Pot Lights Not Centered

xc60March 26, 2014

I cross posted this in the Building forum and March building thread. And would really like your opinions on what we should do.

Today our house was supposed to be finished, but our possession is not till the 24th of next month. Which is a very good thing as there are so many things left to do and the mistakes continue. Shakes head, it's getting to the point of being ridiculous.

This weeks first issue is the pot lights in kitchen are not centered above the island and in front of the stove. When the kitchen had to be reworked due to a mess up we lost 12sq ft of kitchen space and cabinets had to be moved over. The electricians were supposed to move the lights for new kitchen configuration and didn't. Our non-existent site sup never bothered to make sure they were moved before drywall. We never noticed as we've been so busy with all the other mistakes and it was not noticeable until the island and cabinets were in place.

When I called the owner of our building company he said it was our fault for not mentioning it before drywall, we were told it had been moved and I told the builder it was not our job to constantly find or prevent their mistakes or make sure things are done right, it was his. Now we are at the position to fix this, the ceilings would have to be scraped, lights moved and ceiling retextured at this late stage and worry the ceilings won't look worse. Or leave the lights alone off centered. Grrrrr

We've had our ceilings scraped and redone before in other builds and the outcome has not been good. You could see the drywall seams, uneven stipple.... I'm really scared to take that chance again. Are the lights off centre enough to risk a bad scraping and retexture job? I'm so scared it might be worse? What would you do? Thank you so very much for any help or comments.

Just want to add: We were supposed to have an electrical walk through before drywall went up. The builder never arranged it and we have had a couple of issue because of it.

Not so bad at this angle. ;)

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It's really hard to tell with the photos. It appears at least one of them lines up with another light closer to the perimeter cabinets, which helps from a looks perspective.

To me, the question is whether you will have adequate light at the island with them in the current location. If so, I'd leave them alone. If not, I'd move them.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:48AM
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I am so sorry you are having to deal with this, so very frustrating! If it were me, I would not mess with the ceiling finish unless I absolutely had to, I have seen too many repairs that just don't look good. Can they replace the lights with directional pot lights? That might give you the light where you need it without risking the ceiling. Your kitchen is gorgeous, soon you will be living in that bright, beautiful space. Life is good, all these aggravations will soon be a thing of the past!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:58AM
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That would drive a lot of people crazy every time they walked into their kitchen. I also wonder if the light will fall on the work areas as it should.

Can they skim coat the ceiling rather than scrape?

What a heart ache. And your GC blames you for not catching their errors on top of it all. Have not followed your saga but hope it is all over soon!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:04AM
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I would not want to mess up my ceiling to fix this. I know me and that I have a fantastic ability to completely ignore little details like this. I know that once moved in and actually living in the space, I would rarely if ever think about this again. For me, it would not be worth it...you have to decide if it's worth it for you.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:33AM
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If the lights are moved and drywall redone properly, it should be indistinguishable.

For an easier fix, you could remove the cans, install electrical boxes and covers, and swag pendant lights into a better position fairly easily over the island.

Your builder's attempt to make this your fault is laughable. He's a snake.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:20AM
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I think I'd have them moved. I agree with Treb--properly done it shouldn't be noticed. After all the beautiful work in your home you'll need to decide if this will drive you crazy. It would drive me crazy. But I'm a bit OCD. ;) Now is the time if you want to change it. I'm sorry your builder is making you feel bad.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 7:44AM
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I can't tell from the pictures that they are not centered. However which way does the joists run above the island? Is it possible to actually move them to center them? We have one light that is a bit off center due to the joist being in the way. I don't really notice it now, but was very worried about it before.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 12:34PM
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Thank you so very much everyone.

Someone posted on the building forum this happened to them as well and they moved the island. We have about 52" inches of space between island and the fridge wall counter, so we should have room. That's one of the things that bothers me, if we had any kind of site supervision to notice this even at cabinet install it would of been easy to move the island over.

The hardwood flooring is also installed at this point but I don't believe the plumbing for sink is done yet. Should I push for this fix instead? I just called the builders construction manager and he is looking into this for me. He thinks it may be too hard to move the island without removing the granite and is worried about breaking it..... And he has said the redoing the ceiling does not look good at all, which has also been my experience. But I know people get theirs redone all the time and are fine. I just don't have that luck, lol

Cindy, we haven't been to the house at night to see how the light location really effects the island yet, but could tell when we turned them on at dusk that they shine over the sink and not so much at the seating area at all.

Lyia, the joist run with the the stove wall so lights could of been moved over without interference.

The funny thing is I really didn't notice that the lights were not centered over the island until my husband did. But then they also didn't have power so I never turned them on. Darn Super White countertops distracting me, lol I did notice the light in front of the stove though. So maybe if nothing can or will be done I can live with it and move on. I'll keep you updated.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 3:57PM
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The lights line up with your range. If they were lined up with your island you could have the same compliant. Hope that makes sense. I would live with it and get a rebate on the cost. I would not move the island.

