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belugacoop

Kitchen looks great if you look from far away-up close I'm crying

belugacoop
9 years ago

I'm so frustrated. First mistake was using different people for the different jobs-or maybe I shouldn't have been my own contractor. First off, everyone criticized each others work. I wish they would have been more worried about their own work.

Granite- At first, this was the best part. Great price! I thought it was a great install. Now theres a crack in it. It's in front of the sink and it's straight through. He said the granite was so strong I could walk on it. (It's 3cm and I weigh 110), which I did stand on it to paint some, but I really don't remember or think it would be smart to stand on the sink edge. (I will never stand on any part of it again. Could the cabinets not have been leveled correctly? The crack happened abt 3wks after installation. There were 3 different workers doing things in the kitchen so close to the time it happened. Each using a latter for weight bearing but a foot on the counter. He said he'd come by to fix it although it would be noticeable. He hasn't come yet.

**Question-I have a 12 in overhang of the granite. One of the other guys working on the kitchen said it should been supported by brackets. He said they break all of the time. Is that true?

Glass tile backsplash- My floor tile installers also installed my glass backsplash. When the owner of the company came by I showed him the scratches and asked if it was because they used sanded grout. I told him I had read non sanded grout should be used. He said they have used the non sanded in the past and it didn't work as well and they always use sanded. He suggested that the glass was already scratched. I pulled out the remaining glass and none of it had scratches. He acknowledged it was clean. I said I could get over it because from a distance you really don't notice it. I showed him some chips in the some areas and he said he would send them over to fix those pieces. It's been a couple of weeks and everytime I look at it, it bothers me. The guys haven't come over yet. The owner is a friend of mine which does complicate things. I did ask when scheduling if they were experienced in glass installation but that's probably irrelevent now. So, do I ask them to replace it? Is it just lesson learned? Should I have asked going in to it to use non sanded? I just assumed they would.

Entry doors- Basically it was sticking making the paint come off. It's still doing this and I can't set the house alarm because it says door ajar. He said it was because the metal thing at the top was probably knocked off. He'd bring another one later. The other door he didn't put the insulation around it like he said he was going to do.

Cabinets-The guy added beadboard around the cabinets. Installation was done with a nail gun. The nails were sticking through abt an inch into the cabinets. I told him abt it. He cut some,forgot some, and where the nails went in, it's all splintered and ugly. He also forgot to nail some of the baseboards in. He said he'd come fix these without extra charge (same time he comes to fix the door thing) and he hasn't come back yet.

Sorry this was so long. Any advice you could give would be appreciated.

Comments (50)

  • melissastar
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Stick to your guns, be pleasant but firm. Wish I had better advice for you, but don't, except perhaps to say wine helps.

    I do feel your pain. I've been pretty much in the same spot...and I did have a GC. He just didn't do anything but turn a 3 month job into a two-year nightmare.

  • carybk
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    When you're having to be firm with so many different people, it can help to write down a few sentences that make your key points mildly, and just repeat them to yourself. Then you can default to them if you're under conversational pressure.

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  • kay161
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ouch. Take lots of pictures; document everything, including when and how you contacted people. Instead of phone calls, send emails. Set a deadline, maybe 60 days, and let them all know (in writing) you will be speaking with the Better Business Bureau... or Angie's List! If you feel the monetary losses warrant it, you might need to see an attorney.

    It sounds harsh, but you don't deserve this!

  • mydreamhome
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    #1 question--have you already paid these subs in full? If not, do NOT cut the final check to any of them. That is the only leverage you have to get them to return & correct the problems. Once they have all their money, their incentive disappears. You can let them know that once they have made the repairs to your satisfaction, you will be more than happy to fulfill your obligation & cut the final check to them. I know our builder is still holding ~$5K that is due our cabinet guy due to the issues we have had with unsatisfactory completion of the job.

    Did the glass tile come with any instructions on recommended grout to use? If you go to the tile manufacturers' website, is there a recommendation posted there.? If either of these is true, then the installer should have been aware. It is possible that the sanded grout caused the scratching. Typically, the spacing between the tiles will dictate whether or not unsanded grout can be used. I'm guessing your tiles were on a mesh backing meaning the spacing would have been uniform--Do you know the spacing size? Also, did you have them use the same color grout on the backsplash as the floor? Maybe it was a cost & time-saving measure to use the same for both jobs vs. switching out for the backsplash.

