Why no credit to the KD and GC??

islandDecember 9, 2012

LOVE seeing the finished kitchen reveals. Always so beautiful and informative with before and after pics and all the product info down to the smallest detail, but it just dawned on me that no one ever includes who their KD and/or GC are. Why no credit for those people?

Do most people on GW design and install their own kitchens? If not I would love to see that info posted, especially if they have a website. Even if I can't consider using them because I don't live in your area, if I love your kitchen chances are I might find some inspiration from other work they've posted on their website. And at the very least don't they deserve a little credit for the beautiful work the rest of us gush over when we see your kitchens??

Just curious. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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I posted the GC and the KD store on my most recent reveal.
Not sure if OK, but I did it anyway

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 7:19PM
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I was the KD, except for the cabinet maker who did the specs, and the GC is NOT worth mentioning, except to avoid if you need work done in my area. CREDIT? I don't think so!!


    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:22PM
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My kitchen looks beautiful, and functions wonderfully. Despite that, honestly both my GC and cabinetmaker will not be recommended by me because of some lingering issues that we are still working through. It's nothing compared to some of the nightmares that people endure, but they got us 90% of the way there and completely dropped the ball on the last 10%. Unfortunately there are lies involved,and unsavory business practices and it has cost them our future business (master bath, poweder room, etc), and that of anyone who asks us who did our kitchen.
I'm just thankful that we did get a beautiful and well done kitchen out of it.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:32PM
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Everyone on GW was my KD. And DH and I are the GC. Our cabinetmaker installed the cabinets, too.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:34PM
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GW was my KD. I was my own GC.

Many people have bad or at least frustrating GC experiences so dont/wouldn't consider giving them mention. Plus, at least in my area, very, very few GCs have websites so anyone out of area couldn't check them out anyway.

From what I can tell, a majority here do not use KD. A fair number do, and I have seen some KDs listed in reveals over the years.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:35PM
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We did most of our work ourselves, but a few things we farmed out. One was the granite counters, and I've mentioned them any number of times here. They're great! Another was installation of bamboo floors. If anyone in the north part of San Diego County wants a hugely positive thumbs up on flooring and installation, give me a shout. Our electrician was also terrific, but it was an "on the side" job as a favor - we paid, but it was still a favor to do it at all.

If you're looking for recommendations in your area, if you ask, I'm sure people will be glad to share

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:56PM
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I designed my kitchen after meeting with many KD's and learning how little they actually knew. Not to say that there weren't good ones when I was doing my kitchen, but I typically didn't run into them for some reason. I finally gave up and purchased a very expensive home design program (Chief Architecht) and spec'd the joint myself using my own design. From drawer height to door height, it was all me.

I fired six GC's, including the one crying like a little girl over the stair risers. He and all the rest were a nightmare. The final guy I used to clean up messes and he's a dream, but didn't want his name published because he does not want to be the clean up guy.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 11:58PM
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That's what I was wondering, if most of you did your own design and layout.
Can some of you recommend the software you used?

Where I live I can't get any guidance from a KD until I sign on the dotted line and pay a non refundable design fee and I'm hesitant to do that without little info on what I'm getting for my money. They just want to know what my budget is.

Already out 8K from a designer who produced nothing but uninspired basic elevations (white paper, black lines) showing cab and appliance placement and did't even use the cab style I wanted. No computer graphics. Pulled the plug on that after months of getting nowhere.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:24AM
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Ummm...because they were INSANE!

One day I am going to write a story called "The Many Men of Rosylady's Remodel".

The contractor we have now is an absolute dream. He goes by word of mouth and never advertises, on purpose.

I was on the phone with my sister one day and she heard his voice in the background. She jokingly said, "who's that, your boyfriend?!" I said, "he's better than a boyfriend, he's my contractor!"

I will sing his praises to the moon when my kitchen is done. Just not his name...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:22AM
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Had a great GC ..saw him Friday night and still got /gave hugs after over 6 yrs. Had the worst cab maker and GC and I talked again about it and he even said he wants the guy to come back and make things right LOL ! I don't want the guy in my house.

I mentioned all of this in my reveal back in the "old days".

