The Kitchen Zone



Get Your Kitchen or Bathroom Remodeling Off to a Good Start

(ARA) - The decision has been made. You've decided that the time has come to turn your dream kitchen or bathroom into a reality. Great! Now what?

The Beginning

Your first step should be locating and hiring a professional kitchen/bathroom designer from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). What can a professional do for you? Plenty.

A kitchen/bathroom specialist can guide you through every phase of your project -- decorating, design, construction, and plumbing and electrical systems. Specifically, kitchen/bathroom specialists are able to:

* Work with contractors, electricians and plumbers.

* Answer any questions you have about design, products and colors, as well as anticipate and prevent problems that you may not have considered.

* Create designs that reflect your individual personality through color, style and pattern selection.

NKBA provides a list of its members, including Certified Kitchen and Bathroom Designers (CKDs and CBDs) in your area who can help you with your project.

The Middle

The NKBA suggests that you prepare for your visit. Here's how:

* Collect and clip photographs of kitchens or bathrooms that appeal to you. Examining these with the designers during your visits will give them a good idea of the styles to which you are attracted.

* Evaluate your current kitchen or bathroom to find out what works and what doesn't. For example, is there enough cabinet shelf space? Is there enough counter space? Is there adequate task lighting near the countertop? In the bathroom, is the bathtub big enough? Is the showerhead at a comfortable height for all users? Is the bathroom safe? Does it include grab bars and non-slip flooring?

* Write down the answers to these questions, and bring them with you when you visit the kitchen/bathroom planner. They will play an important role in the design of your new space.

The Completion

After you choose a firm, a designer will visit your home to take precise measurements. He or she will also spend a great deal of time interviewing you to discover the exact type of style of kitchen or bathroom you desire. Then, a plan which includes material costs, specifications and the design drawing will be prepared. When the design is approved and the budget is set, a payment schedule will be arranged. NKBA member firms will usually offer a contract that outlines project responsibilities and a payment schedule.

The time frame for completion of projects will vary. Generally, kitchen and bathroom projects take two weeks to several months to complete. Although living with construction is not easy, it will all seem worth it once your new kitchen or bathroom is complete.

To obtain a list of NKBA member firms in your area and a free workbook, call (877) NKBA-PRO (652-2776).

Courtesy of ARA Content

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