Painful Kitchen Install

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by glezga, Sep 9, 2021.

  1. glezga

    glezga Member

    Hi all. i posted here a while ago and my kitchen install is still going badly. im looking for some advice. original post is HERE

    July 12th 2021. Kitchen was ripped out and carcase installed in same day. Also, a cupboard space wall was removed.

    We were quoted 1-week instal. During this time, the only time more than 1 fitter was in my kitchen at the same time was July 12th. Every time thereafter – the “joiner” who is the owner has been the only fitter in my kitchen. A half day here and there. Today is the 9th of September.

    Various factors from covid to tradesmen letting the fitter down have been mentioned.

    We asked for, chose this company and were quoted a “1 stop shop” as we didn’t want to manage the project.

    He couldn’t get a plumber – done the work himself

    He couldn’t get a spark – done the work himself: I didn’t know he done this, I just came home from work and saw kitchen slowly progress.

    He took the supply for dishwasher, wash machine and tumble dryer from an old emersion heater switch, which was a blank plate and was used for power to our combi boiler. He chased a channel from there to a double box placed directly under the stop cock! And another from behind that box – to a single.

    He stopped when we needed our cooker switch moved about 2 foot to the right and admitted he wasn’t qualified. We had 4 electricians call out. 2 condemned his work and wouldn’t touch it, 1 coundt do it for 6 weeks and the last smelled our desperation (our kitchen was half installed) and charged us £1000 to undo his work and do it properly. The installer quoted £500 for original electrics but by an electrician separately under his employ. We had massive problems with the spark that done the work but I wont go into that, it works.

    Installer couldn’t get a tiler – couldn’t do it himself so we had to get one.

    At this point the cupboard doors were on but still a lot of work to do. We pointed out all the remaining work and started the original post around this time HERE.

    Installer said he wont do anything until the tile floor was down in 2 weeks’ time.

    Tiler finished and 1 week later, the installer shows up without warning, installs kicker boards badly and tells us a story of how busy he is and not much to be done. He leaves without a goodbye or date for next appearance.

    A week of ignored phone calls, texts and WhatsApp messages with pictures of what needs done – no reply.

    6 days ago, he appears form nowhere – broken phone, broken van, family problems etc. I sit him down with my wife and explain were on week 9? And have a host of problems including why he didn’t do the work “other than kicker boards” during delay with tiler – he actually told us he had other kitchens start and finish during our install.

    I kind of lost it a bit but calmly pointed out the problems. It was like scolding a child, he has 20 years on me and 25 years + as an installer.

    I offered 2 weeks to complete job to my satisfaction – he said no way – 1 week! And he understood our issue. He did fight back with some points, like certain things cant be done – standard size doors with large gaps between other doors etc. but we agreed 1 week.

    That was last Friday – today is Thursday and we received a text yesterday saying “coving has to be ordered in – see you Thursday”

    I told him last week, that wed part company and id get someone in to finish, if not done on time or to satisfaction.

    Kitchen cost is £8k we paid 2 instalments of £2k – so we owe £4k

    Whats my options and legally?

    Sack him, don’t pay and move on?

    Let him finish and depending on work – deduct how much? I know it wont be perfect.

    Hes covering gaps etc with caulk, leaving smears and you can literally see they are just covered with caulk!

    We have a small 3 bedroom house, our living room is jammed with our kitchen stuff and weve been using our shed as office/kitchen (wife works from home) lots of stress, I know this isn’t a legal challenge but its been pretty horrific!

    All i see is the problems and dont see our lovely new kitchen.

