Problems & frustrations with the kitchen designer- Need input
Per Bellsmom advice, I am sharing my frustrations with this wonderful group of TKO members to help me know how I should proceed and what the real process should be and what I should do right now. So SORRY SO LONG. I hope others read it and do not ignore my long post. If it is too long, tell me and I will post a short post into a new thread.
After writing this post and going back to read it, I am feeling that I need to wait until after my tax season to finalize what I want my kitchen to look like and to then order it. I have no choice but to remove the damaged floor in the kitchen (bought tiles since I hated the Linoleum floor but now it is damaged and came up and is cracked) and all the floors downstairs so the time to do the kitchen before installing a new floor.
I am ready to finally renovate my kitchen to be pretty and functional. I know what I want but I need someone to deliver what I want. The cabinets that I have now are particle board builder grade oak veneered cabinets and are about 24 years old and need to be replaced. I am ready to make a decision but I need a designer that will work with me in showing me the end result with the cabinets, floors, counters and hardware before I order so everything works well together and I feel comfortable with my decisions and know the total price..
I had worked with someone locally near the last quarter of 2011 but he would not come here to measure, had no installer for me and just gave me the exact cabinets and layout as I now have. He only took a day to give it to me on the measurements of my friend so he did not know what I wanted and when I was in the store, he did not have time for me but had time for my friend. He emailed me the design and I told him it was wrong as I did not want to keep my soffit, But then in a short amount of time he changed it to what I told him I wanted so he did not spend much time with me but gave me what I wanted quickly. But it was too close to the end of the year and he wanted me to order with measurements from a friend who does not do kitchens before finding an installer. I needed to find an installer to give me exact measurements.
Then my little dog (one of four small dogs) died on 12-30-11 so I put the decision off until the end of my tax season. Then I had gallbladder surgery right after the 2011 tax season in May 2012. Then my uncle died who lived out of state. I got so behind in my work so again the decision was put off.
During the prior 2012 tax season at the end of March 2013 (I am a CPA), I had water damage in my home and home office due to the water heater's pipe exploding. I had to deal with all that stress during and after my tax season and then two other little dogs dying on me and the only little dog I have left being in congestive heart failure due to old age. My employee broke his leg and I am now working alone this 2013 tax season in 2014.
In the third quarter of 2013, I had gotten in touch with a kitchen designer about 1 hour from here that had good ideas and I was so comfortable with him but I measured wrong and I knew there was no way to fit another cabinet where he had it in the design he emailed me right away. He had a door where there was a wall so I took more pictures of all sides of my kitchen and gave him new measurements and he never gave me the new plan or a price. I told him he needs to come here to measure. He wanted me to come there.
I then found someone new from asking Shiloh to give me a list of stores and contractors that sold Shiloh that they recommended within 1 hour from me. This kitchen seller came and measured but he took 6 weeks to have a design for me that he barely let me see it since he would not leave it here and brought an installer to give me the installation price the day after my precious little Shih Tzu, Panda passed away at the end of December 2013. How did he expect me to buy a kitchen without really knowing and understand what I was getting?
Then he took another few weeks to give me a price with a pressure that I had a few days to sign a contract to order without letting me see the plans except for the 10 minutes of looking at them. He took them home. He had the wrong width of the refrigerator area!
I phoned and told his contractor (independent) that I was waiting until after my tax season despite the price increase as there are many mistakes in his design and do not like many things about it. I told him I actually like my kitchen's layout the way it is and only wanted no blind cabinet, more drawers, no soffit, taller cabinets and the Shiloh beaded inset cabinets in the flat panel in one of the white painted colors.
He spoke with the independent contractor and then a few weeks later told me he would email me the plan and extend the Shiloh price before the price increase. Then when I saw the design in email, I changed many cabinets and many things he did and then he mailed me the design which is still not right.
I spent one hour on the phone with him this past Thursday going over what I did not like and I was not sure which door color yet as he would not leave samples here. I have not picked out a new counter since he feels the one I liked in 2011 is too busy with my floor tiles. I need to see how the counter blends with the cabinet white painted color I choose and the big 18" Porcelain tiles I bought in September 2011 already before I can order anything I feel.
He dropped off a Polar White and a Soft White door on Friday when I had a client here. I have wasted all night last night and today stressing out and playing with the doors and still do not have a print out of the new design. Some friends like the soft white and others like the polar white and others do not like either with my tile. I wish there was a white in between these two whites. But I see that if the counter is able to blend the tiles and cabinets, then that is the right white as no white is perfect. I am ready to decide on my own which white if I know which counter I am going with.
The price goes up over $500 on Tuesday as he needs to get this in last Monday and I can't work like this. I need to know the exact kitchen layout, what I am getting, how everything works together and the total price with installation before I order and pay him 50% up front. I am losing so much money as I have so many returns to work on and I usually get them in and out as I am good at what I do and I enjoy my work. I still have to do food shopping after this post.
I am spending now more and more time trying to figure out which door color and getting opinions as it is difficult to see as the lighting changes everything and the soft white is a little creamier than I want while the polar white is pretty but is not going as well with my tile. This is not a good way he does business in not listening to what I want and then making changes but not reprinting the plans since he had a death in the family but wants me to decide tomorrow and sign a contract so he can order the cabinets. He stays he can store them for 45 days so that when I ready to do the floors and cabinets, he can start after my tax season.
I think I need to wait until after tax season and find someone that will work with me in giving me what I want and not what they think I need and be so secretive about it. Now he is sharing but it is late and in the middle of my tax season.
I never shared the design of the other two kitchen people with him. I really am just keeping the same layout I have now with the corner blind cabinet replaced with a functional cabinet and more drawers. This is not a rocket scientist design! He gave me another partially blind cabinet. He was not listening. I told him that despite my refrigerator being 33" wide, I was not keeping it forever and wanted the refrigerator area 36" wide and taller to accommodate a tall 72" refrigerator. I sent him specs of the refrigerator that I wanted. He drew up plans for the 33" wide refrigerator with 72" tall. He was not listening. This is wasting my time and now I still have no kitchen.
He is again pressuring me to decide by Monday again or the price goes up over $500 as he got a special with a discount place he deals with to lock in the Shiloh price to what it was before the increase.
I still have not picked out my counter and that matters with which white painted cabinets I want as it needs to tie in with the counter and the floor tiles I bought already. The counters I thought I wanted to go with at the end of 2011 may not be right as my taste has been changing and I see that the floor and cabinets and counter needs to all tie together.
I am changing my 24 year old cabinets not just for looks but for space and usability and I need to do it right.
Any input from others here will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for letting me vent and share which has helped me see that this is no way to order a kitchen and I would like to know how I should be ordering it.
I was so ready to order my kitchen if the farther away kitchen salesman with the store would have come here to measure like he did to someone else ready to order since when I called to discuss the changes, I was told he was out on a measurement at a customer's home. I would have then went to his store to see everything on a computer screen and get an idea what else I was ordering and found an installer to give me an installation price.