I previously had a post about problems with my builder and now I may have a new one. Background: we have contracted to purchase a new 4BR, 3.5 bath home that is under construction, located in the suburbs of a medium-sized Midwestern city. We came in at a point where it is about half built - the exterior is now completed but the interior is only rough- framed out, with the electrical work and basic plumbing installed but no drywall up yet.

My wife and I want to install a Kohler Devonshire model pedestal sink in the half bath, which is $375 less expensive than the cabinet and cultured marble countertop including sink that were included in the builder's specifications for this house. He originally came back to us and denied us a credit because he claims the Devonshire is $375 more expensive than the pedestal sink he usually installs in his houses. This is utter BS as we aren't talking about his other houses but this particular one which never had a cheap pedestal sink included in the specs. If he wants to justify his price with reference to other houses, then it's equally fair for us to tell him we are paying him only the amount we paid for our current house, i.e. half.

Now that we have called the builder on this nonsense, he has changed his story altogether and is claiming that his plumber will charge him $375 more to install the pedestal sink than the cabinet sink. Right now there are a pair of water lines installed in the 1/2 bath that stand upright about 18 inches or so and there is a drain (if memory serves me correctly) but there is no drywall up and there should be no problems for a plumber to access anywhere he or she needs to reach (from either the 1/2 bath or the adjacent room) to make whatever adjustments might be necessary for installing the pedestal sink versus the cabinet one.

So, is it actually more expensive to install a pedestal sink than a cabinet one in a new construction and if so, do actual plumber's costs (labor and materials) total around $375?

In my previous post, someone mentioned that 90% of all builders are scum. I don't think we beat the odds with this one. He keeps getting more and more mad at me when I keep making points to which he has no good response about his arbitrary and ever-changing pricing and specifications. I think he's trying to gouge us everywhere he can to make up for our horrible and outrageous nerve to insist that he follow through with an upgrade that he contracted to provide that he didn't bother to price out before signing our offer to purchase, which he subsequently found out was at least $500 more than he initially thought.