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Please help me work out what to say to builders about unused kitchen cabinets!

(28 Posts)
runningLou Sat 13-Aug-16 21:29:50

Background: builders changed timetable for work on our new kitchen extension and started earlier than planned - fine with me other than we had been told to go away on holiday while they were knocking through external wall, but ended up being away when they were fitting the kitchen (holiday ruined as I was so anxious about what they might be doing!)
Got back Weds evening and called in (we're staying at my Mum's at the moment), kitchen was looking great, seemed to be progressing well. All cabinets in by Friday and builder told us to come by over at the weekend to hoover out cabinets and fit shelves.
Did this today, and noticed a stack of panels in same colour as kitchen had been set aside. Looking closer I saw there were 3 replacement end panels and a support panel, which should have been used in the kitchen design, had not been used. Cabinets are all built now, and worktop fitted, so am guessing it's too late to fit them?
Am not massively bothered about this, as cabinets look fine as they are, and missing panels (should have been on either side of dishwasher and oven) are not essential.
What annoys me is that when they were doing the kitchen, they unpacked absolutely everything and put all boxes in the skip before starting so assemble, so I can't return the blooming things and get a refund!
I did a bit of skip diving when I was there, and retrieved a couple of battered boxes, but it's rained a lot here since Weds and the boxes are in a real state. With the 4 panels that would have been about £150 ... we're doing the kitchen on a budget and that's quite a big deal.
So, what do I say to builders? Overall am really pleased with what they've done, and they're not quite finished yet either - tiling and other bits still to do. Want to maintain a good working relationship but not happy that (a) kitchen design was ignored and not all panels were used and (b) I can't return unused panels. Am bad with confrontation but this has made me so CROSS!

runningLou Sat 13-Aug-16 21:30:59

Sorry that was so long! Am suffering from an overdose of kitchen anxiety and needed to vent.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Sat 13-Aug-16 21:32:56

I'd want end panels on otherwis doesn't stuff fall out of the cupboards and in the minuscule gaps between cabinet and appliance? Or is that just the quality of work In whoever fitted our kitchen before we moved in.

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Aug-16 21:35:35

So what's next to the dishwasher and oven?

runningLou Sat 13-Aug-16 21:36:18

There are panels on the sides of the cabinets next to the appliances, but just the basic white ones which come with the cabinets - the colour-matched replacement panels, which swap in to match the rest of the kitchen, haven't been used.

GipsyDanger Sat 13-Aug-16 21:36:35

those type of panels are more for aesthetics or getting the spacing/look right.... Not 100% 'essential' so they take them back for a refund. The only other reason is that the sizing of the kitchen/walls was slightly off and he didn't have the room to fit them

RandomMess Sat 13-Aug-16 21:37:23

Could it have been that there wasn't actually the space to fit them?

You may have to resort to selling them on ebay if they are unpackaged sad

GipsyDanger Sat 13-Aug-16 21:38:00

Oh sorry, just seen that they've left the panels with you, you are correct, can only return unfitted in packaging

runningLou Sat 13-Aug-16 21:38:12

That's fine if he didn't have the space to fit them - but I can't get a refund, the packaging has all been binned.

SavoyCabbage Sat 13-Aug-16 21:39:00

Presumably they did fit panels but not the coloured ones. They probably didn't fit them as as they went along, building the kitchen, they would have assumed that you hadn't ordered coloured end panels as, like you say, they aren't essential as you can't see them. Unless they were involved in the ordering of the kitchen.

If there are no panels at all then you need to insist that they are fitted.

SavoyCabbage Sat 13-Aug-16 21:41:02

Sorry, I totally missed the boat there with my slow typing!

runningLou Sat 13-Aug-16 21:43:54

They probably didn't fit them as as they went along, building the kitchen, they would have assumed that you hadn't ordered coloured end panels

Fair enough, but they had got absolutely everything out of the packaging before starting to build, so they should have seen what was there, surely?
If they'd built one cabinet at a time, only unpacking what's needed, then the panels would still be packaged and I could return them.

Believeitornot Sun 14-Aug-16 08:04:10

Well they've done it that way because it's probably a bit easier for them.

I'm not sure why you ordered the panels in the first place?

I'd just write it off as a mistake.

CodyKing Sun 14-Aug-16 08:08:26

We don't have end panels by our oven and the heat is warping the doors and the top it is coming away from the door - you really need them by the oven for spacing - same with a hot dish washer

runningLou Sun 14-Aug-16 08:43:47

I ordered them as they were part of the agreed kitchen design. I know they're only aesthetic details really, so I'm not too fussed they've been left out and the standard sides used instead - it's the fact I can neither use nor return them that's bugging me ...

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Sun 14-Aug-16 08:49:01

Could you do something with the spare panels to make it feel less of a waste? Are they strong enough to be cut to make shelves eg in utility room?

ScoopyDoo Sun 14-Aug-16 10:18:59

I'd ask them to fit the coloured panels you ordered. It's a pretty basic mistake! It's not actually that much work to put right.

MimsyPimsy Sun 14-Aug-16 10:36:31

What Scoopy says! And if there's a problem, ask them for the refund...

runningLou Sun 14-Aug-16 11:22:12

Is it really not much work to change them? I thought it would involve taking the worktop off and deconstructing the cabinets?
If it really is easy, I'll ask them.

Lunar1 Sun 14-Aug-16 11:27:09

I'd let it go, I wouldn't risk more problems now. Just for your sanity as much as anything!

PigletJohn Sun 14-Aug-16 12:14:11

end panels are not usually used to build the cabinets. They are attached to exposed ends of ready-made cabinets as ornaments.

For example if you have a kitchen with white cabinets and oak doors (the worst case) you would not want any white to be visible, so you put the décor panels on the ends.

They are especially useful on wall cabinets at each side of the cooker.

They are likely to be thicker than the material used for the cabinets, and to have a better trim or veneer on all the edges. They will not have holes for hinges.

They can be useful for making matching shelves on the wall.

You might be able to sell them in ebay, or keep them in case you change the layout in future. Don't let the builders take or skip them.

runningLou Sun 14-Aug-16 14:13:08

It's replacement end panels that are spare, the ones that replace a cabinet side and are colour-matched.
They should have gone on the cupboards either side of the dishwasher. To fit them, I'm guessing it would mean pulling out those cabinets and changing the sides. Is that a bog job, now the worktop is on?

Lunar1 Sun 14-Aug-16 14:16:11

The work top would have to come off.

PigletJohn Sun 14-Aug-16 14:23:32

have these panels got hinge-holes in? Were the units self-assembly or rigid?

Kitchen units can be removed without taking off the worktop.

You screw down the telescopic legs so they are no longer pressing against the worktop (support ends) after removing any fixing screws, and pull the units out.

It will be more tiresome if the floor was laid after the units fitted.

runningLou Sun 14-Aug-16 14:35:34

The panels have hinge and shelf holes, and the units were self-assembly.
Taking them out does sound possible, but it's made more complicated by the fact that the plug point for the dishwasher is screwed to the inside of one of the existing cabinet walls.
The floor hasn't been laid yet, and no plinth fitted.

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