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I hired a company to build custom cabinets - ADVICE NEEDED PLEASE.

Ginger Bailey
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I hired a company to build custom cabinets for my kitchen, and I am unhappy with the results. I know this happens often, but I feel like my situation may be exclusive, or partially. Here are the reasons why:

-I never signed a contract. (they did not present one to me.)

-I gave them the layout of the cabinets I wanted, but they designed the sizes of each cabinet.

I have so many questions:

First, I gave them a $7,000.00 deposit on the cabinets, with the total price supposed to be $9,000.00. They delivered the cabinets yesterday, and they insisted on installing them. They did. I did not pay them the remaining amount I owe, yet.

Are they obligated to fix issues with the cabinets that I have, and am I obligated to pay them the full price of the cabinets without a contract? I need some advice today if possible. I don't know how to move forward.




Comments (83)

  • Ginger Bailey
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I came here for advice and help on what options I have when dealing with a company without a contract, and possibly the best way to negotiate pricing for shotty labor. I did not come here to give every single detail of my kitchen remodel. I didn't think that was necessary. Some people are so judgmental and very demanding of things that are not needed. Just like another person said in this thread, I came here frustrated and stressed out looking for help... I wasn't looking for crucifixion. Also, some of you all are saying that I shouldn't expect perfect cabinets with the price I paid. However, the people that built my cabinets are known around my area for beautiful carpentry. They have been held to the highest standard, because that is how they make their money.


    My kitchen is small, which I mentioned previously. You don't know where I reside, and I'm going to assume the prices of cabinets in your area are much higher. I don't live in CA or NY. I live in the southern Appalachian region of the US. Blue collar workers such as: carpenters, welders, fabricators, etc. are common here.


    Also, to clear things up for some of you folks:

    -I hired a contractor to remodel my kitchen, and he subcontracted the cabinets through another company.

    -My contractor up and quit without saying a word to me.

    -The company subcontracted to build the cabinets offered to take on the job.

    -They said they were to start demo or tear out within a month. It took them almost a year.

    -They also said that once they tore out my old cabinets, drywall, countertops, sink, etc., my kitchen would be reconstructed and finished with 3-5 days, at the latest - a week.

    -They gutted my old kitchen, and I was left without a washer and dryer, sink, cabinets refrigerator, all that, for over 7 weeks.

    -The guys they sent here to work were not knowledgeable on how to frame a wall, level a floor, hang drywall.


    You may ask why I waited so long. Why did I put up with this without finding someone else? This was during the "covid pandemic", and I had already been through so much with people working on my house. I just decided that maybe patience is a virtue, and if I was kind and patient and understanding, it would pay off. It didn't.


    So, with that being said, I would like to give y'all some advice for the next time YOU give some advice:

    How about you try to be patient and understanding.

    How about you try not to judge.

    How about you not assume things.

    If someone doesn't give you the information needed, and you don't know how to properly conduct yourself, and you don't know the advice without that information, you should probably either ask nicely, OR you could just move on to another topic...


    I do appreciate the ones that took the time out of their day to be kind and try to be as helpful as possible with the information I provided. Thank you for that. I hope everyone has a great day, and like we say in the South to ones whom are not so happy in life: BLESS YOUR LITTLE HEART.

  • Ginger Bailey
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Cindi Sullivan They touched them up. Thanks for asking!

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  • Mrs Pete
    2 months ago

    the OP has given no indication she has expectations of a $90k kitchen.

    True.

    Yeah, she seems to have equated ”custom” with super high quality. But custom is NOT a synonym for upper end quality.

    But that's a common misconception.

    I was basically looking for opinions on if someone else were to agree to pay more, without a signed contract.

    And we're trying to understand /trying to help.

    The most money for the least amount of time and labor.

    Well, yeah, that's what businesses do -- even if they're trying to provide a good product and please the customer, their ultimate goal is to make money in an efficient manner.

    I think it is reasonable to expect that new cabinets don't have damage or dents.

    Agree, but this installation isn't finished. I think the problems come from not understanding that it's a process.