    We would need more information on the granite to help you out there. What granite is it? Lighter colors are more fragile than darker colors and are more apt to chip or crack. I would think you would have a good chance of getting that entire section replaced if the repair didn't look ok based on the fact that it's only been in 3 wks. I don't think I'd mention the other trades again as you don't have any documentation of exactly where they put their foot & how much weight they applied to the granite. It's not like this is an overhang situation--the granite is supported by the cabinet all the way around and I would hazard a guess to say (like the granite guy did) that you can stand on it. Our granite overhang is 15" and I know we had to have support brackets-ours are flat so they are concealed when you look at the island. Not sure about 12" overhang recommendations, but I definitely would not stand on it.

    As far as the door, what metal thing at the top fell off? Is he referring to the door stop? If so, that has nothing to do with the door sticking--the hinge likely needs to be adjusted. Last I checked, it's the dead of winter--those other doors need the weatherstripping insulation on them especially if you are heating the house. He is costing you $$$ in heating costs.

    Cabinets--was this the cabinet maker, installer, manufacturer rep that added the beadboard or the trim guy or some other trade entirely? He used inch long nails?!? I'm no cabinet expert, but I would be seriously PO'd about this. I would think he would have used short tack or staple style fasteners to attach the beadboard--or better yet, adhesive. I know our end panels are attached with adhesive, not tacks, staples or nails. Pics of your cabinets (inside & outside) would be helpful.

    Like melissastar pointed out, stick to your guns & be pleasant but firm--very firm. Also take lots of pictures of the problem areas and label them with location & date. As work continues and progress is made, continue to document in the same fashion--you might need it later on down the line. I would also add that you need to be persistent--set a timeline each time you talk with the different subs (i.e. Mr. Granite-man, so when is the earliest you can come out to attempt to repair the crack? Great, then I will expect you next Tuesday at 10AM.--Then call the day before & confirm to let them know you mean business. If they don't show by 1015 on the scheduled day, call them ASAP and find out where they are, why they're not at your house and when they can be expected.) Document every call/in person visit, who you spoke with, what you discussed, and any promises made.

    Wine is a good idea, as is a Cosmo, a nice long massage or bubble bath (or maybe all of the above!) Hope this helps & you are able to get these issues resolved so you can start enjoying your new kitchen!

  • gr8daygw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh Honey, I am so sorry. I am sad they used sanded grout. There are some pretty new kinds of grout that are a little bit sparkly. I think it's made of mica or quartz. It's for glass tiles. It sort of disappears into the glass. StarGlass quartz grout is one. It's got a translucent look after it dries. Pretty. But there are many others that are desirable with glass tiles. Dal-tile has some that are really nice. They should be able to fix the cracked granite but that 12 inch projection should be supported. People will be tempted to push up off of it or lean on it so just get some inexpensive supports for that. They can be stained or painted to match or if that's not possible you can get wrought iron ones. I would make them redo the glass tile if you still trust them to do it. It might be easier to just cut the drywall out repair it and then start the tile over. As far as the nails go that was just a dumbazz thing to do, sorry... Take care and I hope it will all work out.

  • AnnaA
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    What a nightmare!

    I have no ability to add to the advice here as I am at the mercy of the material and install experts myself. But what I have done when in similar situations is asked a contractor or construction friend or acquaintance if they would accompany me when I engage in these "clarifying - you need to fix it" conversations. I explain to the contractor under question that I need someone here to make sure I am asking the right questions, while it clearly sends the message to the licensed contractor that I have other professional eyes watching them and this repair process. And if I have to report their work, it will be more than just my word against theirs..l've had another professional in on it all.

    Works every time (although I've only had to do it twice and not on anything as big as a kitchen remodel...)

    Not sure this fits for you. But I hope it all gets resolved.

  • mmhmmgood
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think you've been given some really great advice, and I don't have any more to add. Just piping in to offer my sympathy. Reno's are such hard work and frustration even when everything goes right, but you don't mind all the hard work when things come together like you planned. And I have had an amazing GC, so I can only imagine how much more frustration you have had doing it yourself. I'm sure it's so disheartening when you have so many things that turn out so badly! And then to not be treated with the respect you deserve when there is a problem is just maddening.

