure, so therefor we were willing to suck up the costs sort of speak.
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ajseagleeyepainting View Post
Thank you for your response. I was basically looking for some advice or if anyone had been in this sort of situation and what they did. We had a contract written outlining what would be done and anything outside of the scope of work would be charged at an hourly rate. Ie: This would include repairs to walls and mill work that was made by other trades. However our situation was due to product failure, so therefor we were willing to suck up the costs sort of speak.
What kind of product failure? Did the customer specify that product?
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:58 PM   #6
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The product failure was due to the 3M blue tape. The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked. This tape was also pulling off paint from the ceilings when the ceilings had a finished paint product applied.

Also, just received a message from the owners that they have been in contact with L&I and legal counsel. Stating that since the job was not completed and we were not willing to give a completion date, which is incorrect we told them it would be another few weeks but they stated they wanted in done within a week. They disagree on what % of the job was complete since a lot of it had to be redone due to the damage.

So we are at a he-said-she said situation.

Do we just give the doors back and write this one off??
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajseagleeyepainting View Post
Thank you for your response. I was basically looking for some advice or if anyone had been in this sort of situation and what they did. We had a contract written outlining what would be done and anything outside of the scope of work would be charged at an hourly rate. Ie: This would include repairs to walls and mill work that was made by other trades. However our situation was due to product failure, so therefor we were willing to suck up the costs sort of speak.
Was this part of the original agreement with the GC, or with the owner after the GC was released? With so many discrepencies occuring with this project, I would likely give the doors back and walk, and avoid all of the mumbo jumbo related to liens and law suits.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ajseagleeyepainting View Post
The product failure was due to the 3M blue tape. The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked. This tape was also pulling off paint from the ceilings when the ceilings had a finished paint product applied.

Also, just received a message from the owners that they have been in contact with L&I and legal counsel. Stating that since the job was not completed and we were not willing to give a completion date, which is incorrect we told them it would be another few weeks but they stated they wanted in done within a week. They disagree on what % of the job was complete since a lot of it had to be redone due to the damage.

So we are at a he-said-she said situation.

Do we just give the doors back and write this one off??
I think it would be a good idea to talk to an attorney first, but it is up to you as to whether it is worth the effort. The other thing to consider is that since 3M has already claimed that their product isn't at fault, you could very well end up having to bring them to court to prove one way or another if their product was in fact at fault. That would probably not go well for you, as they can present a lot of testing and evidence, as well as many, many attorneys to defend their product.

The other thing to consider is that there is apparently a history of these people having trouble with contractors. I would be willing to bet some of them have had payment withheld as well.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:38 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=ajseagleeyepainting;878889]The product failure was due to the 3M blue tape. The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked. This tape was also pulling off paint from the ceilings when the ceilings had a finished paint product applied.

I've had lots of tape pull lots of paint off every surface imaginable over the last 27 years. Never once have I thought it was a product failure.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:02 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=stelzerpaintinginc.;878953]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajseagleeyepainting View Post
The product failure was due to the 3M blue tape. The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked. This tape was also pulling off paint from the ceilings when the ceilings had a finished paint product applied.

I've had lots of tape pull lots of paint off every surface imaginable over the last 27 years. Never once have I thought it was a product failure.
That's kind of what I was saying. But I was trying to be a little tactful in my response. but thanks for clearing that up. It's literally never the tape's fault. At least from what I have seen.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:15 PM   #11
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So if it's not the tapes fault. Then who would it be? Because based on our investigation, the white tape that was adhered to the walls came off easier than the blue tape. We compared the blue tape adhesive and the white tape adhesive, these were virtually the same. This was also verified by a representative at a paint store. He also had agreed that the blue tape should have never done this sort of damage.
In my husbands painting career, 28 years along with his peers in the painting field never saw this happen. He was actually questioned several times on whether he should be using blue tape to mask the walls around the mill work prior to spraying. Due to the reputation that the blue tape will fall off the walls after spraying.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:17 PM   #12
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If the tape pulled the paint that is not product failure. We just saw this at a job we are on, floor guys used a 3m blue tape on the ceiling (painted 5 years ago), they even used a damp cloth to soften up the tape when they pulled it, that didn't work, it still pulled. Now the floor guy and HO are going back and forth. Both thinking it was going to cost a few hundred. A little compound, tad bit of primer and 2 coats of touch up. Took me all of maybe 30 mins, HO had compound, paint and even mini rollers so it cost a little labor time.

