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Cracked shower base - problems finding tradies to repair

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by sage99, 3rd Nov, 2015.

  1. sage99

    sage99 Member

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    8th Jul, 2015
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    16
    Location:
    Sydney
    One of our investment properties has a cracked shower base, it's one of the plastic type bases. It will need to be ripped out along with the bottom row of tiles and replaced. So it's not a small job.

    We have tried to get quotes on repairing it but we either get no calls back, or they go out and look at it and never provide a quote despite us following them up, or provide a quote that is so over priced they are basically saying they don't want the job. The tenant has said many of the tradies just gave it a once over and left. The tenant is puzzled as well as they say work is not plentiful so they should be jumping at the chance.

    It will be a time consuming and fiddly job I realise that but we just can't get anyone to do it!

    The property is in the Bendigo area - can anyone recommend anyone that could do this job?
     
  2. rhinsor

    rhinsor Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Perth
    It would be hard for them to quote as they have no idea what damage is underneath.
    Hopefully waterproofing is in place and working as it should.

    How old is the property?
    Can you upload a picture?
     
  3. GoOnAndTell

    GoOnAndTell Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    everyone is probably shying away because its a prick of a job. Its really hard to 'replace just one row of tiles' because tiles are not actually the waterproof layer in the shower, so i the risk from a trade perspective is do it quickly and open yourself up to liability WHEN it leaks. To do it properly is a long job and involves either paying a plumber for handy work or engaging more than one trade.

    Remove old shower screen (carefully if you plan to reuse, drill out rivots, put somewhere safe).
    Cut sheeting away from the wall for the shower cub ideally to the next stud.(assuming the shower cubical area is tiled seperately to the rest of the room).
    Remove base (nfi if this should be a licensed plumber)
    Repair any water damaged wall timbers, sub floor, flooring
    Install new shower base (this should be a licensed plumber)
    Install new sheeting & stop up joins to existing plaster
    Waterproof (i do this myself but its a job that requires patience, there are now companies that do this and offer insurance against a leak)
    Tile
    Paint (most likely the whole bathroom or at least the walls in question).
    Install shower screen
    Fit off taps/shower head. (again should really be a plumber)
     
    Stu likes this.
  4. Stu

    Stu Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Bunbury
    Very hard to quote this job without seeing the damage underneath. Most trades are probably reluctant to quote this job because they will either -
    1. quote for worse scenario and the owner thinks they are too expensive
    2. quote for no or little damage underneath and then either have to take a loss or go back to the owner for more money.
    Have you got a recommended trade in the area that will work on an hourly basis?
    Would you be better to put in a fibreglass cubicle to replace existing shower?
    Does the rest of the bathroom need to be renoed?
     
  5. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Darwin
    We've got the same problem, although our IP is in Brisbane (northside - west).

    I actually believe that a repair, that is simply repairing the crack is sometimes possible (heck fibreglass boats and pools can be repaired). It depends on a few factors and it might not be a permanent fix. In our case the polycarbonate base is quite thick and doesn't have a lot of flex which is good and the crack is about 200 mm long. Sure, the repair might not be aesthetically nice but if it buys time before a major renovation is required, then it's worth a try.

    I haven't tried this but I would grind the hairline crack out with a Dremel tool, including grinding past/beyond both ends of the crack by say 1-2 cm. This would leave a kind of channel say 3-5 mm wide and say 2-3 mm deep (use judgement here depending on how thick your actual base is) with a hairline crack at the bottom of the channel. I'd then flow superglue into this hairline crack. Then find a suitable high strength, waterproof adhesive and fill the channel. Leave it for as long as you can, like a week if possible. Quite a tedious job and you'd need to think about how it's approached to avoid that Dremel tool skating out of control. Some temporary guides would fix that.

    The tradesmen we've had attend either 1) walk away, 2) want to at least replace the shower base and first row of tiles (as you've described) or 3) recommend complete renovation. Part of the problem is when you're trying to do this via your PM I suspect key messages like we don't mind if the repair doesn't look nice, we don't expect a guarantee or expect that the repair will last forever don't get through.

    So, if anyone can recommend someone on the northside of Brisbane, that would sure be a help.

    Cheers
    kitdoctor
     
  6. SueA

    SueA Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North brisbane
    [

    So, if anyone can recommend someone on the northside of Brisbane, that would sure be a help.

    Don't know if they are still there, our agent got Bathware Repairs 0411594454 from Bulimba for a repair at Kallangur. Bath base had a crack and small hole after something dropped on it .Bathroom had been reno'd not long before. Repair was done in Feb 2014 for $330 and still holding up.
     
  7. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane
    I've recently DIY'd this after dodgy reno by previous owners of our PPOR. I thought it would be reasonably simple but it kinda snowballed... Shower waste wasn't connected into drain properly, drain blocked and overflowed under the shower tray. Thought it would be just remove the screen, bottom row of tiles off, fix the drain and retile and silicone etc. When I smashed the tiles off found there was no waterproofing behind, and only mounted on 4.5mm fibre cement (standard is 6mm) which had heaps of flex, which explained why the grout had been falling out.

    Ended up having to remove all the tiles and sheeting, put in a heap of new studs etc to stop the flex, fix the drain including $270 for a plumber to jet rod it, reinstall the tray, waterproof it all, retile and grout, reinstall the screen then silicon everything up. One day job took a week, therefore can understand why it would be so hard to quote.

    Sorry it's not really on topic but might give you an idea of some of the hidden issues you might run into, and I feel better having vented about it!
     
  8. abbyfresh

    abbyfresh Well-Known Member

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    2nd Jul, 2015
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    Location:
    VIC
    I did the same repair in my house including a new shower screen. Went from base in same tiles and level as floor to a new base. The tiles went wobbly as it wasn't done right in the first place. Its a good 3 day job for an experienced operator, budget $800-$1500 for a job like this depending on the quality of the new base you put in.
     
  9. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    31st Jul, 2015
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    Location:
    Darwin
    Thanks for everyone's replies, particularly SueA. I think we've ruled out a simple repair. We're still deciding between the $1000+ replace shower tray option and full renovation $10k. More than likely the tenants won't want to be disrupted using the shower much longer and then go through a major renovation.
     
  10. JacM

    JacM VIC Buyer's Agent Business Member

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    12th Jul, 2015
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've literally just finished having such a task done. I didn't go with the plumber/builder types that do these jobs routinely and my reason was that if anything fell outside of the norm (eg new plaster needed) they would not do it themselves. They'd insist a plasterer be called, which delays the process. Good luck getting a plasterer for such a small job. I ended up with a chap that a sparky put me onto. Tradies tend to know other tradies. Speak to tradies you already know about your dilemma and ask if by any chance they know someone that is suitable for such a job. Chances are they know precisely such a person that has possibly even done similar work for them in their own home.

    With a job like this, the person would ideally have other jobs in the area, because he/she will need to do a certain "part" of the work, then let it set and come back tomorrow. So ideally they have filler jobs nearby they can do to fill the time.