An Arbroath couple have been left distraught after their dream kitchen turned into a nightmare.
A catalogue of disasters followed Jim and Doreen Paton’s decision to have a top of the range kitchen designed and fitted by Calibre Kitchens, Guthrie Port.
After coughing up over £10,000 in June, their dream kitchen still lies in a state of complete disrepair.
Using money left by Doreen’s late mother the couple were impressed by the displays in local kitchen showroom.
“It was out of this world, I thought to myself ‘I’ve got a good company here’,” Doreen explained.
Asked to pay 65 per cent of the total estimate up front Doreen cleared out her kitchen in advance of the work starting on September 1.
“Nobody arrived, and when I contacted the company I was told it would take another month.”
Mrs Paton put pressure on them to start immediately but the situation deteriorated.
George Parks, retired building standards inspector, architectural technician and kitchen studio manager visited the property. He said: “I have more than 40 years experience in the industry and all I can say is this is shoddy.”
For no charge Mr Park gave an independent appraisal of the kitchen and found a catalogue of poor workmanship and haphazard attempts to compile the pricey kitchen: “Put it this way, if I had put in the kitchen that the Paton’s have got, I would have been embarrassed. I could not have taken money for it.”
Asked what the main issues were Mr Parks explained: “They have not lined up the units, so the kitchen will not work. The cooker hood cannot be centred over the hob because it is out of location. The worktops will never work. They have been mismeasured. Standard base units are 600mm deep, 2ft in old money, consequently the worktops are 2ft deep. These ones are perhaps a European or continental source and are 650mm deep. Unless you bring your units forward 50mm you’re going to have an unusual overhang which is not going to allow you to open doors properly, the washing machine drawer doesn’t come out far enough to fill properly etc.
“The mason’s mitres at each end, also needed to be cut back, they are now too far in to allow any of the worktops to be used in that kitchen.
“I don’t know how someone could get it so wrong.
“As Christmas was approaching they [Calibre Kitchens] just turned up with a random double oven that she hadn’t picked. Where it came from, I don’t know. Everything seemed to be ‘you can have a loan of that in the meantime’.”
Shortly after Christmas Mr and Mrs Paton were informed by their electrician that the company had closed down and were uncontactable.
To make matters worse Mr Paton was made redundant from Halliburtons.
“I am so stressed and so upset I stopped sleeping, I stopped eating,” Doreen said. “The thing that’s getting to me is my mum died three years ago in March, 2012, I waited to last June until I felt comfortable to spend her money.
“She knew that what I wanted was a kitchen and I felt good that she would know I’m getting my kitchen now. Now I haven’t seen [my aunts] since because I am too ashamed to face them. I’m really ashamed to see them because I know how hard she saved for that money.
“If they’re doing this to me, what are they doing to some other people?” Doreen sobbed.
Jim and Doreen are keen that anyone else affected by this company or other companies owned by Andy Spence, director of Calibre Kitchens, come forward, resolute that more voices will warn others.
Despite repeated attempts to contact Andy Spence, or his employee Stuart Archer, they were not available for comment at time of print.