Sunday, August 10, 2008

How to start a Kitchen or Bath project.

Kitchen and bathroom decisions can be the hardest in the home industry. There are many choices and they are all expensive. You are also stuck with your decision for a long time so you must choose wisely.

First Steps:
Answer these Questions
  1. Find Drawings, samples, photos of what you would like to see in your project
  2. List functional items that you would like to see.
  3. Figure out your budget.
  4. Establish a timetable for project completion.
  5. Choose general types of appliances, if possible, get product Model Numbers
  6. Determine who will do the labor involved.

Find a Designer
Your project will be expensive and you will be stuck with the results for a long time. Choose a qualified designer who is certified or working towards it to do your design and provide your cabinets and countertops. Also look for a company that has an established showroom and long history in the business, if there is a problem a few months or years down the road you will want to make sure that someone will be there to solve it.
Trust is a major factor in this line of work, generally I would stay away from lumber yards and home centers for cabinets and countertops. Their staff is usually not trained in design and they are never there after the sale is complete.

A designer will generate drawings and pricing from the information obtained. Ask many questions, review drawings and make sure that the designer understands your needs given your specific budget. Designers are not mind readers so providing the correct information is very important.
Once a design and price is accepted, cabinets will come between 2 and 10 weeks depending on the brand. Countertops are turned around in 3-4 weeks. A designer will check over your order and schedule deliveries and installs if required.

After the Sale
Cabinets and countertops can be very difficult. There are often variable that are unforeseen such as appliances not matching their specs, warped sinks, out of square walls, rotten framing etc. How these issues are dealt with is what separates the true professionals from the rest of the group. A good design center will have protocols and staff dedicated to handling any problems if they occur.