  • rtpaige03
    2 months ago

    You paid them more?? This is what I don’t understand—we all told you not to do that and that they couldn’t make you do that. Most of us, just wanted you to explain the relationship in order to answer your legal question. And without seeing the cabinets as a whole instead of super zoomed in, it was hard to see what quality issues you had. Some people on here do turn their noses up at anyone who doesn’t have a million dollar home, with the six figure kitchen. I regularly see people say quotes are too low to be good work, but I live in South, and our quotes are much lower than i will see on here. But at the end of the day, anyone who buys anything new at whatever price point rightfully expects undamaged. But cabinet installation is a process, and when you watch it happen, you see the things that are usually unseen by the end. Unfortunately, COVID’s biggest effect has been the shortage of skilled workers, so even companies with great reputations have ended up with unskilled and unmotivated laborers. Sounds like your cabinets were fixed to your liking? I hope so. At the end of the day, the most important thing is you are happy with your kitchen. I wouldn’t discount Houzz for questions, I have received great advice. Sometimes, the context is lost, and I think that is what happened here. When you provide context, you will usually see the good advice come in.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I am not sure why people are calling this a god knows what finish or white primer. It's a grey finish on oak and it's offered by a number of large custom cabinet companies. Unfilled grain is part of the finish. I am sure these look about the same as the OPs finish (albeit a different shade) if they were taken with a cell phone.




  • ci_lantro
    2 months ago

    What I gather is that the cabinet company also demo'd the kitchen, installed new drywall. Implied that framing and floor leveling were also part of the job.

    Presumably finished the drywall and painted. Built and installed new cabinets. No mention if counter tops, sink, faucets, other plumbing tasks were part of the job. Or finished flooring. Looks like newly installed luan underlayment in the first photo.

    I gave them a $7,000.00 deposit to begin with, and I ended up paying them $5400.00 yesterday. The total amount is $12,400.00.

    So either OP paid $9k for the cabinets and $3400 for the other work and materials or welched on the verbal contract and paid $7k for the cabs and $5400 for the rest.

    This could be a case where the original contractor read the tea leaves.

  • bry911
    2 months ago

    The OP asked two questions that needed no additional information. (1) Is the company obligated to fix the issues shown by the OP, (2) is the OP obligated to pay for a job they are dissatisfied with since they didn't sign a contract.

    Answering these questions didn't really require a lot more information. Yes, a company is obligated to fix the issues that likely occurred during transportation and installation... Yes, even though the contract isn't signed, by allowing work to continue the OP agreed to the terms even without signing the contract.

    I do understand posters want to offer additional advice and are so eager to help that they may get annoyed when the OP doesn't provide the information they asked for, but we should also recognize that the OP is in the middle of a project and these questions may have been posted with some urgency and therefore needed the answer to these questions rather than a major discussion on the project.

  • PRO
    Polina Kohno Interior Designer
    2 months ago

    -I never signed a contract


    Why, just WHY?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago

    I am not sure why people are calling this a god knows what finish or white primer. It's a grey finish on oak and it's offered by a number of large custom cabinet companies. Unfilled grain is part of the finish.


    palimpemest, these are not a gray finish on oak!

    That isn't remotely close to this. are you for real? (even the cuts of wood are completely diff)



  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Beth, just go 'way. You don't have to be in charge all the time.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    And yes I understand one is rift cut and the OPs are plain cut.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    lmao. go away? um ok. but as long as you keep bringing in your erroneous info, I'll be here to check it. "gray stained rift sawn custom oak" for 9K. sure. ok.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    I made no comment about the execution. I just said it was a grey finish, not something completely unheard of.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    look, when you make a snide comment about what I said about the finish, then be prepared to hear from me. It's not a gray finish.


    it's some type of white paint. it looked like it wasn't prepped properly. the finish coat looked horrible. the grain isn't supposed to be visible (like that ^) when it's painted.

    looks like they slapped on some cheap finish coat directly over raw oak.


    gray stained on a reg cut red oak. this is nothing like what she has shown



    that's all I commented on. If you disagree w/what a poor job that is, then I don't know what to tell you. carry on.

  • Crepe Myrtle
    2 months ago

    Looks like a "whitewashed" finish to me. It doesn't look great, but it doesn't look like an attempt to paint either.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago

    exactly my point about why the finished result was so poor.

    no, it's not a whitewash either. they coated it w/paint, or primer. I've painted/stained/refinished countless pieces of all types of oak. this wasn't a gray stain, a white wash, a ceruse attempt, or any other 'artistic' attempt.

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I spray a lot of paint and this doesn't look anything like paint to me, and it certainly doesn't look like a primer coat.