DH and I did all the design with help from here. We used graph paper and a pencil and did the kitchen and master bath/bedroom and sunroom. Worked just fine and didn't need any soft wear...just a pencil sharpener :) c

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:32AM
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Island--if you do a search on the bottom of the page (or one for GW through an Internet search engine), you'll find many threads on layout software. I tried Sketchup, but found it frustrating. Luckily, Rhome took pity on me and did fabulous renderings for me using her home, and cheaper, version of Chief Architect. There's nothing like seeing a rendering of your graph paper and pencil drawing to give you some sense of how the finished space can look.

I'll link a very recent thread on software.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thread from a couple of weeks ago

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:04AM
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had to fire the cabinetmaker, god help anyone who works with that fool. there are reasons this info is left out, usually not an oversight.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:00AM
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Someone with a good kitchen designer is not likely to end up here asking questions because the designer is taking care of it.

The people here are either wanting to DIY or frustrated with their KD experience and looking for advice.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 8:22AM
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I hope we have a good experience with the contractor, it will be the biggest inside project he has done for us and we have a specific timeline.

Our cabinet place does not have a KD, they just do the design themselves. I was fine with that as we aren't changing the whole room around, and the help here has been great. I think I would have driven them nuts with all the what ifs, but I could work through that here. They are essentially using my design, so even though we haven't signed an official contract, they know I am not working with anyone else and will send me plans and elevations soon since it's my design they are working with. If i really wanted to shop around with the design, i already have it as i gave it to them. Normally they wouldn't send that out without a contract.

I hope to have a good experience with the cabinets. One of the reasons I went with this company is a review on Angie's list from a customer who's cabinets were ready to ship from a factory that was flooded out by Sandy. The company went bankrupt and all the finished cabinets were unusable. Well, the firm I,m working with replaced the cabines at their cost, with a delay of course since they had to be remade by another cabinet place. I mentioned this last week when we met, turns out they had 4 kitchens ready to ship that were lost to the storm, they ate the cost to remake all those cabinets. Can't ask for a company to stand behind their word better than that!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 9:22AM
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I have talked with different KDs over the 6 years I've been messing with my kitchen. All of them pretty much ended up with the layout I had already made myself. Again, graph paper and a pencil. My one, very important addition to my "software" was a very big eraser.

As far as a GC? I can't afford one, so it's me. I'm building and installing myself. The only GC I know is my STBX, from whom I learned enough to be dangerous. As far as hiring him? OMG, his work is gorgeous -- on other people's homes. However, I can tell you in 18 years I've known him, he's never finished a single thing. A job, school, team sports, a marriage, (stop me). Everything in our lives was "good enough for now" which I've spent $1000s repairing and re-doing.

So that GC I cannot recommend. Now my multi-purpose Fred? In a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:52AM
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The money I spent on Chief Architect has been money well spent. It's a couple thousand dollars but the full version is useful for many other ways. But then I had a whole house to design and purchased another that I am working on now. They have lower versions of the program (Can't remember the name) which are also quite good. I think you can look at them all at chief architect dot come (or do a google search). THe one thing about CA that I would warn you on is that they have updates occasionally and they are a bit pricy so if you are only doing the kitchen, you might go with the home version. I wanted to do renderings I could take for permitting, hence the higher product.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:44AM
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In all honesty I didn't include it in my reveal because I didn't see other people doing it in their posts here. Ours was an unusual case in that both the GC and the architect were good friends of ours and were fraternity brothers with my husband, way back when...

Our architect and myself designed the kitchen. I will give them credit here and NOW:

GC: Levitch Associates, Berkeley, CA--fantastic work, reliable, and prompt!

Architect: Hector DeLeon, Albany, CA--wonderful, creative, patient and intuitive.

Thank you for bringing this up. Both of them DEFINITELY deserve credit!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Many of the people who come here looking for info are compulsive type folk who end up being their own GC. I shared GC duty with my main contractor when I did my first kitchen and bath remodels years ago. I found him thru a fellow GW poster who lives near me.

That contractor retired and became my handyman, and is now doing the electrical work on my current master bath, closet and powder room remodel. I hired everyone else, DH and I designed everything - with to-scale floorplans and elevations, and I am managing every aspect of the remodel. I will make sure to give myself a bonus after it is all finished, LOL!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:15PM
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I actually had access to the full version of Chief Architect, but didn't use nearly all of the features and options. Some of the homeowner versions would certainly do for kitchen design and a lot of other home projects. They used to be marketed as Better Home and Gardens software, but the homeowner versions are now labeled as Chief Architect. There are versions from about $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on how much you want it to do for you. But to see kitchen renderings, or anywhere inside the house, it doesn't take an expensive one.

