So if you read my previous blog entry about contractors, you already know that I’m a tad particular about who I select to work with in the contracting world and that the pool is very small. Well, the gods must have been listening! One of my favorite contractors commented to me a few weeks ago that he felt bad because I gave him so many great projects but he hadn’t been able to return the favor as of late. (Love him…) So instead, he introduced me to the contracting company that he modeled his own business upon many years ago. A very well respected, established, family- owned business with a great reputation. I called them up, asked if I could stop by and tell them a little bit about myself and when I showed up I was met by all four of the big players in the company. Gulp…
We had the BEST conversation ever. I’ll spare you the details but I found it interesting to hear about their frustrations of working with designers in their recent past. In my mind I’m already thinking “Ok…probably high maintenance divas with control issues” which is typically what I hear. (I even had a kitchen showroom owner tell me once that the most impossible designer he ever worked with wore more jewelry than a rap star and these god-awful gold shoes – thus starting the code word around the showroom about potential “gold-shoe designers”.) At any rate, what this recent contractor told me was that they’d encountered a string of designers who didn’t even prepare drawings of what they were expecting the contractors to install. (Wait for it…..) SERIOUSLY?? Another, I was told, just kind of came on to the jobs site and “waved her hands” around and told the crew to “just make it happen” when she was told that her design was not physically produce-able – or something of that nature. This is not the first time I’ve heard this comment either.
Before I realized I was actually saying it, I heard the Queen Sassafras in me say, “Didn’t produce drawings? They should just go back to calling themselves a d-e-c-o-r-a-t-o-r and be done with it already.” Remembering something about “only one chance to make a first impression” I recognized the horror of what I’d said (not knowing these guys very well), but my comment was met with laughter and a big “THANK you!!” from the owner. Phew. Another foot-in-mouth episode narrowly escaped!
I guess the moral of the story has something to do with understanding the level of competency you’re dealing with when hiring a designer for a remodeling project. If you’re doing a kitchen or bath, make sure that they’re certified at some level with the National Kitchen & Bath Association or very well established in that niche. Any other “certification” is just a code word for “completed training of some sort in an area related to kitchens and baths”.
And in case any of you are actually reading this and paying attention, you’ll notice that I am not yet certified with the NKBA, but my big exam is coming… September 20th to be exact. I’m sure you’ll be reading more about my level of anxiety as the day approaches.