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Insurance liability issue

Harold morantz

Website: http://morantzcabinets.com

Hi everyone, I installed some kitchen cabinets and missed a depth detail for an under counter washer and dryer. I am used to the Asco models which are 22Ē deep, but this job required Miele and although they are listed as undercounted models , they require 25.375Ē clearance behind doors that will conceal them and my cabinets are 24Ē deep,
This was only realized after the stone and cooktop was installed. Itís a 2500.00 Miele integrated cooktop that is flush with the countertop. I offered to pay to redo the 3/4Ē stone top and we will move the cabinets 2Ē off the wall and counter will be redone, when the countertop people tried to remove the cooktop, which was siliconed in place, they cracked it. The designer says I am responsible for the cost of the counter and the cooktop. I have a policy that covers this but itís a 5k deductible, so I am stuck with the total amount. Should the cost of the cooktop be my issue and is it normal to silicone it into the recessed cutout as it is an exact fit on all four sides? Any advice will be helpful. Thx

11/5/21       #2: Insurance liability issue ...
james e mcgrew  Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

Might not be what you want to hear and it never was for me. sometimes lessons are expensive yet are worth 100s of times over as time goes on. I learned long ago to be extremly diligent in specs, even so far as to not build anything untill i had a signoff or the appliance in sight.

mistakes happen, comes down to basically who was removing it and what their actual role was. if you hired the appliance installers then they should have known. anyone else is a crapshoot..

11/5/21       #3: Insurance liability issue ...
harold morantz

Website: http://morantzcabinets.com

i am only the cabinetmaker hired by the design/builder. the cooktop was not installed by me but the appliance company. it is a flush mount glass top set into a lazer cut rabbet in the countertop to come flush with counter. turns out it was siliconed in place which is not recommended by Wolf. It could not be removed without damaging the glass when it would need servicing. if the granite people had taken the time to call the appliance installer, this would be the appliance installers problem, but they were in a rush and tries prying the glass top loose. at least if they would have tried to push the mewtal part of the cooktop box from inside the cabinet, it might have come loose.

11/5/21       #4: Insurance liability issue ...
Mark B

Water under the bridge at this point but Id guess if they'd have blocked up under the cooktop and applied some decent pressure with shims (lifting the cooktop) and left it over night the silicone would have broken free.

Im sure at this point its going to boil down to how good a customer is this and is it worth losing them over $5k? Sadly, they are pretty well justified to say the entire scenario would not have occurred had the cabinets been correct.

Its a sucky one for sure but it seems like your at the bottom of the hill in the poop flows downhill scenario.

11/5/21       #5: Insurance liability issue ...
james e mcgrew  Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

Harold I have admired your work a long time, I know you know your stuff this is a hard call as to responsibility, sometimes the pain is lessened far sooner with acceptance

11/5/21       #6: Insurance liability issue ...
harold morantz

Thanks James. Your right of course and i beleive everything is ordained from above.
turns out the client, who i have already done three very high end apartments for in the same ocean front property does not want me to be the fallguy here, ecxept for the quartz counter portion which i was expecting anyway. i always say that id rather money was spent on physical stuff and not for sickness, etc. after 40 years in business, its just stuff:)
just turned 71 and someone is looking to buy my company with me staying on for two more years to teach them the trade, and i have noticed that i"m not as sharp as i used to be and this is the first time i messed up on an appliance spec, so after 40 years of being in this business, thats not a bad record:)

11/5/21       #7: Insurance liability issue ...
james e mcgrew  Member

Website: mcgrewwoodwork.com

I turned 65 wednesday. joined Woodweb in 1996 or so. Be nice to sell the shop. looking at a rleative who married in to take an interest

We been doing this so friggin long !

11/6/21       #8: Insurance liability issue ...

I love the honest responses lads. In Ireland you dare not claim on your insurance until you really need to, you may as well sort it out of your own pocket because they'll get it out of you in the coming years. I too am 40 yrs at the bench albeit I'm 54 y.o. None of my family are interested in taking over but I'd like to cash out eventually to get some compensation for the long hours building the business. Maybe a seperate thread needed to see other people's opinions???

