When material gets delivered to the job site there is a crucial window of time from when the truck arrives to when it leaves.

The driver is usually in a hurry to unload and take off. There is a flurry of excitement over the new arrival of materials and people are busy running around taking care of that. There is little time to read any paperwork that needs to be signed, including the pages of fine print.

Before you know it the material is unloaded still in its boxes onto the street, the paperwork is hastily signed and the driver has taken off.


If any of the merchandise is broken there is very little you can do at that point.

You are stuck in a very convenient blame game where the manufacturer claims the stuff was in good shape when it left the plant and the shipping company has your signature claiming it was in good shape when it arrived.

Thus the damage must have happened by YOU on site…

Whether it happened by the shipping company or the manufacturer will forever be a mystery you have to pay for.

The crucial step that always needs to happen is that the material gets inspected thoroughly before anything is signed. The driver can’t leave without a signature and as much as they complain you have them and you are in control.

If something is broken don’t rely on the driver to document it. You must take pictures while it is still near the truck if possible. At the very least while it is still partially in its packing materials or near it.

We had a situation where a bunch of tiles arrived broken. No problem the driver said, he would take a picture of the tiles (which he did) tell his superiors and our client would get reimbursed (she picked and paid for them). Our client signed the six page document and everyone went on their merry way.

But when we followed up everyone was in denial. What broken tiles? What pictures? No way on reimbursement. They pointed out that the six page document (that you needed a magnifying glass to read) had a clause that if there was no picture there was no proof and without proof there is no reimbursement. And our client had agreed to that by signing the document.

Well…..I took pictures….partly because I take pictures of everything and mostly because I know their games. I only told the client after she came lamenting to me how she had just been ripped off. Boy was our client happy to hear about my pictures!

The moral of the story is to always inspect and document the damage. It is one time in life when it is ok to be anal.

The Proof:

And here is the almost finished product installed by our very excellent Carlos Galvan who has years of experience installing these Mexican tiles from when he worked in San Diego:


Carlos making cuts:

His assistant and Eco Brooklyn intern Kavya;