Fitted kitchen disaster

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by TobyJug, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. TobyJug

    TobyJug New Member

    I'm in the process of getting a new fitted kitchen. It arrived a few weeks ago and is completely the wrong size. This is because the designer followed a rough plan of the kitchen (not built at the time) given when making our initial enquiries and getting quotes. This plan was drawn up by another kitchen supplier.We agreed to use this company and later supplied them with our architects plans. It turns out these were completely ignored and they continued to work off the rough, and completely inaccurate, diagram given months ago.
    The company has now said they will order new units to fit and fill in the gaps which they have said we will have to pay for as we signed off the final design and didn't notice their mistake. What's more parts are  not finished in our chosen colour where they should be, their error when ordering from the manufacturer, and two of the doors are faulty. These will be replaced by the manufacturer but we will have to get our own fitters to come back on site to do this.

    I would really like a refund and to send the whole lot back but as they are refusing to take responsibility for their balls up so far I need some help? Where do I stand?
  2. big all

    big all Screwfix Select

    heeelllooo toby jug and welcome :)

    sorry to hear about your plight

    what do you have in writing??
    you need to find common ground
    do not alienate the company until you have most off the evidence in your favor
  3. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    "The company has now said they will order new units to fit..."

    "...and fill in the gaps"

    If they order new units to fit, why will there be gaps?

    Anyway, your contract is your friend(or foe).

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  4. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    It's never a good idea to order a fitted kitchen off the plan of the property/extension. Usual to possibly have a rough plan, but then take site measurements to work from for the finished plan.. ;)
  5. snezza31

    snezza31 New Member

    No professional Kitchen company would order/manufacture a kitchen for a client from rough sketch drawings. Even after you supplied them with the architects drawings, the actual room should have been measured to clarify the exact sizes. Measurements change by varying amounts when the room is built, so to order without checking first is a receipe for disaster, as you have found out to your cost.

    You have'nt named the company involved but, I would ask them why they did'nt send someone round to measure up at the correct stage of the build.

    Any damaged/faulty doors should be replaced by the manufacturer. As for the wrong size units, why did you not ask them to come and measure once the room was near completion?

  6. Hmmm.

    I'm in process of ordering a glass panel which needs to have holes drilled in it in exactly the right place. The company has said that I need to confirm the final dimensions and take responsibility for it. If the panel turns out to be the wrong size - but correct as far as the dimensions I was asked to confirm - then who's at fault? Me.

    I suspect this will come down to how clear they made the ordering process - did they send you a final plan to check and confirm? And you didn't check this - but did confirm the order?

    Guess who messed up.

    Or perhaps they didn't make it clear enough to you that you should check it over before ordering? But that will be a sod to prove.

    As it stands, my sympathies are with the company. And I suspect the law is too. You can ask that they give you the replacement units at cost price.

    As for all the other faults - wrong colour, faulty doors -  that's the company's problem to sort. But a completely separate issue.
  7. TobyJug

    TobyJug New Member

    Hi everyone, thanks for your replies. I'll try and answer all the points you've made.

    first of all, we have proof that we supplied the company with our architects drawings. The build is complete now and has been finished pretty much to the milimetre so if they'd followed these plans I'm confident we wouldn't be in this position.

    There are gaps because in order to salvage this kitchen and make some of it fit we have had to shuffle it along the wall meaning some wall units would go over a window. We need new smaller units to fill these gaps.

    with regard to measuring up, the designer attended while the build was in its early stages and measured the existing part of the kitchen (in the old part of the house). He assured us this was enough along with photographs and plans we supplied.

    i realise now that this is the wrong way to do things but this company is NOT cheap and we have never project managed anything like this before. Because of our inexperience we went with them because we believed we were getting an expert service from skilled professionals.

    I would accept part responsibility if this was down to a difference in the architects plans to the actual finished build but our problem is these guys didn't use the plans at all! Is it our fault if these 'professionas' ignored the information we gave them? Where to go from here?

    Oh the stress!
  8. snezza31

    snezza31 New Member

    Toby Jug,

    With all due respect, I would NEVER, NEVER order a kitchen for one of my clients based on architects drawings.
    There are just far too many variables to rely on them ending up accurate. If they do end up being the correct size then it's more luck than judgement.

    You say that someone did come round and measure but only in the existing part of the house, not the actual new extension. If this is the case, then the kitchen company are responsible for the mistake in the measurements. However, you should have chased them to ensure that the new extention and the positions of the windows etc, were correct.

    I appreciate that you were a bit niave with this type of project, but it is your hard earned money that you were spending so I would have thought that you would have been on their case a bit more!!!!

    I can assure you that even though this company may not have been cheap, they most certainly have not been professional in the way they have approached the project.

    With regard to some of the units being too big, any good kitchen fitter should be able to cut down the units and re-assemble them, then all you will need will be a few smaller doors.

    I feel for you Toby, I really do! I wish I could offer you more than the advice above, but if I post a link to my contact details it is highly likely to be deleted by the Screwfix moderators. I have in the past, worked for clients in similar situations to you, on a consultancy basis, to try and mediate between the client and the kitchen company.
    My suggestion, if you get no joy from them, would be to find a mediator and see if he can help solve your problem.

    Snezza31 (Member of the Kitchen Fitters Forum)
  9. Toby, this company received at least two sets of plans/drawings from you, as well as measurements taken by one of their own designers? 3 lots of slightly differing measurements?

    Did they then send you a final layout to approve before ordering?

    (You know what I'm getting at...)

