Who pays for repairs to broken pool deck?

(WSVN) - A city agreed to build a wall to protect its residents from busy traffic, but one homeowner said her yard is being busted up by it. Now, she wonders if the contractor or city has to pay for the repairs, so she called help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

If you live on a busy street like Commercial Boulevard, a wall is almost a necessity.

Tara Lara, needs concrete solution: “The first one was the worst. It was so scary.”

Four times drivers crashed into the wall in Tara’s backyard. Four times she and her husband repaired the four-foot tall wall.

Tara Lara: “Yeah, we were very excited. Finally.”

That’s because the city of Tamarac decided to build a taller, stronger six-foot wall to protect the neighborhood.

Tara Lara: “They are going to build it exactly where the old wall was, and that was the agreement.”

Thirty-five homeowners along the boulevard signed the contract giving Tamarac a five-foot permanent easement of their property, and in return, the city would maintain the wall. The contractor went to work.

Tara Lara: “So when I came home, I was shocked.”

Shocked because the contractor cut two feet off her pool deck and not in a straight line.

A little crooked, a couple of chunks knocked out, and a crack or two in the remaining deck.

Tara Lara: “No, we did not give them any permission. I was very, very surprised.”

Five small trees that were a buffer between the yard and road disappeared.

Tara Lara: “And I have been asking them, ‘Where are the trees?’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I still don’t know what they did with our trees.”

The worst part to Tara? The pool deck had been pulled away from the pool.

Tara Lara: “It’s cracked all around the pool, so now they just want to patch it, and I’m not happy.”

Tara said she was told the pool structure was fine, and they could just pour concrete into this gap.

Tara Lara: “They say they haven’t damaged anything.”

Patrick Fraser: “How do they know?”

Tara Lara: “I know, exactly. I don’t want a few weeks from now, a month from now having a pool problem, and then they will say, ‘Oh, we are not liable.'”

Needless to say, the excitement at getting a new buffer wall is quickly crumbling.

Tara Lara: “They destroyed my property. All I am asking for them to fix what they destroyed.”

Well Howard, does the contractor have to repair all this to their satisfaction or to Tara’s satisfaction?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News Legal Expert: “That’s a tricky question, and the answer is probably in the middle. The contractor has to replace or repair everything they destroyed. In this case, Tara is lucky because the contractor is working for the city that wants to make its taxpayers happy, and to protect yourself, get any agreement for the repairs in writing and signed by both sides.”

I talked to the contractor’s office, and they were very easy to work with.

An assistant told me they were required to cut the pool deck to properly install the concrete footers for the wall.

She added they wanted to make every homeowner happy, and so they agreed to repair everything that was damaged, plus refinishing the entire pool deck so everything matches in finish and color, to have the pool inspected and make any agreed upon repair.

They would also install sod in the backyard and a shade tree as well.

Tara Lara: “They were very cooperative.”

Leaving Tara with a nice wall and no more headaches.

Tara Lara: “I am very happy and satisfied.”

A happy viewer — kind of our goal.

And this story is a reminder. If you are doing any construction, remodeling or work is being done around your house, take pictures before they start. That way if there is any damage, you have the before and after pictures to bolster your case because not every contractor is as easy to work with as the one Tara dealt with.

Hit a wall trying to construct a solution to your problem? Don’t deck ’em. Pool your skills with us to see if we can pour out some concrete answers.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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