I will not use any blue tape no matter who makes it on walls or ceilings. Frog tape only.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:21 PM   #13
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As for what to do about your money. You said other trades have left or been asked to leave. I highly doubt they got paid what they were owed.

Red flag....

When a GC or HO are going through a bunch of different contractors it's usually because the HO or GC screw up with money, get in over their heads, fall out of the loop on whats done and not done.

I have and will continue to refuse jobs where other trades are like a revolving door. No thanks we have enough crap to deal with let alone wondering if we will even get paid.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:24 PM   #14
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Who primed the drywall in the first place? That's the core of the problem. If the initial primer was skipped and just flat paint was used, that is not a good surface to be taping, regardless of which color your tape is. Same deal if some cheap PVA primer was used. Many drywallers will finish the drywall and prime the walls as well. Guess which primer they use? The cheapest junk they can find. Maybe it is just me, and I have been painting for 30 years as well, but I don't tape walls. I consider this to be too risky, especially if I don't know who did the painting in the first place and I certainly would never tape off a ceiling. What would be the reason for doing that? Can't those just be cut in by hand?
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajseagleeyepainting View Post
So if it's not the tapes fault. Then who would it be? Because based on our investigation, the white tape that was adhered to the walls came off easier than the blue tape. We compared the blue tape adhesive and the white tape adhesive, these were virtually the same. This was also verified by a representative at a paint store. He also had agreed that the blue tape should have never done this sort of damage.
In my husbands painting career, 28 years along with his peers in the painting field never saw this happen. He was actually questioned several times on whether he should be using blue tape to mask the walls around the mill work prior to spraying. Due to the reputation that the blue tape will fall off the walls after spraying.
I'm not saying it wasn't the tapes fault, I'm just saying that you will never get a tape manufacturer to admit it was or pay a complaint. They have no control over what paint it was and how well it was able to cure to a suitable hardness to be taped over in the dry time allotted to it. They will always find a variable in the system that will preclude them from fault. Just like most major paint companies will.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:32 PM   #16
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how long was the tape left on the walls? All tape has a time limit

The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked.

you said it pulled the drywall "paper" off?

have a feeling there is more to this story, but i would start with how long the tape was left on

How many rolls of tape where used? every roll do the same?
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:40 PM   #17
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Also, there are several "blue" tapes made by 3M. If it had an orange core, it was the delicate surface tape and should have worked fine assuming it was a quality paint that was completely dried that was taped over. The white core blue tape is just for use in place of standard masking tape when it may have to be left on for up to 14 days. It used to be called "Longmask" for that reason. It doesn't say it is for use on previously painted surfaces like the orange core does. The green core tape is a hybrid of the two, using the delicate tape's adhesive with the white core tape's paper so it can be sold a little cheaper than the orange core product.

Confused yet? That's what they will be banking on if you try to file a claim against them for a product failure. That and the fact that you cannot prove that the paint being taped over was completely cured. Even if it was cured, if it was a cheap paint it still could have peeled with the tape. And you more than likely can't prove that it was either.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:40 PM   #18
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how long was the tape left on the walls? All tape has a time limit

The tape was pulling off the drywall paper around the mill work that was masked.

you said it pulled the drywall "paper" off?

have a feeling there is more to this story, but i would start with how long the tape was left on

How many rolls of tape where used? every roll do the same?
That is a very important question.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:48 PM   #19
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I don't think $3k is worth getting attorneys involved. It could end up costing a lot more in the long run. I would give the doors back, and forget about the money.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:49 PM   #20
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The basic overall of this story is that there are so many people blaming each other. The homeowners are already shafting the General Contractor out of $14K.
Regardless of what happened with the damage and who was at fault. We were in the position to do the repairs at our expense but with the owners putting an ultimatum on the deadline we explained to them we could not complete the repairs within the timeframe. This house is over 5000 square feet with three floors. We estimated over 40,000 square foot of wall space.
I do have pictures and video of the damages as well.
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