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Project delayed 4+ months + 16 + week kitchen delay

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Burlington
12/3/2018 at 10:16:40 AM

Hi Everyone,

We started our project in the spring with an anticipated finish date of 8 weeks. I didn't include this in our written contract, though I should have, although I did record our meeting, the day I signed the contract.

My kitchen has now been delayed over 16 weeks on two separate occassions and my GC always takes a back seat to the Kitchen Guy responsible for all the screw ups. He just wont confront him ( he made the mistake of paying the kitchen guy in full). The first mistake was a fridge height error. That cost us 8 weeks as I didnt want to accept a cookie shelf. Fast forward 8 weeks and the new cabinets arrived without gables, damaged, wrong colour + size (a couple pieces). And really what can ya do without gables? He said he would make them himself and that turned into 4 more weeks (ended up coming on a truck from the Manufacturer any way). The damaged cabinets took even longer. Guys got started, installed the rest of the kitchen only to realize we were short changed on the kitchen crown. I mean, my GC should have noticed that, but any way, we are delayed again and that was 3 weeks ago.

We were also provided a kitchen we really did not 100% purchase. We were given top glass cabinets (white) that had these big, heavy duty, ugly stainless steel hinges... The idea was to light up these cabinets to display sculptures, not those big ugly hinges, so we were forced to go frosted which totally defeats the purpose along with that added value / money. We also purchased an e-cargo garbage drawer which he decided to install way on the other end of the kitchen, far outside of the triangle work area. He didn't ask us where we wanted it and we didn't sign anything either. More wasted money. I mean, imagine making a turkey and having to walk 6-7 feet to your garbage (our kitchen is open concept on a wall with an island).

My 8 week renovation has now turned into 6-1/2 months and it still isn't done based on some of their own mess ups / delays. Everything from lack of manpower, to an unreliable tile guy, to poor management skills, to bad communication, to missing things, to arguments, to theft, to trades breaking my things + disrespecting my things + my home, to my vehicle getting damaged, to my home getting damaged over and over again, to my materials, sinks, cabinets, toilet, lights, etc.. getting damaged... The list goes on.... Some of the things my GC did pay for, others were not taken care of.

The only positive thing is that the work is good and my GC hasn't walked out the door and he has kept to his word that he will finish this as I kept to my word and have continued to pay him, despite all the nonsense as he isn't a bad guy. There is still about 15% owing on everything and only the last bit of kitchen crown to get done + ceiling paint throughout (we are waiting on that and it has taken the Kitchen guy 3 weeks to send one piece of 10' kitchen crown that no one else can seem to match).

I feel that I must be compensated at this point, otherwise I feel the need to litigate. This has been nothing short of a nightmare. This is now taking a toll on my sanity, my personal life, my marriage, my career and even my kids. I'm spending tons of money on take out. It isn't livable up there as they had to re-skim my ceiling and it hasn't been 100% cleaned since and has been sitting for a long time now waiting for this crown to arrive. I feel that any normal person at this point would have already litigated, but I am a firm believer in that cool heads always prevail. The entire reno is costing us approx $85,000 tax in (we supplied our own flooring, vanities + toilets), so it' s a decent sized project. The real question is, how much should we be compensated?

Any thoughts, advice and/or any personal experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

REPLIES (7)
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Date/Time12/3/2018 at 11:19:27 AM

Hello,

There are always 2 sides to a story and then there is the truth. Put it to your contractor of how much you feel you should be reimbursed.

If your contractor has a working relationship with the kitchen company, than it shouldn't have taken long to receive the missing parts.

I would also sit down with your GC and make a list of what is missing/needs to be done, and give them an exact date of when it needs to be finished. No exceptions.

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Thomas from Trusted Trades in Cambridge
Date/Time12/3/2018 at 11:56:07 AM

Hello,

Sounds like quite a mess. My thoughts are that the main mistake here is within the initial contract. Committing to deadlines is essiential, along with contingencies.

There should have been a confirmed kitchen layout for all cabinets and trash container. Signed off by you and the cabinet makers.

Depending on what the GC's responsibilities to the cabinet maker. If he is coordinating and making a profit etc. Or you contracted/chose them.

Now I don't know all the details but it sounds like the contractors on your site are not making much money at this point. With all the mistakes, replacing damaged items etc.

These mistakes in fridge height-did you provide them proper specs of your fridge? Did they provide you with a made layout to mutual agree on? Was floor build up and bulk height drop down calculated and by who.

