5 years ago, I engaged a contractor (an ID company which was formerly at Commonwealth Dr but has sinced moved to Bkt Merah Central) to in-fill a step-down balcony area with cement and level it to the bedroom tiled flooring by removing the sliding door to the balcony and also enclose the roof opening to that area. Thereafter, the entire floor was laid over (without removing the floor tiles in the original bedroom) with wood laminate as recommended by him. We also engaged him to installed cupboards over this extended area which was formerly the balcony.
A few months ago, we discovered the laminated floor around the cupboard (which was supposed to have in-filled cement beneath) was sagging and the the laminated floor over the original tiled bedroom area was 'popping upwards'. We called that contractor back and requested him for his opinion and a solution on the scary feel of the foor. He kept denying it has to do with his workmanship but kept pointing to possible water seepage or termites. He said he could not recall what was underneath the laminate and so he took from me a copy of the invoice of the works which I still kept in my files. He said he will go check his record and get back to me.
After 3 weeks, I did not hear from him and so my husband and I decided to remove the laminate flooring to investigate what is going on under the laminate. We had to destroy several pieces of the laminates before we discovered that the original tiles in the original bedroom area were popping up. When we removed the laminates around the sunken cupboard area, we found rotting timber and wooden batten. There were no cement in-fill which was in the contract and which was also mentioned in the invoice we paid.
We called in different groups of contractors for their opinion and we were advised to go back to seek redress from the errant contractor who did not do the cement in-fill that we paid for. One contractor told us that wood normally starts rotting after 3-4 years since dampness is trapped between the ground (this bedroom is on the ground floor) and the laminate (non breathable), and if the contractor does not want to do wet works, he will get away with it because the result will only shows up after many years like our case which was actually hidden under our cupboard.
In order to rectify the situation, I was told the cupboards have to be removed, the rotting timber must be cleared out, cement in-fill done, water-proof cement screed done before a new layer of tile or laminate can be laid on.
I sent the analysis and photographs of the whole situation to that contractor, hoping he will offer a solution....but it turned out worse than I expected - he kept denying he used wood at all. I attach here the whatsapp conversation I had with him as well as the photos I sent to him. He did not respond after I asked him "Where did u pour the cement then?" and I noticed he changed his whatsapp profile photo & status after that.
Appreciate any forum members' advice on where and how I can seek redress to this situation instead of going the lengthy 'sue him' route. As the flooring is now in a big mess, is it advisable for me to engage another contractor to rectify the situation in the meantime? Are the photos I have taken and posted here sufficient proof to claim against him in the event I have to take legal action or do I have to take more photos after my carpenter removes the cupboard and before the new contractor does the cement in-fill? Thank you!