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granite kitchen counter istall job installer error...what now?
Old 06-27-2015, 04:31 PM   #1
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granite kitchen counter istall job installer error...what now?

Looking for advice. Trying to make this short but details are important so please bear with me.

We have a contract with company X to fabricate/install granite kitchen counter with 60/40 undermount sink and granite bathroom vanity with 2 undermount sinks. Wasnt home when install occured. Spouse was present, but not watching every aspect of the job. Long story short: A 50/50 kitchen sink was installed (major error). Vanity piece arrrived but workers thought we were reusing our own bathroom kinks (minor error). Vanity piece went back to the shop for them to cut sink hole/mount sinks we agreed upon. We are without counter and running water in our bathroom and month long house guests arriving in 1 week. Spoke with owner. Said there was a conversation between my spouse and the templater (weeks ago, at the time of templating) that we wanted a 50/50 sink. Our contract, however, still says 60/40 which is what we told the business person in the office and still what is on the contract today. Owner agrees that our contract says 60/40 but does mention the conversation between templater and spouse about a 50/50. He wants to resolve this in a manner that will guarantee to make us happy. His options include:

1. tear existing slab out, redo with 60/40 sink, using new granite from some slabs found in a distant city from us. When asked if this would be at no additional charge to us he said that would need to be discussed.

2. Keep the installed current slab and without removing it refabricate the cut out for a 60/40 sink. (sounded like end result would not have standard edge over the sink and would need extra granite piece added at divider of 60/40.)

3. Keep existing 50/50 sink and be given $$ reduction on the total cost of agreed upon amount.

4. Option we will ask about: tear out existing sink and replace with one basin sink that EXACTLY fits current sink hole.....not retro needed and following all standards as if that was what we ordered in the first place. Also wanting some reduction in total price.
.
Total for kitchen and vanity pieces with sinks $9,198.00 (We paid $4,000 day of templating and have not paid any else thus far). We are currently without counter and water to the bathroom and experiencing a fair amount of stress over the faux pas in general especially the kitchen sink error.

Owner, spouse and I will get together to discuss options. We want to be armed with info. I know he will ask what we think is a fair amount of $$ compensation. He does not know yet what our preferences are but we are leaning toward option 4 (if possible) and option 3 as a back up. Granite install is new to us and I dont know what info I should be armed with to make this go our way. I feel it is 100% their error, as we chose the 60/40 sink at their business site AFTER the templater had done his templating AND, most importantly, our contract says 60/40. A spendy error on their part, but they followed poor business practice to "supposedly" take a verbal request and not change the contract to reflect this.

What $$ amount do you think we should ask for as compensation for option 3 and option 4?

Appreciate any productive comments/opinions/advice
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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I had granite counters installed last year and only paid $2500 for a decent sized kitchen, so I assume you got some nice stuff for that 9 grand.

Personally, I'd stick with the 50/50 sink and ask for a 10% refund. I can envision things getting even more messed up as things are taken apart and moved and re-cut.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:44 PM   #3
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Was there a 50/50 discussion? Without knowing that I would say $500 * % chance that the 50/50 discussion did not occur.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:45 PM   #4
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Did your spouse have that conversation?
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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Is there a 60/40 sink that will fit the 50/50 cutout? IOW, the overall length and width are the same but the divider is offset rather than in the middle. If so, that might be a more elegant solution. If so, then I think the vendor should absorb the cost of the replacement sink and you should get a 5-10% discount for the hassle you have had to go through depending on whether the 50/50 conversation actually happened or not.



versus



We had a similar, but less noticeable, snafu with out Corian countertop. The countertop has a built-in drain board. There were different styles of drainboard available and we specified one at the store and changed it when the templater was on-site and the paperwork indicated the one specified when the templater was on-site but the other one was cut into the countertop. It would have been a big deal to change it (replace the entire countertop and it would have blown our timeline) so we decided to live with it and accepted a discount for the error.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:20 PM   #6
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Personally, I'd stick with the 50/50 sink and ask for a 10% refund. I can envision things getting even more messed up as things are taken apart and moved and re-cut.
Ditto. Is the 60/40 sink already paid for? If so, the contractor could cover a replacement sink to fit the cut.
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:40 PM   #7
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Whatever you do, I would never go with an option that involves inserting an extra granite piece. Every butt-up of stone is a stress area that eventually can chip and become more obvious; plus it's more vulnerable to fracture/breakage.