Besides pot lights and I have a ceiling mounted fan/light. I suppose it should be center or lined up with the island but it is not. The light placement was determined long before the island placement was. Guess what? No one notices. I have even forgotten about it until I read this thread.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:50PM
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Another very inexpensive and easy fix would be to add 2 more cans above the island. Plumb a line from the top edges to the ceiling. Measure in on the ceiling from the line to the center of the existing cans. Measure in from the other line the same distance and that's where you install the two new ones. It'll look like you planned it this way all along.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Debrak, it's hard to tell in the pictures but they don't line up with the stove either they are off a couple of inches. Here's another pic you can kind of see it in.

Trebruchet, it's funny you said that about adding the lights as that's the idea the construction manager called me back with and I was going to post and ask you all about that. Thank you for all your suggestions.

You all have given me a few ideas, your the best!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Right now, it looks like the right side of your kitchen has recessed lighting & the left side does not. Maybe you need to add more than 2 additional cans.
Did you post on the lighting forum? Maybe someone can come up with a plan to add additional cans so the overall placement looks intentional rather than a mistake.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:03PM
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As been often said here....no one stands and looks at things straight on. In everyday life people will be walking around your kitchen, looking around. Rarely does anyone stare at one feature. What does that mean? That rarely will a regular person (not a TKO'r from this forum, LOL) notice all these things we all agonize about.

With our new kitchen I noticed how people observed it for the first time. Peoples eyes just roamed around settling on one or two things but only for a moment. People walked around when looking.

What you just mentioned about the lights not lining up with the range, from the first photo it looked like they did. Your baffles blend in. Really I would not worry. No one will look up with such beautiful cabinets to look at. I've had guests suprised when I turn on my off center light/fan as they didn't notice it was even there.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Why settle for what you didn't want? If you are not totally happy with their mistake have them fix it to your satisfaction. Done properly though, it will take several days to patch, let dry, then retexture those areas, but it will be right in the end.

My drywall guy just repaired over a dozen big holes on our remodel and he had to blend the repairs as well as the new work into existing light knock-down texture. The result: there is zero evidence that it ever happened.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 8:40PM
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I refinished a solid surface top for a customer and he called me back to install 3 cabinets in his laundry room. I drilled two holes in the side of the styles that didn't belong. Damnit.

He let me fill them with color matched silicone and they didn't look too bad. I was really grateful. I'll remember this if/when he calls me back. My kinda customer.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Update- The builder today told us it would cost around $500 to install the pot lights. I wrote him a letter explaining due to their mistakes it was not fair to us to have to pay to fix the situation. Explained how many things have been done wrong on our build and how we have tried to compromise. In the end they decided they weren't paying to fix the lighting issue. Very disappointing.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:06PM
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that sucks that they won't pay for it when it was their mistake. So frustrating. And their reputation should matter more to them!
I would still do the added recessed lights if you think it will continue to bother you. I think those lights aren't really noticeable as they blend with the ceiling, and most likely no one else will ever notice it.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:40PM
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Tell them they can add the additional lights at their cost or they can reposition the existing lights to where they are supposed to be & repair the ceiliing. Let him know if the ceiling is not repaired to your satisfaction, you will hold back what it will cost you to have it competently repaired. They made the mistake. You shouldn't have to eat the cost to fix it.
This makes my blood boil & it's not my house.
Edit: spelling

This post was edited by romy718 on Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 20:22

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 7:38PM
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Thank you both, this build has been a nightmare and they have repeatedly made mistakes due to extremely bad management skills and site supervision.
They have gotten everything wrong. Wrong primer paint (bright yellow instead of gray), wrong doors, wrong glass in french doors, wrong trim, wrong stair railings, wrong hardware on drawers, fireplace framed wrong 4 times then tiled wrong, wrong counters, wrong bathtub, gas line for stove in wrong location, gas line on deck wrong location, sink templates in bathroom cut wrong, sump pump installed wrong, missing electrical switches for fireplace............ And that's only about 1/5th of their mistakes. Many of these things are now fixed but rarely how they should been but it all should of been avoided with any professionalism. This is also a very expensive home from a builder who claims to be custom and of "Highest quality and craftsmanship".

I really don't understand why it's so hard for these "professionals" to get things right. I think we have put up with enough from this builder and I think Romy you are right about what we need to do. They have never even so much as apologized for any of it. Thank you for the vent. ;)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Bless your poor weary soul. What a nightmare and a heartache. Your builder has no sense of responsibility and is a real jerk. Be wary of what you can't see. Maybe have it all inspected well.

Good luck with the remainder.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:21PM
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Thank you snookums, it means a lot. :)

That's the thing, I'm not the typical home buyer, I don't want perfection, but want at least the attempt ........ I'm so "THO" (totally house obsessed, lol) and TKO and I think it annoys them. I know what's right or wrong, see the mistakes they don't care to notice. Point them out and want them fixed. I've been on GW a long time, been in the home building business, built several houses. Most home buyers would never know the difference or mistakes and just sign on the dotted line. Many would say ok to the mess up never notice and pay the bill and move on, not me. I know better. It's not right, which is why I get so frustrated.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:04AM
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Lol, you are taking responsibility for excessive ridiculous screwups that anyone would have trouble understanding. But I know what you mean by knowing more than the average HO. And they prefer to work for dummies that make their life easy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:19AM
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