    It looks something like a Tinsmith Gray on my screen, but that might just be my screen, I certainly wouldn't jump down someone's throat for calling it gray. Rift sawing doesn't change the color, so not sure why that matters to the color.

    ETA: There are so many products out for staining wood that it is nearly impossible to speak with any real authority on stains. Honestly, it looks like a standard semi-transparent stain to me in most places, however, one picture does look like they had to add a pretty heavy toner coat to get a color match (the picture of the doors has the grain a bit muddier than the other pictures).

  • M Miller
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Do you realize that the bickering and snark on this thread of long-standing forum members is as a result of the OP providing neither information nor photos? Had the OP provided better photos and even minimal information, there’d not be this back and forth. Don’t let this OP - who is intransigent and irrational - do that to you guys.

    I am betting if we could talk to the contractor, we’d get quite a different story. And perhaps the reason why the first contractor abandoned the project.

    Let’s all abandon this thread. Most posters seeking help on this forum are very happy to provide info, photos, and answer questions in return for the free advice from Pros who otherwise charge $150-300/hour.

  • rebunky
    2 months ago

    Ginger, I am so sorry you had to go through all this. Sounds like quite the nightmare year. I hope the company will fix the cabinets. In time, as you enjoy cooking in your new kitchen, this experience will hopefully all fade away.

    I was thinking it was a cerused golden oak cabinet using a greyish stain like this guy demonstrates. I attepted to do this years ago on my golden oak vanity cabinet. It looked pretty similar.

    Beth mentioned it wasn’t a ceruse attempt though, and I know she know her stuff!


  • bry911
    2 months ago

    Do you realize that the bickering and snark on this thread of long-standing forum members is as a result of the OP providing neither information nor photos? Had the OP provided better photos and even minimal information, there’d not be this back and forth. Don’t let this OP - who is intransigent and irrational - do that to you guys.

    I am betting if we could talk to the contractor, we’d get quite a different story. And perhaps the reason why the first contractor abandoned the project.


    Could someone please enlighten me on which of the OP's two questions couldn't be answered with the information that was provided? I found it rather easy, trivial even, to answer the questions asked with the information provided.


    The OP doesn't owe you, this site, or the people on it a detailed accounting of their entire project complete with pictures just because we would like to comment on questions they didn't ask. Many posters may find that enlightening, others may not care about opinions on the finish, the cost, or the overall quality of the job.

    The attempt to paint the OP as a difficult client to justify the contractor quitting is sketch A.F. Someone agreed to do a job then quit, leaving the OP in the lurch... they are not the good guy... it was not justified even if the OP has a bad attitude.

  • J Sk
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    This is not the first person complaining here that some people commenting are not being nice. And here we go again, judging the OP and making some insinuations once again like all the GC are so honest and truthful. Yeah, right. I went trough built of my house for last 2 years so talking from first hand experience. There were just a very few who did excellent work but many would take shortcuts or lie, break things and hide it. Also there were some who took my things from my house without asking ( when I accidently found out I heard they needed just a little bit to finish a project in own house).

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    2 months ago

    Ginger, I’m sorry you’re going through this - both the kitchen problems and the responses here. I cannot offer help or advice but I do feel you were misunderstood here by the pros. IMO some of the pros did try to help but the way they went about it wasn’t nice. And a couple are still spewing their unwarranted nastiness. Sheesh. The OP is inexperienced in kitchen stuff. Probably inexperienced in presenting this information to others. Give her a flippin’ break. Honestly. When you’re in the middle of a “car wreck” it’s really hard to come up with the right questions.

    Ginger Bailey thanked Connecticut Yankeeeee
  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I cannot offer help or advice but I do feel you were misunderstood here by the pros. IMO some of the pros did try to help but the way they went about it wasn’t nice. The OP is inexperienced in kitchen stuff. Probably inexperienced in presenting this information to others. Give her a flippin’ break. Honestly. When you’re in the middle of a “car wreck” it’s really hard to come up with the right questions.

    Conn Yank. did you read the first 15 comments or so? way up in the beginning? She asked about advice on fixing the cabs. Many people asked her to provide more info and pictures. Nicely. They asked numerous times. She would not. As for the contract, or lack of, without it, people trying to give advice were attempting to get her to provide info so they could advise her. Again, she really didn't come up w/what was needed.

