Confused About Cabinetry? Here’s Help

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Whether you’re remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, one of the first decisions you need to make is what type of cabinetry you want. The options can be quite confusing. Before you make a costly mistake, carefully consider your cabinetry choices.

Imported cabinets from Asia are slowly entering the U.S. market. Although readily available, there are some points to consider before purchasing this type of cabinetry.

Price wise, cabinetry from Asia is the most cost effective. But, as the old saying goes: “You get what you paid for.” These cabinets are often made with different types of wood so you do not get a uniform look, plus the finish is usually poor. On top of that, the quality of hinges and hardware is usually inferior. While at first glance these cabinets may look nice, over time you will notice the flaws and the product may actually fall apart.

Of course there are plenty of pluses to purchasing cabinetry from Asia. You can’t beat the price. These cabinets are typically a fraction of the cost of custom cabinetry. Manufacturers keep costs down by offering only select sizes and colors. These cabinets come in kits which need to be assembled. While that may be great for do-it-yourselfers, it will mean additional expenses if you need to hire someone to construct and install.

Another option is stock or semi-custom cabinetry. These are the products you see at the big-box stores. Because of their enormous volume, these stores are able to offer quality cabinetry at value pricing. These cabinets are usually made in the United States, so the craftsmanship is superior. You are getting quality construction with fine finishing.

While the quality and selection is great, the issue is often service. The stores specialize in sales, not service. Their staff has been trained to help you pick the products you want to create your space, but they do not specialize in full-service remodeling. You will need to hire contractors to put the project together, and those costs can quickly add up.

Another issue is that because these cabinets are manufactured in another state, there can be problems in shipping. Some pieces may be on back-order and others may come damaged. This can mean additional time and aggravation.

The final option is custom cabinetry. In this case, the homeowner works with a professional kitchen and bathroom remodeling company to design cabinetry to complement the space. A reputable designer will provide a creative, functional and beautifully designed room.

The designer will work with a local craftsman to build cabinetry custom-designed exclusively for your home. Not only does this allow you to optimize the space available, but you will be able to select the type of wood, the finish and the hardware used. In addition, the designer will help you select the countertops, sinks, faucets, backsplashes and appliances to complete the project.

With custom cabinetry, not only are you getting exactly what you want down to the finest detail, but you get the satisfaction of knowing that is being built locally. If there are any problems they can be correctly quickly.

Custom cabinetry does cost more, but the result is incomparable. The result is a hassle-free experience and the sense of tranquility in knowing that things are done right. This is our specialty, so if you are considering remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, let Royal Kitchen Designs design custom cabinetry to meet your every need.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com.

Convert Your Closet into a Powder Room

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Today everyone is looking for ways to add value to their homes. Kitchens and bathrooms consistently deliver the greatest return on investment. So imagine the benefit of adding a half-bath to your home. It can be done…and for a lot less than you think.

In many situations a closet can be easily converted into a powder room. The first step is to assess if you have the space needed to accommodate a toilet and vanity. If you can reconfigure the area, your home may be a candidate for a closet conversion.

The next, and probably most important step, is to check with a plumber to see if it is feasible to connect the plumbing fixtures to an existing water line and drain. If that’s doable, then you can begin the conversion process.

Since this is a complex project, you will want to make sure you are working with an experienced home renovation company. Because you are starting from scratch, you need someone with a strong sense of design, as well as construction expertise.

You will need to seek permitting from your city for this project. Once the plans have been approved, it’s time to purchase your supplies. With over 75 years of combined experience, one thing we’ve learned is that you do not want to start a renovation project until you have all your materials in hand. We suggest you have your vanity, toilet, sink, faucets, tile, lighting and mirrors delivered before you knock your first hole in the wall. With all supplies at the ready, your project should be completed in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

It’s also important to make sure your contractors are ready to go. By working with a full-service home renovation company you can be sure there is no downtime with your project. Every step is carefully planned and scheduled.

The first step in converting the closet into a powder room is to tear down the walls and frame out the new space. Once this is complete, a licensed plumber can cut through the slab and connect the plumbing. After the rough plumbing is in place, it’s time to install the tile. If you are using wall tile, it is important to make sure the electrician has already installed the wiring for the outlets, light fixtures and exhaust fan, if needed. The vanity can then be installed, along with the mirror. Then it’s time to bring the plumber back to connect the plumbing; this includes installing the sink, faucets and toilet. Hook up the lights, paint the walls and your new half-bath is finished.

Converting a closet to a powder room is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. This is an extensive renovation. All work should be done by professional plumbers, electricians and general contractors.