    Having said that, I'd have thought the company would be keen to help repair the situation by keeping replacement costs to an absolute minimum.
  10. TobyJug

    TobyJug New Member

    Thanks again to everyone who's replied.

    Snezza31, where do I seek out a mediator? I can understand why you would ask why we weren't on their case more but all I can say is this has been a big job to manage overall and where the kitchen was concerned we thought we had chosen wisely. This company ONLY sell kitchens and the designer claims to have over 30 years experience. We thought by going down this route we were saving ourselves from making mistakes by trying to do it all ourselves.

    Devils Advocate, I wouldn't even consider the first drawing we gave them as relevant to be honest. This was just to show the layout we had got quotes on elsewhere so they could come up with something for us to compare. But yes, we gave them our architects plans once we'd agreed to go with them so proper work could begin. The guy then said a site visit to measure up partially would be enough. Who am I to argue with 30 years experience? And yes my biggest mistake was to sign off finished plans. These consisted of elevations (CAD type images) with no measurements and one plan looking down which did have measurements on. I can see that it was my mistake to sign this one off but I wasn't advised to double check the dimensions and really only thought this was to confirm the layout/configuration of the cupboards, i know, i know. I stupidly assumed a professional would know how to use architects drawings and I wouldn't need to get my tape measure out to go over his work.

    I might add that I've since asked the designer why he did t use the architects plans we provided and he told me its because they don't have an A3 printer! This was after he told me all he had ever been given by us was the rough plan but then I spotted a copy of the architects plans in his folder.

    Im dissapionted that a professional company can make a massive mistake like this then just blame the client for not noticing it.
  11. Hi Toby.

    What you say there does change the complexion a fair bit. It looks as tho' they are trying to edge the responsibility more on to you and away from themselves - and trying to suggest they didn't even have the architect plans at one point is particularly slimy.

    Bottom line - they can argue they gave you 'final' designs to check and confirm before order, ergo not their fault. And the 'law' might well support this. However, when they sent these plans (were they posted or taken round by the designer?) was there a covering letter to say you should check them?

    I know it's unfair to expect lay-peeps like us ('customers') to be savvy enough to deal with these tricky issues, but I suspect you'll find the 'law' says that 'ignorance ain't no excuse' - you, somehow, should have known that checking the final drawings was the sensible thing to do.


    Although they can very likely claim zero responsibility in this situation - and get away with it - it's pretty clear from what you say that they are guilty of carelessness at the very least - unprofessionalism as well - and that their contribution to this malarkey is every bit (more, in fact...) as shoddy as yours. All you were guilty of is trusting a professional outfit. Whereas they have been careless, incompetent, conniving, side-swerving, misleading, contrary and, well, plain dishonest at times.

    I'm not sure where you'd get a mediator for a situation like this (you can often find them for situations such as civil matters, neighbourlky disputes, etc) but I'll second what Senezz says - when two parties sit down with an impartial observer, they suddenly become very careful about what they say and claim - they are terrified of being 'found out' by an impartial observer. You can shoot the breeze knowing you have nothing to hide, but they will become very defensive when you challenge them about:

    a) having a copy of the correct plans - when they claimed they didn't,
    b) having had a copy of the correct plans - which they ignored simply because they didn't have a printer big enough,
    c) they claimed a site visit by the designer for a partial measure-up would be enough - when it clearly wasn't,
    d) they sent you final designs - but with no request to double-check them,
    e) add in other stuff...

    Calmly, non-accusatory, just take them apart.

    Now, where's the Yellow Pages...?

    (Also contact your local Tadings Standards peeps for advice)
  12. snezza31

    snezza31 New Member


    I dont know if the company that you brought the kitchen from is a member of the KSA (Kitchen Specialists Association), but try and find out. Either way, get in touch with the KSA and they will very likely be able to put you in touch with a mediator that can help to resolve this situation in a fair and un-biased manner. Bear in mind that any mediator will be un-biased and will apportion blame where it is due, so be prepared......!!!!

    Also, as DA said ,you could try Trading Standards.

    My personal opinion of this situation, bearing in mind that the info that you have given us is full and honest (no disrespect intended Toby),is that the Kitchen company just have not done a professional job at all. If I was mediating on your situation, I would find in your favour. The main basis for this would be that as a "Layman", you would have expected the company to have physically checked the measurements of the room prior to placing the order for your new kitchen. It is just not done that way, as I said before.

    If you do'nt mind me asking, what part of the country are you?

  13. TobyJug

    TobyJug New Member

    I'm in London
  14. snezza31

    snezza31 New Member

    I will put up a link to the KFF (Kitchen Fitters Forum), as you may be able to get some help there.

    Hopefully, it will not get deleted as this matter is not taking business away from Screwfix........(Moderators?????)

    Regards, Snezza31
  15. GrahamTaylor

    GrahamTaylor Member

    Your local Trading Standards department may be able to help. You can usually contact them via your local authority.

    Some of them will provide an adjudication service where there is a dispute. Even if they are not able to take an active role they will be able to advise on what routes are available to you.
  16. getroofingquotes

    getroofingquotes New Member

    Yeah.I agree, I contact my local trading standards department. They where able to help me with my problems. And its much more convenient in my part.
  17. jdwilliams

    jdwilliams New Member

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn this was a common problem.  I know when we ordered our handmade kitchen it was only after the plaster was on the walls of the new extension and the final measurements taken that they started to manufacture it for us.  We were told that you can assume a measurement but they preferred not to do that since the kitchen was a precise build that was made specifically for the space.

    Just goes to show.

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