Is the general contractor responsible for the plumber's work?

Answered by Brett ~ February 22, 2012 ~ No Comments

4 months after my kitchen renovation was completed there was a flood caused by a leaky pipe under the kitchen sink. The new bamboo floors, baseboard trim, and some cabinets are ruined. Who is responsible, the plumber or my general contractor?

Glenn ~ Mesa, AZ

Brett Kulina

Glenn, the water damage to your kitchen is obviously an unfortunate situation, but determining who is responsible for the problem may not be so cut-and-dry. Most often the general contractor is responsible to the homeowner for any problems that arise during and immediately after construction, and the subcontractors, such as a plumber, are responsible to the general contractor for any work they complete on the job. Of course, the details of your work agreement with your general contractor are going to help determine who is ultimately responsible for the damage to your new kitchen.

I suggest that you carefully review the work agreements and other contracts that you signed with your general contractor, looking for any specific information regarding a warranty period. I think it would be wise to call both the insurance company that issued your home owner's policy and your general contractor's insurance company as well. I would also photograph the damage and hire a disaster mitigation company in the Mesa area that can offer some immediate advice on how best to proceed with the clean up and repair. As with all residential water damage, the sooner you can dry out the affected area, the better chance you have of avoiding future mold issues.

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