Fridge Fit Dilemma


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Old 09-16-14, 01:46 PM
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Fridge Fit Dilemma

I recently hired a contractor for a complete kitchen renovation. Everything down to the studs and then all new cabinets, appliances, flooring, etc...

It's nearing the end and we just had the appliances installed. Everything went well except for the fridge. I saw them having trouble getting it in, but it eventually it went into the section devoted to it.

The problem is that it's now jammed in there. I can't even slide a piece of paper between the fridge and the cabinet. I can't move it, With two people, I've tried hooking rope around the bottom wheels and pulling it out to no avail. It moved about a half inch, but it seems firmly stuck in there. Even if I could get it out on my own, this isn't a process I want to go through every time I need to clean under there. It also seems like putting it back has the potential to damage the cabinets, fridge, and backsplash, since it doesn't really fit and something has to give.

The contractor was less than helpful when he came back the other day and I explained the problem, and offered to come and move it out whenever I need it moved. I don't think that's a real solution and what happens when I have an emergency and need to move it immediately. It just seems like a brush off. I think I'm going to be on my own fixing this.

Any thoughts on how to resolve this? I was thinking about shaving down the sides of the cabinets down, but how bad would that look?

Am I being unreasonable to expect the fridge to not be stuck in a cabinet? They had the dimensions from day 1. We even had the fridge before we had the cabinets.

There's a picture of a single sheet of paper barely going in 1/4 before being stuck, exact same thing on the other side too.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 02:28 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

On your own ?!?!?!
Did you make final payment to your contractor ?

It's his responsibilty to fix this situation.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 02:54 PM
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Welcome.
I've worked on many a kitchen.
You mentioned cabinets that the fridge is rubbing against. How about the other side, a full height refrigerator end panel? I hope it's not a wall.
I'm guessing the cabinet above fridge is 36" wide. Fridge is 36" wide.
36" wide fridges are actually 35 - 1/2" wide. Which should allow fridge to fit in space. However the sides often bow out and rub.
I'm not defending installer, but they may have been reluctant to put a filler in cabinet above. The filler would have been thin and you may not have liked it. They were gambling fridge would fit (even they know the width) and they lost.

I don't know what recourse you have in NJ, but contractor needs to fix this.

And lastly, does fridge rub against adjacent cabinets only or also counter top?
 
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Old 09-16-14, 03:19 PM
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I agree with the others but one more question. Did you retract the leveling feet (usually accessible behind the bottom grille) before trying to slide the unit out of its hole?
 
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Old 09-16-14, 05:28 PM
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Furd,
I was going to ask the same question. The new fridges, especially the French doors with freezer on bottom, move very easily. So easily, that just pulling on freezer door can move it. So there are rubber feet in front to level/prevent movement.

OP, if you retract these and can move fridge, I would live with fridge being snug. But jammed in is another story.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 05:18 AM
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the feedback.

No, we haven't made the final payment. Will holding that back come off as too combatative?

Here's some pictures. You can see that on both sides of the fridge that have a panel. On one side is the granite countertops, on the other side is a pantry with a tiny bit of filler.
fridge fit - Imgur

The leveling feet are definitely up. In fact, once they got it in they didn't even lower the leveling feet.

It's definitely not just snug. I can't even fit a sheet of paper anywhere along the sides. I'm fairly sure it's being held in there by pressure on the sides.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 08:31 AM
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Withholding payment is sometimes the only way you can create leverage - I would definitely refuse to pay him until this is resolved.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 08:57 AM
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too combative?
The only person that may get combative is the contractor, and he has no right to.
He messed up. That "tiny" bit of filler at left side of pantry looks to be about 1 to 1-1/8", so he had options to give the fridge a little more space.
The left side reefer panel and pantry also appear to be slightly out of plumb.
If you're trying to fit a 35-1/2" fridge into a 36" space, cabinets must be perfectly plumb and square. Even the best installers may have a problem doing that. But there's no excuse for it.

Bottom line:
Withhold payment.
Ask him why he didn't adjust Width of Upper Refrigerator Cabinet with fillers or other to give fridge a little more space.
Ask him why reefer panel and pantry are not perfectly plumb, with him knowing he only had 1/2" of space or less to work with.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 09:06 AM
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No Pro, but why would he even put both those filler panels on the sides in? If he had left even one out there would have been plenty of room. Or the countertop should have been trimmed flush with the edge of the cabinet. It could be the picture, but it looks like there is a tapering gap between the panel and the cabinet as it goes up to the countertop overhang? I'd love to put a level on a few places to see how they are installed.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 03:45 PM
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For some reason the size of refrigerators must have changed, in the last few years. It may have only been an inch but it caused a lot of problems. I had a potential customer who wanted me to trim the cabinet above it, so the new fridge could fit. I told him that I wasn't a cabinet maker & refused the job.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 05:33 PM
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The width of refrigerators are standard. The height is not. They are typically "around" a certain height. Same with dishwashers and ranges, they can vary a little.
 
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Old 09-17-14, 06:03 PM
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I hijacked one of your pics. The fridge is not good like that. It can tip back slightly but not forward. I'm actually surprised your doors aren't flying open.

In the pic.... you can see the level issue with the red lines.
It looks like the filler where the blue line is could be completely removed.
If not... remove the entire piece where the green is. It doesn't do anything for you down below.... of course we can't see what the top looks like above the fridge.

Name:  fridge_fit.jpg
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Old 09-17-14, 06:08 PM
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Left side looks like lower cabinets are closer to ref, when upper but can't really tell from picture. Step back and give a over all picture.
 
 

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