Granite Countertop Installs

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Dunbar Plumbing, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. I've set faucets for 2 granite tops in the last 7 days...

    Both of them have to be ripped out now.

    Has not a thing to do with me *plumber* and it has everything to do with shoddy workmanship with the granite installers.


    1. One company fought with me tooth and nail to get the Air Gap hole drilled. He made a statement that "we never put those in". That statement angered me so much I now have full use of their name and address, going to spend time once or twice a week following their trucks to their job sites and making sure the "powers that be" make sure they have a licensed plumber installing the plumbing back.....and permits with the city. < See, that's what happens when you tick the plumber off.

    2. The granite installers above have to remove all of the granite tops and replace them; overhangs are wrong....when they drilled the four holes for the faucet and Air Gap they didn't gauge the Moen faucet. The lever handle assembly and spout are full at the bases....the sprayer isn't and they should of been gauged when drilling the holes; working off centers doesn't look right. They had everything there to make that adjustment. They also ovalled the holes, the spout opening wasn't grounded flush at the bottom of top. The Air Gap hole way too wide.

    3. Installers on the granite countertop yesterday cut the opening for the sink right there in the house, dust absolutely everywhere, customers pissed. The guy who cut the opening overcut and used black epoxy filler thinking he could pass it off as O-tay. Not O-tay for $4000. Customer called the company, put me on the phone and told him that it would never pass if it was a lighter colored granite. He should of used a diamond drum roller around those corners to make that turn.

    In total above there is $8000 worth of granite with none of it being able to be saved, junk. Granted there might be a couple pieces that weren't made into one piece that will work but the main ones involving the sink have to be ripped out.

    Ever remember the theory of measure twice and cut once? Apparently these guys don't understand that when people pay 10 times the price of formica, you better get it right. Otherwise you be paying the plumber twice, eating your product and still deal with an unhappy customer that

    1. Will never use you again
    2. Give you a truthful, unsatisfactory report on Angie's List
    3. Tell others of what frustration you caused
    4. Leave you with no profit margin, actually dipping into the negative most times.

    Both of these companies both wanted to pass the buck to the customer until I got involved and told them the facts. Puts me in the authority position which the customer is surprised by my willingness to do.

    The only reason I figure I do it is to protect my customer...give them a chance to get what they paid for to begin with. Indirectly it makes me money with their screwups but I hope that my training protects me along the way when I decide to hire service providers.

    I'll keep my derogatory comments about these granite installers to myself.
  2. student1

    student1 New Member

    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Sad but not surprising. The poor homeowner is getting ripped off every day. This one had the benefit of your knowledge. But how many don't even know they've been had?

    Some 30 years ago, when aluminum siding was the "in thing," I witnessed a laborer setting up scafolding for siding installation drive a 3-1/2 nail trough a 2"x10" then right into the beautiful clear cedar window sill. When I asked what he was doing, he said "I do that all the time. Plastic wood will hide the hole."

    The sad part is that this sort of thing happens with all the trades. Unfortunately, even some plumbers don't take pride in their work. I can't remember how many times I've seen them notch a whole series of studs half way through... and more. Thank God the kitchen cabinets held the wall together.

    IMHO, whatever the trade, profession or calling, street-sweeper or Mother Theresa, some people find reward and satisfaction in the the work they do. Alas, others, burn burgers one day, botch up counter tops the next, then move on wondering why they are never satisfied.

    Keep the spirit
    Cheers
  3. Update.......even worse than before

    Unbelievably the second granite countertop install once again has to be removed. It will be the third time this company will have to come back.

    It was the owner's son who screwed up the first one,

    The owner was with the son when the son screwed up the second one.

    They are up in Batavia Ohio, no point of giving out a name because they'll
    be out of business I'm sure if this is the rule of thumb they play by.



    The owner's son used a diamond blade hole saw, they even mentioned it was dull. All of the holes you can tell walked away from their original spot, none of the holes line up with the undermount sink holes...leaving huge pock marks instead of a flat even surface for the holddown nuts to secure.

    Well, with him pushing so hard on that granite in such a narrow strip caused the granite to spider crack in 5 different spots.....ultimately causing the front to crack as well.


    The homeowners have spent their entire vacation working around this nonsense without a kitchen sink now for 10 days and now it has to have ceramic tile wall removed in order to get it out to replace.

    I told the homeowner this time to ask for his $4000 back in total, don't even chance them screwing up 3 times in a row and in return not wamblast them in PR, AL or BBB.

