Kitchen install a disaster

Discussion in 'Kitchen Fitters' Talk' started by Hedger, May 22, 2021.

  1. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    I have had a kitchen and flooring recently installed and it is a disaster. The company (Ltd company) was recommended by my neighbour who had their kitchen installed by the same company (but are now in dispute with them too over many snags).
    The kitchen has so many defects its hard to know where to begin. Doors don't self close, scrapes, wonky handles, gaps, every appliance fitted incorrectly (confirmed by the CDA engineer who visited), bouncy LVT floor (they didn't level the subfloor prior to fitting) etc. I have chased them for 2 months and its been lie after lie. The workmanship is horrendous.
    I paid £12k (80%) and still owe £3k - this was part of the contract.

    The floor will need taken up, levelled and relaid (a major job). The kitchen needs new doors, handles refitted, new panels, new splashback, trim, appliances reinstalled etc.
    I sent a follow-up email yesterday detailing every item that needs fixed and a deadline for doing it (28 days). I just know they will not bother replying and tbh i don't want them back in my house as they are cowboys.
    What are my options here? Small claims court only covers for £3k
    Woody2332 likes this.
  2. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    Are you in Northern Ireland? Small claims limit is £3k in NI , £5k in Scotland and £10k in England and Wales

    your claim is the cost of correcting the issues you have. That is not necessarily the full cost you paid but the cost of rectification. Suggest you get three quotes to rectify the issues. If you have not heard within 28 days then start the pre claim process (letter of claim) using the average of the three quotes. Bear in mind you will need to deduct the £3k owed from your claim amount
    Hedger likes this.
  3. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    Thanks Jonathan. Yes im in NI, trust us to have the lowest amount in the UK for small claims it will take much more than 3k to fix this shambles
  4. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    First thing is first, you have to wait for a reply from them as to what they intend to do. If they do reply, i would expect that reply to be that they want to send someone round to have a good look at all the issues. If they do that, then there can be no doubt that you have allowed them to inspect the issues and then come up with a satisfactory conclusion. If they then blank you and don't get back to you with a way to resolve it, that's when it can start to get messy.
    I did a bit of Googling before posting this, and to be honest, in NI you seem to have a very badly coordinated civil claims system. At £3000 for a small claim is ludicrous. But all i can find is that to enforce a judgement you have to go through the "Enforcement of Judgements" office. You don't seem to be able to even bypass the small claims court, is that the case ? Because if it is, then you may well just have to bite the bullet and shell out for full court action. Because without a court order of some kind, you can't even use the "Enforcement of Judgements" office.
  5. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    Hi. Thanks for replying. I got a reply from them...a letter which talked about random things (covid, fitting an extra radiator etc) and blaming the floor manufacturer (!!) for the flooring. They said theyd meet us at our house to discuss but ive suggested 2 dates and theyve ignored both requests. Ive sent a full list of issues with photos and videos. They will not confirm what warranty we have. They have until 18th June to fix things. I'm waiting on a call from our home insurance - we have legal cover included in our policy. County court is the next step up from small claims court in NI as far as I know. The worry i have is they'll go bankrupt as they've only been trading 1.5 years and at the start of our install he told me he was owed a lot of money (I can now see why)
  6. jonathanc

    jonathanc Screwfix Select

    I presume the builder supplied the flooring? If so it’s good that he blames the manufacturer because it means he admits there is a fault and as he is the supplier he is legally responsible for the good! Did you pay by credit at all? If so then the credit provider is jointly and severally liable
  7. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    No we supplied the floor and he fitted it. Nothing paid by credit card unfortunately (learned a hard lesson there)
  8. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    Interestingly he suggested getting the floor inspected by an "independent professional"
  9. Tilt

    Tilt Active Member

    Did you pay the fitters / installers to level the floor ????

    If you supplied the floor then it may be (I'm only suggesting / devils advocate) their opinion that it was your responsibility to make sure the underfloor was suitable for what you supplied. Was this discussed.

    Doors don't usually 'self close' as far as I am aware. Do you mean 'soft close'???

    There is no excuse for "wonky handles" though.
  10. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    They removed walls and had to level those parts of the floor. They mentioned (not in writing) levelling the whole floor but just didn't do it. There was obvious low points in other parts of the kitchen, utilty and hall. I can't see how that is our responsibility when they were installing the floor.

    I meant soft close (not self close).
  11. Tilt

    Tilt Active Member

    Fair enough. If they mentioned levelling the whole floor then yes, you would expect it done.

    I asked as some customers (not come across many, luckily) think that things like levelling the floor is unnecessary and can be gotten away with.
    Some will do almost anything to save even just a few quid. (Not in your case I see)
    A good fitter / installer would convince them otherwise.

    Soft closers are usually add-ons to the hinges or doors but I think they are the least of your woes by the sounds of it.

    Good luck, hope you get it sorted.
  12. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    Thanks mate.

    We paid for the more expensive soft closing hinges and they are installed (albeit some with large unsuitable screws) but most of the doors don't soft close. I had a kitchen fitter assess them and he said the worktops are not level so thats causing problems with the doors closing no matter what we do to adjust the hinges.

    Its a comedy show!
  13. Hedger

    Hedger Member

    Had a good chat with a solicitor who specialises in this type of thing. He says i have a good case to pursue through the county court sytem which covers up to 30k. He says breach of contract and negligence from the company. We need an independent assessment of the kitchen and floor which is proving a little difficult to source the correct person to do that.

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