Bathroom Design 2003: Bathroom Remodeling

Here's Who to Call So Bathroom Remodeling Doesn't Leave You Soaked

Expert Advice

Adding or remodeling a bathroom? Once you have an idea what you'd like, the next step is figuring out who can do it.

The best results come from someone trained to work with plumbing. The National Kitchen & Bath Association confers the Certified Bath Designer designation on interior designers who have completed the association's training. Certification requires filing affidavits from peers and clients, having at least seven years' experience, and passing an exam. Keeping certification requires ongoing education.

But there are only about a dozen CBDs in the Washington area; most are allied with kitchen and bath firms and are very busy year-round.

CBD Dee David of Dee David & Co. in Falls Church says that, for her, there is typically a two- to four-week wait for an appointment, and the job takes place three to six months later. The remodeling itself usually lasts three to six weeks.

Not all kitchen and bath firms have CBDs on staff. They might have others whose experience and training are equivalent; make sure whomever you choose has plumbing experience, because a problem there can be costly and destructive.

Architects also are schooled in plumbing. Certified bath designers may do more bathrooms in a given year, and architects tend to be more expensive. But if you have major plans for the master bedroom, too, you may want an architect; if you want an exterior wall moved, you'll need one. Bath designers can move only interior walls.

Bath designers charge a flat fee or an hourly rate, depending on the level of help needed. Some provide only drawings and specifications. Others not only do drawings and specs, but buy materials before turning the job over to a contractor. Still others supervise the project through installation.

Architects charge either a flat fee or an hourly rate. While some simply provide plans, others also supervise construction.

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