Our kitchen was contracted to be installed in January 2018 and as of October 2018 is incomplete. We had removed our old kitchen by end of December 2017 in preparation for the install and to provide V6B Design with a clean empty canvas to work from. We had told Earl Lawson, the owner of V6B Design our plans to do this in October 2017 and had kept him informed of our progress (which he also witnessed for himself when visiting our condo). We have been without a kitchen for 10 months now.
The cost of our kitchen is $66,000 (without countertop and backsplash). V6B Design required a 50% deposit (according to some advice sites this is a red a flag – when a contractor asks for more than 30% you should look for someone else so we have been told)
Our kitchen style is modern/contemporary. We selected a simple slab door design and specifically wanted a high gloss polyurethane finish (similar to the finish of paint on a car).
On viewing the V6B Design showroom we selected Irpinia Kitchens to custom manufacture our kitchen. We paid a premium for this.
Project Management: Our Assessment: Extremely poor
The owner of V6B Design did not manage our kitchen renovation project properly from the start. The ball was dropped. In January 2018 when the owner told us that nothing had been ordered and that the plans were not finalized. We asked for our money back. We were willing to pay for the work done on the plans to date. The owner did not agree that that was the right thing to do and refused our request and wanted to push ahead. Continuing to work with V6B Design has proven to be our biggest regret. In hindsight, the contract was already breached. A business with integrity would have decided that they were obviously too busy to handle our kitchen project to give it the attention it needed. We could have amicably decided to end the contract. We would have simply gone on our way with a different company.
Before confirming an install date we had specifically asked V6B Design what would be the best time to have the kitchen installed. We didn’t want to select a time when the installers were too busy, we wanted a time when the installers would be available. January 2018 was selected because we were told by V6B Design that it was a quiet time and V6B Design would have Installers available. We were also told that the installation of the kitchen would take a week. (It’s been 106 days and counting). We were also told that we wouldn’t have to store any material on site as there was little room to do so in our condo , and items would be brought over from the V6B Design storeroom and installed as needed. However all material was unceremoniously dumped in our condo in June 2018.
Drawing plans and process: Our Assessment: Extremely Poor
Red Flag: We had to push to get plans from V6B Design. After a meeting on site to discuss what we wanted where in the kitchen and measurements were taken we had to push V6B Design to provide any plans. Each version of the plan when the plan got changed by V6B Design were not provided to us.
The final plans were not discussed in person with us before the owner of V6B Design submitted them to Irpina. Plans were provide to Irpinia middle of January 2018 to order the kitchen but were provided to us the clients via email in February 2018. There was no time to review before they were submitted, no effort made by V6B Design to discuss the final plans and explain any discrepancies or the nuances of the plans drawn. One of the reasons we are renovating is to create more storage starting from entry way of our condo leading up to the kitchen area. We found out after the cabinetry had been delivered that our requirement for storage in the manner we wanted was not adhered to. The owner of V6B Design turned what was meant to be storage into a front hall closet. If the plans were discussed before being hurriedly submitted we would have had an opportunity to make clarifications. The owner of V6B Design seems to think it is acceptable practice to not “dot ‘I’ (s) and cross ‘t’ (s) to ensure that the customer fully understand the plans before putting an order through.
Time Management: Extremely poor.
Contract was signed in October 2017 for an installation date of January 2018. The owner of V6B Design knowing that high gloss polyurethane doors takes a certain amount of time to manufacture– (we were initially told prior to signing contract that it would take 6-9 weeks but later were told it takes 10-12 weeks) did not manage the project timeline to finalize the plans and submit them to Irpinia for manufacturing in order to meet the January installation date.
Delivery Service and Treatment of Material: Our Assessment : Poor
The cabinet boxes, doors, panels arrived damaged – scratched, dented, marked up. The owner of V6B Design stated that this is “industry standard”.
Installers: Our Assessment: Poor
V6B Designs contracts third party installers. There were issues with the first installer hired. The second set of installers employed were not professional kitchen cabinet installers. Many mistakes were made. For example – cut out for ceiling finishing panel cut at wrong depth. The other problem was that the installers had limited English speaking skills and where often mis-relaying information to and from the owner of V6B Design.
We had made Earl Lawson, owner of V6B Design and their junior designer aware when we first saw them in their show room that we had an eye for detail. We could see in that in some of their display kitchens that the gaps between drawers and cupboard were not even and told both the junior designer and the owner that we could see those problems in their showroom and we were assured that we would not have any issues with quality if we selected V6B Design.
When we emailed photos of the concerns we were seeing when the installation started the owner of V6B Design said that he would not read or take into consideration any of our concerns.
We have wasted hundreds of hours writing emails to document communication as we cannot trust the owner to do what he is says he will.
Customer Service: POOR
With the exception of the employed Junior Designer, V6B Design’s Customer Service can be divided into prior to contract signing and payment of 50% deposit and post contract signing and payment of 50% deposit. Prior – V6B Design seems pleasant, cordial, helpful, understanding of customer needs and willing to provide the quality a customer is looking for. Post –.
When the installation first started in June 2018 the owner went on a fishing trip. There were problems with the quality of the cabinetry, how the installer was behaving and the damage that was being done to the cabinetry being installed and the owner of V6B Design was not available. On returning from his fishing trip the owner made no effort to inspect the site. We had to force him to visit. When he did visit he told us that he didn’t care about the damage done or the poor quality material we had received because he said it was “industry standard” for damaged, scratched, dented boxes to be installed when after install you couldn’t see the damage. No understanding from V6B Design that when a customer pays for new material the EXPECTATION is that the material is provided undamaged and is treated with care. The lack of care in the treatment of the material emphasized to us the total lack of customer service.
The owner of V6B Design did not make a follow up visit to our home to check on the progress of the work being done when a second set of installers were sent to continue with the installation.
The owner of V6B Design got into a yelling match with us on three occasions in our home simply because we were not accepting the excuses he was telling us about why things were not installed properly.
Earl Lawson, the owner of V6B Design threw the word “aesthetics” at us countless times when we tried to voice our concerns and get him to understand our issues about the quality of the material and the installation of our kitchen. By doing so he was telling us that as the customer we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the internal mechanics (foundation) of the kitchen and should only focus on what can be seen on the outside, what is “shiny and new”.
“Many people worry about the aesthetics of their kitchen and they forget about the things that cannot be seen. These are the bones of the kitchen and are more important than aesthetics.”
No matter how “pretty” you make the kitchen look on the outside if the foundation is poor as it is in our case, the kitchen will not last the test of time. Perhaps that is what V6B Design and Irpinia are counting on so that in less than 5 years one has to re-do their kitchen?
Essentially in our experience we found that the tactic employed by V6B Design is “Let’s not fix problems when noted by the customer. Let’s see how much we can get away with first. Let’s see if the customer actually notices after the kitchen is installed. Let’s fight the customer and not provide the quality of kitchen we say can do on our website. Let’s just tell the customer that they get no better or worse than what’s in our showroom regardless of what we claim on our website. Let’s not believe the customer when the customer states that the kitchen that has been installed in their home is worse than that in the V6B Design showroom”.
Our kitchen started with mistakes and problems. V6B Design chose not to address these mistakes and problems at the time they occurred. When you start a project with mistakes and problems and the kitchen company refuses to fix or deal with any of the problems at the time- problems snowball and become worse over the course of the time of the project. There is no coming back from that.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review. The purpose of writing this review is to give honest feedback and help people think things through. Deciding which kitchen company to use is difficult. This is our second kitchen renovation – the first and last one with V6B Design. What we didn’t learn from our last experience we have definitely learned this time round.