You should expect to pay about $6,900 to complete a closet conversion. That is really a great price, when you consider that a typical powder room renovation costs about $4,900. In either case, the homeowner will recoup the construction costs with the added equity in their home.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com

Converting Your Master Bath into a Home Spa

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Today’s homeowner is choosing to invest in their home, over the volatile stock market. There’s a growing trend of homeowners remodeling master bathrooms into a home spa, with soaking tub, steam shower or even a sauna. And it can be done for a lot less than you might think.

It’s a fact: kitchen and bathroom renovations offer the biggest returns on investments. According to an article in Forbes magazine, a homeowner can expect to recoup an average 102% of their investment for a bathroom renovation. Not to mention, with the real estate market in a slump and the economy at the lowest level in years, homeowners can take advantage of some great deals nowadays.

If your home has a stand-up shower, or even a full-size bathtub, you can easily convert that to a Jacuzzi tub. But this is no do-it-yourself project; you will need the service of a home remodeling specialist. This project requires a licensed plumber, master electrician, and a carpenter, not to mention a designer.

The first step is to determine what size and style tub will fit your needs. Do you want a simple soaking tub or a hydrotherapy tub equipped with everything from a sound system to fiber optic lighting? The choices can be overwhelming, so this is where the experience and talent of a design professional comes into play. They can help you pick the product that fits not only your bathroom, but your budget.

Once you’ve picked the tub, your designer can help you choose your new tile and fixtures. If you are not renovating the entire bathroom, you will need to make sure the products you pick coordinate with the existing features.

With those elements decided, it’s time to begin construction. After the shower stall has been demolished, most likely you will need the plumber to move the drain. Generally, a shower stall drain is in the center, while the drain is offset in a tub.

Once that is complete, a new cement slab is poured. The Jacuzzi must be fitted into the cement to avoid movement once it is filled with water. A carpenter will need to build a frame out of specially treated wood and durarock (greenboard). This not only supports the Jacuzzi, but the tile that is adhered to it.

If there is space, you might want to consider installing a larger ledge on the front side of the tub. Not only does this look nice, it’s an important safety feature. The ledge allows an older person to sit comfortably and then turn around and slide gently into the tub, as opposed to having to step into the water and possibly loose their balance. We also recommend installing grab bars.

Once the tub is in place, the plumbing fixtures are installed. This could include a rain shower head, hand-held shower, faucets and more. Depending upon what type of tub you have purchased, you may need an electrician. Finally, the tile is installed. It is important to make sure that your tile is designed for a bathroom and is not slippery when wet. A designer can help you make that determination, and can help select decorative tiles to create a custom design or mosaic.

Another option for the home spa is a steam shower. Often times this entails less labor and cost than installing a Jacuzzi or soaking tub because the plumbing does not need to be relocated. There are many options for steam showers, from pre-fabricated enclosed fixtures to custom-designed spaces with floor-to-ceiling tile and glass. The nice thing about a steam shower is that most often you can still take a “regular” shower in the same space. Again, this is a project for an experienced home remodeler.

While neither of these projects is cheap, both can be completed for less than you might think. Many manufacturers are offering great deals as incentives for homeowners. And remember, statistics show you could recoup your entire renovation investment.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com

Creating the Perfect Partnership with Your Contractor

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

You would never go to the dentist, grab the drill from his hand and give yourself a root canal. So, why do people think it is okay to hire a professional to remodel their home and then try to play general contractor themselves?

In many cases it’s because of cost. People think that by hiring their handyman to do some of the work, they may be able to save money. In theory that may seem like a good idea, but it never is. Not only do you lose the oversight a professional remodeler provides, but you can now take on all the liability. This can result in work stoppages, bad decisions and numerous other issues. When you come in and try to play contractor, you prevent the professional from doing his/her job.

A professional kitchen designer or home remodeler is just that, a professional. As with any profession, they are educated and have years of experience. That is what you are paying for – the piece of mind of knowing you have hired a professional to design and oversee your renovation project.

Respect is another important issue. Just as you would never insult your dentist by giving yourself a root canal, you should not insult your designer by trying to play general contractor. Mutual respect is of utmost importance to your working relationship. Remember, this person will be in your home on a daily basis. You need to treat them right.

The relationship between homeowner and contractor has to be one of good faith. He/she is your partner. You each have a vested interest in getting the remodeling project completed in a timely manner for a fair price. You want a beautiful room and they want a happy client ready to make a referral.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com.