    Mistakes happen, but the measure of a company is how they deal with these issues. It should be done reasonably quickly, fairly and to a standard that might be considered the industry standard. Scratched tile from using the wrong grout and nails sticking into cabinets don't seem like industry standards to me. And though cracks can occur in granite, it should be repaired to your satisfaction or replaced. Might need to check your contract on that one if you signed one.

    I hope you get everything resolved quickly so you can have tears of joy when you look at your kitchen instead of tears of sorrow.

    Hugs,
    mmhmm

  • gr8daygw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    One thing I did when a tile contractor simply disappeared for three weeks and no showed his dates time and time again was to hire someone else to finish the job. Then after about a month the SOB called me to ask when he could come out to finish. I told him it was already done and I thought he had abandoned the job. He threatened to take me to small claims court for the balance of the job (a whopping $259 because he had already absconded with the bulk of my money). Even though I never signed a contract he said that he had the e-mail from me arranging the job and that was binding. I wrote him a scathing e-mail telling him how sorry I felt for him being such a low down yellow belly pond scum and that I was paying him the balance as he was such a loser and I considered it a donation to him because he was a failure and would need handouts to get by. Hee hee that felt pretty good. He was a horrible, horrible con man and don't judge me, he deserved every insult hurled his way. He insulted my husband and me, damaged my hardwood floors, made a mess in my kitchen, threw the water from his cleanup on my plants and killed them. I better stop, my blood pressure is rising just remembering that whole ordeal. Stand your ground! There are some really bad people out there.

  • boxerpups
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I would be crying. Just terrible for you.

    I wish a hammer would fall from the sky and smack
    your granite guy in the head. MORON!
    You should never stand on your granite!!! What was he
    thinking to even tell you this. He has to fix his error.

    I had to read your entire story to my DH. Who is in more
    shock than I. Sanded grout??? Another Fool. This is
    just terrible he needs to redo your backsplash at his
    cost. It does not matter if you told him sanded or not
    sanded. He is an installer. He scatched the tiles. They
    need to be repaired. Done!!!!
    ANd yes a hammer from the sky to smack that guy too.

    Cabinets with nails broken off? Lordy you must be so upset.
    I am in utter shock at the stupidity of these people.
    He must fix the door and all his errors.

    Be strong and don't let them push you around is the only
    advice. And definitely blast them on Yelp, Yahoo, Angies's
    list and of course GW. Let these workers know you are
    going to tell everyone you know the TRUTH about the
    mistakes with photographs. NOt slander all true.
    They can choose to fix this or ruin their future business.

    (((((((((((((((((cyber wishes this all gets fixed)))))))))))))))

    ~boxer

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for listening and being supportive. My husband thinks I'm being obsessive and if I don't like it, then I need to handle it. I definitely need to find a knowledgeable friend to help and start documenting everything.

    I will check on the manufacturers' suggestions for the tile. We used different grouts for the floor and glass. I thinks its lacticrete. The spacing is 1/8 on mesh.

    The granite is volga blue, which I thought was pretty strong. Can a put a flat bracket in at this point? I guess thats a question to ask the granite guy too.

    The beadboard was put up with adhesive and the long nails. I didn't notice it at first. The cabinet painter pointed it out. It's really bad. Is there a remedy to it though, at this point?

    The thing on the top of the door is a magnet that ties the door into the security system. He said it was probably dislodged. And yes the weather stripping is not there. He pulled out the old to fix the back door but didn't replace it. The front door he moved the hinges and changed everything out-to no avail. He's the same guy who did the cabinets. Definitely not impressed with his work. I just didn't know. (Did I mention the chimney he fixed?) He used backer board like you would in a shower instead of plank hardiboard.. My friend said he thought it was probably ok. He didn't know why he would choose to use this instead. Probably he had it on hand. It just doesn't look good aesthetically. But at this point, my husband says its too late to say anything about that now. Oh, brother!A friend I ran into who does this work on a grander scale, recommended him to me. He works for him sometimes and knows how to do everything. He emailed me to check if I was happy with him and I said yes at the time. But now that I've learned some things...

    I'm trying to post pics. Having difficulty. Left voicemails last night will try these guys again today.

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Is it too early for wine and cosmos?

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    sorry new at posting pics

    Here is a link that might be useful: belugacoop

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I've read this thread twice now and continue to be astounded at the crappy workmanship.

    I have to ask, did you get references? Did you see their work elsewhere? Or just take the least expensive? That "friend" needs to be a friend and help you out.