    20210909_073929.jpg 20210909_073938.jpg 20210909_073951.jpg 20210909_074019.jpg 20210909_074026.jpg 20210909_074037.jpg 20210909_074044.jpg 20210909_074059.jpg 20210909_074107.jpg 20210909_074118.jpg 20210909_074132.jpg 20210909_074146.jpg 20210909_074152.jpg 20210909_074235.jpg 20210909_074244.jpg 20210909_074311.jpg 20210909_074319.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. glezga

    glezga Member

    more images - remember we have 1 day to go as agreed. these images were taken today and some points have been argued that they wont/cant be fixed. 20210909_074337.jpg 20210909_074354.jpg 20210909_074401.jpg 20210909_074418.jpg 20210909_074427.jpg 20210909_074444.jpg 20210909_074459.jpg 20210909_074506.jpg 20210909_074511.jpg 20210909_074515.jpg 20210909_074523.jpg 20210909_074546.jpg 20210909_074612.jpg 20210909_074747.jpg 20210909_074754.jpg 20210909_075038.jpg 20210909_075043.jpg

    20210909_074337.jpg 20210909_074354.jpg
  3. glezga

    glezga Member

    original drawing with quote


    kitchen.jpg 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg
  4. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select


    Dont pay him or have him back.

    Get a proper kitchen fitter in.
    Kitfit likes this.
  5. glezga

    glezga Member

    This is a copy of the list we handed him - when he said 1 week to fix.


    i know, the wifes very efficient lol
  6. glezga

    glezga Member

    ive spoken to 2 kitchen companys in the past week, both said they wont touch it and said good luck getting a self employed fitter too!
  7. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Super Member

    I think u have been overly patient and if it was me I would want the money I had paid back for the work he has done
  8. glezga

    glezga Member

    couple of points. ive looked online and see that im legaly obliged to offer him more time and pay him - then complain or take legal action which is drawn out.

    also, im in Northern Ireland (on the border) and hes ROI (border) legal action will be murky

    im willing to let him finish - but not pay full amount even if satisfactory, but at this point i just want it finished and over with.
    the devil on my shoulder wants to keep him going until perfect then not pay anymore.

    im way past angry and it dosent help hes a really nice guy - with problems like everyone else. i get the feeling hes both sorry but greedy enough to take on other work while mine waits. im not into revenge... i just want it done.

    legal action is a possibility. but wasw thinking let him finish and withold £1k

    am i right or being soft?
  9. koolpc

    koolpc Screwfix Select

    Being soft as you have given him 9 weeks already!

    You need to put it in writing, to him, stating all the problems and how you want it all resolved to your satisfaction in x amount of time.

    If not completed satisfactorily, you will take the matter further. And, you will be withholding all payments until you get what you want.
  10. spen123

    spen123 Active Member

    I think in reality you need to bin him but seek legal advise first.
    Speak with trading standards also.
    From the photos not much can be done apart from.take out and re fit.
    The issue with the oven is he has the units in the wrong place.
    You Belfast sink will have a gap but it could be neater.
    I personally hate them and with solid wood tops you may regret it.
    You won't always get a close joint between doors because the doors are undersized compared to units but by the looks of things he hasn't levelled your units.
    Where are you in the country?
  11. glezga

    glezga Member

    he said he had measured wrong so had to swap cupboard beside oven to drawers with the other side of kitchen, after the fact. we discussed it and compromised. but finish s a mess.

    the belfast sin is actually cracked on instal. he has another ready to fit but ye. wish we hadnt now.

    in in Derry or LDerry depending on which foot you kick with ;)
  12. spen123

    spen123 Active Member

    I think for a legal point of view you'll need a quote to rectify works.
  13. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    There are some professional kitchen fitters on here, myself included. I think every one of us would agree that it’s a shockingly bad job - there’s so much fundamentally wrong with the absolute basics, that I really don’t know what to say. It doesn’t look like the work of a professional in any way, shape or form - and he’s also wrecked a substantial number of components which will all need replacing.

    Please don’t pay him anything else. Do what koolpc suggested above.
    CGN, pppmacca43, Kitfit and 2 others like this.
  14. ElecCEng

    ElecCEng Screwfix Select

    Clear from your photos and responses that there is a lot wrong here. Unfortunately you may have to have a long think about whether it would be better to rip it out, salvage what you can and start again with a different kitchen fitter.

