Use of dropcloths (or lack thereof)

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Posted by: from Miami
9/30/2011 at 8:26:18 AM

We recently had to have our house re-piped due to bad copper pipes. After, we hired a contractor to replace the drywall removed by the plumber plus replace two ceilings that were damaged by leaks. The drywall crew arrived & did not have dropcloths. We had just had wood floors installed (wish we had known about the plumbing issue first!) & had mentioned several times that we would really appreciate care taken re the floors. We had already put down some brown paper & plastic, but we assumed the contractors would have their own dropcloths. When we got home from work & saw a layer of drywall dust on our floors we were shocked. I called the contractor & requested the use of drop cloths & he said they weren't included in the bid?!?! We were supposed to buy dropcloths??? When asked if he had some, he said he did & they were all on another job. When I said that the floors needed to be covered, I was treated at that point like I was being a difficult client. His only solution was for us to purchase more brown paper rolls which his crew would cover the floors with. While they did cover most of the floors that way, the paper stayed for the whole job & was covered w/drywall dust that got tracked around, as opposed to a dropcloth which can be picked up daily.

Anyway, what I would like to know, were we being unreasonable to expect dropcloths on our floors?

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Date/Time9/30/2011 at 11:18:49 AM

Yes, It's very reasonable on your part to expect the use of dropcloths on the wood floors. Sounds like the responsible team may have drop the ball.

Whether it was on the contract or not; these are the issues that concerns homeowners the most according to some lawyer's in our field.

Some being; how much dust will be created? Who will clean it up? What time will the workers show up and what time will the leave? Will there be a working foreman? Will the workers be supervised from the contractor to make sure our home is not damaged or take proper measures to keep it clean?

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Date/Time9/30/2011 at 6:26:07 PM

Me as a contractor will always supply the materials to protect property, You should not pay for tarps to protect your property. When I do drywall work I put down drop cloths and I have a vac sander that will clean 99% of the dust the other 1% will land on the drop cloths. A good contractor will lose a few dollars to keep a customer happy to get future work.

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Emily in Miami
Date/Time10/1/2011 at 3:13:53 PM

Thank you both for your replies! I wish your companies were here :)

There are lots of future projects, alas. Back to the fun of vetting another contractor.

I am trying to gather my thoughts to let the contractor know that I am not happy w/the lack of care taken with our home (they left a lot of messes behind), so knowing that I made a reasonable request makes me feel better (but it doesn't help me mop the floors....again....)

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Kenny in Fairland
Date/Time11/13/2011 at 8:49:06 PM

Then again some folks expect that construction can be done in a closed, lived in home with no noise, dust or inconveinence. Was dust on the floor really as big of a deal as you are making it out to be?

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