    The work in your home, which you should be photographing, is a testimonial for not hiring these people. That might be the only leverage you have. Unless you owe them money.

    I can't believe the cabinet installation. Nails? OMG.
    Don't give up, even if you have to show up on their doorsteps.

    This is a prime example of why not one shouldn't be their own GC.
    One horrified scream to one responsible GC. (Ok, maybe a few, but keep screaming!)

  • mudhouse_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Belugacoop, I posted your pictures here to make it easier for others to see them. (To get the pictures to show up like this, just copy and paste the line from Photobucket that says HTML code, right into your message text.)

    Here is the pic showing the nails protruding inside the cabinets. This can be fixed by nipping off the nails inside, applying wood filler over the raw spots, sanding, and repainting. If you can't get the guy to come back and do it for you, someone else should, as these nails are obviously a real health hazard.

    The crack in your granite:

    Your glass tile backsplash:

    And your kitchen, showing the granite overhang that needs support.

    You have a very pretty kitchen, and I'm so sorry the very poor workmanship and awful ethics of these people are keeping you from enjoying it. If you have already paid everyone in full, it may take a lot of effort on your part to have much hope of getting them to fix these things, but I hope you're able to get some help.

    In my experience, it would help if your husband was able to add his voice to yours as dissatisfied customers, if that is possible. Unfortunately some (unprofessional) contractors think they don't have to pay attention to unhappy women, and I have learned to be very assertive -- rude if necessary -- when the behavior of those involved leaves me no choice. I hope it all works out for you.

  • debrak_2008
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Like mudhouse said women should not have to deal with idiots who don't respect women. While your DH might not want to deal with the details...try to get him to say something like "if she's not happy then I'm not happy...and if I'm not happy your really not going to be happy, so take care of whatever she says." to each workman your dealing with.

  • boxerpups
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Lovely! The kitchen is lovely. I just wanted to tell you
    how pretty it is. This does not diminish your issues.
    You are NOT being picky. You have every right to demand
    this is fixed. However, I am still in
    panic mode!!! Where is the support on that overhang?
    How is it supported?

    Maybe these visuals can help your husband see you need
    his help. My DH avoids conflict at all costs.
    He has come around on various occassions in life.
    His deep penetrating manly voice has gotten many things
    resolved . And maybe your DH can help you.

    Here are the images of what a counter support should
    have. Maybe they used this.


    Nails into the cabinet! Amazing at the stupidity.

    It is never too late for Cosmos or Skinny girl Margarittas.
    We will help you get through this. No worries GW is on
    your side!!!!!

    ~boxer

  • gr8daygw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It's 5 o'clock somewhere!

  • Susan
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    dear lord i'd be mad as hell! where do you live, one or three of us can come over and stand by your side as you insist on the fixes.
    GAH i hate some people!!!

  • 3mutts
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    As with everyone else, I suggest you document every call and in person visit. Write down all of the details and dates (or approx. dates) that certain things happened or you were told certain things. Give all of these people a firm "fix your issues at my house" date and tell them if they do not, you will exercise your right to take other measures.

    Those other measures could include notifyng your local Registrar of Contractors, Corporation Comission (if they are incorporated), Better Business Bureau, community action groups (such as television news crews that investigate when someone in their community has been 'wronged' and I know the companies HATE that because it is broadcast on TV and they do NOT want that negative publicity), newspaper columns for community issues, start a blog or Google for scam reports on each person or company and add your two cents worth.

    For me, the crack in your granite, if it gets fixed right, would be the most "acceptable" of these issues. The reason, as I was told by a friend that owned a granite fabrication company years ago before he retired, is that your granite it rock and rock does sometimes crack. Think of driving by a little mountainside and all of the chunks of rock that tumble down. It is quite possible that the crack was a fissure that hadn't fully 'cracked' until it was installed. If it is installed right and gets fixed (epoxied, I think), you should have no further issues.

    I have Volga Blue, too, and have a small crack behind my cooktop. It didn't bother me a bit, based on what my friend had told me. Nearly two years later, that crack is no bigger (longer or wider) and I just think of it as adding a little character. I would, of course, insist that they DO fix it to the best it can be.

    Best of luck; everyone is anxious to hear how it all turns out.