As for the original questions, we built our own house, including the kitchen. I design, hubby builds...That's how our teamwork works! It sounds like "I want and he makes it happen," but he's as happy with his end of the arrangement as I am with mine. :-)

Already out 8K from a designer who produced nothing but uninspired basic elevations... Pulled the plug on that after months of getting nowhere.
That's why a lot of people post plans here and get group help on zeroing in on a plan. Then they take the plan to the cabinet people or GC and go from there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chief Architect Home Designer options on Amazon

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Other than what was mentioned about not having a KD, I also want to remain anonymous on this site. Mentioning my contractors by name will likely draw them to my posts (from google searches.) I don't want people-I-know-in-real-life reading my posts. Am I alone on that one?

Of course, people have reached out privately to discuss specifics. That's fine.

This post was edited by lolauren on Mon, Dec 10, 12 at 19:03

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:34PM
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I did my own KD, and selected all finishes, etc. I DO give huge props to my GC...and to all the trades who made my vision come to life. But...it was MY vision.

Oh, and this board gets props as well. Because, in the all the years I've been hanging out here...I've learned a TON.

But--I realize I didn't link my GC...so look below for a link to my contractor!

Here is a link that might be useful: The Kitchen and Bath People

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:45PM
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As to design software...I used graph paper and a measuring tape. (And then my GC helped me plug in cabinets that would work with my general design.)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Graph paper is an excellent start, but the software allows you to see things in 3D and in the finishes and style you think you want, so you can fine tune and know exactly what you're getting. I was able to play with colors and materials, as well as tweak the balance of cabinets and get to know how the space would feel. I started with graph paper, but some ideas that seemed good on graph paper looked awful in 3D, and it would've been sad to build it and find out then!

This is a software rendering of my kitchen before it was built

and here it is when (mostly) done (and after some changes to the island to replace doored cabinets with drawers):

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 2:50PM
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How interesting. I'm among the large majority so far who designed their own kitchens entirely, and in our case we installed too. I know there are wonderful KDs out there, but the only ones I could afford were mental flatfoots, without any particular design genius to offer.

There are a lot of people who haven't spoken up, though, and I'm wondering if answers so far are very representative percentage-wise. Many people post their KD or architect's designs here for feedback, and some do generously come back and share the final product.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:16PM
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We thought we were only doing a "facelift", but the project ended up expanding. No KD or GC. We had a cabinetmaker do some work, and 1 refinisher that just about ruined our cabinets. No credit/recommendations for them. The granite fabricator did an OK job for us, but my SIL did not have a good experience with him, so again, no credit. Our final cabinet refinisher did a wonderful job. He's a bit old-school, doesn't even have a computer. He's the only one we dealt with who I would refer someone to.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Thanks for all the info, tips and links. Lots of talented people contributing to Garden Web, but not me. I'm just starting this process, learning a lot here, have the beginning of a vision for my kitchen, 2 baths and a couple other things, but we certainly will not be installing ourselves. Don't have those skills, tools and the biggest no time. The latter is what scares me about starting the whole process, because I won't be there to oversee and last time (2000)I was and still got screwed and I'm not a shrinking violet who is afraid to speak up. Hoping to start off with more ethical people than I trusted last time.

Rhome, WOW, it's great to see what you can do with software, but it also p*sses me off than I paid 8K in 2010 and didn't get anything like that! I feel stupid. Will try playing with some software myself. Looks like fun.

Think I'll start another thread to see if anyone has recs for services in the San Diego area. THANKS all!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:07PM
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I bought cabinets from a KD, technically, but I was the KD and we did have a contractor do the actual cabinet install, but really? Who needs to pay a KD when you have GardenWeb? Best site for DIY people anywhere. Just check how long some of us have been on here--years and years!
I do LOVE it when everyone lists exactly what they bought (and price--tacky? Maybe but helpful for penny pinchers like me!)

Still love my kitchen, years later. Only minor things I would change if I did it over again.

Love, a very proud, old school Gardenweb girl, who is still very grateful for the Kitchen forum! :)
Sarah from Albany

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:14PM
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