Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can be overwhelming for any homeowner. Many choose to bring in a specialized professional to make accurate measurements, suggest proper materials and design a functional, safe and cost-efficient space that specifically reflects the homeowner's taste and lifestyle. If you go that route, do your research. Meet with several designers or dealers in your area and trade ideas and suggestions. Make sure they're qualified for your needs, and ask to see past projects or a portfolio. Here are seven things to look for in a professional:
- Clean, neat showrooms. Showrooms serve as a way for designers and dealers to showcase their work. When a showroom is messy, missing elements of displays or not completed professionally, it might be a warning signal to look elsewhere.
- Interesting designs. Look for a professional who designs outside the box. This is a major investment, and you don't want to settle for the status quo.
- Well-constructed presentations. Craftsmanship is just as important as innovative designs. If your kitchen or bathroom isn't built well, you'll feel cheated.
- Broad range of styles. You'll want a professional who can create more than one look. If all the products or designs have a similar look, you won't be able to personalize your space.
- Friendly, helpful staff. A kitchen or bath remodel could take months to complete. You’ll be in close contact with these professionals during this time, and you want it to be an enjoyable experience.
- Satisfied client references. If a designer is unable to provide you with a list of satisfied clients, it may be an indication that you won’t be satisfied, either.
- Membership in the National Kitchen & Bath Association. NKBA members specialize in kitchens and bathrooms, and you’ll benefit from this focused expertise.
How do you know if a designer is qualified for your project? Many NKBA professionals are certified kitchen or bath designers. All NKBA certification programs require extensive professional experience and education. If you prefer a certified kitchen or bathroom designer, following is a list of designer designations you can look for:
- AKBD: associate kitchen and bath designer
- CKD: certified kitchen designer
- CBD: certified bathroom designer
- CMKBD: certified master kitchen and bath designer
Reprinted with permission from NKBA