Is there a fee and can I expect the designer to come to my home for the initial consultation?
There is no fee for our initial meeting as it is natural to want to meet and clarify the needs of your unique surroundings with a professional before making a commitment. When you decide that Design For Keeps is for you, we move forward with a Design Services Agreement.
How much can I expect to pay for a concept design for my kitchen or bath?
Typically, the smaller the space, the less time needed to formulate a comprehensive concept plan. More moving parts equals more design time. On average, I devote 10-20 hours of design time to a smaller, less complex space and 20-30 hours for a larger space. The interview process is designed to identify your wants and needs, enabling design to move as quickly as possible. So, too, does the ability to be decisive. The Design Services Agreement requires a $500 payment plus an hourly fee of $85.
Does Design For Keeps accept credit card payments?
In order to keep overhead expenses to a minimum, Design For Keeps does not accept credit card payments. Lower expenses equals best value for your remodeling or building project.
Why are designers, engineers and architects reluctant to bid a job?
As a professional, I strive for client satisfaction first and foremost. But, if I were to bid against other contractors, it would be like comparing apples to oranges. Is it the same design layout, same quality and quantity of material, same infrastructure being improved, and so on? Better to ask if your project is about getting the best price or best solution to your problem.
Which areas of Chicagoland do you service?
Most of my consultations take place in and around DuPage County as travel to more far-flung areas, unfortunately, becomes impracticable. However, depending on the circumstances, exceptions can be made, so let’s talk.
Does Design For Keeps do design only?
Yes, under the Design Services Agreement, a conceptual floor plan and color palette will be developed in keeping with your wants and needs. However, this does not include a shopping list of materials as I cannot be responsible for the fit and function of materials sourced by others.
What is a concept design?
Concept design drawings are CAD-based perspective and overhead drawings of the re-envisioned space with overall room dimensions. These line drawings reflect the wants and needs of you, the homeowner, as discussed. Specific materials, dimensions and working drawings, however, are not included as they are subject to verification by persons ultimately performing the specification, purchasing and installation of materials.
What is an architectural or working drawing?
Working or construction drawings include the floor plan, elevation and detail drawings required by the contractor to build or remodel your space. These documents are highly detailed and include all dimensions. Should you choose to purchase cabinetry and/or all other finish materials through Design For Keeps under the Implementation Services Agreement, working drawings will be produced.
When will I receive drawings?
Concept drawings are available upon final payment under the Design Services Agreement. Architectural or working drawings become available to you upon completion of the Implementation Services Agreement and subsequent execution of the Purchase Agreement for All Finish Materials.
How is a certified kitchen and bath designer (CKD, CBD) qualified?
The premiere hallmark for kitchen and bath professionals, certification through the National Kitchen and Bath Association (“NKBA”) trade association is based on written examinations and industry experience. The designer must document a minimum of seven years industry experience, complete 60 NKBA Education hours and pass a comprehensive academic and practical exam for each certification. This combination of experience and education ensures high skills in design, space planning and product selection as well as extensive knowledge of ventilation, plumbing and safety requirements. See more info at http://nkba.org/
How are questions related to the structural integrity of my home handled?
Where an issue of structural soundness is involved, an architect or structural engineer will be consulted to evaluate construction options and to ensure the best outcome for your project.
How do I know if a designer is a good fit?
Does he or she listen more than not; ask questions to determine your objectives; keep timely appointments; answer emails & phone calls; in other words, actively build a relationship with you? Can they provide references and portfolio to view? Are they certified members of the design community? Judged well by their peers, won awards or appeared in print? All of these positive indicators point to someone you’d be comfortable working with on a project important to you and yours.
Once I have received my final concept drawing, can I source my own materials?
Some homeowners with prior remodeling experience do choose to initiate and complete their own project based on a concept drawing. Those homeowners are then responsible for calculating quantities, placing orders, accepting deliveries, and supervising installation of all finish materials.
What is my cost for materials when ordered through Design For Keeps?
Like many designers, a cost-plus pricing model for materials is utilized. This allows for materials at a reasonable price point while covering the administrative costs of purchasing, double-checking, tracking, and invoicing same. Naturally, Design For Keeps is not responsible for the suitability, delivery, fit or function of any material purchased independently by homeowner.
How do I know which cabinets are right for me?
Cabinets vary as to production method – stock cabinets are mass-produced, semi-custom are stock cabinets that can be altered slightly, and custom cabinets are made to order – and, in general, are priced accordingly. All three types of cabinets are available in framed vs. full access construction. With framed cabinets you have the option of hinge style: standard overly, full overlay and flush inset; full access cabinetry is always full overlay. The price point will reflect the combination of production method , quality of cabinet box materials, hinge & door styling, as well as final finish material. It is important to remember your goal when selecting your cabinetry. Questions like: How long do you intend to be in your home? Does the cabinetry fit your lifestyle? Are you looking for a furniture finished look? will determine which cabinets are right for you.
What kind of warranty is provided for the products being installed in my home?
All products including, but not limited to, cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, tile, countertops, light fixtures, etc., are sold “as is” and are warranted by the various manufacturers. No warranty is extended beyond that of the manufacturer for normal and reasonable use. With the installation, typically, contractors’ warranties extend for one year after completion of the project.
Do I need to apply for a Building Permit for my project?
Each municipality has regulations that relate to building permits and most can be found online. It is the homeowner or taxpayer’s responsibility to seek a permit(s) per local code when changes are being made to structural and mechanical systems in your home, all of which is based on life safety codes designed to keep you safe from harm. If Design For Keeps is hired to install your project, we will assist you in your application for permit(s) as desired.
Will I need to have a dumpster in my yard?
Oftentimes, a complete demolition is advisable. In fact, even preferred, as so much of the space is impacted when you consider there will likely be new electrical, plumbing and hvac locations with your remodel. The amount of material removed has surprised many homeowners. By allowing for a dumpster, the crew can work as efficiently as possible and allow for the removal of all refuse.
What can I expect during my remodel?
A typical bath or kitchen project will take 6-9 weeks to complete and involves short intervals during which water and/or electricity are unavailable. There is a natural order of events to any remodel and there will be days when no one is working at your jobsite. This is normal and part of the overall work timeframe. Construction fatigue tends to set in after week three, be prepared – you are not immune! Planning ahead and knowing that the inconvenience will result in a beautiful new space helps to alleviate that stress.
TO THE TRADE
Do you work with interior designers or architects?
Yes, I am happy to review and provide an estimate for your kitchen or bath cabinetry needs. The homeowner would then execute a Design Services Agreement and subsequent Purchase Agreement for cabinetry contingent upon how much design services need be completed by Design For Keeps.