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Subs broke my countertops AND the range - what should we pay?

9 years ago

Hi. We gutted a kitchen to the studs and did a LOT of other stuff to an old house. The countertop installers broke our slab of quartzite along a major vein and glued it back together. They didn't tell us about it but I noticed it the next day in the sunlight because it's a leather finish but there's a 6" wide area down the entire length of the peninsula that is smooth and flat where they glued then sanded.

The slab was 5000 dollars and the crack is on the largest piece, so they'd have to buy a new slab to "fix it". Honestly though, I don't feel like being that difficult. I'd rather just live with it. So my husband and I have been going back and forth on whether we should pay them half or not at all on their 2500 dollar bill for fabrication.

I called a few other fabricators in town and got differing opinions. One said absolutely they should get you a new slab and install it. The other said no that's the nature of the material. It sometimes cracks along veins. It's just unfortunate that your slab is leather finished. If it were a polished slab, you wouldn't notice. I explained that my slab came in leather from the distributor. But they still said that it's the nature of the product. The third said did you buy insurance on your slab. I did not. I was offered insurance for coverage of the slab being broken out in their slab yard or by the crane dropping it. I declined and said please don't drop the slab. I did not sign anything, however.

When I called the head guy of the fabricating company - very nice guy - I had to leave a message. I calmly told him that i noticed the crack and that I was upset that they didn't tell me about it. I asked him how we should handle this and said that I didn't feel like going through the trouble of getting another slab - the yard i purchased it from doesn't have anymore right now anyhow. It's a rare slab from Brazil - it really is so it's not like it can be found anywhere. The lady is from Brazil and goes there to hand pick her slabs. So I left a message saying that maybe we could be deeply discounted on the fabrication price rather than get a new slab.

He texted me back the next day saying that he was going to get to the bottom of this and figure something out.

Shortly afterwards, the installers come over to put a little strip of quartzite behind the range that they forgot about. While they were doing that they shattered the glass on the oven door. A brand new not yet installed KitchenAid Pro range that retails between 2300 and 2600 depending on where you buy it.

The owner called me to tell me this happened and that he was so sorry and that he was going to call around town to get us a new range to replace it. I said not to worry about that. I'm sure that just the glass can be replaced. He is greatly appreciative for my understanding.

After I hang up, I realize that it could be an even exchange. Rather than us pay him the 2500 dollar bill, we don't pay him at all in exchange for a new range. But we really aren't going to buy a new range. The new door for the range was 350. My husband is going to try to put the new door on himself when it comes in.

So would it be slimy to not pay the bill? I've got a broken slab and broken range, but I'm not really buying a new range - just the 350 dollar door. I would however like for someone to try to make the crack the same sheen as the rest of the countertop. Oh, and there's a big square of discoloration where the sticker was on the slab too : /

The other option would be to pay them only the 300 dollars portion of the bill that was for installing a remnant in the powder room.

What would you do? What's the right thing to do? As of now, he thinks I am paying the bill and then sending him a bill for the glass. But the more I think about it and the more I see the dull area where they glued then sanded the along the vein, the more I don't want to pay anything. Also, we have already busted our budget. So not having to pay this last bill would be fantastic - but that's really not relevant to the discussion of what's ethically right.

What say you?? Thanks for reading such a long post.

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