Remember not to let guests, etc. lean on the countertops, as they may be used to doing with Corian/Formica/Wood countertops. Your cabinets probably were not built with the stress of stone's weight in mind. They can support the stone slabs, and the usual component of dishes, pots, appliances, etc. but not extra added weight/stress from people.

GOod luck!

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Old 06-27-2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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My experience is nothing in home construction is done very well today. My last granite counter tops were not cut where the hole for the sink was off over an inch. The installer had a heck of a time getting it in the cabinet. It fit, but just barely. The sink was not aligned exactly under the window like it was supposed to be. The hole for the stove top was off about a half inch which is a lot when that portion was bumped out three inches, making the one side less than an inch and the other about an inch and a half. After all was said and done, I don't think anyone but me ever noticed the errors.

On my install there was no way they could get the sink back out from under the counter without destroying the cabinet. It was cut for two different sizes with a stainless steel divider down the middle. On yours, I would accept the two sinks the same size, fearing much more problems if they try to change it. If they will give you a rebate, all the better.

If your DW did indeed tell the pattern guy to make it a 50/50 sink, why would you make such a fuss? Isn't your word and your DWs word worth anything?
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granite kitchen counter istall job installer error...what now?
Old 06-27-2015, 09:07 PM   #9
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granite kitchen counter istall job installer error...what now?

1. See if you can get this amount nailed down. Could be a guide for your discount.
2. Don't do this
3. I'm thinking he should have about a 20% mark up and you want to try and get all of it but you probably wont get much more - maybe 2k at the most.
4. Could be a good compromise-10%...

Can't imagine that any granite fabricator would change a spec that is in the contract without documentation. You may want to try and get the water running before having to make a decision. You could "test" keeping the current sink and not be as pressured.

Good luck.


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Old 06-27-2015, 11:12 PM   #10
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Greatly appreciate all the comments and opinions. To answer some questions:

Sinks are part of the total.

High price due largely to expensive slabs and the need for two bookmarked slabs as there is a lot of movement in this particular granite (agata granite). We actually had a lot left over.

My DH did not ask for a 50/50 sink. Templater and DH talked about various sinks. DH may have said he liked the 50/50 but conversation also included that we were undecided.

We did install the kitchen faucet and are using the 50/50 for now. The bathroom is without water as we destroyed the old counter and sinks in prep for granite vanity install.....a separate (minor) snafu with the bathroom but does add to our stress as house guests will be arriving soon.

Thanks again for thinking this thru with me. I would appreciate opinions on $$$ amount compensation for both option 3 and 4.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:01 AM   #11
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I don't know about what the compensation should be, but we've had a single-basin sink for a little over two years and we love it.

We rarely wash, then rinse a bunch of dishes because we have the dishwasher for that. And when we don't feeling like doing the dishes until morning, we can put them in the deep, wide sink and they disappear.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:13 AM   #12
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This is a rough situation for everyone involved. It seems like everybody will have to be willing to give a little to resolve or attempt to resolve at least. If the contract says a 60/40 sink and you didn't get it you have the right to get what is on the contract. I have the feeling that there was a communication misinterpretation about the change of sinks. I doubt the contractor would just arbitrarily give you whatever sink he thought you should have. Hopefully the templater isn't in jeopardy of losing his job over a miscommunication.


From the contractor point of view he just wants this thing to go away and will be willing to compensate you a reasonable amount. I would not go into this conversation thinking that he has the 20% mark up that was stated above. He likely does have a 20% mark up but it is built in to cover his 19% over head expenses. Can you imagine what his workers comp insurance must cost? I am betting it is relatively high due to the fact that his employees are dealing with heavy slabs of granite, wet working conditions, huge saws, dust etc. not to mention the expense of some of the machines that reach into the several hundred thousands of dollars. The point is because he charged you $9000.00 don't expect a $4500.00 discount.