Doing Away With Dining Rooms

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

When is the last time you used your dining room? If you are like most modern families, you use this room only once or twice a year. The truth is, dining rooms are becoming dinosaurs.

Don’t let this underutilized space go to waste…incorporate it into your kitchen. That is a concept most homeowners have never considered. Yet, doing away with dining rooms is becoming increasingly more popular. In fact, this trend was featured in a recent issue of Professional Remodeler, a trade magazine.

It may be a new trend, but it is something we have been doing for years. We begin each new project with an extensive in-home consultation. This enables us to get a true picture of the homeowner’s likes and dislikes, and what they are trying to accomplish with the renovation. More often than not, we have discovered that what the homeowner wants is more space in and around the kitchen. Doing away with the dining room opens up space for the island they have always dreamed of, or perhaps a beautiful bar area. The choices are endless.

One of our recent success stories was just such a case. The Coral Springs couple loved to cook and entertain, but their galley-style kitchen was not conducive to this lifestyle. During our discussion with the couple we learned that she wanted (or needed) more counter space, prep room and better ventilation for all her cooking and baking, while he wanted a bar area complete with wine cooler, wet bar and seating where he could entertain. Our solution was simple, tear down the walls and open up the area.

By doing away with the dining room, which had been totally useless to the couple except as an unorganized storage area, they gained almost 100 square-feet of totally usable space. Not only did we open up the kitchen to the family room, with an amazing view of the pool, but we created a nice size pantry, added a huge island, built a bar area, and gave the family a granite table large enough to seat their frequent dinner guests. The family’s dream kitchen became their dream home.

Of course, not every contractor or home remodeler is able to think outside of the box like this. That is why it is important you know who you are hiring. In next month’s issue we will give you tips on what to ask when hiring a home remodeler.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319.

Taking the Pain Out of Filing Insurance Claims

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Hurricane season is here. The time of year when many South Floridians are thinking about their homeowners insurance coverage. We all pay property insurance with the hope of never needing to use it. Unfortunately, many homeowners are finding that when the time comes to file a claim, whether it is for hurricane, water or fire damage, their insurance company is not always on their side.

Typically when a homeowner sustains damage to their property, be it from a leaky dishwasher or a devastating hurricane, their first call is to their insurance agent. This is a major mistake. Your first call should be to an experienced home remodeling contractor. Companies, such as Royal Kitchen Designs, have the resources and expertise to accurately assess the damage and provide a true-cost for repairs.

Case in point, the owner of a $1million waterfront estate recently called us after noticing the stucco was cracking on the outside of the house. After studying the damage and examining the house, we discovered that there was a leak in the master bathroom shower. The water was soaking through the floor and walls, causing the stucco to crack.

This was not the only damage we noticed in this beautiful home. It seems the homeowners had been victims of a city sewer back-up which caused severe water damage. It flooded the bathroom, destroyed the wood flooring in the adjacent foyer, and ruined the ceiling of the downstairs kitchen and power room.

We began by reviewing their homeowners insurance policy to make sure they were adequately insured for the damages. The next step was to contact a public adjuster.
Unlike insurance companies, whose adjusters typically minimize the losses and try to negotiate low settlements to better protect the insurance company, a public adjuster works for the homeowner. It is their job to make sure you receive the settlement you need to fully repair your home.

Royal Kitchen Designs works closely with the public adjuster to assess all of the damage and file a proper claim. In this case, we were able to get the homeowners an initial insurance check for $10,000 to cover the cost of the demolition. Only after the shower, marble floors and wood foyer are removed will we be able to see the true extent of the damage. At that point, the public adjuster would file another claim to cover the cost of the necessary repairs.

Needless to say, this homeowner was thrilled that not only could we repair their home, but we were able to get their insurance company to cover the cost. This is the level of service you can expect when hiring a professional company, which surrounds itself with other professionals.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com

Granite Stimulus Package

Granite Stimulus Package Keeps Renovation Costs in Check

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

There’s an old saying: You get what you paid for. Unfortunately, in home remodeling that is not always the case – until now. Royal Kitchen Designs is changing the way this industry does business. The consumer will no longer be taken “for granite”!

Almost every remodeling project we complete includes granite countertops. It’s a simple way to make a huge statement. From complete custom kitchen renovations to simply refacing an existing space, granite is the product of choice for today’s homeowners.

Unfortunately, granite can be very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Royal Kitchen Designs is changing the way consumers buy granite. We’re calling this our Granite Stimulus Package.

Granite is sold by the square foot, but it comes as giant slabs. Often times the dimensions of the slab are larger than the actual amount needed for the countertop project. In the past, the leftover granite was kept by the vendor who would sell the remnants for smaller jobs. In essence, the vendor was benefitting from the client’s waste.

