CHOOSING YOUR KITCHEN
The kitchen is considered the heart of a home. Choosing your ideal kitchen is thus very important. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision:
DETERMINE THE LOOK YOU WANT
Look at ideas of existing kitchens and determine the type of look you want to go for. Cut out images of the type of kitchen you like, including the tops, the cupboards and the ironmongery. Create your dream kitchen with these pictures. Provide the potential kitchen installer with the complete image, to enable them to adequately quote for your kitchen.
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET
Once you have determined the look you want, you need to decide on a budget. A budget, together with an idea/look, can make it that much easier for the installer to quote on the kitchen. If you do not provide a budget, you might be in for a shock when you receive the quotation. But if the installer knows what budget you would be working with, they can include less expensive (but still quality) materials, to suit the set budget.
KNOW YOUR CONTRACTOR
Choosing your contractor can be even more daunting than deciding on the look or even establishing the budget you want for the kitchen. It is thus very important to make sure you decide on the best installer for your project.
A kitchen contractor specific association, the KSA (Kitchen Specialists Association), has been founded with the interests of the end consumer at heart. The KSA offers peace of mind when it comes to using one of their members. Mediation offered by the KSA during any disputes, is recognised by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and this is encouraged by the CPA as the recommended route to follow when resolving customer complaints.
KSA membership does not come easy. There are certain criteria that needs to be met:
- A showroom is a must
- Minimum trading of 3 years
- Must be registered at the appropriate institutions, according to South African Law: Workman’s Compensation, Bargaining Council for the Building Industry and the Receiver of Revenue. If the kitchen is being built into a new home, the legislation does require the contractor to be registered with the NHBRC. If it is a renovation/addition to an existing kitchen, the contractor doesn’t have to be NHBRC registered.
- Must be VAT registered
The KSA conducts a thorough reference check to ensure that each member meets their requirements. Members who complete a year without a site inspection from the KSA receive a service award, which is a coveted prize amongst the KSA members. Choosing a KSA member will thus mean you are making use of a properly vetted installer, and you will have recourse, through the Association, should you not be satisfied with the service you receive from them.
You can also do your own reference checks. Ask them for a list of previous clients and contact them. Ask them questions such as “Did they accommodate your choices?”, “Was there any problems, and how were they resolved?”. Ask the contractor if they have any installations that they have recently completed that you can go and see. If you can, inspect the work and ask any questions that you have.
Once you have decided on the above, and you are satisfied with the quotation and the installer, installation of the new kitchen can commence.