Oh no! Home Depot’s design countertops don’t fit my kitchen

kitchen, refrigerator, fridge, counter, tops, stainless, appliance

John Osman’s custom countertops from Home Depot don’t fit his kitchen. The company won’t fix it. What now?

Question: I need help with a countertop installation disaster. There’s been a complete disconnect between Home Depot’s design plan and its subcontractor, Precision Countertops.

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The countertop for my sink side was made incorrectly. There was supposed to be a 12-inch overhang. The new countertops didn’t fit. I’ve contacted both Home Depot and Precision Countertops about the mistake, but neither company will fix it. Can you help? — John Osman, Seattle

Answer: Home Depot ought to stand behind its workmanship, even if it’s performed by a subcontractor. Indeed, the company promises to “provide the highest level of service” which certainly suggests it will ensure your countertops fit. It also pledges to offer “excellent customer service” and to do the “right thing.”

Are you sure you were shopping at Home Depot? That doesn’t sound like Home Depot at all.

You forwarded the emails between you, Home Depot and Precision Countertops. The subcontractor insists he didn’t make a mistake, noting that his employee is “very detailed and meticulous.” A representative added, “Overhangs are not decided upon without confirmation with the client and a series of sign offs and illustrations that display the agreed to countertop layout.”

In other words, you had to agree to the changes.

Precision Countertops agreed to redo the counters at a discounted price.

So that left the ball in Home Depot’s court. The correspondence suggest it wanted Precision Countertops to handle this but was unwilling to take responsibility, even though you commissioned the work through Home Depot.

Here’s the thing to remember: Behind the scenes, there’s a financial relationship between Precision Countertops and Home Depot. I’m not privy to the details, but the company is probably paying a referral fee or flat fee to do business from the Home Depot location. So there’s some accountability, and it’s probably enshrined in a contract. The two companies can play “pass the buck” as much as they want to, but at some point, the buck must stop.

As far as you’re concerned, you were doing business with Home Depot — and that’s who should shoulder the responsibility. A brief, polite, appeal to one of the Home Depot executive contacts might have helped.

I contacted Home Depot on your behalf and after some back and forth, it agreed to cover the replacement of your countertops.

10 thoughts on “Oh no! Home Depot’s design countertops don’t fit my kitchen

  1. We just finished a kitchen renovation. Our designer made me initial every page of the design ddrawings, and I looked carefully at them. (Even with that, there was a bit of confusion and a surprise over which faucet we got for our kitchen sink.) Both sides have the right and obligation to hold to the contract. If the contract is ambiguous, that’s another problem. But in this case, if the homeowner has a drawing from Home Depot that says “12 inch overhang” and he paid Home Depot, he has full recourse to hold Home Depot to that contract.

  2. I would never again contract through a large retailer this way. We did it through Lowes and the initial contractor sent a couple of meth addicts to install flooring. A complete mess where Lowes refunded the entire installation fee when it was all over. You never know who they are going to send to you. They tried 3 different contractors to finish the floors until one was capable.

    1. Even the local guy can be a disaster! I had a dishwasher installed by a local appliance store. The kid they sent to do the install threw away half the parts to the dishwasher (including the drip detection tray), installed it out of level, installed it too deep (should be flush with the front of the cabinets), and broke a door hinge/counterweight. What’s worse is when I told him about all his errors he got pissed off at me. Apparently I’m unreasonable wanting a competent installation.

      I know get referrals from friends and family before I hire anyone to do things.

      1. Look at BNI groups in your area with the position you want – since they are accountable to their group, if they are lousy, they get bounced — so if they are still members, they are doing something right. 🙂

    2. Only three contractors? Home Depot went one better than that with four attempts to get my living room carpeting right, and even that wasn’t quite enough.

      For the first trip, the installers had someone else’s measurements and cutting instructions. The second trip, when they unrolled the carpet in the driveway it was clear that the dye used on the carpet was defective. For the third trip, Home Depot promised that they’d open the new roll of carpet at the store and check it before they sent it out with the installers. When it arrived here still sealed in plastic I knew that hadn’t happened. They cut it open and unrolled it on the driveway and it was another defective roll.

      Home Depot threw in the towel at this point and offered me my choice of any high grade carpeting in the store for the price I paid originally. The fourth crew got the carpeting installed OK but managed to cut themselves on the tack strips and left blood stains on my walls. And six months later I had a flooring company come out to do a machine stretch of the Home Depot carpeting when it started to show severe wrinkles. The flooring company told me that the type of carpet I had installed needed power stretching and that the stretching done by Home Depot’s contractor and his knee-powered stretching tool wasn’t enough.

  3. Home Depot did something similar to me. I paid for their measurement service ($100) to ensure that the cabinets, appliances and countertop (all purchased from Home Depot) would fit….or so I thought.

    I had my own subcontractor do the installation. He noted that the oven door handle and a drawer interfered with each other. This is something that they should have caught – since the software “knows” the dimensions of the appliances. They were unwilling to solve the problem that they created.

  4. Just making the customer ‘whole’ according to the contract is insufficient. Time & trouble. Unservicable kitchen. Breach of contract. Where’s the love in this resolution, or at least an apology?

  5. I have noticed through the years that oversight by Lowe’s and Home Depot of their people/companies they use to fulfill the jobs people need to be done; i.e. installations of whatever you purchase from them, seems to have fallen down. I never see either of them coming out to check a job, no matter what it is. And, I have to tell you that, through personal experience, some of these “contractors” are problematic; be it the quality/knowledge of people they hire or just pure allowing sloppy work to suffice.
    We pay good money and most of the time we get what we contracted for, but on a couple of occasions that did not happen and I have had to dig in my heels and fight for my rights as per the contract I signed. I have been successful, but it should not have to be that hard. Lowe’s and Home Depot just seem to push it off on the contractor and vice versa. No one wants to admit fault. But, time and effort usually pay off.

  6. My parents had almost the exact same problem with ordering countertops at home depot. They cut the overhang wrong, and refused to replace it. I definitely get my stubbornness, attention to detail, and reading everything before i sign from my mom.

    The difference was my mom had rock solid in-writing proof she was 100% right and the contractor wouldn’t fix it. She was also smart enough to flat out refuse to let them install it, and actually started to get the non-emergency police on the line when they wouldn’t remove the uninstalled pieces and remove them. She never signed for delivery.

    Long story short, it took a few weeks, but my mom persisted herself and got an executive apology from a VP and a gift card for (IIRC) $500. Amd obviously the correct countertops.

  7. Not as bad as my countertops. The stone place cut them wrong TWICE. Apparently they couldn’t read their own templates, which YES we both signed off on. First time they did a 12″ overhang on BOTH sides of the island, then the second time they cut off BOTH overhangs. It was infuriating. Finally the third time around they got it right. Delayed the finish date by a month.

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