Help and advice with bad kitchen cabinet company

babyfish00September 24, 2013

The technical director of my kitchen cabinet company has screw up the design of my kitchen. He didn't respect the dimensions specifications of the appliances. I have the usual 6 major appliances in my kitchen, all built in, and 3 of them have fitting problems.

1. Built in fridge has large gap (2inch) between the fridge and cabinet

Compared to the same fridge in their showroom:

Cabinet opening for my fridge is 756mm, but the cabinet opening I have now is 800mm. Technical director said 756mm is the MINIMUM value, so 800mm is not a problem.

2. Drawer underneath the cooktop is too close, the clearance is less than the minimum required for airflow stated in the product specification, potentially overheat the cooktop.

Drawer underneath the cabinet, before installation of a 1 1/4' countertop.

3. Dishwasher custom panel was ordered in one piece but it is too long that block the dishwasher's door to open fully. Cabinet company said only solution is to cut it into two pieces. The smaller piece is then attached at the bottom to align with the adjacent panels. Work quality of this task is terrible.
3D design plan:

Actual:

Close up of dishwasher panel:

Waited 34 days so far, still none of these problems have been solved. Very disappointed to this company. Any comments or advices are welcomed.

Here is a link that might be useful: More photos of my kitchen

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deedles

Oh, I'd be disappointed, too. That fridge surround looks very sloppy and also the dishwasher fix, too.

Aye, aye... I hope someone on here can advise you.

Did you pay in full already?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Is this a custom line, or are you using a stock or semi custom? Some things can be done in some lines, but it costs more. And some things can't be done in some lines no matter what money you're willing to spend. Are you in the US or Europe? Are the cabinets US or Euro? CM and inches don't mix when your're doing frameless unless you're willing to have fillers or go completely custom.

There's a whole lot more info that's needed here.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Is this a custom line, or are you using a stock or semi custom? Some things can be done in some lines, but it costs more. And some things can't be done in some lines no matter what money you're willing to spend. Are you in the US or Europe? Are the cabinets US or Euro? CM and inches don't mix when your're doing frameless unless you're willing to have fillers or go completely custom.

There's a whole lot more info that's needed here.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:42PM
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Clarion

The dishwasher panel is extremely sloppy, though I do not understand from your description why it had to be cut in 2 pieces, rather than just shortened.

The front and back of the TOP of the DW need to be right against the bottom of the countertop so that the DW doesn't rock, especially when opening the door. If there is excess space, blocking is installed on TOP of the DW.

In your photo, blocking was installed UNDER the DW in the form of a piece of 3/4" plywood.

When you open the DW, does the bottom piece open too, or is it stationary? If stationary, they should have blocked on top, and needed 2 pieces to deal with the kick panel being too high.

If the bottom piece opens with the top piece, you have a total hack job.

Ordering a new panel is the solution in any case, and possibly changing the blocking.

The fridge doesn't look awful to me.

I am not familiar with how important the airflow for induction really is. You may or may not have a problem there, but cutting down a drawer isn't complicated.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 8:49PM
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babyfish00

I pay almost full already, only 5% left on my pocket. And the company requested me to pay this 5% by the end of the week. I'm kind of hesitating.

I think this is a semi-custom line, sure it is not a stock line. And I'm in Canada but the cabinet is from Europe. I didn't thought about the cm and inch thing, almost all of my appliances are European brands except the dishwasher.

For the DW, the bottom piece is stationary when the it is open but I have not fixed it with brackets to the countertop/cabinet yet. Are the brackets strong enough to hold the DW so it won't rock when open?
There really is space between the top of the dishwasher and the countertop bottom like the photo shown.

DW without panel:

Ordering a new panel is what I want too but the company refused. I will try to talk them into it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:06PM
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buehl

You might want to seek legal counsel - but I would refuse to pay the remaining until everything was done to my satisfaction.

What does your contract say? Usually, the final balance is paid after all work, including the Punch List, is complete. Otherwise, a company has no incentive to finish the job. (The Punch List is the list of the final items that need to be finished - sometimes it's all small items while other times it contains bigger items - as in your case.)