    Then she went on and scolded everyone for asking questions saying she felt she didn't need to provide details about the kitchen.

    So when you say pros weren't nice, or there was nastiness, come on. People come on her and ask for advice about work that was done, provide 2-3 super close-up shots of the 'problem', no background info, no other pictures, and no clear-cut concise info about what's going on, but expect answers lickedy split?

    We aren't clairvoyants or magicians. So when you say she's 'inexperienced in presenting info to others', that's a cop out. She was asked numerous times by numerous people to answer questions so that those people could provide help. People on here lose patience and respond in a curt manner. That's just the way it is.

    If someone doesn't know how to present info, then that person should say so. The person should ask 'please list the info that you all need from me so that I can get help to my dilemma'. OP's don't get a 'walk' because they're in the middle of a crisis.

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Beth H. : said, "She asked about advice on fixing the cabs."

    She didn't though... she asked for any advice on the situation, which she earlier noted was the enforceability of the contract and whether the company was obligated to repair. She elaborated on a further concern about the company charging more than the agreed upon amount.

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    2 months ago

    Beth, I read most everything, including her long rant. I think she was overwhelmed and lashed out. And, well, … pros here lash out a lot. They throw a hissy fit when information and pix aren’t handed to them on a silver platter. Imo, many times their good advice gets lost because of this. And I’m just tired of the meanness.

  • Jinx
    2 months ago

    Some of y’all are so high on your own farts.

    My god, such drama.

    Good luck, OP.

    Ginger Bailey thanked Jinx
  • Ida
    2 months ago

    Oh, Jinx. I ❤️ you! 🤣

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    bry911

    . She said she was unhappy w/the results. She flat out asked, "are they obligated to fix the issues w/the cabinets that I have." To me, that meant she was unhappy w/how the cabinets looked, no?

    So in order to answer her question, (about those issues) Don't you think asking her to provide pictures and a bit more detail about the cabinets was warranted?.

    Many people asked for further pictures and for her to provide addt'l info.

    When I said she was asking advice about the cabinets, this is how I took it from what she had written:

    I hired a company to build custom cabinets for my kitchen, and I am unhappy with the results. Are they obligated to fix issues with the cabinets that I have, and am I obligated to pay them the full price of the cabinets without a contract?

    I guess when she asked if they were obligated, I wanted to see what she was talking about. It's easy enough to say, "yes, they're obligated", but how can one truly know if we can't even see what she's referring to? Obviously the company is obligated to fix something they damaged. But if she is talking about something else, then I think we need some more info. I uploaded some photos of the things I am unhappy with.

    They were poor quality pictures. Many of us asked for addtional pictures in order to gain some perspective.

    I am also looking for any advice on the situation. I texted the owner of the company pictures of the issues with my cabinets, and I have not yet received a response. They are supposed to be coming to my house today to install the trim or molding around the tops of the cabinets. I am unsure on how to go forward.

    RoyHobbs wrote a comment basically saying the same things I'm talking about. did you read his comment further up? he brings up some good points.

    I understand what you're saying about info that is not related to her questions. A lot of what she asked had to do w/things that would have been covered in a contract. You gave her help regarding that.

    I hope she gets things resolved.

  • bry911
    2 months ago

    @Beth H. : said, "So in order to answer her question, (about those issues) Don't you think asking her to provide pictures and a bit more detail about the cabinets was warranted?"


    "Based on the only two photos you have provided, the reason these were so cheap is the quality
    9K? for these? I'd say you overpaid."


    Those were your first few helpful words on this thread, so... No. I don't think the OP should provide you with a bit more detail.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    bry911, I commented for what info was avail. shoot me. what's your deal?

    OP made the scoling comment to everyone before I even wrote anything. maybe you missed that? Did you even read any of the other comments early on? seriously? I'm the mean one here because I said she overpaid? whatever

    Seems like there are a lot of lurkers in the peanut gallery who love to poke and throw stones, but fail to see the irony in their comments.

    Jinx,

    Some of y’all are so high on your own farts.

    It’s extremely childish to keep badgering and belittling. No one is forced to give input. So don’t!Some of you should be ashamed of your behavior here, your ridiculous self-righteous indignation.

    Pot, meet kettle. Do you even read what you write? Try and keep it classy dear.

  • maddie260
    2 months ago

    "Beth, just go 'way. You don't have to be in charge all the time.'

