wwyd: complain or let it be...

jansin62April 1, 2013

Hi all,

I'm really interested in everyone's honest opinion, because I don't really know what to do.

I want to say up front that I think there are amazing KDs on this site, who have helped me both in replies to my messages and in replies to others.

Unfortunately, my KD was not so great. I think our relationship was kind of strained, and partly from this forum, because I kept going back with things I wanted changed. To give you some examples - we are doing a galley, and the fridge and stove were directly across from each other - totally not workable. And she put a 14" deep microwave cabinet above my prep sink - totally not workable. I think her design sense was fab, but her function sense was not. And I'm all about function.

Anyhow, there are only two things in my design that I didn't touch - okay, I was a difficult client. One was the cabinet height above the prep sink, and the other was the range hood height above the stove. For the cab height above prep sink, it is a standard 18" (cab is 12" depth). It's kind of in your face and annoying, but I guess I can live with it.

Oh, I should say, I did sign off on drawings, so it's partially my fault, but I just didn't think to question those things - as I said almost everything else was changed from her original design.

So, the meat of the question. The range hood is only 23.5" above the stove. It's supremely annoying, and my husband is 6'2". At the stove, he can't even see the back knobs (it's a regular slide in).

My GC will not do a thing. Wonderful work, but totally inflexible, and I can understand because it screws up his schedule and we did sign off on the design.

So, do I write to the owner of the cabinet store to express my displeasure, or do I just live with it, and then if it really annoys me, fix it after a year or so.

This was a really big job, we changed everything in the kitchen, and are using a local custom cab fabricator.

What would you do? I'm really struggling with this.


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First check the specs for your hood. Is that distance from the counter within spec?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:03AM
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Check the specs for your hood and range. A lot of hoods require 30""; either way, 23.5" seems VERY low to me regardless of a person's height. Also, there may be a local building code that specifies distance (see link below, although it may not apply in your case.)

If the specs/code have been followed, you still have the issue of bad design. I would bring it up politely and ask what would be involved in getting it fixed, then address who's responsible.

Also, how far is the project? Totally completed?

Here is a link that might be useful: international building code

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:12AM
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sounds like it needs to be fixed, 23" is low and sounds unworkable. given you signed off on the specs you may need to pay for the change but the time is now to get it fixed, do not wait until later.

i understand your feelings, i too had lots of questions and changes. and you know what - i am paying the bill so that is ok..... :)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:18AM
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First of all, it's normal to go back and forth with a kitchen designer and make changes to the original design, so I wouldn't consider you a "difficult" client because of that.

Does your range hood have specs as to the minimum distance between the bottom of the hood and the cooking surface? If so, shouldn't your kitchen designer have taken those into consideration? Most ranges that I looked at require a minimum distance of 30 inches.

I too, did not question the height of the range hood cabinet and didn't think to. I was never asked about my range hood specs and if I had chosen a taller hood, I'd be in the same boat that you are. There are so many decisions and things to think about in a kitchen remodel, it is impossible to think of all of them. That's what you're paying the designer for isn't it?

IMHO, a too low range hood would be really annoying. However, changing that cabinet would also involve removing all of your moldings and trim at the top of the cabinet run, would it not? I can see your GC's reluctance to move it, but can't understand his reluctance to fix the job to the client's satisfaction.

Is selecting a different hood an option at this point?

I don't think I'd write a letter to the person in charge; I'd invite them over to have a look at it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:18AM
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24" to 30" is the normal specs for a range hood. 30" is on the high side of the recommended spce. 23/1/2" doesn't meet the normal specs at all. IF that's what is stated on your model of range hood. Drag those specs out or look at them online. That's your leverage.

As far as your GC goes, I can understand him not wanting to impact other client's schedules. However, ordering the shorter cabient for above the hood should take 3-6 weeks for it to come in. And replacing one cabinet with another in that situation isn't that difficult IF the crown isn't installed, and IF using a shorter piece of ductwork will work. If either of those two situations is in the picture, then changing the cabinet and hood out becomes more than a half day's work and into a full day or maybe even a day and a half depending on if custom parts for the ductwork will be needed.

