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•Good reasons to hire a kitchen designer.
•See how a designer can help you get the most out of your kitchen.

When it comes to creating your dream kitchen, doing it yourself can be satisfying and rewarding—if you have the time and know-how to do a great job, that is. Hiring a professional, on the other hand, can save you time, money and headaches.

Building and remodeling professionals provide intelligent planning, assist in selecting quality products and ensure code-compliant installation, all of which can help homeowners gain confidence in the outcome of their project. Here's a list of kitchen professionals and the services they provide.

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Architect.
You’ll want to contact an architect when adding space or making structural changes such as moving walls or opening a ceiling. Architects are also helpful for planning a major renovation that includes electrical, plumbing, heating or ventilation changes. Look for architects who are members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which offers an online architect directory. Or, call 800-AIA-3837 for more information.

Interior Designer. Interior designers advise on structural changes and the remodeling of existing spaces. They specialize in making the most of limited space and focus on their clients’ unique needs. Professional interior
   
designers keep abreast of regulations on environmental safety, building and fire codes, accessible design legislation and historic preservation. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) represents more than 38,000 professionally qualified interior designers in the US and Canada. To find an interior designer near you, use the ASID’s online referral service or call 202-546-3480.

Certified Kitchen Designer. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) certifies kitchen designers (CKD). These design specialists have passed an examination, have at least seven years of design experience and must continue their industry education to remain certified. Designers may be affiliated with a showroom or may work as independent consultants; they can manage an entire remodeling project or provide design services only. As NKBA members, they keep abreast of the latest design trends. You can find a professional online, or call 800-843-6522 for more information.

Remodeling Contractor. Once you have a final plan and have chosen products for your new kitchen, you’ll need to select a contractor to do the actual work. Look for a member of a trade association like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), whose members adhere to a strict code of ethics. Ask your designer for a recommendation, or talk to friends or neighbors to get referrals. You can Select a Professional Remodeling Contractor and find local chapters, or call 800-611-NARI (6274) for more information.

Plumbing Contractor. If your remodeling involves replacing plumbing
   
fixtures or faucets, you’ll need to hire a plumbing contractor. Most states or municipalities require plumbers to be licensed; check with your local consumer affairs office. Your designer or remodeler may recommend a qualified plumbing professional, and you can visit the Web site of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) and find a local contractor. Call 800-533-7694 for more information.

 

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