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Question DetailsAsked on 10/6/2017

Do we have to accept using a faucet base, when the contractor drilled the countertop hole too large for the faucet?

We provided all the faucets, cooktop, sinks, etc prior to beginning the install. They just drilled all the holes without checking the sizes. Our faucet falls through the hole-it did not have a base, they found one and insist the problem is fixed. I didn't want a base- they insist its fixed. They also damaged two brand new cabinets through the veneers and told us "just poly or cover it" they are not painted cabinets, they are stained- you will see an ugly filled spot regardless. There are other problems with the install- a 1 1/2 " seams that should not have been made (granite slab was 94 inches for an 88 1/4 inch space), but they cut the corner wrong and made the piece too short. The sink was installed without an over hang, they first told me the sink I choose required install that way, but I later called the sink company, it was a lie.

Do I get an attorney or can I make a claim on their insurance for property damages?

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You can make a claim against their insurance for the damage to the cabinets - the hole size issue would be resolved through their Bonding company if they refuse to fix it to your reasonable satisfaction. Bonding company might well cover the cabinet repair cost too, because it is pretty closely related to their scope of work. "Reasonable" generally defined as what a normal person would consider acceptable.

Certainly having an attorney pushing your claim makes it clear to them you are serious - but of course increases your cost, and you will not recover the attorney's cost from anyone. I would start with a letter to them itemizing the problems and saying you want the cabinets repaired to your satisfction at their cost by the original cabinet supplier/installer, addressing the hole issue and either stating what you will accept or asking how they intend to make it right, and addressing the sink overhang and short countertop issue. Or just stating, on that, because of the number of installation errors you want a replacement countertop properly installed, at their cost. Make sure to make it clear that their installation was inadequate and unacceptable workmanship, and that you demand correction to your satisfaction - do not make it sound like just "correcting" it is enough, make it clear the work has to be to your satisfaction to be acceptable.

What you want to avoid, and this is what a court would likely fall back to, is $ damages for the mistakes - a court wouldnormally not force replacements for something like this because it is "substantially what was agreed to" and functional, so a court or arbitrator would normally assign a $ value for decreased vallue of the as-built countertop and cabinets and award you that - leaving you with those $ but no fix unless you went and got another contractor to fix it. Not fair, but the way the court system works - generally tries to assign a $ value to any remedy, and avoids requiring "specific performance" to the contract where possible.

You are in luck with the cabinets being brand new - they cannot argue that a simple repair will be an acceptable match to adjacent used cabinet faces - has to be a "new" appearance".

Obviously do not pay them till all is fixed to your satisfaction - state payment for their work is being withheld pending proper completion of the work as originally agreed to.

BTW - if this contractor was working under a General Contractor, then HE is the one you deal with on getting this fixed - not with his subcontractor.

What I would ask for is repair of the cabinets by the company that installed them (or replacement if unrepairable) - though putting on a new matching stained face/door or a new veneer overlay may remedy that situation.

On the faucet issue - several solutions I see which he should be willing to accept in lieu of having you call his bond (which is a major legal issue for him):

1) see if the company that makes the faucet makes a matching hole escutcheon - a flange or cone that fits the faucet perfectly and should be nearly indistinguishable as a separate piece, which is wider at the base and is designed to cover this sort of mistake - or to cover larger pre-existing holes when the faucet is being put in as a replacement in an existing countertop.

2) alternative to above - have him dismount faucet and fabricate/put in a matching countertop material piece as an overlay, with proper size/location faucet hole - routed on the outside edge either to match the faucet base shape or round or oval or whatever shape suits you - bond that to the top of the back strip of the countertop and mount the faucet on it - like on a pedestal. The seam with the countertop can be made to be nearly indistinguishable after it is polished out.

3) another alternative to above (what I would probably do) - is have them fabricate an insert flush-fit donut piece of countertop material to refill the existing hole (seam should be nearly invisible when done) with correct sized hole for the faucet already drilled in it, bond into the countertop hole, remount faucet.

4) another alternative to above - he gets the existing faucet and pays for you to get another make/model which you find acceptable which will fit and properly cover the hole he cut - this wpould almost certainly be the cheapest solution on the hole, but does not address the other countertop issues so is [robably not an acceptable fix overall.

5) This is sort of the nuclear option - demand they replace that section of countertop, both for the hole issue and for it being short because of the mis-cut and for the 1-1/2" seams (which I interpret were inseart strips). That miscut is actually the bigger issue to me - miscutting a countertop so it no longer fits correctly is a valid call for demanding a total replacement of it, at their cost. You should not have to accept a countertop that is short for the cabinets (presuming here a specified overhang was in the contract or fabrication measurements) or that has a 1-1/2" filler piece.

4) ditto on the sink overhang - get documentation from the sink manufacturer on the front overhang ability and demand it be done right (which almost certainly requires countertop replacement because the cutout will be too deep if they move it forward).

Be sure to document everything (in writing and by photos), and get any agreement on repair/replacement and associated costs (which should be zero to you) in WRITING as a contract change order or amendment.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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