So, what should happen is that the KD should order you the cabient above the hood free of charge. It's her mistake, pure and simple. And everyone should share in the extra cost of labor to have the cabinet replaced. The GC discount his price by 1/3, the KD kick in one third, and you pay 1/3. The only reason I even say that you should kick in 1/3 is because you did say that there were a lot of changes that affected the timeline of the project, and you did sign off on the original design. And it will generate good will with the contractor to get back on his schedule when the product comes in.

There is NO way that you should "settle" for having a hood that low for longer than the length of time that it takes to get everyone on the same schedule to replace the cabinet.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Change it now. It will drive you nuts, and it won't be any easier to fix later. live_wire makes a good suggestion for how to accomplish this.

In my old kitchen, my hood was low. I can't remember how low, exactly, but low enough that when I wanted to pull linguine out of a pot without actually draining it, I couldn't lift it up high enough to clear to pot. So annoying.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Make any/all changes needed/wanted now. I just measured and 23" is extremely low to work with.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Definitely check the specs. Whoever installed it should have followed the specs regardless of what you signed off on. If there was a discussion about the height of the vent and you signed off *knowing* that you were agreeing to it being installed against specs that's one thing but otherwise they are the pros - not you.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:36PM
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Checked the specs, it's 24" to 30" above range, so really only a small variance. So, it's definitely a design thing rather than a guidelines issue. And the NKBA has a 24" minimum, so it's within the specs for that too.

The contractor is recalcitrant on many other issues in the kitchen. We've worked with him before, and he does excellent work, but his inflexibility is a problem in the kitchen. I asked him to change the cab above the prep sink, and he out right refused, and said we would get used to it. I told him I would pay for a new cab, and pay for his labour, and he was till unwilling to do so.

Somehow, I'm just not communicating well.

So, truthfully, I'm a bit scared to approach this subject. He'll say the same thing, we signed off on the design, and learn to live with it. My issue is that the KD should have seen my tall husband, and my height, 5' 6", and known that the cab was too short. She did have the dimensions of the range hood, so she knew how far it would stick out both above the range and in depth.

Lots of frustration in this remodel. Close to being done.

My strategy has been to let my husband talk to the contractor, maybe I need to talk my husband again...

Yucck, I hate this kind of stuff. Such a wuss.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:52PM
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I agree, it's all about the specs if you're going to try to have the work done on the designer's or GC's expense. That said, if you're only 1/2" lower than spec, do you want to ask someone else to take financial responsibility for that?

FWIW, I've swallowed a lot of costly really GC errors in order to preserve relationships with GC's, including my kitchen contractor. In the end, the goodwill that I showed was paid back in spades with generosity on the part of the GC. It's also just good all the way 'round to have a positive relationship with your GC.

As for the height of the hood, do you have a large, high-BTU range with a high-CFM hood?

My understanding was that standard heights are 24-30" above the cook surface, but with some other "pro" ranges and higher capacity ventilation systems, the specs often recommend as high as 30-36". Certain Miele hoods, for instance, specify mounting at least 30" above the surface.

That said, this Ventilation Guide link from Inspectopedia says 18-24" is standard (sounds insanely low!!), but says some high-capacity ventilators are designed to work at 24-30".

Personally, all of these sound low to me. We went through a lot of compensating (installing a huge, too-wide hood), in order to get decent ventilation with the hood mounted 42" above the cooking surface for aesthetic reasons.

With all of that said, I'm a big believer in living with a problem for at least a few months before deciding to do a big fix. Things that drive you crazy immediately after your remodel might not even appear on your radar once you live with them for awhile.

Hope this helps. Sorry for your frustration. I know how it feels to have made a design error. I'm currently living with one now that I hoped would stop driving me crazy, but it's not happening. Looks like a little tear out and re-do is in my future!

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspectopedia Vent Guide Link

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Hi Jansin,

Sorry, I didn't read your most recent post before posting mine.

Since it's boiled down to an aesthetic/driving you nuts because it's too low issue, maybe you could post a pic for us to look at?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:01PM
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I think it's time to woman up and tell--not ask--the contractor to change what you need changed! Really, in th end this is a business relationship. He is working for you, you are paying for a kitchen remodel and it is not his prerogative to refuse to do what you hire him to do.

However, this does strike me as somewhat unreasonable:

"My issue is that the KD should have seen my tall husband, and my height, 5' 6", and known that the cab was too short."

Given that you say yourself you were a difficult client, you changed many facets etc., I think it is unfair to blame a KD for what s'he *should* have known, done, or thought. At this point you have a problem, it needs to be solved. Seems to me it's pretty much that simple.

So, tell the person to fix it. If it ends up costing you something above/beyond what you expected that is the 'stupid tax' :), or in other words the expense of having it done right at last if not at first.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:05PM
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You are extremely kind...and appear to be getting walked all over.

If someone talked to me like that (you will get used to it) I would say some words that can't be posted here. I can think of a hundred things I would say (most that do not involve profanity) and do. It would get fixed.

Demand a meeting with the contractor, KD, your DH, and yourself. Make them decide how it will be fixed. If its 1/2" to low, its too low! Hold your final payment until its fixed.

My 5'8" daughter slammed her head on our range hood yesterday while using the back burner. Its 26.5" from cook top.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:09PM
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If you signed off on the plans and the kitchen dealer provided you with all the correct items, it isn't something they are responsible to change at no charge. However, as a kitchen dealer, we want our customers to be happy, so in this circumstance we'd accommodate large discount pricing to have it replaced.

First question - what is the height of your wall cabinets? and what height cabinet was used over the stove? For 30" H uppers a W3018 should be used when installing a hood underneath

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:09PM
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When we were doing our renos my inner mantra was/is - my reno, my money, my way. I did want an end cabinet redesigned after it was installed - I knew i was going to have to pay for it and that was ok. The mantra of my GC was happy clients build future clients and good references. He had the cabinet rebuilt for us.

It sounds like a bit of a power struggle going on from your GC and that doesn't make sense.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:32PM
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Your general contractor isn't going to be in business long if he continues with that attitude. This is what change orders are for.

The range hood may have certain specs, but surely the range has specs as well concerning the height of the range hood. Did you check those as well to see if it specifices a higher spacing?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:52PM
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I'm afraid that if someone were that difficult to work with, he would no longer be working for me. Pay him what you owe him for the current work and then kick him to the curb and post reviews on Angie's List. Then find an installer who isn't such an blankety blank. It may take a bit of time, but like I said above, it will take a bit of time to have the cabinet sent in anyway.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:52PM
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I'm not saying this in a negative way at all, but my contractor is a details guy, not a people person. He works by himself. His work is really good, and I've had so many of friends be upset with their GCs that I'm very happy to work with mine. I think I caused him some consternation with the cab company. In the end, communication with the KD broke down. She was very condescending to me. I should have pulled the job, but we were so close to being there, and it was my GC that I wanted to work with, so I just plowed ahead.

That's all to say, it's all very complicated - isn't it always when you are dealing with these situations. And I am a bit of a pushover, but like Madeline says sometimes you need to eat it...

That's what I am trying to figure out. Do I just eat this one, and not worry. Do I complain. Do I complain, but pay up. I've kind of lost sense of which battles to fight.

Range will be replaced with a slide in induction. The reason I got the Zephyr is because I wanted a white hood , and I wanted cabinets. I prefer the look to cabs over the range than just a hood.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:02PM
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My husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'7" and we have our hood at 30" or more from the cooktop (I don't remember anymore). We absolutely focused on this issue because we'd been living in a rent house with a hood at ~24" and it was miserable.

We had to go around our GC to do this, too, not because of a cabinet but because he refused to cut into the sheet metal chimney of our Zephyr. My husband found a sheet metal shop and got it done, and then the GC was happy to install it.

Get your KD to order you a shorter cabinet. Your mistake, not hers. When it is delivered ask your GC to schedule some time to do the rework. If he is not available to do that job, find a handyman or another contractor to do it.

There's no need to apologize to anyone for this problem or to lay blame anywhere but on yourself for approving the drawings without really considering what was on them. You also don't need to keep saying that you're a pushover. You made a mistake. You prefer not to live with it.

It won't be cheap. Chalk it up to lessons learned.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Hi Jansin,

Thanks for posting the pic. It doesn't look bad, aesthetically, but if it's functionally a problem then that's another story.

Relationships are complicated, and it's easy to lose perspective during the stress of a remodel, even to the point of not being able to tease out what the right next move is when a problem occurs. You're not alone.

If there is not a timing issue--meaning if these cabs will be available in a few weeks/months--I'd take some time to live with it. If, 3-4 months down the road, you're really unhappy, I'd have your GC (or another GC if yours won't take the job) replace it at your expense.

It just doesn't seem like there was a big oversight or negligence on the part of the GC or the KD. It was an unfortunate design oversight that you're not happy with, but at 23.5" above and specs stating 24", it's not objectively wrong.

Technically, the GC could fix it at his expense and only move it up to 24"--within spec range--and you still wouldn't be happy, because you really want it significantly higher. So, it's not the 1/2" that's a problem, it's that the whole thing should've been designed higher because that's your personal preference.

It's true that a really, really sharp KD would've taken your and your husband's heights into consideration, but that's in a perfect scenario.

This is one of those things that we can chalk up to "live and learn." It may cost you a few extra bucks to get it right, but you'll have learned a valuable lesson on range hood heights, something that most non-TKO people aren't even aware of :-)

Again, I'd encourage you to live with it until the newness wears off. If its still a problem, have it fixed at your expense and you'll be happy with it for years to come.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:32PM
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If I were facing this, I'd try to get an idea of what it would cost me to have a new cab made and installed and the hood raised. Then I could decide if it bothered me enough to pay to have it fixed.

Before I found GW, I paid big (like $1000 extra) for mistakes in two bathrooms, both times because I accepted bad advice and approved bad choices. It happens to lots of people. So don't feel bad, just get all the facts and decide.

That said, "I won't do it" is an odd answer from a GC. "I can't do it until X day and it will cost you $Y" is at least a rational answer. If it is too far in the future/too expensive, find someone else to do it. Maybe your cabmaker knows someone who could install the new cab and rehang the hood.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:45PM
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We dealt with the exact same thing last week. We bought a Vent-A-Hood that called for install 24âÂÂ-27â above the range. Within minutes of our providing the specs to our GC, architect, and KD, they ALL expressed that my 6â 1â husband was going to have an issue with the height and recommended installing at 30âÂÂ. My GC noted that 30â was the minimum specified by the Blue Star for range clearance and my architect called VAH to find out that every inch above the specs resulted in a 10% loss of function. GC then determined that the hood was powerful enough to function well even at a 30% loss. We decided that the loss of function was preferable to a claustrophobic location for DH because it will be easier to replace the hood than to raise it up after installation. When we finalized the cabinet order, our KD expressed that she was relieved that we took that route because she felt it would have been an issue. We have a lot of âÂÂcoverageâ and weâÂÂre paying for it, but our team operated exactly how I would expect.

So when I read your tale, I literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Your contractor seems really unreasonable. If he was so into the details, he would have pointed out this was going to be an issue. How can he not understand that things change? Sometimes a plan on paper doesnâÂÂt translate when itâÂÂs executed and sometimes there are mistakes. To not be willing to fix it with appropriate and reasonable compensation is just bizarre. And your KD really should have brought this up as a consideration, but it sounds like sheâÂÂs just not that good. I would hope she will give you the replacement cabinet as cost given that while sheâÂÂs not at fault per se, she didnâÂÂt give you a reasonably expected âÂÂheads upâÂÂ.

If you feel itâÂÂs going to impede on the function and enjoyment of your kitchen, just tell them firmly that itâÂÂs not going to work for you and it needs to be changed. ItâÂÂs not a complaint; itâÂÂs just the way it is. I do think you need to be prepared to pay for it though. Sucks.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:48PM
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Which induction range are you getting? We have the GE and the controls are at the front so your husband would be able to see them. FWIW, I use the front burners 95% of the time so the hood height would be okay. But, I would get it fixed now at your expense since you did sign off on it. If your range is coming soon wait and see if you want to change it.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:19PM
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I would reframe your thinking....

Should I complain, isn't really good, kinda victim like.

I would talk with the contractor and take responsibility for signing off. Then I would say, "I'm not sure we can live with it. I am frustrated because as a homeowner I wouldn't know about this stuff, I sure would have appreciated the heads up from folks who must run into this all the time. Can you let me know what it will cost me to get it to a more appropriate height for us?". I would plan on waiting until the cook top is in to see if it helps. If it doesn't, just suck it up and pay the money.....

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Thanks all, I agree I have to suck it up for the $$. I certainly wouldn't recommend this KD to anyone, but what's done is done, and I signed off on it. Now we'll just see if I can get the GC to agree to raising it. Another discussion I dread. Fortunately, my husband is willing to take it on for me.

We are getting the GE, it is new to Canada, so we're still waiting. In the end, we may rethink that and just wait till an induction comes out in white. I know I can get the Viking, but it's out of our price range.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:58PM
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No you don't have to suck it up for the $$. Stop being such a wuss. The KD screwed up and violated the specs of the appliances. The 23 1/2 isn't good enough. In fact many ranges require 30" - 36" above the cooktop. You need to stand up to the KD and the GC. live_wire_oak is right on target - it doesn't matter if you signed off - the KD violated the specs.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:20PM
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Really, you think the KD violated the specs because it's 1/2" off. Okay, I know I'm a wuss, you should hear me and my BF talk. She has to pound it in to me to ask my GC a simple question.

But I don't think 1/2" is such a total mistake. I can probably fix it by making my range slightly shorter (the balance bits on the bottom). I don't think I have a leg to stand on re: the code - I think it's the design that's poor, and I signed off on a bad design. Signing off is signing off, right?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Wait - you're going to make the range come in at 1/2"below the adjoining counter? I don't have a range, I have a cooktop, but is that done? Shouldn't the range either be even or higher? Won't you see the edge of the counter? Will it be finished?

24" is going to be low. Have it fixed, 30" if possible. Hire Weissman to come fight for you. I like his attitude.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Just wanted to reiterate, if you try to get the GC to eat it on a technicality, he will likely fix it at his expense and only move it up to 24"--within spec range--and you still wouldn't be happy, because you really want it significantly higher. So, it's not the 1/2" that's a problem, it's that the whole thing should've been designed higher because that's your personal preference.

You have to decide whether you want to be the kind of person to ask for such a thing, which he'll likely refuse--then you have to decide whether you're the type of person to hire an attorney over an issue that's likely to not cost much more than the significant attorney's fees.

That's a very personal decision, but I think you should be yourself. A few more days of reflection may help to lift the fog and tell you on your heart what the right thing is. I agree with most recent posters, though, as I stated in my other post. And I don't think you're a wuss. I think you're a decent person who isn't a big fan of conflict (few of us are), and who is trying to fairly see the situation from all sides.

I do think you feel guilty for being detail-oriented, and you shouldn't!! You are who you are and it is what it is. Forgive yourself and move on to get the kitchen you'll be happy and at peace in.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Good advice Madeline, I have to say I'm really struggling with the whole "It has to be perfect!" thing. I know that in a few months, I'll hardly notice the imperfections, so I struggle with what to make an issue with and what not to.

Case in point: I had 160 and 128mm pulls. He put the 128mm pulls on some drawers I wanted 160mm. I am disappointed. I did tell him where I wanted the pulls, but he didn't write it down, so he forgot. But honestly, I am the only one who will ever notice, and the 128mm pulls look fine. Didn't bother saying anything.

There's the balance between confrontation/perfection and just living with what is 90% there. I'm never sure where to fall on that.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:49PM
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No, it's not a question of getting the GC to move it 1/2". It's a question of getting the KD to get you a new cabinet so you can move it up about 6 1/2" to give you more headroom. You won't think it a technicality when you start banging you head or find that your tall pots don't fit.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:54PM
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It should be redone, I agree it is not about the 1/2" which I consider and installation issue. If the KD had the hood model before the cabinets were ordered then it could also be a design mistake. If he KD ordered the cabinets without having a hood model and failed to list a height for one that is a procedural error on their part.

But the 1/2" should have been caught by the installer who should have refused to do something against code (appliance specs are generally used for code with clearances).

What is the height of the cabinets off the floor?
Was the hood selected before the cabinets were ordered and was the KD informed?

All that aside the if the hood allows for a mx ht of 30" it sure sounds like that is where it should be in this case.
It is really rare to put a hood at it's lower limit.

It is also incumbent upon the KD to make sure you understand the drawings before having you sign them. That typically means going over things like this to be sure. The purpose of having signed drawings is to avoid mistakes, not just to fix blame.

I suggest you talk with the KD first, before going over her head.
If you got a taller hood than specked then ok you partly at fault and you "maybe" should pay a part, nice that you are willing to. But you shouldn't have to eat the entirety and if your GC won't do the job (check the counter to cabinet distance for leverage) then the KD ought to help find someone to take care of it.

As to your being a challenge- that is not an issue. You weren't the first and won't be the last. I mean come on this is a service business.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:03PM
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KD had all specs. Her only comment: I don't like that hood. So, for sure she knew. Originally her design had a chimney, but we changed it because I like the look of cabinets better. Hood was first thing I obsessed over, and 1st thing I chose, so she knew well in advance of final design.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 7:58PM
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"Now we'll just see if I can get the GC to agree to raising it."

I"m really confused here--are you not paying this GC? I truly don't understand what you are saying.

Why on earth are you framing this as 'see if I can get' him to do something? Are you saying you want it done free?

Otherwise, this sounds like he is a recalcitrant boyfriend, or some acquaintance with technical skills you happen to know who is doing you a big favor by working on your kitchen instead of someone *you* *are* *paying* *to* *do* *a* *job*.

I would apologize for sounding harsh, except I guess this topic really trips my strong woman instincts. And SW is frankly befuddled. I don't understand how you can operate like this--another example being that you let him put in pulls that are the wrong size and say 'honestly, I am the only one who will ever notice, and the 128mm pulls look fine. Didn't bother saying anything'.

Honey, this is YOUR KITCHEN! I can't and won't let something be done wrong when I am paying my hard earned money on a major remodel. I couldn't face living with mistakes for decades in my kitchen, which I will use multiple times daily, because it was nerve wracking to confront a bully contractor.

But, that's me. Good luck to you, I guess to each her own.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:10PM
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You know what? I don't think you should have your husband do the lifting on this. I think you should do it, by yourself.

I agree that you're going to have to put some more money in this to get another cab and have it installed in place of the one that's there now. If it can be done (financially) now, then the sooner the better. If you have to recruit your finances a bit, then do it as soon as you can.

It no longer matters who signed off on what - in plain fact it looks like its height is wrong for you and your husband, so it needs to be changed.

And if you want it changed, it should be changed, and it will be changed if you decide to do that. Your GC's opinion on this is immaterial. If he's resolutely refusing, he is only trying to bully you.

The reason I think you should do this on your own is that you have repeated several times in this thread that you can't do this sort of thing. But, in fact, you can and probably should get some more practice in doing so. STOP repeating your weakness and own your own strength to get it done.

Some day the inevitable vagaries of life may hand you dilemmas that you have to sort out on your own, and perhaps in more troubling or exigent circumstances, so it's good to get your sticky-problem solving muscles bulked up. Then keep them in practice by routinely taking on small challenges like telling your GC that you have decided to change the height on both this (and the prep sink cab if you want to go big.).

The only reason you need to give is that you want it done.

Now I realize that within some marriages there's a style that designates the husband to handle all the messy, sometimes confrontive stuff on a routine basis. And if that's the case, acting by yourself may upset the apple cart. But if, instead you are just involving your husband to avoid hassles, you are cheating yourself out of practice in taking care of problems. And from my own experience, less likely to get what you want done in the exact way you want it, if it must be translated from your brain to your husband's to your GC.

I am older than many posters here (60's) but time and having faced crises has taught me that lots of things that I thought "I couldn't do", I actually could do when there was no one else to do them for me. Particularly when my DH was, for health reasons, temporarily unable to do them. And having learned that I could make hard decisions, could ask for, and even demand, that my point of view and wishes be accepted as legitimate, and get what I thought needed to happen done was a very useful life lesson.

Easier, by far, to learn this in a kitchen reno than in other more difficult circs.

If it helps, think of this as a useful teaching moment for your GC, as well. It's time he recognized that telling adult, female, paying clients that they should just ignore their concerns and "get used ot it", is probably not a good, long-term business model.

Good luck - I'm betting you have...

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Okay, just want to stand up for myself a bit. First, I'm Canadian, eh... I would never make my contractor fix the drawer pulls. That would cost him hundreds of $$ for something that is hardly noticeable. I'll learn to live with it, and it will be okay. I'll point it out to him, and expect something nice in return, but it's just not worth the argument . I guess that is the crux of the matter. I don't know what's worth the argument and what is not. I've had lots of work done in the house, I don't expect perfection, but I don't know how far I should be straying.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:31PM
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It's too bad it only missed code by 1/2 inch for the hood. Did you check the range requirements, mentioned earlier?

Your designer should have considered the heights of people using the stove. It's her job and responsibility, not yours. You caught a lot of stuff, just not this one.

As far as your having signed off, you are the layperson, not the professional here. A code violation would be tough for them to dispute but, still, she did make a significant design flaw so that your husband can't use the range very well. Not minor and rather poor design! Take a picture of him trying to cook on it so you can show her design to her. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's a big one and not acceptable because the cook station doesn't function for him.

If she gives you a hard time, find out from your GC how much it is to correct. Then take it up with the company instead.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Too funny eh, who would think you'd get life lessons on a kitchen reno board regarding a kitchen hood height! I could definitely use some practice in manning up. I'll let you all know tomorrow what I was able to do.

My BFF would be there with all of you cheering me on. It's just not me, but we'll see - maybe it can be, at least a bit more than it is now.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Just to follow up...

First, thanks to everyone, your opinions/advice were very helpful. My hubby and I sat down to discuss the issue.

In the end, we decided to mention our displeasure to the contractor, but not do anything about it. It wasn't a battle we wanted to fight, and the redo would be very expensive because the hole to the outside would need to be moved. Realistically, I do 95%, if not more, of the cooking, and I can live with the height, although in a perfect world I would like it higher.

There are other battles we decided to focus on. I'm happy to say we spoke about those battles, and were able to resolve the issues.

I guess I came across as a real wuss, and that wasn't my intention. My problem was where does perfection end and compromise begin. I'm still not entirely sure, but this discussion definitely helped us move closer to the final kitchen.

THANKS again!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Well, having a range hood at the correct height for your use isn't being perfectionistic in the least, lol.

I do understand your question and issue though. It's very hard relying on others to do the work and having to deal with the problems that come up. I know what you mean by wanting to just be done with it. You can always change it later if you change your mind.

Glad you worked the other issues out. Hopefully your GC will cooperate on those.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 17:30

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:28PM
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I'm glad you reached a decision, Jansin. And if, after living with it for awhile, it drives you nuts, you can always change it in the future.

You didn't come across as a wuss. And if you were perceived that way by someone, so what!? This forum is a place where we should feel comfortable being ourselves, without judgement.

You sound like a kind and gentle soul. And a perfectionist. That can be a tough combination!

I hope you enjoy your beautiful kitchen.

Madeline :)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Re: the range hood, I am sorry that it won't be replaced. We had exactly the same issue; once the hood and range were installed, I realized that the hood was much lower than I had envisioned--because the designer ordered a bigger cabinet for over the range. GE induction slide in, Zephyr under cabinet hood...I am about 5'4" and was hitting my head on the corner of the hood and it was hard to look in the pots on the rear hobs. I was also reluctant to say anything because I did sign off on the drawings, and the backsplash and crown were already installed. At the walk through, I mentioned that I was unhappy with the hood height and that it was lower than I'd originally discussed with the designer. Our contractor immediately agreed it was a design error, ordered a shorter upper cabinet, and replaced it. It was not difficult to pop off the crown, replace the cabinet, and fix the backsplash. Maybe a half day job?
In our case, the hood was installed lower than the specs, so that may have helped our case. I am glad the contractor was so agreeable about it--perhaps because I have 1/2 gaps between the lowers and the range, grrr, and apparently I am stuck with that. ;) Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 7:51PM
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