Lies Our Kitchen Contractor Told Us

Remember when I told you I hauled out a 60s era fridge out of our basement last spring?  It seems another lifetime since I wrote this.  I thought that would be the most painful  moment of the kitchen renovation.  Ah, what I rube I was then.  Those were the days. . .  This installment of the saga–the tall tales, the broken promises (broken hearts and broken bones), the general beginning of the end of pure truth began March 30, 2016:

Yours is the third job we will begin in June.

So.  So.  Ugly.

Construction of the cabinets is nearly complete.  We have to come out for just one final measurement before we go ahead and schedule installation.  What this means: We don’t believe you actually completed your demolition and prep to meet the agreed-upon timetable, so we already pushed you back.  We’re just here to check out your actual progress.  Oh shit, you’re ready??

We will begin the project June 27.

We will begin the project July 5.

We will begin the project July 11 and it will take three weeks.

Your counters will be installed on July 26.

You can have your appliances delivered July 28.

Go ahead and have your appliances moved in August 18.  19.  OK, 20.  (The 20th was actually true)

We will have the tile installer there tomorrow.

We will have the tile installer there Monday.

It’s a natural fissure in the stone.  Cracks occur sometimes with natural products, I’m sure you can imagine.  Cracks also occur when you drop a giant slab of granite, I’m sure you can imagine.

 The caulk goes on white and fades to clear when it dries.  Not when the dude uses white caulk it doesn’t. 

We will replace the caulk.  Yes, you’re right, of course the caulk should have been clear like it is on all the rest of the counters.  Still waiting.

Yes, we will remove the vinyl floor roller.  Sorry it’s been in your dining room since July.  Curious that the floor installer wouldn’t need it on another job.  Still waiting.

We’ll have a carpenter there to finish the cabinet molding this week.  (This lie was peddled in August; it’s October 1 and my husband cut and installed it himself today).

What a coincidence you called.  I was just on the phone with the carpet installer.  (Who showed up two weeks later).

The moral of the story is this:  For impeccable design, high-end details, and custom cabinets, you want a high-end contractor.  You want someone who has experience designing $100K kitchens for the locally rich and famous.  Our room has been transformed, and the layout is something I, in my wildest ideations, could never have dreamt.  Big box hardware vendors with 2-3 options for cabinets and counters could not provide the expert attention to detail ours has.  But high-end vendors don’t care for the do-it-yourselfers, the sweat equity types such as ourselves.  Even when they say it’s great if you do do it yourself.  Which is how we could fiscally manage their bid, and why ours isn’t a $100K kitchen.  They don’t actually mean they think it’s great.

When you’re their smallest job, and people, this WAS NOT CHEAP, you’re unimportant.  Or you feel unimportant anyway.   Compared to many of their clients, I feel like Cinderella–dancing in their showroom/ballroom knowing that too soon I’ll be back home sans glass slipper, put in my place, my lowly station scrubbing the rich ladies’ luxury vinyl plank floors.  Hey wait–that’s my floor!

Everyone asks how I like my kitchen, and I am stunned this kitchen is in my house.  It is beautiful.  But it is still incomplete.  We still owe them money–the final installment, but they haven’t even shown enough interest in us to bother to collect that (what I imagine to them is a) pittance.  So let the record reflect that I am happy to pay them to finish the work they’ve been paid handsomely to do.  It’s what I agreed to do, and I intend to remit what I said I would.  It’s called integrity and honesty and decency.  But take the check we owe you yet, get your damn lockbox off my door, roll your cast iron vinyl floor roller the hell out of my home, and let my husband finish what we paid you to do, OK?






6 thoughts on “Lies Our Kitchen Contractor Told Us

    • Like submit a counter-invoice? That idea made me grin in a very sassy, do I make my point? kind of way. I do appreciate a good turn of the tables, but of course won’t actually do it. I just want them to be done and gone. I just can’t believe they don’t want us done and gone first.


  1. Howdy Wendy!

    I’m surprised that this post has been up for over twelve hours and hasn’t just gone absolutely viral. It was our bathroom, but don’t get me started about the contractor. Suffice it to say, we made back some of our investment when we sold his equipment that he never came to pick up. It spent a year in our storage space, and then we sold it.

    Still, the natural fissure and fade to black… I mean clear… are pretty good ones. Jeez, what are they thinking?

    Hope your kitchen is finished!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jack. We are close, but not quite there. One reason I insisted we not go the do-it-yourself route for its entirety was time. We both work full time, and I’m marginally (at best!) of assistance for remodeling projects. I didn’t want my husband to make this his second full time job, but here we are. . . It sounds like anyone who’s ever had to remodel has had a similarly frustrating experience–I just happened to take notes and have this (alas, non-viral) forum to share. Good on you for getting a return on your contractor’s poor memory!

      Liked by 1 person

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