DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > General Home Improvement Discussion > Is this expectable in the trade?

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Old 03-06-2006, 08:26 AM  
do it your self
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Default Is this expectable in the trade?

1/26/06 Bathroom countertops ordered, awaiting contact from installer to schedule templating and installation.
2/9/06 No contact from installer. Called, and was told they had the wrong phone #, however they made no attempt to contact retailer for alternative #. This delayed templating.
2/20/06 Templating completed
2/24/06 Phone message from installer canceling our countertop installation for cost discrepancy after templating. Retailer has no record of installer calling to notify them of the cost difference. This delayed our countertop installation and we had to reschedule it.
3/3/06 Countertops installed, however, during the manufacture stage they failed to clean up or cove the silicone for the under mount sinks and left large noticeable globs on the sink/countertop joint. The installer cleaned it up the best he could but all three of the new sink bowls were scratched in the process. Taping the sink and coving the adhesive while it was wet would have been a more professional approach (I think). One sink does not appear to be centered in the hole and the Corian over hangs all the sinks from1/4 to 5/8 of an inch, not sure if this normal. The overhang appears to be an attempt to hide the silicone.
They did not provide us with the cut-outs (gave us the cut-outs when they did our kitchen) which is the equivalent of 4.5 square feet at $65.00 a square foot ($290). We had planed on using the material. And lastly, they installed 3.5" back splash, we ordered 3" to match our kitchen (what’s up with that?).

The installer has not contacted us regarding our concerns. All-in-all we’re very dissatisfied.

Does this seem right or are we just too picky?

Last edited by do it your self; 03-06-2006 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 03-06-2006, 07:52 PM  
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hey there do it yourself,

You are definately not out of line to be upset. Undermount sinks are designed to be flush or within 1/16 of an inch shy of the inside of the sink bowls. Definately under no circumstance should the countertop overhang the sink bowl.

This sounds to me like the many situations that I run across every day. A homeowner decides to remodel their kitchen and recieves a few bids.

They can tell that one company is very proffesional, and has all of the necessary insurances on the company as well as his employees. And also carries the added protection of bonding. This company will fill out a full contract with scheduling and budget, including all of the materials that will be installed so the homeowner won't be suprised by the wrong backspash or anything. Possibly even a warrantee. BUT HIS PRICE IS THE MOST EXPENSIVE DUE TO HIS OPERATING COSTS.

The next company comes highly referred from a friend that has used them recently. This is a smaller company without as many perks, but that keeps their operating costs down allowing them to give a lower price than the first. Having a referral from a friend ensures that they perform quality work. THIER PRICE IS LOWER THAN THE FIRST.

Now the third guy comes in and hopefully at least he has liability insurance. He gives a bid astonishingly lower than the other two.

A lot of homeowners go with the cheapest installer figuring that they have high quality materials and that there is only one way to install them. Construction is not like auto mechanics. we don't just line up the parts and tighten the bolts to ensure proper alignment. This is craftsmanship, and takes great skill and pride to perform proper installations.

Also, I would like to mention that a lot of the hom depo stores and sears home installers are using subs that they have no training for as well as poor supervision due to thier corporate budget crunching. But their prices are no cheaper than a professional companys. Consumers fall prey to these companies due to the convenience of a one stop shop rather than receiving bids from real professionals.

I would contact a lawyer, and take many pictures to send to the installer with a lawyers note explaining that further action will be taken. or better yet, I would ask the lawyer if you could have another company properly install a new countertop and sink while forwarding the bill to the hack that installed your countertops improperly.

To avoid this kind of situation, simply use your referrals from friends, or ask for some pics of previous work. Most of the compenies with all of their insuances and overhead carry them to take care of YOU in case of a problem. This raises their overhead, meaning that thier prices will reflect this fact.

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Old 03-07-2006, 08:01 AM  
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Default Thanks, any other opinions?

I left out the names of the companies were dealing with, but I can say they are two of the biggest companies doing this type of work in the Northwest and we are return customers. Were very surprises by what has happened! The countertop company has recently moved into a fabulous new facility, hmm, go figure!
Thanks for responding!

Last edited by do it your self; 03-07-2006 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:01 PM  
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Default Hmmmm.

Ace installer, I have but one thing to say...I Loved your post!!!
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Old 03-08-2006, 06:27 PM  
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hello again do it yourself,

well, all I have to say is:

If they are the biggest companies in the region, and they are not answering your calls. Have your lawyer contact them for you. Tell him what happened and how the company is buying new shops and stuff...................... he will be licking his chops.
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Old 03-10-2006, 11:11 AM  
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The installer, Retailer, and I met to review the job, here’s the outcome:
1) The installer claimed the sink cutouts are the recommended size by Kohler. I doug out the "Kohler" sink templet and the cut out is in fact 1/2" narrower than it should be.
2) The difference in the sink placement is because of the difference in the cabinets (hmm, there all new and identical).
3) They didn't give us the sink cutouts (like they did with the kitchen) because if there's a warranty problem they would replace the entire countertop. (the kitchen countertops would be repaired with the supplied cutouts). But they said we could dig through there scrap pile for some pieces.
4) They did not address the countertop warping.
5) They don't think the sinks are scratched and they can be buffed out.
6) Backsplash height was an order error (order says 3”).