    Something really REALLY wrong with that whole situation....and to top it off, I convinced these homeowners to join Angie's List, he joined, picked the top granite installer and this is what he gets?

    The good thing is.......I found those cracks today........even though the homeowners had all weekend to check it out.

    If I wouldn't of found those cracks and installed the new faucet and RO faucet back,

    I would of been the one to blame for the cracks.......how would I prove otherwise? The granite guys would of said the plumber overtightened the faucet causing the cracks. Then I would of been hung out to dry. Thank goodness I found those cracks.

    I refused to install the plumbing back........no way until the granite guys come out to confirm what they probably already knew when they ****** up again. They just tried to pass it off as nothing.
  4. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Sounds about like the granite job I recently plumbed. The holes were too big and were crooked too... Looked like his hole saw slipped forward and cut a curved & ovaled hole. It took me an extra couple of hours to fix their screw up ... I asked the guy to send me some business or to help with the installs since they're so busy (and so cheap!) and he acted like he had no interest in my help or sharing with me... after I saved his butt by covering up his mistakes! Next time I'll let the customer fuss at them. Those holes were cut about 1/4 to 3/8" bigger than needed... He told me that 1 1/2 were standard,. That very nice brass spout in the bath is actually sitting down inside the hole which I filled a little gap with plumbing putty... amazingly the cutomer thought it looked fine and let it go! I was totally flabergasted.
  5. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    You are a good man, RUGGED. God bless ya, bro.......
  6. Thanks. Ya know,

    The look on the homeowner's face.....was one of rage when he realized what I said about the cracks. Twice and this time he has the granite top locked down with a tile backsplash 14" tall.

    The stare on his face looked like he belonged behind jail bars and he was creeping me out. I could only imagine how angry he was.

    I didn't hear from him like he said I would........

    I'm thinking the granite guys are Missing In Action :eek:
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've got another theory why he didn't get back to you but...

    A granite counter top can be cracked by tightening the faucets in/onto it? I didn't know that or think it possible as long as the top and bottom surfaces were flat. I've put in a lot of RO and drinking water filters and never thought, I know, dumbass me huh! that I could have cracked the customer's counter! That compression would crack granite....
  8. Don't worry Gary

    We got it handled.

    Update:

    Customer called me today......said the granite guys were going to come out.......they didn't show nor call.

    So here's what I told the homeowner to do:

    Send a letter of intent by certified mail to the company regarding the situation
    Hire 3 reputable granite installers to get written estimates on damaged piece
    Determine the cost of replacement of granite section including sink that was damaged
    Create chronological timeline of events, pictures, estimates
    Record costs incurred regarding stop payments on checks, plumber's charges
    Contact BBB, AL, seek legal advice/representation

    The customer already cancelled his last check with them....at this point he's going to get 3 estimates to time stamp the actual damage since they won't come out to examine the problem themselves (Reasonable Man Theory Applied) and then have me install the faucet/RO system as best I can until the new granite installer can come out and replace the granite.

    What he's paid so far......3 of the 4 pieces of granite are satisfactory and he is content that what he has spent is equal. He cancelled final payment which was half the agreed cost.....so the homeowner does have leverage at this point to get what he should of had to begin with; a granite top with no cracks/epoxy and follows industry standard.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  9. Follow-up

    Customer called tonight stating they have left two phone calls and none have been returned.

    They contacted legal representation and was advised to have contractors come back out and remove ALL granite in the kitchen.

    First estimator came and gave the asessment; spot on to my thoughts that it is not good workmanship.

    The guy also stated that to just come in and replace that section at the sink would be too expensive and advised removing all of it and starting from the beginning.

    This is not an unruly customer; the granite is shattered where the holes were drilled and we all know what happens years down the road, no one wants to pay for anything.

    I believe he's protecting himself in the fashion he should.......at the beginning.
  10. harleysilo

    harleysilo New Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Georgia
    Wow, terrbile for the customer!

