Workmanship - Lowering the Bar

When a well-established renovation contractor took over the task of completing the project, he found that much - if not most - of Haince's work had to be replaced because of poor workmanship or non-compliant practices.

It cost $32,000 to correct Yvan Haince's defective work.

Here are some of the highlights:

The 2nd floor bathroom was a hotbed of problems. The laundry installation is documented elsewhere, but it was only much later that the new contractor commented that the new ceramic tile on the bathroom floor "felt spongy". Haince had done the tiling, so this was not welcome news. It all had to be ripped up and here's what they found. The floor beams had mostly rotted through, and in this picture some of the new beams are visible. It would have been only a matter of time before the washer and dryer - or someone using the bathroom - crashed into the kitchen.

Click on the thumbnail to see the full-sized image.

But the 2nd floor bathroom problem didn't stop there - Haince had run a 3" diameter ABS stack up through the floors. One of the joints in this stack was located within the floor space, and had not been cemented. The new plumber explained that the joint would leak in no time and ruin the new $17,000 kitchen below. If the joint were to be repaired later, the shower would have to be ripped up. The repair bill, he said, would be substantial.

And finally, one of the water lines feeding the 2nd floor bathroom had been severed and left that way. If the un-cemented ABS stack didn't take out the kitchen, the severed water line would. In practice, it was just a question of which one would strike first. All of these issues - except for one - were resolved while the new contractor had the floor open.

The new plumber had found several issues with Haince's plumbing practices, but in spite of his best efforts, a single severed water line (mentioned above) remained - above the kitchen. Unfortunately, by the time it was found, the floors and ceilings had been tiled, dry walled and painted, and lights in the kitchen had been installed and wired. Within a few minutes of everything being turned on, the kitchen ceiling turned into a soggy mass. The new contractor had to rip out a large part of the kitchen ceiling to find the source of the leak - which turned out to be another one of Haince's severed water lines. Most of the ceiling had to be replaced and re-painted.

On the top floor, Haince's roof insulation was just wrong - and very expensive. As seen here, the insulation consisted of bits and pieces of various kinds, including external foundation sheathing. He charged the clients $1000 for this material - very little was installed and no one was able to tell the clients where the unused sheets went. As the installation did not meet  code, it all had to be replaced.

Every one of the six contractors auditioned to replace Haince found fault with his workmanship. In this shot of the new dormer for example, the gap between the window at the top of the frame and the window was a quarter inch. At the bottom of the frame, the gap was one and a quarter inch. Haince blamed the discrepancy on the Kohler window.

In the spare bedroom on the 2nd floor, the frame was so badly out of alignment that the window could not be opened.

The new contractor had to remove both windows and rebuild the frames.

On the subject of dormers, this is the exterior of the new dormer which Haince built. This is after the new contractor repaired the window frame. Haince did not finish the siding above the window, and in spite of  repeated requests to complete it, that portion of the wall remained unfinished.

This is eavestroughing by Yvan Haince. This was done after he was fired from his previous project. Specifically, eavestroughing has to have a slight slope to prevent water from accumulating, and that slope is usually 1/16" per foot. In this case, that works out to less than an inch, but this installation has almost a foot of slope. Water will cascade to the end with the downspout and probably overload it in heavy rain. The overflow will land beside the building foundation and defeat the purpose of the downspout.
Click on the thumbnail for a better look.

Haince had a signed contract with the clients for exterior work, including replacing eavestroughs "where needed". It was agreed that almost all of them needed to be replaced. He was paid for the work, but none of the eavestroughs was replaced. After two years of sprinkler hoses over the windows, the clients had the eavestroughs replaced - at a cost of $900.

Another time bomb waited in the living room. A city building inspector had determined that a 14-foot long load bearing beam holding up the ceiling needed to be replaced. The original beam had been anchored in the opposing stone walls. Haince put up a new laminated beam, but instead of anchoring it in the wall at opposite ends, he put up a dual two-by-six post at each end, the top end holding the beam and the bottom resting on the living room floor.

The problem with this approach is that there was nothing underneath the living room floor to support the dual two-by-six posts. This installation - with essentially the weight of the entire house resting on it - could eventually break through the floor and crash into the basement, taking the top part of the house with it.

The new contractor installed a "squish pad" - like this - under the floor where the posts were resting, and a massive six-by-six post between the squish pad and the cement slab which forms the basement floor. The new installation was blessed by the building inspector and the client could be reasonably confident that the top two floors of their house were not going to fall into the basement.

One of Haince's first jobs was to build a deck - a simple platform about a foot off the ground, as an extension to the existing porch. Before long, one corner - as shown here - collapsed.  A contractor was asked to come in and look at it, and found the cause of the collapse - there was nothing anywhere near the corner to support it. In fact, the nearest support was under the center of the deck.

Haince was contacted and asked to come in and fix it - he ignored the request even though at the time, Haince was working - occasionally - in the same neighborhood on an outside project.

On the subject of decks, Haince was asked to paint the existing deck. A year later, it looks like this.

His outstanding capability as a finishing carpenter was one of Yvan Haince's first claims to fame. The clients' confidence in that claim dissipated along with their trust in his other claims.

Some examples:

Baseboards are usually well-trimmed, aesthetically pleasing and in general, have a finished look. Especially when they're beside a door to the outside. This is the Yvan Haince version of a baseboard. This is a thumbnail - click on it for a full size version.

As mentioned on the Money page, on 22nd November 2014 Haince asked for his milestone payment for having completed the bathrooms on the 1st and 3rd floors. The situation on the 3rd floor had already been seen at this point, but the clients wanted to know what the hole in the wall in this picture on the 1st floor was for. "It's the heating vent", according to Haince. The clients complained that it was ugly, and Haince said he'd look at improving it. He didn't.

There's a kitchen with the original Douglas Fir floor, a kitchen counter extending to the edge of the Douglas Fir floor, and then a tile floor for an adjoining sun room. This is the Yvan Haince version of a line of demarcation between the two floors.

Haince maintained on several occasions that his specialty was siding. It came as a bit of a surprise therefore that within a year of his departure that his proudly-applied siding started falling off. A contractor who took over another of his unfinished projects in the same neighbourhood complained that he had to replace most of Haince's siding.

His customers occasionally expressed concern about Haince's work space, not just in terms of appearance but also in terms of safety and fire hazard. In general, it stayed like this for the duration of his presence.

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