Hinge detail should have been agreed upon prior.

Sounds like this is a far out manufacturer and only a local dealer/installer. I realize there is savings there but it is far from ideal for conducting remediation.

The crown may have been short changed or had a certain cut pattern that wasnt followed. Companies we work with will always send a large percentage of extra.

My point is you went with a contractor and kitchen subcontractor that did not have a proper set up to your needs. I believe that is something to be learned.

A close kitchen company that could guarantee install time and provide beutiful designs and communicate all details, close in promixity to remediate any changes. Thats what you needed. From your contractor you needed commitments and home protection. Communicating effectively on your needs amd expectations is imperative to a renovations success.

In short, maybe you deserve a discount. Maybe you don't, takes two to tango and I'm not about to rave and defend this contractor or kitchen subcontractor as they sound like companies I would not do business with.

BUT.. you made the choice to do business with them and on their terms.

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Date/Time12/3/2018 at 2:08:01 PM

You're in a tough spot, despite of the fact that your GC isn't a bad person you have been given the run around to an absolute extreme. Had it done that to a client, they would have sue me by now and demand money back. At the end of the day no matter how nice a GC contractor is, the responsibility rests solely on him, the same if the job had been done properly, he should take the credit.

We typically deliver a quality, custom made kitchen from scratch, using quality materials in 4 weeks to 6 maximum.

You had a real nightmare and should withhold further payments, if nothing else until the very last nail is in place there and there's nothing left to do.

Regards

Paul

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Date/Time12/4/2018 at 7:47:49 AM

It's a bit of sad story however things happen in construction industry. It seems that the biggest issue comes from the kitchen company. Understand it's a third party however it's still the GC responsibility as long as it's part of his agreement with you. As long as the GC is a good guy, you can just ask him for a meeting and explain to him your concerns and your interest of getting a kind of compensation as a result of all these delays and mistakes and try to compromise to reach a conclusion and get out of that situation quickly.

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Date/Time12/4/2018 at 8:49:45 AM

It's really long story. First complete the job with little more Paitence. Start investigating the real problem.Who had made mistake? Kitchen dealer or the original company.In Burlington there are a few local manufacturer if you would have used direct manufacturer this would not have happened.

I would highly recommend to put a name out there in the review to expose the dealer and manufacturer if they decline to compensate. Minimum for the food expenses that you paid for the delay.

Once such review is there and if the company is reputed and care for their rating they would offer some compensation. At the end of the day life is Not perfect all the time things happens and deal with it and move on. Good luck.

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Date/Time12/6/2018 at 5:30:12 PM

Afternoon,

You should itemize the extra costs you are incurring. Documenting your extra costs will help you both in negotiations with the GC and/or litigation.

At a minimum, the GC should forfeit his profit on the job. Potentially, any management fees charged to the you by the GC may need to be reduced. A GC behaving in this manner does not deserve top dollar. At the end of the day, some service is being delivered to you. Therefore, some compensation is rightfully deserved.

Depending on the scope, 8 weeks seems tight. Considering Design, Hazmat, Demo, Plumbing, Electrical, Drywall, Paint, Cabs, the unforeseen , time gaps between trades, and a schedule buffer, 8 weeks can fly by very quickly.

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Jacob in Burlington
Date/Time12/8/2018 at 7:56:48 PM

You hit the nail on the head when you stated that I needed a guaranteed install time, beautiful designs, communication, remediation, commitment, home protection,expectations and success.

Now regardless of whether you do business or not and/or how many references you check or how many great reviews you see,you are always taking a chance with a GC you have never done business with before. There's always that chance that things can and will go sideways regardless of how good or bad they might be. I made a mistake not stipulating penalties, but let's be honest...I have him on an audio recording stating it would be an 8 week project. Just because it isn't written in the contract doesn't mean it is on THEIR terms. Who's to say it isn't on the Home Owner's terms? I don't think I'm being irrational being upset 7 months later and still waiting for it all to be finished and I doubt anyone in their right mind would think any differently, including a Judge.

I really didn't want to get into a who's at fault and who isn't debate, as he is clearly still working with me. I doubt he would be against compensating me something. I'm just trying to figure out what is fair on an $85K contract. Is 10% of that dollar figure asking too much?

A few more points. Our summer was ruined, we couldn't have Thanksgiving here, our annual Halloween party didn't happen and now we are fast approaching Xmas which should already be something we are enjoying. We are stuck in a crammed basement at this point and everyone is miserable.

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