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Kitchen remodel nightmare

28 days ago

Hi! I hope to get some advice here. We have hired a local custom cabinet maker to remodel our kitchen. We were told the project would take around 5 weeks and we had the start day scheduled in November of 2023. However, after many delays, the project was completed last month (end of May 2024).

During the remodel, we have faced many obstacles with stain selection and poor workmanship. Even thought the owner acknowledged some things we pointed out, he would provide us with long email explaining that the wood we picked (rift cut white oak) is challenging to work with and hard to stain as it is sourced from different areas. However, even before we signed the contract, he assured us that we will get the kitchen with consistent staining because they are custom cabinets makers. He had to replace several doors because his workers put the hinges on the wrong side. The new doors, even though they are stained with the same stain (as the owner claims), appear lighter than the rest of the kitchen.

There are many issues we pointed out in addition to the stain, just to name the few:

* the seams are not cut straight and they attempted to fill them with wood filler - they look worn

*two doors are shorter

*several doors are not aligned - some are sticking out (this was a custom kitchen!)

*they left the island 1 in shorter then the rest

*there is air trapped behind one of the side and it gives the side "wavy" appearance

*they used a rounded piece of wood for toe kick (when we told them we wanted square, they just ignored us) and in one area, they did not cut the right length, so the added piece is different color.

Those are just some of the visible details that we did not expect for a $50K + kitchen. According to our contract, we are obligated to issue the final payment after final inspection. We have send the owner the detailed inspection and asked him to re-do everything as we are not happy how it turn out or forfeit the last payment. However, he decided to send us an letter from his legal representative asking us for the full payment as he believed he fulfilled his part of the contract. He claims that all of our concerns are minor defects.

We are hoping someone can give us advice on how to proceed. We were patient for almost a year because we believed he would deliver the quality product. Here are some photos for reference.

Thanks in advance and God Bless.

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