What does your Kitchen Designer say about all these mistakes and issues?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:19AM
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jellytoast

Well, if the company refused to order a new panel for the DW when they obviously screwed up the first one, I'd refuse to give them the remaining 5% balance. They've got a lot of nerve, leaving you hanging for over a month with these unresolved issues, and then demanding the final payment. Withholding that payment is likely the only leverage you've got.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:24AM
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babyfish00

The contract said the last payment is due at the end of installation, if I remembers correctly. Will look it up first thing tomorrow morning.

My designer basically avoided to talk to me, all the communication is by email with the technical director now. Can't really pick on the designer, it is the job for that technical guy to check the specification and seems he is the one to give order to his installation crew for services. I called multiple times to the store to speak to this guy but the receptionist said he is on the phone. Left message request a call back but only email reply. Terrible customer service.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:29AM
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babyfish00

Jellytoast - you're right! But 5% is not enough to keep one of my eyes closed. I would rather them to fix the problem. Besides complaining to its headquarter and escalating my loss to small claim court, I'm posting my situation in different medias and sites, trying to get the most attention I can.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:38AM
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buehl

To be honest, without knowing the company you're doing business with, getting attention online won't matter b/c no one will know what company to avoid - and they won't have a clue it's them since they won't know you by your user name - you're anonymous and your designer is anonymous - no bad press at all for them.

I'm not saying post the company now - you might want to start legal proceedings first or at least contact their parent company/HQ, if they have one.

Be very clear and state the facts, don't get emotional about it. You never know, they may already know they have a problem with the Kitchen Designer and Installation Manager at this particular location. If you report your problems, it may give them the ammunition they need to get rid of the problem staff and might even get someone else to step in to fix the issues.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:07AM
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scrappy25

Is the problem that your full dishwasher panel hits the base of the dishwasher when opened? Are your cabinet doors standard heights? Seems that a standard 30" tall door should not have to be cut to allow a paneled dw to open. If you have increased the height of the door (say, 32") so that it extends below the dw metal door, then you have a problem that may only be solved by the small piece below.

The fridge doesn't bother me as it gives the handle a small breathing space. Perhaps a think vertical filler if it really bothers you?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 8:38AM
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babyfish00

buehl - It is difficult to be not angry with this company, especially every time when I use my kitchen, I can't escape from seeing one of these ill-fitted appliances. I don't dare to use the cooktop now and eat mostly on raw foods.

scrappy25 - Yes, the full panel (32 1/2") if installed will hit the base of the WD when opened. The maximum height specified in the installation manual is 30 1/2". So it has to cut into two pieces like now.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 10:29AM
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babyfish00

I think the bad luck is still following me. I found the large piece of plywood that laid on my newly installed tiled floor is glued permanently on the floor. It is there to give a 2inch height for the DW but I don't find a reason that it has to glued down to the floor and without asking my (the house owner) permission.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:00AM
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scrappy25

So it looks like if you want the bottom of the dishwasher panel to align with the other cabinet doors, you have to have that small strip at the bottom of your dishwasher. The only other option is to cut all your door heights to match the bottom of the shortened dw door which would be a lot more drastic and undesirable. The plywood attachment for that bottom piece could be improved or painted the same color as the cabinets so that it is not so visible.

I looked up the longer user manual for your induction hob (so cool, AEG 36" zone free induction for only $2100? Surprised it hasn't been mentioned on this board before).

http://media.datatail.com/docs/manual/135736_en.pdf

On Page 6, looks like the 20 mm clearance below the induction hob is only for a flat piece of wood. The drawer space in your setup counts as part of that 20 mm. Looks like you have undulating drawers on top and as long as you don't fill them you may be ok to use that induction hob. You will have to measure the space to see. Since they are requiring 5 mm between the countertop and the top of the top drawer for ventilation, I would assume that you also meed 5 mm between the tops of the undulations and the cooktop in order to have adequate airflow. HTH.

Gorgeous design choices, by the way. Don't let these small issues get you down. Only the TKO will notice them. That is one beautiful kitchen that you should be proud of. The glued plywood can be removed from the tile with some effort when needed.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 3:25PM
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babyfish00

scrappy25 - the AEG cooktop is a gem in price and quality. Only complaint is the fingerprint on the glass and 3 zones only. I got mine slightly less than $2100 in canada which is a good deal to me, likely due to I'm buying most of the appliances in one store.

A small update with my kitchen cabinet company:
- fridge: white fillers are put on the sides of the cabinet.
result is so-so but seriously I think that's the best they can do on this semi-custom made cabinet.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 10:33PM
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