  • Ilene Perl
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Your kbitchen is beautiful. I'm sorry you encounted the workers you did. I'm sure your grannite co. was pait in full, but hope others weren't. Good advice was document all calls, keep good records, report them to BB, and Angies List. Have you thought about small claims court? Just an idea to keep in the back of your mind.

  • cat_mom
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Just wanted to add to what others have said.. Despite the issues that need addressing, your kitchen is lovely. So many nice things and very beautiful granite! We have a very similar backsplash in white painted glass.

    That said, be firm and make 'them "do right by you" and repair or replace items needing repair or replacing. Your choices are beautiful. It s**ks that your enjoyment has to be marred by shoddy workmanship, but many of us have had our share of that and have been able to move past it and enjoy our kitchens. Looking at your kitchen I think you will be able to as well.

    Good luck! And hold your ground!

  • colorfast
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    This is a critical time for you and your husband to present a united front. He needs to take off work time and be there when these guys arrive. The reality is, the contractors respect the guy being there. And there's power in numbers too. If your guy needs motivation, have him consider this: You are likely going to live with this kitchen for years...does your husband really want to hear you upset about it for years?

    Or have a Realtor friend come by and assess what these improvements have done to your home's saleability; I know that would get my husband's attention!

    With your granite guy, find out if there's enough left that you could get a decent match and put a new piece in along the front of the sink. That won't shout "I'm broken" some day when you sell the house.

    Good luck!

  • oldbat2be
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    So sorry about everything you've gone through. Just chiming in to say your kitchen DOES look great! Best of luck with getting everything straightened out. Regards, oldbat

  • polie
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I can see that with a kitchen that looks that good, you reasonably want the finishing quality to be good. Those workmen have a lot of nerve! Is the economy in your area so strong they think they can get away with this poor level of finishing? I heard of more contractor horror stories during the crazy early-mid 2000s housing bubble when anyone who could pound a nail could get a construction job. I would have thought more of the sloppy, lazy workmen would have been flushed out of the business during the Great Recession.

    Yes, you have every right to speak up. And if they don't do what you tell them, you have every right to go on the warpath with the BBB, small claims court, etc. What those people did to your space got me angry and I don't even know you. Hang strong.

  • Sharon kilber
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My husband, just went to court, as a witness for a lady that had another contractor, who did a real bad job on her, kitchen. She took lots of pictures of everything. Had everything written down. She was awarded all her money back. plus more. My husband, said the pictures, won her, case. So take lots of them. And the contractor's who are doing sloppy work will not be around long. Guess they do not think or care.

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Belugacoop,
    How are you going to start the week?
    I know you must be bearding for battle!
    Did you decide upon an approach?
    What you can live with, what you refuse to?
    Did your DH decide to get involved, at least to support you?

    I understand the feeling of futility. I have it all the time.
    My post recent helplessness came yesterday.

    I paid for a year on gutters from someone with a life time warranty. Done once, done right, right?
    Immediately after installation and to now, 6 months later, on my front porch rain comes down between the gutters and fascia, wicking back thru the plywood porch roof towards the house. It's molding and some of it's already rotting.

    Yesterday the owner told me they'd reviewed the photos (not visiting in person) & the "leak" in my "patio room" isn't the gutters' fault, so they're not responsible. Huh? So...
    Not having a deep voice or a penis living in the house, I've got to probably get a lawyer. I wait tables, for God's sake! I'm hoping my insurance company will be able to effect this.

    Anyway, my point is that we get it from everywhere.
    Hang in there and make them fix your absolutely beautiful kitchen. Your choices are gorgeous.

    Christine

  • mudhouse_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I keep thinking of Belugacoop too, and hoping things are looking up. So many of us have experienced really hopeless frustration at times.

    If we all lived closer, I suspect Belugacoop's yard would be full of vehicles with tools, hot coffee, and encouragement. Your yard would be brimming over, too, Christine! I'm so annoyed I live on the other side of the country...!

  • laranbrian
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Were these hacks licensed?

    If so, you can file a complaint with the licensing agency to take action against their incompetence. Here in CA there is a California State Licensing Board that has the authority to revoke licenses and levy fines and liens against negligent contractors. We had to go through that process with our remodel and were awarded cash out of the contractor�s bond and he had his license revoked. The process is not fast, but it is effective.
    You definitely have a case. All of the things you show are obviously not done accordance with current accepted practices.

    Good luck!