    I recently had Quartz countertops installed, they did a perfect job! I was so happy when they left. It was through Lowe's, and I had meant to call the installer company to complement them on their work, never did. Maybe I should...
  11. casman

    casman New Member

    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    New York
    I had problems with mine to. First they come out just to cap an Island which incidently I got for free cause my sister remodeled her kitchen and they delivered 2 Islands. She told the delivery guy and he said well, it was on the truck and I'm not taking it back. Anyway, they made a template and still cut it 20 inches short anyway. It was supposed to be cut for barstools. Then they offered to throw in the Island top for free if I finished the rest of the counter tops. This of course meant my wife needed a new sink which for some reason weighed like 300 lbs and new faucet which together cost me 900 bucks. They measured for the counter tops, created templates and yup, cut them short again, then the owner of the company comes out, tells me his installers are idiots, he says he's doing it himself, makes the templates, comes back for the install and it's short again, about a foot, he looks at me and says "Did you change out these cabinets, I said are you serious? I did get a hefty discount and thanked my sister for the "free" Island.
  12. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I hate going back to customers who pick at my work and try to brow beat my prices or complain about my prices. Usually, when they call me back for more service I won't even go to listen to another barrage of garbage. You have no idea how much compliments and even small gratuities make us little guys feel. I recently did a $1300 job and the guy tipped me $50 then called to tell me how much he appreciated me doing the job. He can get anything out of me now and I'll always go the extra distance for him.
  13. Update wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

    Heard from the customer again, gave the contractor an ultimatum that the judge joe brown was a comin to see them if they didn't communicate to resolve the issue.



    After numerous lawyers with all resounding knowledge....I find out that the homeowner didn't have a contract. Well the lawyers basically said you have nothing at that point and do whatever you can to resolve the matter amicably.

    They came out yesterday @ 5pm, worked till 9 and completed the job this time correctly. They brought out the 3 best installers, no boss's son this time and no cracks. The backsplash wasn't damaged in the process and they reused the black composite undermount sink.

    I'm hoping this is the last time I have to deal with this situation, I'm going there tomorrow to finally install the faucet/air gap/RO system/new drain system/garbage disposal.

    After this whole experience, I'm either going to avoid these granite installs or start baselining a set starter fee.......like $100 plus my hourly wage to deal with this nonsense.

    I'll take pictures of the finished product and post them on this thread. Long overdue and it better look good when it's done. :mad:
  14. Pewterpower

    Pewterpower New Member

    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Tampa
    How could there not have been a contract?

  15. I have not a clue. Couldn't believe this homeowner divulged that to me 2 days ago. He said the company "does everything on a handshake." :confused: :confused:



    Sounds like greased palms to me to keep the lawyer bug away......ya think?
  16. Finally

    [​IMG]



    5 hours < ran into problems (of course) and when the homeowner insisted on helping, well, 2 leaks were found and everything under that sink had to come out to tighten them.

    He's happy, I'm happy it's over with. The granite was installed error free this time with the exception of the holes on the underside of the sink are not a level surface for the supports to hold down.

    The contractors gave the homeowner another $500 deduction for all the anguish that was created. The owner's son was not allowed to return.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v70/DUNBAR/12607003.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  17. Racer814

    Racer814 New Member

    Messages:
    124
    Good work brother.:)

    smart man not to install the faucets untill it was right
    yes, they would have tried to blame you

    you would think they would take more time and do it right when dealing with something so expensive. I mean, it's not that hard.....nothing like some of the shower configurations we have to plumb and have all the bodysprays,etc. line up perfectly......very few people take any sort of pride in their work anymore...sad comment on our society
  18. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I wouldn't want it or pay the premium price for it but...

    It looks marvelous!!

    I'm really sorry, I give ya a C- for the RO install, and it may be lower if I could see the whole thing. Did you anchor it to the wall?
  19. I'll take any passing grede

    cince I majoord D pus's all tthrew skool.


    I got a good grade by the customer though, good enough to get a free George Foreman grill new in the box along with payment for installing the faucet and RO back.

    He went ahead and cut a round hole through the bottom of the sink and dropped the tank to the floor of the kitchen since the new sinks were 4" deeper.

    The homeowner hung that RO system back on the wall of the cabinet lower and with no space under the 3 canisters; that is going to be very difficult for him to change those filters like that. It is also going to stress those connections of all of those plastic tubes going to and fro from that unit.

    I kinda wish he would of built a shelf down in his basement, sturdy enough to support the tank and mount the canisters to the wall. He'd get his much needed storage space back under the sink and would eliminate the chances of a leak with disturbing all those push-fit fittings.

    I got a new trade secret about Air Gaps and how to make those work on granite installs without searching endlessly for long shank ones. If you ask, I will tell.
  20. markts30

    markts30 Commercial Plumber

    Messages:
    630
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    OK - I'll bite...
    What did you figure out?
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