Defective Kitchen Cabinets

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Feb 19, 2020
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After a long wait, in 2015, we were finally able to have our new home built. Shortly after moving in, we began to notice that the face of one of the kitchen cabinets was beginning to fall off. Being upset that our brand new upgraded Kraftmaid/Masco Cabinets were already falling apart, I contacted the builder, which directed me to the manufacturer. They acknowledged the problem and then offered to send a new cabinet. In that sense, they refused to pay for any installation costs as they said it was not covered by the warranty. Although I was upset, I did not strongly protest as it was only one cabinet. Moving forward, more than half of all the cabinets have structurally failed in the same manner, due to a manufacturing defect, causing the faces to fall off. The repair cost for re-installing the proposed replacement cabinets is likely to exceed $1000, which the company refuses to play any part in. In following the advice posted in the first post section, I had began contacting the company up through the company executives. I did receive a second response and they sent a company representative, to view and confirm the issue, however they still refuse to play any part in the installation of the replacement cabinets. If this was not a systematic manufacturing defect, I would understand that logic, however this issue is exclusively caused by their flawed process and I feel that they should play some part in remediating the situation. Is there any suggestions as to how to proceed, or am I essentially left with only civil recourse?
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Unfortunately, the builder doesn't directly support many of the aspects of our home, as they were contracted out. Essentially this leaves the homeowner to negotiate with each of the contractors/companies if something goes wrong. In this case, since this was a manufacturing defect by Masco/Craftmaid and not an installation error, our Builder Schumacher Homes will not participate or facilitate a resolution and directs us to contact the manufacturer.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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What does the Masco warranty for your cabinets say? It may well exclude labor costs. If it were me, I would probably replace all of he cabinets (or at least the "faces" as you call them) in order to fix the damages. I would present the bill to Masco. They will likely not pay if the warranty excludes labor. You can take Masco to small claims court, but you may be unsuccessful there. However, following this path, you will at least have decent cabinets in your kitchen. I would also involve the builder, and, indeed, if you go to small claims court, include the builder as well so that Masco and the builder can point fingers at each other.

I sued Masco once over a plumbing issue in a bathroom we had remodeled. The problem had been resolved but at some cost to me for additional labor. I sued the plumbing supply house as well. The night before trial, the plumbing supply house called and paid in full. Your result may vary.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I agree with my colleagues, absolutely. Unless you told the builder that you wanted these particular cabinets, this is the builder's problem, not yours. You paid for a fully-functioning kitchen. Both the builder and the manufacturer are responsible to you. They cannot just stand there with folded arms and deny responsibility for your defective cabinets. Follow SoCal's advice and force these people to step up and do their jobs.

On the other hand, if you can get new ones installed for less than $1K you might want to do that and save yourself the aggravation. Entirely up to you and your capacity for endless discussions, denials and broken promises.
 
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Teri Bergin

Moderator
Staff Member
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Mar 12, 2016
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It doesn't matter to you whether your builder installed the cabinets or made the cabinets. The builder had a contract with you to provide a functional kitchen and he needs to make sure you have a functional kitchen. He can request reimbursement from the cabinet manufacturer, but the buck stops with him and he needs to make this right. (Oh and I worked in cabinetry/construction for 20 years, so I do know that I'm saying.)
 
Jun 27, 2017
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Would Schumacher Homes still be responsible for faulty kitchen cabinets five years after installation? Despite the faulty cabinetry, there's almost normal wear they may be a factor? If the OP's neighbors have the same issue, it may be possible to go to Schumacher Homes together and seek some sort of replacement with KraftMaid. But it may be doubtful the Schumacher and KraftMaid would agree to new cabinets and installation for no charge. FYI: Any type of warranty Masco/Kraftmaid issued in 2015 may no longer be applicable. Masco sold KraftMaid to ACProducts in November 2019.
 
Feb 19, 2020
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Schumacher homes makes every buyer sign an arbitration agreement and will only provide support for one year after occupation, aside from major structural or mechanical. To initiate the agreement would cost $1900. It seems that small claims court would be my only option. I will contact Schumacher one last time, however they are terrible, I'm sure they've got their own thread on here somewhere. The $1000 is an estimate of installation, the actual cost of the cabinets is several thousand dollars.
 
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