  • marcolo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The OP hasn't posted in 4 days.

  • eandhl
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It is to late to do support like Boxerpup posted but if you do a search for wrought iron brackets there are several that I believe 2 would properly support your overhang. You aren't going to be standing on it. I am sorry you are going through this. Your kit is lovely in the pictures and sure hope you can get satisfaction soon.

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sorry it's taken me a few days to get back to you all. Mudhouse, thanks for posting the pics. After posting the pics, I started making phone calls.

    The granite guy said he would be here today. I missed his call. He said he would be in the area for a couple of hours. I've called him back twice leaving messages, haven't heard back yet. When speaking to him, he said the only experience he's had where someone's granite broke was when an armoire was dropped on it. He said the brackets like Boxer pups showed can only be put in preintallation. He again said he didn't think that I needed them. But, I disagree. So I'll have to get someone to put something in. What kind of brackets at this point? The cabinet guy (I'll get to him in a min)when he was here, said the corbels were just decorative, L brackets would have too much give so not strong enough, he said I needed the triangle shaped ones. He also said all of this after the fact. He came in and leveled the preexisting cab and put 2x4's in as extra support but it was just in a few spaces. Nothing like the pics above. I'll send pics later as this is not going over well with my DH. I know the cabinet wall isn't thick.

    I called the glass guy, this is the most delicate to handle because they are friends. I just left a message saying the scratches are really bothering me and they are all over. It should have been done with non sanded grout. And asked if there was a way to buff these out. I think I know the answer to this but I just thought it was a softer intro to what may be coming up. I haven't heard back yet. I haven't paid him for the work on the floors or backsplash.

    The cabinet guy said he would be able to come out Tues, which is Mardi Gras day, but he cancels alot and I don't really see it happening. Since then we had terrible rainstorms here and the back door which he "fixed" started leaking. Remember I thought it didn't have weather stripping because you can feel the air coming in and see light coming through well I was looking at it again and it does have the weather stripping after all.

    Did anyone know the answer -if backerboard could be used on a chimney? I also forgot to mention that he accused the floor guys of stealing his saw zaw which I really don't think this happened. BTW unfortunately I was paid in full.

    Anyone out there in the New orleans area?

  • eandhl
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The company that did the granite in my last house is a family business now on 3rd generation. They do beautiful granite and marble. I had a piano shaped island that was about 20 inch overhang, but short. They said I needed a support. The cab builder left and came back with a dove tail triangle from our cab wood (for a temporary fix). I loved it and it is all we ever had. The fabricator said it was perfect. It came out about 1/2 way on the overhang.

  • dianalo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We have had a similar experience with problems from our gc and the subs. We paid too much too soon, and they left the job with over $10k in repairs and finishing needed and we only owe them an $1,800 balance. What you need to do is to get other professionals in to write up estimates for you. You can show them to the people who did the work, so that they see you are backed up by others and that you are actively pursuing this. If you don't get satisfaction from them, try your local complaint agency. Your town's building dept can guide you where to call. The estimates and photos will be needed when you file a complaint. You want to use email as much as possible, so it can't be disputed what was said and when it was said.
    Make sure you send an email or registered letter giving every contact method to reach you. The guy whose call you missed, probably had no intention of coming that day. They call and try to leave a message in order to blame you for not coming by. If you owed them money, they would call more than one number, and call more than once...
    If you don't get help from the local Consumer Affairs board, then you need to go to small claims court. Sometimes, a notice to appear is all that is needed to push someone to do the right thing. Taking off from work to lose in court is something they will want to avoid...
    Let them know you are angry, fierce, and like a pit bull. You will be firm and polite but will not let go until the matter is resolved to your satisfaction. Tell dh in that same tone that he is to have your back. He may want to play good cop, to your bad, or come across as mildly unhinged if he thinks he can pull it off. My dh was content to let me battle with some of the early issues until the architect went too far. He was at the house and dh had me call him at work (as a teacher). I still do not know what dh said to him on the phone, but his face went pale and he got very apologetic. He relented on something he swore he wouldn't. You'd think that the gc, having witnessed the architect incident, might have thought twice about messing with us, but no such luck. I think the gc knew my dh better by the end to know he was going to let it all slide and that I was the tough one to deal with. It still ticks me off that dh was more worried about being a nice guy and not getting his feathers ruffled than backing me up. I will make it all ok in the end, but no one pays the consumer back for the time and hassle. The best we can hope for is for everything to get fixed. I am at the 14 month mark of using a single plug in burner with no end in sight and if the gc came here in person, I'd need dh to bail me out of jail!

