Skirting board pinned through a water pipe - should carpenter replace the carpet?

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Tom O, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Tom O

    Tom O Member

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate all replies and opinions.

    I didn't know exactly where the pipes were, only that they were somewhere in the wall, and must be close to the radiator. Most people would not know where their pipes were, does this excuse the carpenter?

    I didn't run the pipes, but I honestly don't see an alternative here? There is a solid floor so can't put the pipes there. Surely they wouldn't be run across the middle of the wall, where no-one would ever expect them. It doesn't seem too unreasonable to me to put them in line with the radiator outlets. They were buried quite deep, only 2" nails or longer would hit them.

    It's not true to say that I knew pipes were hidden. I knew pipes were in the wall but only because they couldn't have been in the floor. To anyone who looked at the room, they couldn't have been anywhere else. Things are often in the wrong place, that doesn't mean you should deny the possibility. An amount of due diligence is surely expected, is it not normal to use a pipe finder if you're about to shoot nails into a wall?
  2. I’m sorry, but my heating pipes are in a solid concrete floor. That’s where I would expect them to be.

    Fact is, it’s tough luck that the chippy hit a pipe. Unless you could actually see them when they put the skirting in place, then they can’t be held responsible.
  3. sparko69

    sparko69 Screwfix Select

    No its not normal to check behind skirting boards for pipes because its not normal for them to be put there. If anyone is to blame it has got to be the 1 who put the pipes behind the skirting. Accusing the joiner of lacking diligence is totally unfair in my opinion.
    The joiner probably expected the pipes to be in the floor because no one in their right mind would put pipes or cables behind skirting boards
  4. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    So presumably you knew the pipes are behind the boards, but did not tell the carpenter?
  5. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    As you said, the walls were newly boarded, so you knew exactly where the pipes are and did not tell the carpenter.

    So explain why it is not your fault, as you could easily marked the pipe runs onto the walls before he started work and advised him accordingly.

    If the carpenter does refer it to his insurers they may well refuse the claim or will only pay out for real damage, if the carpet has not shrunk and is not permanently damaged they won’t replace it.
  6. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    A lack of thought and consideration by the plumber, along with a lack of “project management”.

    But of course the super human Carpenter can use his X-ray vision to locate hidden pipes of all types, including plastic.

    All of this could have been avoided by the simple act of putting a warning on the wall or floor with a marker pen.
  7. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    I have seen pipes dropped to the left, right and both sides of windows hit by people putting up curtain rails and tie back hooks.

    I have seen pipes brought up out of floor voids hit by plasters fixing plaster boards and carpenters fitting skirting.

    I have seen pipes concealed in floor screeds then going up walls hit by both carpenters fitting skirting and carpet layers fixing grippers.

    The recurring issue on new build jobs is that people did know where these pipes are, but did not leave a simple mark or pass the information on.

    On the job under discussion the walls were newly boarded, so saying the location of the pipes was unknown is twaddle, as the location was visible, this information should have been marked onto the floor or wall.

    Blame the project manager.
  8. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    Unless I have knowledge of the building's construction I always work on the assumption that there IS something like a pipe or cable behind a wall, even if there really shouldn't be.

    The OP knew about the pipes but didn't notify the carpenter, so I think both parties are jointly responsible.
  9. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    It’s not clear cut but I can hear the argument that as an experienced tradesman he must have encountered buried pipes before and didn’t think to ask. Neither did he make it clear in his terms and conditions that he isn’t responsible for stuff he can’t see.

    you can see the OPs argument that he didn’t feel it necessary to tell the carpenter because the pipes were deeply buried and he did not expect 50mm nails to be used
  10. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    It's a bungalow with a solid floor, at the very least the carpenters inbuilt radar should have perked up, stopped him in his tracks and pushed him to ask the question to the homeowner about the pipe locations before firing his pin gun, however for the homeowner to know the pipes were there and not bother to give any indication to the carpenter is absolutely ridiculous, as is the plumber who ran them in that location. 50mm pins are standard to fix skirting, as would be 50mm screws or 50mm masonry nails etc, saying they're too long is twaddle because if the skirting had fell off from fixings being too short then that would have been a different complaint.
    chillimonster likes this.
  11. JasonCSmith

    JasonCSmith Member

    Reading all these comments on here it sounds like a score draw to me. Very grey area this I think. Get him back, run through it with him, tell him you're a reasonable bloke and offer to go 50/50 with the guy to get the issue sorted and forgotten so you can both move on.
  12. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Why should the carpenter take responsibility for rough plumbing and a lack of communication?
  13. The Happy Builder

    The Happy Builder Screwfix Select

    Would anyone at any time doubt that a carpenter would fix skirting with nails?

    Why would a customer allow a plumber to run pipes where the wall is going to be peppered with nails without discussing it with the carpenter?

    The professional way of doing this job would have been to fix two battens, one above and one below the pipes with the skirting screwed into place with screws and cups, thus creating an accessible pipe boxing.

    This is just a badly thought out and unprofessional job on the part of the plumber and the customer.
  14. sparko69

    sparko69 Screwfix Select

    I genuinely feel that the joiner is the least to blame in this.
    Probably 10% joiners fault and 45% each for the idiot who put the pipes behind skirting and the homeowner who didn't warn the joiner that there had been a major bodge with the pipes hidden behind skirting.
    ghostrider8169 likes this.
  15. sparko69

    sparko69 Screwfix Select

    I get the feeling the 'plumber' is a family friend or maybe even its the o.p who put the pipes in the skirting?
    Just strange how the so called plumber isn't getting blamed for what was an obvious mistake
  16. Tom O

    Tom O Member

    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed.

    A lot of people are saying that I knew where the pipes were, this isn't exactly fair - I knew they weren't in the floor and therefore that they must be in the wall, but I didn't know exactly where. Obviously we now know exactly where they are. With hindsight of course I definitely should have told him I knew they were in the wall somewhere, though it simply didn't occur to me at the time when discussing the job. I still feel he could have asked if unsure.

    I had said the walls were "newly boarded" but this was poor choice of words, I meant that the walls had been untouched since being plastered. In fact, the pipes and plasterboard were fitted about 18 months ago by subcontractors of the building company we got to do the job. This has been a loooong project, over 2 years now, for a number of reasons. I certainly have no relationship with anyone who did any of the work. I guess each trade did their own job with little regard for others. The plumber put the pipes where convenient, and the plasterers covered them without marking anything. We didn't live in the house (still don't), only going over periodically to see the progress, and I simply couldn't remember exactly where the pipes were.

    The full job was an extension and complete renovation of the original property. In April, the building company quit, citing coronavirus. Since then I've had to find my own contractors to do the remaining work, and have done a bit myself but I'm no DIY expert. I have no idea (until this thread!) where pipes should or shouldn't be located.

    I certainly also wouldn't ask the guy to replace the carpet if it turns out to be essentially undamaged and can be refitted. He's a decent bloke and has had his plumber mate repair the pipe.
  17. FlyByNight

    FlyByNight Screwfix Select

    The carpet will have been wet and potentially affected. If you want a middle ground option, why not have a decent steam clean - that way it will all be wet or damp and no odd coloured patch. Then once dry have it refitted and stretched.

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