Design Kitchen & Bath Cabinetry
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Response to Global News aired February 27th, 2023
CK Design Kitchen Bath response to Global News segment “Complaints and Concerns,” aired February 27th, 2023.
Because four CK Design clients allowed a video journalist to enter their homes and each client had publicly expressed concerns and claims regarding their cabinetry, we are prepared to and will explicitly inform the public the details, address the mistakes that we made, the lessons we learned, and most importantly describe the detailed actions that we have taken to help move these projects along to completion or termination.
First clients, The Couple.
I got a commercial cabinet supplier to build this project as a rush. I had the cabinets built to commercial standards, ¾” hard rock maple with 1mm vinyl edge tape that perfectly matched the lacquer painted maple shaker colors chosen. I had these cabinets built and installed by March 2022. Keep in mind that I did not charge the clients for this upgrade, and threw in a few extra cabinets as well to be used elsewhere.
The client took on the responsibility to subcontract the quartz countertops on their own. So when you see the video clip, there is no quartz countertop on the island. From me to you, the quartz countertop had a double 12”+ overhang on the left of the island. So yes, in our opinion (including the commercial cabinet manufacturer, my installers, staff, and suppliers) we all professionally agree that a large downward force broke the bottoms of two cabinets under the double overhang corner. It is a fulcrum effect along with the large amount of weight/down ward force that crushed the ¾” cabinet boxes.
Being professional about this concern, I did my due diligence and asked for opinions and offered solutions to correct the issue directly back to the clients, as we take issues of really serious. None of my resources have heard of such an event happening ever in our industry, according to our varying experiences. To no answer did the customers give us direction. Instead just pointed fingers at us and complain.
I was hoping that these clients would show their quartz countertop overhang and the damage to the cabinets so the public could assess the damage. Also, what happened to your fridge, range that both fit? You didn’t say that you appliances fit as they should. Where is the adjustable shelves? I gave you everything and you emptied the kitchen cabinets. Where is the spice pullout? Common guys, you are playing this video a little too hard to your benefit.
Learning lesson #1: Quartz weighs approximately 20-25 lbs per square foot. The kitchen island is roughly 6 x 3. So with a modest 12” overhang this equates to 19 square feet (380 to 475 lbs) of weight overhanging on the cabinets. If that was us managing the quartz, I would have installed 2-3 steel bars (3” wide x 12” long x ¼” thick) to help support the quartz/cabinets. And of course, this client did not have any quartz supports, I know that because I saw that island myself. Just so everyone knows, once we reach 12” or more overhang, we install flat steel supports, this is our standard of what we do at CK Design. But like I said, the client subcontracted/managed the quartz on his own and wouldn’t take any offerings I suggested.
A laughing comment was made about addressing multiple harassment's with us at CK Design Kitchen Bath Cabinetry. Twice did I send these clients harassment letters, noting the details of the incidents and why it is flat out wrong and unacceptable to all of us. My staff has the right to a safe workplace, free from harassment from anyone, especially my wife who runs the showroom. And when my wife gets yelled at in our showroom, when I am out on jobsites with my guys, I take this seriously and defend. That did happen. When my men won’t go back into their home and refuse to work with these clients, I have to take this seriously. That did also happen. And so I am clear, yes these clients crossed the lines twice with us and I put my foot down to stop the serious threats and harassment.
Learning lesson #2: CK Design Kitchen Bath Cabinetry has a zero tolerance for harassment, threats and violence.
COVID restrictions, supply chain, labor shortages and yes our painter did get in a serious head on vehicle accident (lucky to be alive). After his accident, I didn’t push him and let him heal a bit, and work as he could, with respect to his health.
Learning Lesson #3: I take everyone’s health and safety seriously, whether it is job related or not.
I tried everything to work with these clients, and there is much more I could say about the experience with this job. I am definitely not one to quit on anyone, but I felt that I had no choice with this couple. I knew that once the client purposely poured honey/soy sauce in the bottom of the dovetail drawers just to prove to me that they were lacquer clear coated to their satisfaction, (and I resprayed the dovetails twice) I knew I was dealing with a unique and challenging couple.
Client #2: Young Man.
My previous designer both designed and signed the contract August 26th, 2022 with this client. So, by my calculation the complete delivery for this kitchen should have been around the mid to end of November 2022. Quite honestly, my former designer did not do his job and did not order everything for the client. Right now the client needs: Kitchen Island painted, and a few more dovetails, and a fridge upper cabinet. All remaining items are onsite and ready for install.
This client as failed to acknowledge that he has more items such as the beautiful solid fir floating shelves and all the thermofoil doors/panels stacked up (off screen) somewhere in his house.
Learning Lesson#4: Cabinet designers have the responsibility to design AND manage their jobs with my company. And not to just drop the client and pass it on to me. This is clearly stated all of my employee contracts as a vital job responsibility. Management of their jobs is essential to the timing and success of each project. I, owner of CK Design, have since taken over the job, have been in continuous contact with the client, and will obtain the missing items until completion. This project will be completed in a short amount of time.