    Whatever’s going on in your installer’s life, he’s clearly not capable of working at the moment. I sympathise that he’s got to earn a living but the standard you’ve been left with is unacceptable from a professional. You have given him the opportunity to put it right but it’s also clear he’s just going to bodge it. If you allow him to continue you will undoubtedly be unhappy with the finish he’s willing to give you in the long run. Some of the items have been supplied damaged or he’s damaged them during installation. I would be asking him to replace these or reimburse you.

    I’m not sure about the border issue, but as the work was carried out in NI then I would pursue it through the NI legal redress system in the first instance. Perhaps first you could have another frank discussion with him and give him the opportunity to admit that it’s beyond his ability (whether from competence or other factors) to finish the job properly.

    Whatever you do, don’t pay him any more until you have a satisfactory solution.
  15. kitfit1

    kitfit1 Screwfix Select

    100% agree with the above. In fact looking at all the pics my view is that only a complete rip out and start again is the answer. Even if you only look at the Belfast sink, it's set too far back and should in fact overhang the door underneath. It cant be pulled forward now because the back edge of the worktop cutout would then be behind the sink, so in fact needs a new worktop. Also the gap between the top of the Belfast and the underneath of the worktop is massive, it should actually be level with the underside of the worktop. I could go on and on but there isn't any need to. Your issues OP will only be resolved by the removal of the entire kitchen and then a new kitchen fitted by a proper kitchen fitter. I am fully aware that legally you have to give him the opportunity to put his bad workmanship right, 9 weeks is more than enough time. Even if you let this idiot back in your home you are as aware as we are this will only go from what is an already atrocious situation to a complete and utter nightmare.
  16. woodbutcherbower

    woodbutcherbower Well-Known Member

    Spot on. Couldn't have put it better myself.

    I have to say that as a member of a trade in which quality of fit and finish is absolutely everything, I really feel terribly sorry for the OP. Having a new kitchen should be a happy, exciting time for anyone, especially since these are big-ticket purchases which folks work very hard to pay for. It's often said that a skilled tradesman has the ability to change someone's life for the better. It's sad that unskilled ones also have the same ability - but change it for the worse. Please keep in touch and let us know how things progress.
  17. glezga

    glezga Member

    Thanks for all the replies and info.

    Like I said. We offered the fitter 2 weeks last Friday but he promised it would only take 1 week. Its now 10:30pm Thurs evening and he hasn't been seen since Friday last.

    I'f he shows tomorrow. I'll let him work away.

    Personally I want to sack him but wife is hoping he performs a miracle.

    I suspect he will have more excuses and need more time.

    The long and short of it is. I can't afford to pay for another kitchen unless he refunds me. I can't see that happening without long drawn out legal action.

    I don't know what else I can do other than dangle the carrot until he quits or we compromise. Or we will will end up with an unfinished kitchen and a legal battle.

    I'm not trying to be tricky. I need our kitchen livable. Our living room is a mess and wife can't keep working from shed. If he just refunded me I'd happily get another installer and soldier on for another few weeks.

    I've rang around and although I'm getting sympathy. I can't get actual help.

    I suppose this way. We get the best he's willing to do. Move in and then take action. I'm kinda lost ATM and pretty low.
  18. glezga

    glezga Member

    if anyone knows a fitter in my area. please let me know. even if its just to make a list for action or quote! i know its hard getting any trade right now. kitchen companys are willing to quote me for new install... obviously lol
  19. Dan dan the man

    Dan dan the man Active Member

    It really boils my **** when stuff like this happens!impacts on every good tradesman out there. I hope you get a satisfactory outcome and soon. Its easy to talk the talk…..this guy obviously can’t walk the walk!
  20. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    If you were local, then I would sort this **** out for you as I can handle a challenge.
    Sorry you had to deal with a numpty!
    BillyBobToo likes this.

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