    If you get this advice from palimpsest? PAY ATTENTION!!!!!!

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    This is the internet. Free for the ask. Free to comment, question, offer opinion. If you don't like that? You belong at Legal Aid, or your local pay for help design center, or. In other words, PAY for the yes/no answer you want.

    The bad news? Either, will ask you QUESTIONS.

    "I feel my situation is exclusive"

    How so? When you can't even explain the dollars?

    Can you clarify the damage issues, which seem quite common and are easily fixed?

    No. I just want to know if I should pay, the amount I clearly have not explained.

    Seriously?

    Frankly, it is a small miracle,( MOST often), that people do get great help on Houzz. It is usually AFTER we dig, scratch, pull, yank more information from them. In doing so we just as often get: "That wasn't the op's question!"

    Guess what? At least fifty percent of the time? It isn't even the Op's real PROBLEM. So take that!! , lol

    I am sick to death of the thought/word police, criticizing the very people who made the original concept of Houzz ( design ideas / p.r.o.f.e.s.s.i.o.n.a.l images/results, founded 2009 ), possible . Maybe? Ask your mom.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Beth, you are generous with your time and you give good advice.

    But it is possible to give your own advice, even if it is the complete opposite of someone else's advice without pointing out how terrible all the other advice is, how your opinion is the only valid opinion or that what someone else said is stupid. You are not here as the safeguard of whatever thread you are participating in to "be there to check" other people's "erroneous information". If I or someone else make a stupid ( but really inconsequential) comment that I don't think these cabinets were painted with Kilz as a final finish, so what? It's not even something the OP asked about. Honestly the advice you give is diminished by your attitude that it's the only advice worth getting. This is a discussion forum, not competition. There is no first place and you don't have to be in it.

  • Jinx
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I’m sure Houzz is super grateful for the bullying of OPs by pro accounts. /s

    So many times I’ve seen OPs run off, then high fives all around. Real classy and professional.

    Just one (recent) thread, there are so many like this or worse:

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6311707/work-with-what-i-have

    Without OPs, there’s no reason for forums. And no one is being forced to answer.

  • PRO
    Floored You: TileDesigners
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Houzz exists to monetize the contributions of professional designers. That's it. The backs of the Pros, and their resources for images and products is the foundation on which it was built. It does not exist to provide design advice to homeowners. Which is why it was puzzling for them to buy GardenWeb, The traffic that the site got is the only reason to buy it, or any other site or service, like Ivy. The advice forums are a byproduct of attempting to increase site activity, site purchases, and ad revenue. They are in it for the clicks. The more controversial a post is, the more clicks, and the more money. Posts with a lot of activity, even "negative" activity, feed site revenue.

  • Jinx
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I’m aware of the business model, I read about it extensively when Houzz bought GW. It isn’t just ”designers”, it applies to all facets of home and landscaping services, as well as furniture companies, lighting companies, and on and on. Goal being to sell services and products.

    OPs are potential customers, yes? I’ve purchased many items from Houzz, and see daily other forum members do the same.

    We’re all cogs in the wheel. And it’s a choice to be here … again, no one is forced to participate. No need for all the whining and foot stomping about how OPs post, not everyone is experienced with message boards. A little patience and grace could be extended, or just scroll on by.

    Y’all are lucky my dad doesn’t post here, you should see him on Facebook. :D

    I disagree about controversial posts. Many are deleted by mods for various offenses.

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I am sick to death of the competition to be the nastiest. Many of the p.r.o.f.e.s.s.i.o.n.a.l.s seem so interested in denigrating and belittling posters that their advice seems little more than a convenient delivery system for it.

    I suspect the site will be better when people stop pretending they are Sofie. In my opinion, many of the insights on this thread are fabricated for their shock value.


    ETA: Clicks and visits are different things and both are used in online advertising. A click is a click on an ad that is presented on a site. Visits are the number of unique daily visitors to a site. Houzz is not interested in the number of times people view controversial topics, they are interested in clicks on ads, which are largely driven by unique users to the site.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    I think some of this started because of the word "custom". Custom just means that something was made-to-order for a specific client, for a specific site, at a specific measurement, something like that.

    Custom does not specify a certain level of quality and there are really less standards for a one-off made by an individual than the manufacturing standards of mass production, I would think. One would think that custom meant a higher standard than stock, but that's not necessarily the case, particularly if the price is the same or lower than stock would be .