Client #3: Lady #1
My previous designer and the client signed August 19th, 2023. Immediately upon my first impression of this project, my staff and I completely re-configured, replaced, and modified the design of the kitchen. My staff and I as well as the client had to figure out a functional configuration that makes sense for her kitchen layout and her needs. We have a revised agreement and we are prepared to work with her until her satisfaction and have been in constant contact with her ever since I took over this job.
With a good conscious, we would never let any of our customers’ live with a layout that doesn’t make sense, is unsafe, and not functional.
I am in possession of her knotty alder doors (in process of being stained), her official stain, which the designer did not even work with her last year to confirm the stain color. (We have a process of stain match approval with our clients before going ahead with staining), and all of this was all not done until I took over the job.
Again, missing some dovetails and panels. I have most of everything else. But with this job, the designer just didn’t do anything productive or conductive, and it was ordered partially. We have been giving lady #1 much of our attention (and rightfully so) and will continue until completion and that she is happy.
Update this last week: we are ready to template, and we spent a whole day template this countertop. The template alone as I have been told is a “work of art.” Stay tuned. If the client allows me to take photos, we want to share with everyone because we are pushing the limits of laminate countertops design/fabrication with this job.
Client #4: The so called “Contractor”.
Contract agreement on October 27th, 2022. Original installation agreement was to be first week of December, an agreement made by my previous designer. I went on holidays out of the country in December and came back to an angry client, and rightfully so. He wanted to terminate and get a refund back for no communication and no products delivered/installed by the agreed timeline that was originally promised by my previous designer.
I, owner of CK Design, made a direct agreement with this client to provide cabinet boxes only in 2 weeks, and painted doors/panels another 2-3 weeks thereafter. I met the timelines and honored to my agreement to the day. His wife came to our showroom on January 27th to pick out lacquer color, door style, and handle selection. Friday February 18th was the last time we communicated. He interviewed what I suspect was February 21st, and his doors were ready for install on the 21st, as I said they would. That is why I have been trying to contact him Tuesday and everyday this past week. He has not been answering my calls, but obviously noticed that I called. He did mention this on tv. This client never expressed any concerns that last time we spoke about quality and he went ahead with quartz installation, which is usually indicative that the cabinets are straight, level, and installed to his satisfaction, especially being a so called “contractor.”
His bold claim that the cabinets we provided were poor quality with chipped out drill holes, it is too bad that we couldn’t see that because it is a false statement, as far as I can see. These cabinets, as all of our cabinets are professionally machined and assembled. The video of the cabinets show very well. Even his Lazy Susan has food stuff items in it, so he using the kitchen and telling you otherwise that it is poor. I tried looking for peeled edge tape, scratches, chip outs, uneven cabinets, whatever that would normally constitute “poor quality” on my large tv screen at home, while I watched his segment of the interview. This is flat out a false and unsubstantiated claim.
What makes him an expert on cabinets? We made them level, sized appropriate for that small kitchen and to the satisfaction that the quartz was installed. His lazy Susan is a REVASHELF, and the slides are BLUM. Some of the most recognized brand names in the industry.
Overall synopsis of all of these claims and issues, and how I have implemented changes (already in action):
A designer who doesn’t do their job provides the client a bad experience, insufficient timelines, and incomplete jobs, and unnecessary stress to the client. A great designer not only designs a wonderful kitchen but also keeps in constant contact with the client, inspires, develops a working relationship with the client that leads the client from concept to installation, while keeping the client informed about all aspects of the job, every step of the way. We constantly revise our procedures, looking to achieve more pleasurable experience for all levels of clients (commercial, retail, residential custom, builder) that we work with. This is who we strive to become.
With all of our clients, every issue or concern are all taken seriously, and yes we have made changes in the last few months to prevent these from every happening again due to this experience with this one former employee and supply chain issues that we had faced this past year. We are owning to the mistakes/neglect/misunderstanding of yesterday and working hard on improving for tomorrow.
We have zero tolerance harassment and safety policy with everyone. That is my commitment to my staff, my wife, and clients. I implemented a policy to file a complaint with the RCMP if things really get out of control. That is how much stress some people take their projects. We are all more productive if we all remain professional.
We currently have a 3 tier accuracy check for all of our designs BEFORE they go out to production, to prevent inaccurate and wrongly sized cabinets being made. Our process is simple. Step 1, the designer measures and designs with 20/20. Step 2: CNC software double check with mark out. Third, our manufacturer has an assigned designer to us whom we can discuss elements and challenges of the job, as a professional resource to provide answers to complex custom cabinetry. We have the resources to offer many challenging cabinetry options. So there is endless design and professional support back to us.
Our cabinet manufacturer will provide complete cabinetry, doors, drawers and boxes all in one go. This will speed up installation and minimize service completion.This is who we are right now.
Bottom line is, that we have had everything and anything go wrong the past few years, from transportation to supply chain issues. We draw from many experiences, both positive and negative, yet we always manage to get the jobs done. That is our commitment to you. We are committed to providing high quality cabinetry that is functional, good looking and of high quality. This is who we are.