kitchen contractor ordered the wrong cabinets, now what?

If anyone has a story to share about how their kitchen contractor handled cabinet problems, I'd like to hear it...
I'm having my kitchen redone and the carpenter is in the midst of hanging the cabinets. We've discovered that the general contractor wrote one thing on the plans and ordered another thing. In particular, one wall cabinet is 6" taller than it should be and one base cabinet, which should be 18" deep, not the usual 24" deep, is, in fact, 24" deep. The order form used by the contractor has these mistakes on it, so it isn't the cabinet makers fault.
The contractor and the carpenter are floating this trial balloon: they'll cut 6" off the top of the one, and 6" off the back of the other, and make them look right. My view is that the wall cabinet will look like someone cut 6" off the top, and the change to the base cabinet won't show, but it will be weaker, which matters since it contains three substantial drawers (which will be "fixed" as well). What's more, I paid a fortune for custom cabinets and I would like custom cabinets made to the specification we agreed on.
Anyone care to predict how this will unfold from here?
Thanks for any thoughts.
ccs>ikyr
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ccs>ikyr wrote:

What seems to be the problem? He screwed up, he corrects it. If it was custom ordered odd ball stuff, things get little messy, but still his problem if indeed he made a mistake.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You know one coudl take this reply two ways. The contracter says what he is suggesting WILL correct it. I'm willing to bet you don't think so, but you really didn't say one way or the other.

Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It will turn out depending how big the owners spine is and how he wants it to turn out. In other words, you paid for a specific cabinet, stick to your guns and make sure you get that correct cabinet. Not a cut off version or one that can look right. You want what you ordered and you have the right to receive it. The only drawback will be having to wait for the correction to be redone. Bottom liine...you can either tell the contractor to knock a lot of money for the mistake if you are willing to settle for the modified version or knock off some money for the correct one which you will wait for and because it sets the completion date behind. Either way, stand your ground.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@bluebottle.com wrote:

I totally agree. I have gone thru many building project and never ran into this kind of problem. Personally I'd insist correct cabinets installed. Or if willing to compromise, contractor should be punished. He should be paid less. That way he'll be more careful next time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It may or may not be possible for the contractor to modify the cabinets. Trimming 6" off the rear is probably OK and can be done as strong as the original. Trimming 6" off the height of the other may make it look unbalanced, but I can't see it from here so I can't say. I don't know the skill of the people involved. If one man can build a quality cabinet, another can modify it and make it just as good. There are woodworkers and craftsmen that can easily do this type of work so maybe these guys can too. If you agree, do it with the stipulation that you must approve the final product.
. Why not have them returned to the place that made the originals and have them do the modification?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

with them, as long as you come out okay.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
ccs>ikyr wrote:

Yes. They'll try to sell you on the modified cabinets being perfectly acceptable, and you will decline the offer, saying, "I paid for new, I want new - not modified."
Screwing up on a cabinet order can shoot the project schedule to hell and back. This is the main thing that the contractor is trying to avoid. The labor involved in modifying the cabinets, and getting them to match, would possibly cost as much as a new cabinet, but the work could be done right now. It might take weeks for the new, correct cabinets to be built. Now the question becomes, how do you feel about the delay in completion?
Assuming that they can make passable modifications - not necessarily a safe assumption by any means - would you be willing to accept the modifications to save your schedule? I can't call that from here, but modifying drawers and cabinet doors is totally a crap shoot. They might be able to make the structural modifications, but the finish will be almost impossible to match on the job site. Take that into account before you do anything.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you've got it in writing in the contract, I'd insist that the cabinets be replaced with the correct ones. I would not accept hacked and modified cabinets under any circumstances. If it shoots the schedule in the a$$, so be it.
Don't let them pass their mistakes off on you. You'll have to live with a long time, so make sure you get what you want!

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 00:19:25 -0600, "J.A. Michel"

If you go this way OP, and that seems fine to me, it would be good if you expressed it this way, that you will have to live with these things for a long time (decades?) Even though the other guy is wrong, a) it's nice to be nice**, and b) they haven't finished the work yet -- you don't want to make them angry
**I consider saying thyings nicely to be nice. You don't have to roll over to be nice.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How will it unfold? Depends on you, I think. How amicable, how reasonable do you care to be.
Cutting a 24 inch depth back to eighteen inches should not weaken the cabnet. Why would you think it will?
Cutting down the height of a cabinet is no biggie ... I assume your concern is the door. Depending on the style, cutting it down will be a little tricky, but cabinetmakers can perform wonders. Worst thing that happens is you have a kitchen complete except for one door which is on back order.
If the contractor says it will work, then I'd suspect it probably will. Why not go along, but it clear that if it isn't a perfect match, it'll have to be replaced.
What you should understand is that you're not costing the contractor a whole hell of a lot either way. It's a door and a box.
What you could cost yourself is about eight weeks of down time with a makeshift kitchen and possibly, a contractor who'll answer your calls in the future.

MMMMMMHHH. I can understand the feeling, but I'm not sure insisting on this is in your best interest. You might consider that recutting the carcasses means they are indeed custom.
The contractor screwed up. I'm a contractor, I do high end custom work and II screw up. I have cabinet makers and they screw up. As do my plumbers, electricians, carpenters, finishers, you name it.
If I've had a project go perfectly, I can't remember it. The test of a contractor is not whether he makes a mistake, but how he recovers from it.
From what you've said, there's no reason to think this guy is acting against your best interest.
Ken
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Damn nice post, sir.
We remodeled our kitchen two years ago. What was to take a few months took a year.
Our cabinetmaker was an artist. He was also a friend of the family. He came highly recommended and with a long resume of high end jobs. During the work, his wife took off with one of his helpers and took their child with them to Kentucky.
So, along with the problems of some cabinets not fitting just right, and a couple of minor mistakes, we had major problems. Long story short, the guy did not flake out on us. He finished the job. But he did have to take a week and a couple of weeks here to deal with his other stuff.
But, in there were a couple of mistakes he had to adjust for, and minor things he had to redo, like remaking two doors. No biggie. In fact, I believe he had to section one piece of the cabinetry. If we had insisted on having him do it "right", we could still be eating dinner in our motorhome.
Point is, I can't remember where the mistakes are, and they are really not visible with all the finish work, and all the "fluff" that my wife decorates with. Hell, there could be a 3" hole in there somewhere, and you couldn't find it.
No job is absolutely perfect. And sometimes you gotta do what it takes to keep the job flowing instead of stopping it for who knows how long because it isn't "perfect."
The main thing I learned is if you ever remodel your kitchen, do not take out the sink. Even if you have to leave it there supported by sawhorses until you absolutely need to cut it out, keep it there, or you will be washing dishes in the bathtub for a long time.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As it happened, we steeled ourselves for a tense discussion, but the contractor backpedalled before we even objected this morning. He's ordering a replacement for the base cabinet and the carpenter actually suggested swapping a couple wall cabinets so we can use the tall one and improve the kitchen layout. We'll have to see how long it will be to ship the base cabinet but it is not in a spot that will hold up the project.
Apparently, as setbacks go, this was a small one. The cabinet will cost him several hundred dollars, but as things stand now, he'll get referral business from me, so he probably comes out ahead.
Thanks very much for all the comments....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.