    I am not making any judgments about the overall quality of the cabinets in this post because I see two close up pictures of some flaws. But custom doesn't automatically mean $90,000 instead of $9000.

    Custom could mean $900, $9000,$90K or $900K. But custom at $9000 is not going to be the same as custom at $90K. "Custom" as some descriptor of cost or quality doesn't really mean much in itself.

  • Ginger Bailey
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    LOL. Lord have mercy...Some of you all need to be medicated or something.

  • ci_lantro
    2 months ago

    I don't know how anyone else read it but, for me, the tone was set from the opening post. OP had a verbal agreement on the cost and seemed to be looking for a loophole to negotiate the price downwards. Based on an installation that wasn't completed yet.

    For me personally, a verbal agreement is every bit as binding as a written contract so long as there is nothing egregiously wrong. Nothing in the three pictures was egregious. A couple of chips and what I am guessing was the gap between a base cabinet and the wall in the first picture. OP never explained the first picture so we do not know what her complaint was.

    Given the time lapse between when the project was initiated and completion, I'm supposing that it is possible that the OP wasn't real happy with the choices she made at the get-go, too. Perhaps the choice of wood finish? Pure supposition on my part as there is nothing posted to indicate that. Anyway, I know that I can like something and change my mind about it a year or two down the road.

  • Jinx
    2 months ago

    Ginger, can you describe your expression when you read through this?

    Just kidding. I can imagine. 😆

    Sorry things went off the rails. I hope everything turns out well in your kitchen.

  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Ginger if you come into these forums as an individual asking what may or may not seem like a simple question, you are stepping into a complex social system with history, hierarchy, philosophical and ideological differences and conflicts among its members, and at times the thread may be much less about your question and more about the dynamics about what happens within the group.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    @Ginger Bailey, Leo Buscaglia was a professor, motivational speaker and author who was kind of an expert on love and human relationships. I don't remember in which of his books he talked about failed relationships. Leo said that if you have a long term relationship that fails accept it, know that sometimes relationships fail, and move forward. If you have another long term relationship and it fails stop and take a good long look in the mirror and figure out what you may be doing wrong.


    If you look through my comments on Houzz I have disagreed with the pros on many, many occasions. A few probably don't like me all that much. I also freely admit that I have learned a lot from the Pros and non-pro regular contributors on this site.


    When I saw your post it seemed odd to me that Beth seemed hot under the collar. She is one of the Pros that generally has a ton of patience with people.


    I took the time to go back and read through your original post and all the comments.


    Honestly, I am still still not completely clear on what happened.

    1. Contracted with Contractor A to have kitchen renovated.

    2. Contractor A quit

    3. Paid cabinet builder $7000.00 as a deposit $2000.00 balance remaining.

    4. Cabinet maker agreed to complete the job. (verbal agreement).

    5 - kitchen prepared for cabinet install - not sure what to believe here:

    A "They ended up not showing up for the work that was to be done. I hired another contractor who fixed my kitchen, and got it almost ready for cabinet installation."

    B "They gutted my old kitchen, and I was left without a washer and dryer, sink, cabinets refrigerator, all that, for over 7 weeks.

    -The guys they sent here to work were not knowledgeable on how to frame a wall, level a floor, hang drywall."

    6. Subcontractor showed up with the new cabinets and "Insisted on installing them"

    7. Posted pictures of damage/issues with cabinets. Said your unhappy with the cabinets.

    8. Asked if you should pay them anything more.

    9. The cabinet maker touched up the cabinets and you paid $5,400.00 in addition to the original $7000.00 for a total of $12,400.00.


    How did you expect anyone to be able to answer your question without knowing what the original agreement with Contractor A covered or what the $9000.00 was supposed to cover.


    You got the kitchen prepped for cabinets (drywall, framing, leveling the floor + whatever you didn't mention. You got new cabinets and had the new cabinets installed all for $12,400.00.


    Even for a small kitchen in a low cost geography, that is not much money for everything that was done and yes, you owed them for doing all that work.


    I have a 10' galley kitchen and it is going to run double that even with getting Ikea cabinets and installing the cabinets and flooring myself and doing all my own painting, just having someone else do the plumbing, installing the sink and countertops and moving 2 doors. I live in Pennsylvania Dutch country, not exactly NYC.


