NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

After a week of negotiations and back and forth, we signed a new foundation contract with Counterforce today. Counterforce is a well-known, highly respected foundation contractor, and they were willing to take on our job because, miracle of miracles, they had an opening right when we needed them. We should have hired them from the beginning; I am certain of that.

In celebration, we performed a Dimwitectomy: we took Contractor A's abandoned tools and equipment (and some of the enormous piles of trash he'd thrown around our yard) and put them in his lock box to get them out of the way, and to expedite getting them back to him (should he ever make appropriate arrangements to receive them). I cannot see the back of that crap too soon.

Here's the lock box, waiting to be filled up. Contractor A (who was given to intermingling tools and "borrowing" our things) had some of our stuff in here, which we removed months ago.
Lock box, empty

He hadn't left much in the container, and most of it was stuff bought for this job. We took everything that could reasonably be considered to be a tool out and put it in the lock box. Most of the lights in the container are ours, so they stayed.

A collection of four sumps I pulled out from under the benches. Contractor A (who failed to do proper site dewatering and thus caused the problems with our soil) never installed the four dewatering wells he told me he was going to put in in December. But not for lack of sumps, apparently. Well, into the lock box they went; I have no use for four inefficient submersible pumps.

The lockbox filled up with stuff. Actually, we added more things after I took this photo, including some of Contractor A's extension cords (part of his incredibly crappy electrical work on the site, the electrical work he claimed was done by a contractor who does not exist in California) and a weird metal plate thing. I don't know what it is, but it's not mine.
Box, full

Contractor A (who had made a hash of the permanent electrical wiring in the house already) ran a temporary electrical line to the container, and we took that down (one of the extension cords). It was kind of a pain in the butt, but it felt nice to have the container that much closer to being OFF my bed of amaryllis.
Electrical work

One item of contention lately has been Contractor A's (this is the guy who had been yelling at us and threatening us) desire to come to the site and wholesale remove whatever he thinks is his. We were not going to allow this to happen for two reasons. First, we allowed him to use some of our tools and equipment (like the lamps), and we didn't want them to walk, as small as the value involved might be. Second, Contractor A (who seemed to get really angry really fast and really often) on two occasions suggested that it might be a feasible thing to put our house on the ground instead of a foundation. Given that, and his hostile and aggressive attitude towards us in general, I personally did not feel safe having him anywhere near the house.

Now, that feeling may be irrational, but I had a bad feeling about Contractor A (who failed to do proper site dewatering and thus caused this whole disaster) starting to work in the rainy season, and I decided to trust him as a seasoned professional to do the dewatering needed to make the site safe and not endanger the house. You can see why I decided to trust this bad feeling this time.

posted by ayse on 08/01/05