Preventing A Condo Christmas Catastrophe
Project: Bathtub Replacement
Area: Tinton Falls, NJ
Shadea lived in a second-floor condo. Her in-laws were flying in from Japan for Christmas. Before they arrived, she wanted to replace her old soaking tub with something more practical and low-maintenance.
We sat down with Shadea and helped her choose the perfect bathtub remodel. We helped her select the tub, the walls, a new vanity—the whole nine yards.
So far, so good.
On 12/18, we arrived at Shadea’s home to perform the installation. This was supposed to be a one-day bathtub remodel—the kind we do every day.
In fact, all was going smooth as silk. Here’s a photo of the project area during the middle of the tear-out:
A perfectly normal job.
But then we tore out the floor under her old bathtub… and found this:
Yes, That’s a Giant Hole In The Floor
And it was due to a leak in the old tub that must have been happening for a LONG time—well before Shadea had moved in. We were shocked the tub didn’t fall through!
Typically, moisture damage isn’t a big issue. Ninety-nine percent of the time, we’re able to perform the repairs ourselves.
But an enormous hole in the floor isn’t typical moisture damage. And the extent of the rot to the beam was severe. That, coupled with the fact that this was a second-floor condo, created the unique situation in which a structural engineer was needed.
All a week before Christmas… with Shadea’s family flying in from Japan… and this being her only bathroom!
Insurance Company = Ebenezer Scrooge
Shadea contacted her insurance company. And we all know how generous THEY are.
For that gigantic hole in the ground, the insurance company offered to pay $500.
Yep… $500. For a problem that would cost AT LEAST $5,000 to cover the engineer.
When Shadea told us this, we were furious. So we stepped in.
Our Production Manager, Rich Grabowski, used to do construction work for insurance companies. Rich knows the “insurance playbook” to the letter. So he helped Shadea navigate the claims process to secure an appropriate amount.
A (Slightly Late) Christmas Present
It took the insurance company FIVE days to approve the claim (naturally). As soon as they did, the structural engineer got to work.
During the structural engineer’s portion of the job, we kept in contact with Shadea every day to ensure everything was going well. She was blown away by our commitment to resolving her problem.
The structural engineer completed the repair on 12/26… and we came that day to finish the remodel. As we do on every job, we replaced the drains and plumbing to make sure a problem like this does NOT happen again.
The final result?
The project was done the day after Christmas, but that was fine by Shadea—she was absolutely thrilled. Not just with the final result, but also how we helped her navigate the not-so-pleasant insurance-claim process.