That system always seemed unfair to us. The consumer paid a premium price for a slab of granite, but only used a portion of it. So, we decided to change the system. If you purchase granite from us then you get its full value. By buying the full slab you get the granite at a much better price. Plus, you own all of it. You can use the remnants for smaller projects, like updating a powder room with a new granite countertop.

And, if you’re not ready to take on another project, we’ll have the remnants delivered to your home or storage facility. When you’re ready to start your next remodeling project, the granite will already be there. You’ll just pay a nominal fee for fabrication and installation.

This is just another example of how Royal Kitchen Designs is working to save our clients money. We keep our overhead down by using our clients’ homes as showrooms, maintaining excellent relationships with our vendors, and using our own work crews instead of costly, and often times unreliable, subcontractors.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation. To learn more or to see samples of our completed projects, visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319.

How To Tell If You’re Paying Too Much

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Smart shoppers know it’s important to get more than one estimate before beginning any remodeling project. So, you’ve asked around, checked references, seen actual completed projects and finally narrowed it down to two contractors. They may be bidding on the same project, but often times you’ll find you get two totally different price quotes. How do you know if you’re paying too much?

Some contractors give you one overall price, while others will break down every single project and purchase. These strategies can give the appearance that one estimate is significantly less than the other. It’s crucial that you make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

The products being used can make a huge difference. You want to make certain that you are not losing quality to gain savings. This is particularly true with cabinetry. We have seen many cases in which a customer thought they were saving money by using less expensive cabinets, only to find out these needed to be replaced after just a few years. This can be a very costly mistake. Be sure you are buying quality cabinetry.

You must pay close attention to the cabinetry design as well. Contractors often cut corners by using smaller cabinets and fillers. We had one client who had originally gone to a large, national company to design their kitchen. Without ever visiting the home, the so-called designer came up with a plan using 29 fillers. These are the small pieces typically used on the ends of cabinetry sections. The average kitchen may have six to eight fillers. This client would have lost about 90-inches of usable space had they hired the national company. We were able to create a truly, custom-kitchen, using better quality materials, for the same price (because we pass along our discounts to our customers).

It’s also important to make sure that your contractor has actually seen your home. To keep costs down, some kitchen design companies will create designs based strictly on a floor plan. This is never a good idea. A renovation is a big investment and you want to make sure you are maximizing every dollar spent. Only after seeing the home, your taste and style, and learning about your lifestyle, can a functional, custom kitchen be created. You certainly don’t want to waste money on things you don’t need or will never use.

That said, it is important to know exactly what is going into your renovation project. When comparing bids you want to be sure that everything is included. In addition to the actual construction costs, does the estimate include repairs (such as patching a ceiling when cabinets have been moved), as well the finishing touches to the project such as painting? Not only does this allow you to compare apples to apples, but it ensures that you will not have any costly surprises after you begin remodeling.

Look to see if your estimate includes all the product costs, as well as labor. Some remodelers are full-service companies and do it all, while other use subcontractors. If you will be using subcontractors, find out if you are responsible for paying them or if your remodeling company will pay. Either way, be sure that you know the full cost to complete the job.

This can all be quite overwhelming, but it is important to know exactly what you are paying for. Only after you have determined all of the costs can you actually compare apples to apples and make an informed decision.

Royal Kitchen Designs understands hiring a contractor can be confusing. As a homeowner you are often unaware of all that goes into a remodeling project, and some contractors prey on that naiveté. Unfortunately, in our line of business we have seen too many homeowners make costly mistakes while trying to save a buck. That’s why as professional kitchen and bathroom designers with over 75 years of experience, we will gladly examine your plans and estimates, to compare pricing and qualities of products. For a nominal fee, we will review your bids to make sure there are no hidden costs and that nothing has been overlooked. We will also offer suggestions if we think the project could be done better. We hope this service will help you make a wise decision.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com.

Kitchen Remodeling 101: Refacing vs. Renovating

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

Hamlet once agonized over the question, “To be or not to be.” Today, homeowners agonize over the question, “Renovate or reface?”

If you are considering undertaking the enormous task of re-doing your kitchen, then obviously there is something you don’t like about your current space. It may be something as simple as style or as fundamental as function. Either way, you want to make sure that your remodeling project actually solves your problems, and doesn’t just mask them.

A remodeling project is a big commitment, both financially and physically. So if you’re going to make the sacrifice, you want to make sure the end results are exactly what you want.

