Countertop/Contractor trouble?


  #1  
Old 08-03-06, 08:56 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Countertop/Contractor trouble?

Hi,
I have a really nice Contractor/Carpenter but am starting to see his workmanship (or his crew's) isn't as good as I'd hoped.
I need a prof's opinion if you'd say anything about what I consider a fairly unacceptable mistake made with my new laminate countertop. (Granted it isn't high end- but I've spent almost $50,000 in remodeling my bathroom/kitchen/laundry room/floors and demolitions with this fellow)
While screwing ?the underneath cabinet into the top the screw went up just a tad too high and has caused a "bump" in the countertop surface- almost to the point of a small crack. It's not that it's so noticeable as I'm worried in a short time it will get worse and chip.
Also, they did the exact same thing while assembling the front formica plate of the cabinet under the sink area- however, that time the screw is actually coming through - They don't seem to even notice these errors but he has agreed to replace that board. My question is do they know how to use their drills or what? I don't want to come across "*****y" cuz I'm not one. But there are several other "shoddy" things they did and YES- he agreed to replace and/or fix them- hasn't done it yet- but I trust he will.
They just told me on this one the entire piece (which I guess is precut someplace else) would need to be replaced and that'd be a big job.
Can't they just make a seam and replace just that one side???
Or, should I just let it go and hope it stays the same and nothing flat has to sit on that section?
Can it be hammered down or use an iron to "melt" it a little??
HELP?!
 
  #2  
Old 08-03-06, 11:38 PM
T
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,047
Upvotes: 0
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
The screws they are using are likely too long and/or they are putting too much torque on the screw. A good countertop installer would not allow a screw to pierce the plastic laminate. Even a small bump is unacceptable because laminate will in all probably crack and chip off the bump. The countertop should be replaced at no charge due to unacceptable work. Settle for nothing less. You do not want a seam where a seam does not belong.
 
  #3  
Old 08-04-06, 06:21 AM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,066
Received 31 Upvotes on 25 Posts
Mistakes happen, but you don't have to pay for them. A screw partially penetrating a laminate countertop is unacceptable. Insist that it be replaced.
Whenever you find workmanship issues, write them down and discuss them with your contractor. If an issue is unacceptable to you, insist that it be corrected. That doesn't make you a jerk - it's your money.
 
  #4  
Old 08-04-06, 02:17 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It's hard

Thank you guys- it's still hard to address mistakes with people who are busy and I'm sure trying to do a descent job...
I know this will cost them more $$ and they are NOT going to want to do it (but I agree I shouldn't be responsible to pay for somebody else's poor workmanship or error, especially since I'm' pretty sure it won't wear well with that lump there)
I will TRY to insist that it be replaced without cutting in a seam...
Wish me luck!
deb
 
  #5  
Old 08-04-06, 02:39 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,475
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If you have spent $50,000 with this contractor, he at least OWES you a good job. Did he get permits for all this work? In the end (should you decide to sell later) non-permitted work is YOUR problem. If I had a contractor who thought screws piercing the countertop was okay, I would start to worry about major issues also. He will continue to be a "nice guy" as long as you let him do shoddy work. Good luck.
 
  #6  
Old 08-06-06, 02:13 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I see your point

We didn't go with permits...I went with word of mouth reputation. I hope it won't be an issue when I resell...but I'm meeting with him tomorrow morning so I'll let you guys know how it goes. I am sure he won't actually think it's acceptable~ but probably doesn't have a lot of time to replace it and may even say it could kind of "wreck" some of the other work already done (like the window installed above it, etc)
They've done a lot of " little extras" for me (small, yes- but without any hesitation) I appreciated that these days when often workers don't even show up!
But it is a lot of $$ and I don't want to have to replace it later at an even higher cost.
We'll see!
deb
 
  #7  
Old 08-06-06, 02:40 PM
majakdragon's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,475
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Not sure what you mean by word of mouth reputation as opposed to permits. With the amount of remodeling you are/have been doing, permits are VERY important. If you should sell, one of the first things you must do is reveal any work done on the house. Normally, it is a disclosure of what is wrong with the house. If you say you had a lot of work done, the question will be asked "Do you have the permits?" A decent home inspector will be able to tell if work has been done. Perhaps your area doesn't need permits to do renovation work. If you had electrical work done and it is in the wall, you could be made to tear open the wall to show that it is up to code. Just a few things you should know.
 
  #8  
Old 08-08-06, 09:00 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Hindsight...

