We provided a set of kitchen cabinet plans to a custom builder. The custom builder came to the house in May to remeasure and create shop / assembly drawings. July 21st we received photos of the cabinets being built in his shop. July 30th we receive an email (we were traveling) that he has to meet our GC at our home because his wall measurements showed a discrepancy with the original plans. He proposes that we extend our wall to "make it look right". We are confused and ask that it wait until our return. We come home to learn that the original plans had an incorrect wall length. Despite his remeasuring, the cabinet maker did not raise a flag/concern but went ahead and built wall cabinet to the original length. Now that the already built cabinet needs to be modified and the cabinet builder insists that we pay all costs. How should we proceed? Thank you.
3 Answers from Attorneys
We have recently disputed a situation similar to yours for our client. The ideal solution is to try to work it out with the cabinet maker. For an attorney to give you guidance as to how to proceed will require a review of your contract and correspondence with the cabinet maker.
It appears from the information provided that if he measured and created drawings he would be responsible for the error. I would like to review the contract if there is one. In the State of NJ a home improvement contractor is required to enter into a contract for any job in excess of $500.00 and he or she must be licensed. It is possible that I can represent you and negotiate a cost effective solution short of litigation. You may call my office to discuss. Best regards, Keith A. Singer, Esq. 732-749-3700
Your intuition is probably correct here. If the error is the contractor's, he must bear the cost of correcting the problem. However, your description said that you provided the plans for the cabinets. So, I would like to see the plans, drawings, and the contract before giving you any firm advice on the matter. I handle matters of this type. If I can be of further help to you, call or email.
See also: http://info.corbettlaw.net/lawguru.htm