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well the day is over. Dianalo you were right, granite guy didn't come or call back. I left a message with cabinet/door guy and told him abt the door leaking and needing to reschedule, he hasn't returned the call. I am documenting now, but I so wish I had done it before-expectations of work, my concerns, time wasted waiting... I love the idea of getting written estimates to fix their work. I will start again on Wed.

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hang in there and don't give up.

    None of this, in any world, is OK.

    If anyone's behind you, we are!!

    C.

  • colorfast
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hey, Beluga,

    How did the granite guy miss you on the phone? Don't they have your cell phone?

    Email follow-ups are a good way to document the progress or lack-therof. Also good should you have to go to court as they are dated.

    How exactly do you ask them to come out? Don't leave a vague message. Consider the way contractors speak to each other. Be courteous, and tell them you are "would like to get this all cleared up, and that you will be waiting for them at the jobsite between 8-10 am Wednesday Feb. 22" unless you hear otherwise. Document the no-shows in an email too...

    Above all, I reiterate the advice not to pay someone in full until ALL the work is done. I learned this the one time I made an exception to the rule. Now, no exceptions!

  • desertsteph
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    check with a building inspector or someone who installs fireplaces to find out about the backerboard.

    getting estimates to repair their bad work is a great idea. maybe then your dh will realize how much money they are ripping you off for.

    the more these guys are let off the hook the more people they can cheat. I've had a few also. 2 were possibles to get more work - except they screwed up one of the first jobs I had for them so I didn't use them again. They won't get any recommendation from me - except recommending no one use them!

    I would be checking your local licensing agency (should be a state agency) to see if they are all licensed. If not, let the agency know what work they 'did' for you. They might also need to be licensed in the city you live - they have to be out here. contractors have to file city tax forms and pay if they owe any (they usually do). So check city licensing also. If they should be but aren't, the city should also go after them for doing work they weren't licensed to do there. Just call the city licensing office and ask if contractors need to be licensed to do work in that city.

  • funnysunny
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi Belugacoop,

    While I haven't gone through your exact experience, I have had to battle a contractor over the improper installation of some windows (I didn't realize the windows were installed improperly until a year after the install). So I wanted to share a couple of tips that helped me get a full refund and may help you:

    (1) Like everyone said, documentation and photographs are key. Take as many photographs/videos showing the problems. Keep any of the damaged material (like the scratched glass tile). Every conversation you have with a contractor, document it. If something important/key is discussed in person or over the phone, send an email/letter documenting that conversation. Anything sent by mail, send it registered. For anything that happened or was discussed awhile ago, document what you remember and the approx. date that conversation occurred.

    (2) Give the contractors a reasonable amount of time to fix the problems.

    (3) If the contractors haven't or didn't properly fix the problems, decide what you want (i.e. full refund, cost to fix the problem, etc). If necessary, bring in another contractor(s) to tell you (a) how much it will cost to fix the problem, (b) exactly what the original contractor did wrong, and (c) the proper terminology to describe the problems. Then armed with that information, I would write a letter to the contractor outlining the problems, what should have been done, and your demands. I would close the letter by giving the contractor a firm deadline to respond to the letter. Let them know if they don't respond, you would file a lawsuit (depending on the disputed amount, you could go to small claims court) or a consumer complaint with the LA Office of the Attorney General (see the link below).

    (4) Follow-up. Be a nag. I called my contractor every week until I got my check.

    Here is a link that might be useful: LA Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Complaints

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you're going to document things via email, even though you're sending it, cc: yourself on it.
    Email can be forged incredibly simply.

    If you don't know how to copy the headers, which shows the actual time stamp and route the email took to get to the recipient, sometimes -- not always -- a cc:ed email is admissible.

    In another life I was an email (Exchange) administrator. Just printing email is a waste of paper. It's the electronic headers that prove their not fakes.

    But go for it!