Installer options:
Choice 1) They will come out and reroute the countertop cutouts and buff the sinks and do a better job of cleaning up the silicone. Will have to live with the high back splashes, warped counter tops and difference in sink placement.
The machining of the countertop will make a huge mess, so were not happy with this choice. One would say you get what you pay for but I don't think $2400 for 3 small countertops is cheap or inexpensive.
Choice 2) They will remove all the countertops and do the work in there shop. When they reinstall them they will shim the countertops up 1/2" so the new 3” backsplash will be at the same height as the old 3 1/2" backsplash (hiding any removal damage). Provide us with some scrap countertop material.
Not real excited about this either! We went without bathroom counters and sinks for almost 5 weeks. Once they were in, I had to get the plumbing in or I would be living in the garage with the cats (a woman needs her bathroom!), so this option means we would be without bathrooms again and I would have to remove/reinstall the plumbing. No one has apologized for the problems and to be honest we have lost faith in the installer.

Retailer options:
1) Except one of the installer options.
2) Take what you got and a 15% refund. This was an interesting offer because they asked what we wanted and I told them that they would have to make an offer, and when I declined the 15%, they upped it another $100. Felt like they were trying to lowball us initially. Bottom line $460 refund. Told them we wanted to think about it.

The story's not over:
When they left, I went into the garage to get some tools to mount towel racks and they were outside talking, not realizing I was right there. I'm not going to get into to the whole conversation but the guest of it was they were laughing and trivializing or complaints. There clearly in bed together and with the offers on the table they still stand to make a small profit. Needless to say this didn’t help the cause!

We are willing to accept the retailer's offer of $460 to resolve our complaint regarding our countertop order. The retailer has been more than fair with us, however, we are still extremely disappointed with the installer and the manner in which they have handled our countertop purchase thought-out the entire process.
The installer has hid behind The retailer and has not taken any responsibility for how they have treated us and/or the way our countertops were built. During the home inspection the Installers representative stated “the sink cutouts were per Kohler’s specs”. This statement is untrue and I have the template indicating the correct size which is almost Ĺ inch larger than what they did. Also Kohler specifically states in there literature that the sink is not to be fastened with adhesive silicone, which is what they did.
We want the Installer to step up and take responsibility for what they’ve done. In addition to what the retailer is offering, this is what we want from the installer:
1) 10 year transferable written guarantee that our sinks will in no way separate from our countertops.
2) A check in the amount of $292.50 (4.5 square feet ◊ $65 per square foot) from them which represents the sink cutout material they failed to provide us with (no, were not going to dig through there scrap pile, as offered).
3) An apology from there company CEO so we know this matter has come to his attention, and maybe future customers will not have to go through what we did.

In return we will deal with the mess ourself's.

Sound fair?

Last edited by do it your self; 03-12-2006 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 03-13-2006, 12:24 AM  
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Contractors get in a mess once in a while. Some just operate that way. Include a retailer and you don't know what kind of mess you may be stepping in. I worked for a "beat'em and cheat'em company for a while. I was appalled at the things they were doing. They were holding money from the contractors, taking money from the customers, changing suppliers every time the bills came in and paying me whenever they felt like it. Maybe you should take what they offer and count yourself rid of the scoundrels. The problems are not your fault. Consulting a lawyer is still a smart option. I've seen a simple letter turn things around. I just flashed my attorney's card a few times and the problems dissolved.

Consider how much longer you want to deal with them and what it's worth to make them fix the mess. If they delay repairs after an agreement is made, you will just have to wait.

It would help if you knew if the installer has been paid yet. You need to know who to file the claim with. Was the installer an agent of the retailer?

Tom in KY, if you have a friendly relationship with a lawyer, call him.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:18 AM  
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The installer has ďnotĒ been paid, which is working in our favor. Were waiting on a written proposal from them on how they will fix the problems and the alternative credit offer from the retailer. Time is on our side and I have my ducks in a row if the installer doesn't step up. They've been dishonest with us and I can prove it. We donít think itís fair for the retailer to bare all the responsibility and itís unreasonable to ask for a credit for the material we already paid for and didnít receive.
I'll post the final settlement.
Thanks for your feedback
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:06 PM  
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once all is said and done i would report they to the better business bureua for soddy bussiness patices
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Old 03-16-2006, 10:09 AM  
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It sounds like a nightmare I would bring another contractor in and get a quote for doing it right. I would not except a reduction in price for a warped countertop and shotty workmanship. corian can crack over time if not properly manufactured or installed. The back splash and scrap cutouts seem trivial, warping and mismeasured sink placement is not. Work is not always done perfect ( some folks are a little anal) but should be done to industry standards and at least acceptable. Fight them, take pictures contact their boses boss dont accept the money it in itself sounds like an addmission of guilt

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