I have a fifth option for you... Is there another area of your house you were thinking of possibly doing granite? You would probably get your best value if you were to have him do another top somewhere else either for free or highly discounted. He would probably appreciate this option as well. I understand you may not want him to do another job because of previous problems but most likely he will be on his toes from now on.


I know it seems like it to you right now but try to remember in the grand scheme of things this really isn't that big of a deal. Will it really be that much of an inconvenience for your guest to use one of your other bathrooms? they will understand that things happen. I don't know how much sleep I would lose over a kitchen sink that is slightly different than I wanted originally.


Good luck to you and let us know the outcome.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:07 AM   #13
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I'd go with option 1 and make them pay for everything


If they didn't have the time to do it right the first time they need to make time to do it right the second time


I hate dealing with contractors
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:51 AM   #14
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Contracts can be made in writing or verbally, and presumably a written one could be amended verbally, unless the contract specifically precludes verbal changes. Now if you never gave any such indication to the templater, I would disagree with the contractors accusation that a verbal change was requested and tell him if its not in the contract, its not part of the deal. Then demand your single sink and some $ offset.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:55 AM   #15
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Contracts can be made in writing or verbally, and presumably a written one could be amended verbally, unless the contract specifically precludes verbal changes. Now if you never gave any such indication to the templater, I would disagree with the contractors accusation that a verbal change was requested and tell him if its not in the contract, its not part of the deal. Then demand your single sink and some $ offset.
According to all the TV court shows you can only amend a written contract with something written... verbal will not fly (unless of course both parties agree, but then why would you be in court?)....
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:57 AM   #16
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Just my thought on compensation....

There is no way he will pay compensation that would cost him more than fixing the problem...

IOW, if a new slab and his cost of labor is $3,000... that is max damage... he would be stupid to pay more...
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:16 PM   #17
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According to all the TV court shows you can only amend a written contract with something written... verbal will not fly (unless of course both parties agree, but then why would you be in court?)....
You've been watching too much TV. I am not an attorney, but do not believe that is necessarily true, unless the contract has a clause like an Entire Agreement clause which states something to the effect that this written agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties regardless of any oral agreements to the contrary and can only be amended by a writing signed by both parties. Verbal agreements can carry just as much weight as a written contract in the eyes of the law, although much more prone to dispute.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:23 PM   #18
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According to all the TV court shows you can only amend a written contract with something written... verbal will not fly (unless of course both parties agree, but then why would you be in court?)....
I guess if the OP wants to have this linger on forever then that would be the right course and would teach the contractor a lesson.

OTOH, discretion is the better part of valor.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:39 PM   #19
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My DH did not ask for a 50/50 sink. Templater and DH talked about various sinks. DH may have said he liked the 50/50 but conversation also included that we were undecided.
Why would there even be a discussion about 50/50 and being "undecided" if 60/40 was what you wanted all along? DH "may have said...", is a very unconvincing way to describe the key conversation, particularly since the original post didn't even indicate what really happened. At what point was the "undecided" part of the discussion? This would fit what's been described so far:

Templator: "What kind of sink to you want?"
DH: "I'm undecided."
Templator: "How about this cool 50/50?"
DH: "I like that."

As a disinterested observer I'd say both parties are to blame for the miscommunication. Ask for the single sink for free and take what he counters with as a good compromise and move on with life.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:57 PM   #20
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Why would there even be a discussion about 50/50 and being "undecided" if 60/40 was what you wanted all along? DH "may have said...", is a very unconvincing way to describe the key conversation, particularly since the original post didn't even indicate what really happened. At what point was the "undecided" part of the discussion? This would fit what's been described so far:

Templator: "What kind of sink to you want?"
DH: "I'm undecided."
Templator: "How about this cool 50/50?"
DH: "I like that."

As a disinterested observer I'd say both parties are to blame for the miscommunication. Ask for the single sink for free and take what he counters with as a good compromise and move on with life.
Well, both parties are may be to blame for miscommunication but if the contract and job specs said 60/40 it's up to the contractor to either resolve that difference before proceeding or bring it to your attention.

We have a single deep, and as the house dishwasher and kitchen cleaner, I think it's the best thing ever. Much easier to clean the big pots and pans. A grill on the bottom protects the finish - maybe the contractor will throw one in at no charge.
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