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The cabinet guy responded via email, Although not the one I was hoping for. He said he's been very sick, requiring breathing treatments and he wouldn't be able to work for awhile. I responded, "I'm sorry to hear your not feeling well, could you send your worker to finish it up." He just replied that he'd be here tomorrow after his dr's appt." I replied that If your sick you should rest. I was getting paranoid that you would never show up bc I have heard so many stories of contractors doing this." He said again he'd be here tomorrow. So ok "can u give me a time estimate?" My dh said he would absolutely try to be here, if not, my neighbor will come over.

    Soooo, wish me luck!!

  • marcolo
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Good luck.

    Contractors lie all the time. I swear one of mine lost six grandmothers during the job. Another's wife had a miscarriage which he fumblingly forgot about the next day.

  • aliris19
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Marcolo, today's families can get pretty extended. ;)

    Good luck, beluga. I think the kitchen's beautiful too. Be firm and expect the best of the contractors as they come back to make good. You can do it. Expect It And They Will Come (as it were).

    I love those glass tiles, scratched or not. It's the color and the depth and the harmoniousness of the whole package that just works so well.

  • gr8daygw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    But the all time classic excuse? My truck broke down...
    Funny how if my car breaks down I still am expected to be at work on time and will have to take a bus, cab, train, plane to get there. But if the almighty truck breaks down so often and regularly on sunny days especially during hunting season one should try to get a well running truck since it is the "life" of their "livelihood"..

  • boxerpups
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thinking of you and hoping you have lots of good luck!!!

  • Jumpilotmdm
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Don't EVER stand on your granite. It has trouble holding it's own weight, let alone a human foot.
    Cracks are normal, though undesirable. It's STONE. You have to go to church to find the guy/girl responsible for that. It is not a man-made material, and it's probably 50,000 years old.
    I assume you choose your subs like your granite, cheaply. You are now reaping those monetary rewards. Write these sub-class human beings LETTERS, don't call them on the phone. They get that crap all the time and lie their way thru it. They probably get very few letters.
    Glass does not easily scratch. It's glass. It almost has to be the grout sand and might not be noticeable on a floor.
    The entry door wasn't prepped well, then a cheap, soft finish coat was used. House paint is not always a good choice for a door, where a harder enamel-type finish might be needed.
    What happens is the factory primer ages as the door sits in a warehouse somewhere and probably should have been re-primed before it was finish coated. Acrylic paint takes up to a month to cure, but only and hour to dry. there is a big difference.

  • belugacoop
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I just posted this on someone else's thread but I wanted to say THANK YOU for helping me find my voice! And making progress! The granite guy came today and fixed the crack. You can't tell at all standing over it. I can see it when the sunlight is reflecting off of it, but also bc I was specifically looking for it. Anyone else would just see it as graining. Granite guy said it happened probably when the cabinet guy was hacking at the trim he had to remove bc it wasn't right. This I can live with.

    The cabinet guy showed up yesterday. The magnet he brought to fix door wasn't the right one. I started to show him which cabs had nails still sticking out and he said he'd check all of them. Then he said ok I'm done. I opened a cab and said the nails aren't finished, I thought you were going to finish them. He says,"Oh I didnt realize that you wanted me to do that." Really?Really? I guess he thought the splintered wood was fine? So then he says ok I'm done. I'm going to run to HD and get the magnet and be right back. Then I went to check his work. He missed cutting nails in 2 cab and didn't finish 3 others. Well...An 1 1/2 later he calls and says he got the battery but needed to go home and he'd come back tomorrow. I told him he missed more nails etc. And... he didn't come. But I do consider it a small victory he came at all.

    And lastly, I called the glass guy and said it was really driving me crazy everytime I look at it. He said he was going to call daltile to see if there was anything he could do, but if not, they would have to do it over bc it was their mistake. Yea!

    So I'll let everyone know how things turn out. I really don't expect to hear from cab guy. But, it's not the last he'll hear from me!

  • polie
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Good for you, belugacoop!

  • mudhouse_gw
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Exactly. Good for you.

  • badgergal
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    While it has been stressful and not at all fun, this whole experience can be viewed as a positive. You are now a stronger, smarter person than you were before!
    I hope the rest of our kitchen concerns are resolved soon.

  • CEFreeman
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Belugacoop,
    I was thinking of you and wondered if you'd gotten that cabinet guy back?
    Given the fact you'd had such great progress, and now he KNOWS you know and aren't going to stand for it, did he ever return?

    I am always proud when someone doesn't let someone just plain RUN THEM OVER to get away with crappy, shoddy work.

    What's been happening! :)