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Why You Shouldn't Build a Custom Kitchen Alone

by Susanne Clemenz

Think of all the kitchen components that are different from other rooms of the house:

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  1. Appliances
  2. Lighting
  3. Countertops
  4. Plumbing fixtures
  5. Cabinets (these do different tasks than bathroom cabinets)
  6. Flooring
  7. Storage
  8. Food prep areas
  9. Kitchen islands

Every day manufacturers are tweaking their products for more effectiveness, more durability, more beauty, greater safer, and more cost- or energy-efficiency. You need to know these choices for your custom kitchen. Professionals such as kitchen designers, architects, or a kitchen remodeling contractor read trade journals, attend exhibitions, and are visited by industry reps to keep up with the latest developments. With all there is to learn, it pays to have one or more of these pros on your side.

Choosing a Contractor for Your Custom Kitchen

As with hiring any contractor, there are some steps to take before choosing professionals to work on your custom kitchen:

  1. Ask for referrals from friends, neighbors, and building supply stores.
  2. Check out the professionals' ratings with the Better Business Bureau and your Registrar of Contractors.
  3. Take time to inspect each candidate's recently completed jobs.
  4. Create lists of preferred options from the above nine kitchen elements.
  5. Prioritize your lists in case the bids come in too high.
  6. Show or tell the pro your ideas, building plans, or architectural software printouts.
  7. Be sure written bids include every detail, plus a guaranteed completion date.
  8. Factor in the effectiveness and timeliness of communication made during the planning stages.
  9. Be courteous and let unsuccessful bidders know the bidding outcome.

Now, you and your pros are on your way to creating your custom kitchen dream!

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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