Too often, people take the easy way out and opt to reface. This is when you remove all the existing doors and drawer fronts, sand down the edges of the cabinets, relaminate them, and then reinstall brand new doors and drawer fronts.

While this may seem like a good solution, you are not really fixing anything. The layout does not change. The storage issues do not change. The functionality of the kitchen does not change. The only thing that changes is the appearance. Refacing simply gives an old kitchen a new look.

Our experience is that this really doesn’t solve anything. Often times, it actually creates more problems. For instance, you may have just spent thousands of dollars putting new doors on aging cabinets or putting granite countertops on old cabinets, either way you may find yourself needing to replace them sooner rather than later because the underlying cabinetry is aging.

This is precisely why we do not offer refacing services. It is our expert opinion, with over 75 years of combined experience, that refacing does not solve anything. We have found that renovating is always the best option. It may cost a bit more, but what you get in return is well worth it.

Renovate literally means to make something new again. That is exactly what a renovation project is…it gives you a brand new kitchen. From cabinets and countertops to appliances and accessories, you are starting from scratch. You are eliminating all of the old problems and recreating the kitchen with a system that will work best for you and your family.

A full-service renovation and interior design company, such as ours, will guide you through the steps to create your dream kitchen. Anything is possible with a complete renovation.

In next month’s issue we will explore these steps. We will educate you on what happens in a kitchen renovation, from consultation to completion.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319.

Knowledge is Power

By Women Designing Kitchens at Royal Kitchen Designs

You would never hire a babysitter without checking their references. You would never hand over the keys to your car to someone without a driver’s license. So why do so many people blindly hire people to do work in their home based on an advertisement in the newspaper or coupon in the mail?

Sadly, there are many unscrupulous contractors out there. Who hasn’t heard at least one home improvement horror story? To protect you and your precious investment (your home), we have put together a list of questions to ask any potential home remodeler.

What is your scope of services?

If you recall, in last month’s issue we illustrated why it is important to hire a full-service home remodeling company, providing designer, decorator and contractor services all under one roof. This team of experts will handle each and every part of the job.

How long have you been in business?

Ideally, you want to hire a company that has been in business a long time and built up a solid reputation both with clients and suppliers. A well-established company will have access to more manufacturers and products, and they may offer preferred pricing which will in turn be passed along to you.

What credentials do you carry?

Make sure that anyone doing work in your home is licensed and insured, and make sure they carry proper insurance for all their employees. You can verify this information using the “licensee search” link at www.myflorida.com. It’s also a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau (www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org) to see if there have been any complaints filed against the company.

Can I see samples of some of your completed projects?

References are great, but it’s best to ask to see samples of a company’s work. Ask to visit some completed projects. Only then can you truly measure a company’s skill and attention to detail. Beware of any company that does not want you to see their work.

What is the project timeline?

You need to know exactly how long your room will be out of service. If it is a kitchen remodeling project, ask what types of temporary solutions are available. An experienced remodeling company strives to minimize the disruption. For this reason, many companies do not start demolition until all the new products and equipment has been delivered. To further protect yourself, do not issue final payment until the project is complete.

Who is the project manager?

With a full-service home remodeling company the designer will most likely be your project manager. In most cases, this is the person you initially meet with and discuss your renovation plans. He or she will then coordinate all aspects of the project from interior design work to the actual construction. Having one point person keeps the lines of communication open and can often resolve issues before they become major problems.

What is your follow-up system?

This is an extremely important aspect of any remodeling project. You need to know the company will be available to fix any problems that arise in the future. Look for a company that stands behind its work. Ideally, the company will offer a warrantee on its labor, in addition to the standard manufacturer’s warrantee on the product.

We hope that this information will help you choose the right home remodeling company. By asking a potential contractor these simple questions you help ensure that you are hiring someone you can trust, and that you won’t become the next home improvement horror story.

Royal Kitchen Designs is a full-service interior design and renovation company specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and luxurious living spaces. The company has been serving Broward and South Palm Beach counties for almost a decade. From custom kitchens and beautiful baths to designer draperies, every Royal Kitchen Designs project receives the royal touch. With over 75 years of combined experience, owners Margie Levy and Eliane Berdah can turn any home into a castle. Call Royal Kitchen Designs at (954) 717-1805 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Royal Kitchen Designs writes a monthly advice column answering your questions about interior design and home remodeling. Please e-mail your questions to lilmargie38@aol.com or mail to: Royal Kitchen Designs, 5608 Travelers Palm Lane, Tamarac, FL, 33319. For more information visit www.royalkitchendesigns.com.