Seawall Repairs

(WSVN) - They hired a company to repair their seawall … They are not happy and the company has not fixed the mistakes. The customers are out of luck, right? Oh no, they aren’t because of one thing they did, and that’s why they decided to Call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

The good news? You live on the water.

Graciane Baumstark, wanted seawall repaired: “It’s like being every day in the weekend, a vacation.”

The bad news? You have an old seawall.

Graciane Baumstark: “Started to have a crack and start bulging.”

The worst news … seawall repairs are really expensive.

Graciane Baumstark: “$50,000.”

Patrick Fraser: “A lot of money.”

Graciane Baumstark: “Yes.”

Mike and Graciane hired a company back in 2016 to install a new vinyl seawall in front of the old one, cover it with concrete cap, install nine batter piles to strengthen it all … and put in pilings for a dock.

Graciane Baumstark: “We started to see problems and start to complain, they start to do little fixes.”

Twice it failed inspection. The end caps weren’t finished and white sand started pouring into the canal.

Mike Baumstark, not happy with repairs: “The leaking that still remains here is pretty much on the end. And we have some leaking at the bottom.”

Instead of nine batter piles, the marine company only put in eight, and one piling couldn’t be driven six feet down because it was put on top of a batter pile.

One problem after another…

Mike Baumstark: “I just feel it’s a death by thousand calls. Small mistakes after small mistakes after small mistakes.”

With the ends unfinished and the sand leaking into the canal, Mike and Graciane do have one thing on their side … they have not made their last payment and owe the company money.

Graciane Baumstark: “Around $12,000.”

Graciane wanted to pay the company part of that and hire someone else to fix the flaws…

Graciane Baumstark: “I don’t want them to come no more in my house.”

The marine company said, “No, we want our $12,000 and we’ll give you a $1,000 discount.”

To put it mildly, this seawall battle has hit a brick wall.

Patrick Fraser: “Are you tired of them?”

Graciane Baumstark: “Oh, yes.”

Patrick Fraser: “You think they are tired of you?”

Graciane Baumstark: “Oh, yes.”

Well Howard, can the Baumstarks keep the money they owe and hire someone else?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes, they can but because they still owe $12,000, they are in great shape. If they don’t feel they got what the contract promised, they can keep the money and hire another contractor to fix the seawall. Or since the contractor wants his $12,000, tell him he can have it — if and only if — the job is done the way the Baumstarks wanted it.”

I spoke to the owners of B&M Marine Construction…

Mark Woonten said the Baumstarks blew everything out of proportion.

As for installing eight batter piles instead of nine, he said, “We screwed up and we deducted the cost of that from the bill.”

He also said to satisfy the Baumstarks, his workers would come back, fix things the Baumstarks were not happy with and instead of collecting the $12,000 he was owed, he would accept $6,000.

A great gesture from B&M and great for the Baumstarks…

Graciane Baumstark: “They fix the major leaks on both sides of the seawall.”

Graciane is now happy and can relax in her backyard … after that call to Help Me Howard.

Graciane Baumstark: “Oh, yes. Helping Me Howard, if it wasn’t for you guys, I think it would be the same nightmare for I don’t know how many years more.”

The key — Mike and Graciane were so smart to pay as the job progressed. If you hire a contractor, put down the smallest deposit possible and don’t pay any part of the job ’till that work is done and you are satisfied. That keeps you in the driver’s seat.

Battered by problems piling up on you? Feel like you are walled in? Dock with us. See if we can come up with a concrete solution.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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