    If I were you I might think about the fact that the first contractor quit, you weren't happy with the second contractor/cabinet maker, you weren't happy with the people on Houzz who were trying to understand your situation, you felt that the 2nd contractors were trying to rip you off when they apparently did a lot more than just build and install your cabinets and accused them of not being very good communicators.


    Maybe the issue isn't with everyone else and maybe it is time to take a good long look in a mirror and figure out what you may be doing wrong.



  • rockybird
    2 months ago

    @Jennifer Hogan I agree it hard to follow the OP’s thread but I have to defend her. I would not necessarily say this is all her fault. It has been very difficult to find contractors. I have been searching for months to find a pool contractor. My neighbors across the street have waited almost two years to have their pool and landscape installed. I have been waiting almost a year for cabinet fronts. Who knows why the OP’s first contractor quit, but I wouldnt go off and blame the OP without any proof. It was during COVID and all kinds of crazy things happened.


    When my bathroom cabs were installed, they had similar chips and I panicked, just like the OP. The OP doesnt know any better. She doesn’t know this is common. I have similarly had a very difficult time communicating with my cabinet contractor. And he has had a very difficult time communicating with his suppliers. I believe the OP was worried they would demand the money and not fix the issues. She wanted to know if it was in her right to withold the money.


    This new covid/post-covid world for building/remodeling is tough. I wish people would not put down OP’s plans, cabinets, etc. Be gentle and ask questions. Don’t scream at them that their plans are terrible, that they should have hired an architect, their cabinets are cheap, they paid too little. For the most part, OP’s are ignorant and innocent novices with no prior experience. They are often highly stressed as they have ventured into a world they do not completely understand, one which is expensive and difficult to manage with everyday life (kids, work, distance issues, etc). Throw into this dealing with contracts, contractor personality issues, banks, attorneys, disrupted homes, etc. Some OP’s come here desperate and devastated by events. It is can be crushing to them when people offer harshly critical responses. People come here seeking help, reassurance and kind advice.

  • bry911
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    It is unlikely the OP just decided to look for a way out of a contract going well! Odds are the OP's question was the culmination of many frustrations that the cabinetmaker should have handled before it got to this. It is certainly possible that the OP is irrational, but it is far more likely that the cabinetmaker has earned the upset.

    I also do lots of business on a handshake... but if someone starts jerking me around we will end the relationship with quickness.

    ---

    Just for clarity.

    Every state has some version of the statute of frauds that says certain contracts must be memorialized and signed by certain parties. One of those contracts is sale of goods over $500 (the amount may vary a bit by state, but $500 is the standard). So if you are selling goods, such as cabinets, over $500 then an oral contract isn't a contract.

    However, there is an exception to the statute of frauds that would likely apply in the OP's case. So, I agree the OP has a contract because the OP let them install the cabinets.

    That contract, while vague on the specific details of the OP's cabinets, is rather robust and tends to favor purchasers over suppliers. Again, as cabinets are goods, they are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties when goods are being exchanged. In essence, it sets the default terms of the deal which, absent modification in a written contract, govern the transaction. Feel free to take a look at it... https://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    @rockybird - I wasn't trying to be unduly harsh - I just suggested that instead of getting more and more frustrated with everyone and lashing out at those who were generous enough to try to help her, that she stop and do a bit of self-examination to determine her part in the miscommunication / lack of communication / frustration.


    My life experience tells me that that she may not be acting in her own best interest. Yes, we can all get frustrated, but how you handle yourself when you are frustrated impacts the final outcomes.


    Kids get very frustrated when they don't get their way. Teenager are sometimes worse than 3 year olds. There is no reasoning with them. The world is against them. The only thing they see is that they can't have the toy they want or they can't go to the party they want to go to and every other parent in the world is letting their kid go to the party.


    Some adults never learn how to deal with their frustration and go through life throwing hissy fits when they don't get what they want and generally blame others for every poor outcome.


    The rest of us learn to manage our frustration and focus on solving the problem. This includes actively assisting those people who are trying to help us.


  • littlebug Zone 5 Missouri
    2 months ago

    Wow! This thread has some very interesting back-and-forth!

    I guess it’s true what they say about a full moon . …

  • cindylouhoog
    2 months ago

    And a Hunter’s moon, at that!

  • shirlpp
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    This thread is a keeper! ha, ha!!!


    50 million LIKES @Ida!!!