Thursday, December 16, 2010

What does AKBD, CKD, CBD and CMKBD mean ? How do designers achieves these accreditations?

This is a topic that recent for me, as of December I passed my CKD. This has been a goal I have wanted to achieve for some time, but something always got it the way. This time things fell into place so here I am with new insight on this subject. So what do these letters mean? And who gives out these accreditations?

     Let's start who. National Kitchen and Bath Association. NKBA for short. Here is a link to their home page that gives more information about the organization.

    Ok, so what do this accreditation's mean? Here is a breakdown.

  1. AKBD - Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer
    • 2 years experience or combination of experience and formal education
    • 30 Hours of NKBA professional develop classes or same amount of college course work
    • 2 professional affidavits
    • Pass the written exam
  2. CKD/CBD - Certified Kitchen or Bath Designer
    • 7 years experience or combination or experience and formal education
    • 60 Hours of NKBA professional develop classes or same amount of college course work
    • 2 client references
    • 2 professional affidavits
    • Pass the 6 hour drawing exam for either kitchen or bath
    • Pass the written AKBD exam
  3. CMKBD - Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer
    • 17 years experience in the Kitchen and bath industry
    • Must hold CKD or CBD for min. of 7 years
    • 100 Hours of NKBA professional develop classes or same amount of college course work
    • 3 samples of 3rd party endorsements-
      • Published material
      • Interviews
      • Community endeavors
      • Contest placement
    So these letters tell people the designer has experience and education in their field.  What does this mean in terms of helping you hire a designer?  Well, from my point of view it should give the designer credibility in the industry. As for the client I would think it would be a starting place to helping you find the right designer. The NKBA website has a list of these professionals for people to find in their area.
As one of these professionals we are current on technologies, products that are the latest and greatest.  We can save time and money by understanding the needs and wants of clients, and guide clients to the right products and design to help achieve the goals for the spaces. We can avoid costly mistakes. Look for a design professional that meets your needs. It is about relationships. Our industry is very challenging due to it is constantly changing. There are so much information and product choices these days. It can be very difficult to navigate every aspect of the project.

    Sincerely Yours
        Angie Keyes CKD

Monday, December 6, 2010

What should the design process be?

Well, they’re many different answers to this question. This is the method I use.
  • First meeting is getting to know you, taking measurements and pictures.
  • At this meeting I like to talk about what your thoughts are on the space you want to renovate
    • This includes your style, tastes, ideas 
    • Your issues with the space, storage, traffic flow, function
    • What type of appliances, and cooking if kitchen, if a bath a tub/shower options
    • Do you have a budget in mind
    • The time frame you want this done on.
After this first meeting, I do a sketch of what I think will happen in the space based on the first interview. I then put a budget together. If the client wants to move forward I take a retainer. This varies depending on the scope of work needed from me.

Not all designers work this way. But this way seems to work well for me.  I know several designers work on hourly bases. I will do this as well again depends on what services are required.

Hiring a designer can be the best decision you'll make on a remodeling or new construction project. We have the latest and greatest of information available on products and design. A certified designer has been through the education, testing and must have many years experience. We can save time and money with helping make the right decisions.

My goal is to guide the client in making decisions based on the designs and budge they want to invest. You need to be able to talk to your designer you hire and trust the abilities.

The next step after hiring your designer is to finalize the details of the design. This includes:
  • Colors, Style, layout of space
  • Cabinetry- door style, type of cabinetry
  • Plumbing & lighting fixtures if required
  • Counter top materials
  • Flooring - tile, wood, other if required
  • Hardware, accessories

Sincerely Yours
     Angie Keyes CKD

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What are the costs associated with the design process?

The next question I get asked is the cost? Again that varies with the type of place you are shopping at. People want to know how these companies work and what this entails, they want to know the cost associated with doing business with any of these companies.

Some of these companies charge for the design, like a retainer or hourly. Retail places it's in the sale price of the materials or labor depending on who you go to. The construction companies and Remodelers work differently than the showroom, retail place, Independent Designer or Architect.  They have different ways of charging. Usually the scope of work is what will determine the type of company you choose; sometimes you might use a few of these people on your project. Example an Architect, and a Contractor, you might need both people, A Kitchen designer works with Architects, Contractors and the Homeowner. Contractors have many ways to charge, due to the fact they supply a wide variety of materials. They can do a lump sum, a percentage of the whole project, or time and materials. The range of costs depends on the area you live in as well. The Architect can charge by the hour or lump sum, this is the same for most Kitchen/Bath Designers that are Independent.

You won't usually find the exact cost of these people online. Due to the rates vary for each region. But there are several magazines I think do a good job of giving reason expectations. Qualified  Remodeler is one magazine that puts of number each year on what projects run and it shows, the return on investment % so you can gage is the project is worth it. Here is a Link to the most current issue.

Cost Vs. Value Report 2010–2011Sagging home prices, tight credit, and consumer indecision trumped lower construction costs, sending the cost-to-value ratio to its lowest level in a decade. Small replacement projects still rank high on value, but there are signs that full-scale remodeling is poised to make a comeback.

Another magazine that has recently been doing a comparison between a custom project and a basic project is Kitchen and Bath Ideas. It's not perfect but again it gives realistic costs to items involved in a kitchen. They recently have added bathrooms. They list the products and costs for each item. They show a room that needs a remodel, then do 2 designs based on the low- end budget to mid- high end budget. They show the 2 designs with illustrations and the list the products used. I think this one of the best ways to see if your numbers you are getting from people are realistic based on what you have selected. Products and scope both can change these numbers quickly so keep in mind to compare apples to apples.

Well I hope this helps to sort out the differences between the different types of companies available to you for your projects.

Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes AKBD

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What is the design process?


    This is a question I get all the time. It varies depending on the type of Design Company your working with. Some companies do design only, some sell materials only, then there is the design build type companies that handle all aspects of the project.   Ok let's name the type of companies that you might search out.
  • A design firm
  • A cabinet/ appliance showroom
  • A plumbing/cabinet showroom
  • A cabinet/flooring showroom
  • A construction company
  • A remodeling company
  • A independent designer
  • An Architect firm
Now what is the difference? And how to do you decide which one you should go with? Who you choose depends on the project you are doing. But how do you decide? This is another marketing question I would like feedback on. First I would be curious what you think is the difference. Please post an opinion. Then I will layout what the differences between them are in another post.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How do you hire a Kitchen/Bath Designer?

Ok, this is my first blog. A friend of mind told me I needed to go into business for myself. But the marketing aspect of this seemed daunting. My friend recommended I go direct to the people who are actually buying to get my answers. So I decided to start a blog to see what people are thinking.  Anyone who has done a project that wants to share their thoughts with me would be appreciated. Anyone who is thinking about doing a project is also welcome to give information. So here is my list of questions.
  • How do you decide who to hire when you do a kitchen, bath or any remodeling project?
  • Do you look on online or the phone book?
  • Do look at the services or the product choices?
  • Do you care if they have a showroom or are an independent?
  • Do you know what the letters mean behind some one's name or do you even care?
  • What kind of services are looking for?
  • Would you pay an hourly fee or a lump sum for the design work?
  • Would you like project management services?
  • What do you think the process should be to work with designer?
Well, I think this is most of the questions I'm curious about.
Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes AKBD