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HELP--Custom cabinet--expectations???

16 years ago

Please respond if you are able to as I'm meeting with my cabinet maker in about 3 hours. Our cabinet maker (amish man) is doing all the finish carpentry for our new build. They brought the family room built ins out yesterday. At first we thought they were amazing. Up closer, it is a different story. The cherry cabinets are the same stain, wood and style as my kitchen cabinets (to be deliverd in 1 week). There are some rough areas when you rub your fingers over them, as if not sanded out completely. There is an area with about 3 large, very noticable drips. In the 8 cabinet doors there are 2-3 corners that look like they are seperating. Also, there is actually a small hole the entire way through the one door where it has been mitered out for hidden hardare to be placed. Now we are very nervous about the quality to come on our kitchen cabinets and bath vanities for that matter too. I know the man is very busy now & I'm worried he is rushing. Are all these complaints of mine validated? Would you expect for thoses things to exist? How should custom cabinets be compared to "store" bought? Do you expect them to be "perfect" or to have some flaws? I would think a little flaw would be expected, but not roughness, drips, corners seperating and a hole? Please let me know what you think & how to go about telling him about the problems and my expectations for the rest of the work. Should he fix all these things that we have found? I hate confrontation and I feel sick to my stomach about this, but I'm paying him thousands for cherry cabinets to have for years! Thank you!

Comments (8)

  • 16 years ago

    I agree that some minor flaws are to be expected but what you're describing does not sound acceptable. Point them out to him, tell him you expect them to be fixed and that you expect your kitchen cabinets to be of higher quality when delivered. Very few people like confrontation, but hopefully he'll acknowledge the mistakes and it won't turn into a big confrontation. Good luck.

  • 16 years ago

    I am no cabinetry expert. But I would be very dissatisfied with these issues. We just had cabinets installed and we had NONE of these problems. I hate confrontation too but I think you have to tell him your concerns. I would tell him I am not satisfied with the cabinets for the reasons you have pointed out. Ask him what he proposes to do about these areas and make sure he understands that this will not be acceptable in the kitchen cabinetry. Have you thought about what YOU would like for him to do to correct the issues? I DO NOT think you are being unreasonable or that your expectations cannot be met. Oh, good luck. This is always such a hard thing to do. But you have a large investment at stake here and you do not want to be dissatisfied with these cabinets. I try to always be kind but firm.

  • 16 years ago

    Custom doesn't necessarily equate to high quality cabinetry. All it means is that you get to specify the sizes of the cabinets so that there is no wasted space and you get the lexact ook you want. Much "custom cabinetry" that builders put into spec homes is of atrocious quality.

    The quality of the cabinetry from the cabinet maker is best examined in several of his installations in person before engaging him, and then very specifically spelled out in the contract by which you order your cabinets. What does your contract say about these issues? I personally wouldn't find them acceptable, but it's what's in writing that rules, and if you don't have it in writing and he disputed your assertions, you don't have much recourse.

  • 16 years ago

    I hate confrontation too but hate poor work even more. Point out the issues and discuss it with the guy and get him to fix it. If he thinks you will not complain, the next delivery may be even worse. Our cabinets are custom and I would call them furniture quality. We are VERY happy with the results.

  • 16 years ago

    come on live_wire_oak - a contract doesn't need to spell out that corners of cabinets shouldn't be separating or that the finish should be smooth, or that the finish shouldn't contain drips. etc. - there's an expectation of reasonable workmanship. And yes there is recourse - if the bill hasn't been paid in full you have lots of recourse.

    A couple of my cabinet doors were warped - my contract didn't specify no warped doors but I had no issue at all with my custom cabinet maker fixing them.

  • 16 years ago

    Don't consider it a confrontation - just point out the issues assuming that both of you will find them unacceptable. I would have blue tape on all of the spots and just show him - no big deal.

  • 16 years ago

    How did it go?

    We are having similar issues with our kitchen guy. Many of our problems have not been resolved, but thankfully we were upfront with our dissatisfaction with the work that was of poor quality. He told us he appreciated our honesty- my tummy was turning until I found out how it had gone- I made DH have the conversation... he didn't want to either, but he did.

    One of the things I have learned through this reno, is that all kinds of people will test your limits. If you accept poor quality or bad workmanship, they'll continue to supply it. If you let them know that ABC is not acceptable (kindly but firmly), chances are things will get corrected.

    Please let us know how it went.

  • 16 years ago

    Thanks for all the help. Actually two of the cabinet builders' employees were at the house yesterday putting up some trim. Dh saw them and showed them the problems and they right away agreed that they weren't "finished" products and that they should not be accepted as such. When I got there later to meet the cabinet builder he had already been informed by his helpers of the problems. He was very nice & said he had someone "new" helping with the finish and that he would take them back and redo them himself. I asked about the kitchen cabinets, etc and he said they still need to be "finished" and he will do them himself and would never allow that to happen to the kitchen cabinets. He was very nice and seems very trustworthy.

    I'm still wondering why he didn't inspect the built-ins himself or perhaps he did and was hoping we would accept them as they were. I feel if he has someone help that he is ultimately responsible. And luckily he did take responsibility for the problem and is fixing it. I'm thankful he deliverd them before the kitchen cabinets and now better knows what we expect and what we won't accept. I'm hoping we have very few issues with the rest of the house. Oh, I do owe him a lot of money & it isn't to be paid until "I'm happy with everything." I think the man means well, as he said..."I've never had an unhappy customer and I don't plan to ever, I'll work on things until everyones happy." So, that made me feel better too.

    I'll continue to give up-dates and hopefully pictures as things get resolved.

    Raehelen- I do hope your project goes well and things get resolved for you too. I too hate to hurt someones feelings, but we have to remember we have to live with these cabinets and we are paying lots of money. I think things can be said with tact. Let us know how it goes for you too.