OPENING THE CLOSET DOOR!
The Good The Bad & The Ugly
12 Rules for Hiring a Closet Designer
After 25 years in the closet and cabinet business, I can certainly attests to have seen - the good, the bad and the ugly in closet designs. Far too many poorly designed closets have actually detracted from the homes’ worth and I have been hired to make over these wasted spaces through out the years.
To assist home owners in their choices, I have outlined the essential rules in hiring a designer to create their dream closets and make the process a more pleasurable undertaking.
Malka’s Rules for Hiring a Designer for the Closet
1.) Hire a Professional qualified Closet Cabinet designer with several years of experience and with a knowledge of construction, space planning, garment size requirements and design. Ask for local references and / or ask neighbors and friends for a referral.
2. It is beneficial that a closet designer is associated with a reputable licensed cabinet shop to perform the construction and installation of the closets. A licensed cabinet maker is a “specialty” contractor under the State of California.
3. *In the state of California, a cabinet shop must hold a current, valid specialty license to install the cabinetry; California State Contractors license: Cabinets & C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor and must have Workman’s Comprehensive Insurance for their employees and Insurance Bonds. All work must be supervised by the licensed contractor in the performance of the manufacturing and installation. Check with your residing state’s construction laws and always verify the status of their license and the correct owner. Their license is required to be posted on their website, contract and business cards as well as any advertisements.
4. The cabinet contractor should offer a warranty which must be printed on their contract.
5. The closet designer should be responsible to measure the interior space of the closet and the inventory of clothing and accessories of the client’s to create a perfect fit.
6. The designer should present drafted plans that are clear, fully detailed with measurements and sizes to scale and easy to understand. It is preferable to be an AutoCAD, computer generated diagram for precise and accurate detailing.
7. The contract should clearly specify all materials to be used such as the quality, color, size and brand name as it may apply. The contract must be legible and easy to understand.
8. * A down payment of 10% or $1,000, whichever is less is the only deposit permitted in California. The remaining progress payments are allowed and required for ordering materials by the shop to perform the job.
9. * Any changes made to the contract and / or the closet plans must be in writing as a “Change Order” and approved by you the client.
10. ** Look for value in a closet cabinet pricing. Be cautious of false sales promotions and “Price Reduction” deceptive discount coupons that are aggressively timed. A coupon or sale running more than three (3) months is not a sale, it is a false advertising. Offering a sales discount or reduction is a common sales technique. The sale price is misleading unless the former price is the actual, bona fide price at which was originally offered as.
11. Most importantly; the designer must work closely with the client and respond to their special requests, concerns and desires.
12. * When requesting a Bid on the closet project, it is suggested to get three bids on a design. Three different closet designers will have three different design plans therefore if a proper bid is requested, you, the client must provide accurate plans or drawings of the closet spaces to the three specialty cabinet contractors that will enable them to determine the scope and cost of the work. Again, the client must supply their own accurate plans to determine the exact scope and cost of the work. Each of their proposal contracts should clearly specify all materials to be used such as the quality, color, size and brand name as it may apply. Each contract must be legible and easy to understand. Each of the three cabinet shops should hold a valid specialty license to install the cabinetry; California State Contractors license: Cabinets & C-6 - Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor and must have Workman’s Comprehensive Insurance for their employees and Insurance Bonds.
* California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board (CSLB.ca.gov)(800.321.CSLB)
** Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov) - The Division of Advertising Practices & California Business and Professions Code (BPC) Article 6 - Unearned Rebates, Refunds and Discounts and Business and California Professions Code (leginfo.ca.gov)