Oh well...I'd heard our Town Inspector guy (actually I've dealt with him on other stuff) is kind of a jerk- so I didn't involve him.
Yup, there was electrical done~ both in the bath and kitchen- more recessed lighting but also outlets, etc... HE actually seemed to at least know what he was doing (I was there for a lot of the electrical work) Wish I'd been here for the carpentry.
Anyways~ the guy didn't come, he said his kid had an accident over the weekend and they'd been in the hospital, etc...
I don't think he'd lie about his kid? He doesn't seem the type.
We're to reschedule for another day to discuss finishing things up. I don't get why it's so hard to pin these guys down?
I'm a nurse and I swear it's easier to consult with a Surgeon than a Builder~ why?
I'll let ya know what happens re: the countertop. I'm not happy with it.
thanks,
deb
 
  #9  
Old 08-08-06, 12:26 PM
H
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,281
Received 9 Upvotes on 9 Posts
As Majakdragon said "He will continue to be a "nice guy" as long as you let him do shoddy work." There are contrators out there that will do crappy work and when you confront them about it they'll yes you to death. The next day they'll do the same crappy work. Let the contractor know that you are not happy with his work, that you expect him to do it over at his expense and that if things continue this way you will replace him. He sounds like a guy in a hurry to finish his work and get paid, no matter what the result.
 
  #10  
Old 08-13-06, 07:02 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Still a NO SHOW

I still owe my guy $10k so I left him a voicemail asking if he was still my Contractor or not since he'd not called or rescheduled his missed meeting with me as we planned...and now another week has passed. (I still have a back door that does NOT close or lock properly)
He of course said he was away, thought his partner was taking care of it, blah, blah, blah... He says he's willing to come and re-look at things and make them right.
But in the meantime my brother came by and looked around and was pretty unhappy with a lot of what he saw. Just not quality workmanship or thoroughness. So he's volunteered to be here when the Builder returns and speak with him "for me" I guess... I'm not crazy about the idea since I was the one who hired the Builder and the Builder didn't sign up to deal with my Brother- but he feels his demeanor will be MUCH different in dealing with him (who has some working knowledge of repairs) than it's been with me (unfortunately)
So- I think I'm going to let him be there and hope things don't get ugly.
I'll keep y'all posted... (don't know why everything has to be so involved)
deb
 
  #11  
Old 08-14-06, 03:31 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NH, USA
Posts: 124
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Deb, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But it doesn't sound like your guy is going to be coming back to finish the work. Hold on to the $10k you owe him. Put that money back in the bank, and set it aside to pay the lawyer that you may be needing.
 
  #12  
Old 08-19-06, 11:01 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Unhappy Stressed out in Boston

Now you sound like my Brother- he said not to pay him another PENNY.
Surprisingly, after like 10days- I finally heard from him Yesterday~ with lame excuses like MY cellphone wasn't working, his partner was on vacation, etc... He says he'll be here Monday to look at the problems... I already know he's not going to want to replace the countertop- but if I can at least get him to clean up the mess left behind and hang the kitchen cabinet and FIX THE BACKDOOR that won't close or lock- that'd be a plus...
I can't stand people who don't just own up to their mistakes and pretend there's not a problem!!!
I understand we all make errors- but be professional about it.
*Wish me luck (again- he's apt to just be a NO SHOW and then- Yup- I'll have to go to court or just use the 10K to have a new guy come in and finish the job.
thanks guys and I'll keep ya posted!
deb
 
  #13  
Old 08-21-06, 11:05 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Uggh

I think ChipJ29's right... the Contractor didn't show up this morning as planned and hasn't returned my call yet either.
He promised to be here early this week- likely today he said...
I hate the thought of going to court but it kind of looks like that's where we're headed. I don't have great documentation either! (my fault being too trusting I guess)
thanks everyone,
deb
 
  #14  
Old 08-21-06, 11:54 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 929
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
"If you should sell, one of the first things you must do is reveal any work done on the house."

Where you are, perhaps. But I've sold 7 houses over the years, each in a different state, and none of the disclosure statements required this. The closest was when I sold my house in WV a couple of months ago. One of the questions on that disclosure statement was whether the plumbing system had ever been professionally repaired. Of course, the answer was "no" since I did all the work myself.
 
  #15  
Old 08-28-06, 03:10 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 247
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Contractor saga continues

I was still without word on day 14 so I left yet another daily message but this time threatened to involve the MA Consumer Affairs dept since he apparently walked off the job and left it unfinished and poorly done. Sadly, it took threatening legal action to get a return call. But not without some "attitude" on his end. Imagine? He leaves me hanging for weeks without a backdoor that shuts and HE acts offended?
Anyways- he's supposed to be here tomorrow- but again- I'm skeptical. This will be his last chance and then I'm not speaking to him anymore. I will hire a lawyer and have registered mail sent. It's no longer just bad countertops but my floors are warping because they also didn't properly dehumify my crawlspace!!! However, that at least is a controversial subject- to vent or not to vent. But my posting under floors recommends to seal the space and dehumifiy/drain the area.
But I have cement on the floor- not dirt.
Anyways, if he'd just fix what I paid for them to install, I'd call it even and he could then walk away.
As far as permits- even at the condo I used to live in- my downstairs neighbor (who was a lawyer) hired a plumber to install all new plumbing from my unit's sink all the way down to the basement replacing the old corroded iron with PVC. I'm selling my unit now and so far nobody's asked to see a permit- just happy to hear it has "new" kitchen plumbing...maybe it's just Buyer/Seller naivity?
deb
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: