Please Help-Cambria Torquay Installation Disaster
I am new here, but have been following for a while. A little background, my husband and I are both in our mid 20s and we purchased a fixer-upper 3 years ago. We are not those young people that wanted to rip out a perfectly good kitchen. We inherited all original counters and cabinets in this home dating back to 1961. My husband is skilled and has done many DIY projects, but we knew that kitchen counters were not something we would DIY, although we considered butcher block, we really wanted to save for something amazing. I, like many others have been dreaming of marble but for certain reasons we avoided (etching, etc…) so after lurking on this forum I began to fall in love with Cambria Torquay, and even more recently some of the new Caesarstones. We finally had enough money saved to pay for our new counters, and my husband will be building shaker doors which we will paint. The cabinet bones were solid, and like I said we are DIYers. The counters were at the end of life as everything I put on them was absorbed, think wonder bread logo etched in your blue star formica. It was bad.
3 years ago we had a kitchen company that we knew a few people to use come to our home to provide an estimate so we would have an idea how much Cambria Quartz would cost, so we would know how much to save. Fast forward to a month ago we got a quote for the 2 new Caesarstones and Cambria Torquay. Cambria came in at right around 100/ft. and was the cheapest albeit very expensive including a free sink. We shopped around and ended up going with the initial company that came to us 3 years ago.
Here’s where it gets gritty. He allows us to pick our free under mount sink, we had about 20 choices, and he recommended a 60/40 split. Sounds good to me, I know people with that style and since a farm sink would have been very costly it was a good option, being free. The Rep tells us we can go out to Home Depot or Lowes or wherever and choose ANY faucet we desire, but that it is imperative we have it with us when the templator comes out to template. So I knew the style I was going for and wanted a faucet that looked old fashion/French country and chose a lovely 3 stem faucet online, and we would also have a hot water spout. When the Fabricator called to set up the apt. to template we told them we were awaiting our faucet’s arrival, and we better set the apt. at least a week out since our Kitchen Rep told us the templator would need to see it.
The Fabricator Office Manager tells us that as long as we have a model number and it is nothing exotic, they can look it up and we don’t need to have it in person. Great, so we set the apt for that week. The Templator arrives and I immediately offer him the model number and information for our faucet and hot water spot, I had it brought up on my smart phone as I spoke. He said he did not need the information and explained to me that the installers would drill the holes on the spot and I could just tell them when they arrive how many holes I needed. I told him I would need 4 because my faucet would use 3, and my hot water spout would use 1. He reiterated that he did not need that information, and went into further detail about how easy it is for them to drill the holes, etc… He had also told me had been working for the company for 15 years, so I assumed he of all people would know, and I didn’t think again.
Yesterday. Oh boy, here we go. The installers admitted they forgot about my apt, and someone had to meet them on the side of the interstate to drop off our pieces. Fine, whatever, glad I called to ask for a window as to when to expect (we have a 2 year old and I wanted an idea). They rip out my formica and exclaim how horrible my old plumbing is and my husband better prepare to pay a plumber. They were already cursing under their breaths as they ripped out the sink.
Then they go to prepare to drill the holes and I present my faucet and hot water spout. They go outside, come back in 20 minutes later and call to me there is a problem. I can’t have my faucet with a 60/40 sink, it won’t line up centered, I can only have a one hole faucet. I started to get very upset this was my whole design plan, I didn’t want a one stem faucet. I will not go into the nitty gritty details, but they sat on my porch and chain smoked while I fought with my kitchen rep and the Fabricator Manager back and forth for 2 hours. Then my husband also called them from work, and this went around and around, and basically the 2 Men decided not to take responsibility and blame me, that I didn’t do my homework. I was FLABERGASTED. Never in my life had I been belittled like the way I was by these men. The installers told me to give up because their boss NEVER loses a fight. So now I have paid ½ upfront and my choice is they leave and I lose the other ½ and have no counters because they ruined my formica, or I install it and they offer my a free faucet for the confusion. I wanted to scream. My husband and I were at a loss, my two year old is starving and it’s 7 at night. We didn’t know what to do, so we let them install them.
Well apparently they measured something wrong and began to chisel away at my wall, which they claimed is normal, I don’t know is it? And in the process they must have chipped my new counters, because when they ran out the door and my counters were covered in dust and I went to clean them I saw the 2 tiny chips.
So Now I need help. If you made it this far, seriously you are a saint, and I really appreciate advice because as I said my husband and I are young and we don’t have anyone to go to. At this point our idea is to withhold the remaining 50 percent until they replace the counters or do something. They are ignoring our calls and emails at this point, and we have not been able to make contact. My husband saw their vehicles in the parking lot of the kitchen shop but decided not to go it because we wanted contact to be documented from here on out. I am scared if we withhold payment ($1700) they can put a lien on our house, but we can’t see paying for damaged and unwanted goods. Also the chips are not on the edges they are on the middle to back of the counters where they were removing my wall, and we got eased edges specifically because of what we read about chips, so I know this is not normal. Please Help, thank you in advance.
Please know I have signed nothing, and have documented pictures, and we have already submitted a letter to the Better Business Bureau. I did not sign off on the counters, and we have put a stop payment on our debit card in the event they decide to pull the remaining portion. Also since it is over $1700, we assume this would be a case for small claims court? Should I call Cambria? What do you do when your Middle Man lets you down?