11/6/21       #9: Insurance liability issue ...
Harold morantz

Website: http://morantz about nets.com

Thatís a great idea. Why not continue this one? I am sure there are plenty of guys from the boomer generation that are in the same situation.
I sold my 4 man shop in Montreal 17 years ago to relocate in Fort Lauderdale.,the move was a needed one for my wife who has several autoimmunity issues and the -30 winters were really hard on her. Neither of us are US citizens and it took awhile to get an investment visa to get into the country. Used the cash from the sale of our home,,small country home and business to do it.,bought all new machinery, an apartment on the ocean and drive down in our new minivan and restarted our lives. Kids were both married and we already had several grandchildren.
The Canadian dollar was .63 so we had a serious hit financially, but we got settled and business is thriving.
Still love running the business and going in every day, and I am in good shape but losing some of my edge for details and have to double check specs and dimensions carefully to avoid errors. I always take one of my guts with me to measure sites so I donít miss stupid stuff.
My guys also double check my optimization sheets for anything I might have missed. Have an offer now to sell to someone thst is ready to grow the company and keep me in at my present reinbusment for two years to teach the ropes. This will give me the extra funds I will need to retire in the level Iíve lived on.
Anyone else with an interesting story of the desire to retire or the success or problems you have encountered? Would love to hear about it. Harold

11/9/21       #10: Insurance liability issue ...

Nice to see a constructive , polite, thread on here with meaningful prose and thoughtful replies.

Iíve been learning a lot from all of you over the years and now have just turned 45 and you guys make me feel young !

Thanks for that.

I think that the challenge is that in this business it takes so much to understand all the details that itís quite hard for an outsider to come in and see the true value in what you have created. Mostly because what you have created has a lot to do with experience that canít be sold or passed on. You can pass on the machines but how do you bundle your most valuable asset ,experience, and sell it to the new owner ?

Thatís why a lot of shops end up on MachineryMax, several every week .

11/9/21       #11: Insurance liability issue ...
Harold morantz

Website: http://morantzcabinets.com

Quick trim, I think that to own and run any business requires attention to detail and a passion for what you want to accomplish.
In my case, it was the design and craft and the understanding of the processes that can create a product that satisfies that need and allows me to make a good living from it and excite others about my passions. It took me a long time to understand the financial aspects as I had no training in those areas.
When the frameless system of building cabinets first started to spread from Europe to America, Bob Buckley started the company True 32 to teach others about his passion for this new cabinet design and construction technique. He taught many of us and turned his cabinet shop into a learning experience for many and probably made a nice living doing so.
I sold my shop in Montreal of 4 workers and twenty four years of great clients with a steady clientele, to a young man who had just finished his rabbinic studies and wanted to buy an existing successful business. He spent a month shadowing my daily affairs with a deposit that was non refundable to see if he had the skills and desire to own a cabinet shop.
He did not know the difference between plywood and melamine , but the process intrigued him and he did buy my business, lock stock and barrel. That was 17 years ago and his trucks still carry my company name and I taught him how to successfully run a cabinet business.
With the funds, along with the sale of my home and country home, I was able to get a visa to move to Florida and havenít looked back and had to learn new skills like marketing in a new and more diverse market.
I used the expertise of a great kitchen coach to help me adapt to this new market and the consults were worth every penny.
I hope to do the same thing in the next couple of years and pass this experience on. It can be learned but does require the initial investment of time and effort, taking over an established company thst had a good reputation and growing it bigger with more youth and determination can be very rewarding both emotionally and financially . As in the case of this error on my part of not checking the specs on an appliance , itís all a matter of learning from errors and accepting the new challenges. Harold

11/10/21       #12: Insurance liability issue ...
Bruce H

I don't suppose you considered cutting a notch in the studs behind where the washer will go? Seems like recessing the washer a bit might have worked. Lots of my refrigerators are recessed into the wall cavity a couple of inches.

11/10/21       #13: Insurance liability issue ...
Harold morantz

Website: http://morantzcabinets.com

Concrete condo wall.

11/10/21       #14: Insurance liability issue ...
Bruce H

Well Harold, that makes it tough. I feel your pain though.

11/10/21       #15: Insurance liability issue ...
Harold morantz

Website: http://morantzcabinets.com

Thanks Bruce. Jobs done and chalked up to you experience. Wonít do that again😜
Itís been a dynamite year and in the end itís better than having to spend it on doctors or the IRS😜

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