News & Politics

Dream Kitchens 2010: Ideas and Information

Top designers and good stores for appliances, countertops, tile, and more

Here are more resources to help you get started.

American Institute of Architects
This site has sample contracts and a searchable database of architects. The four local chapters—AIA DC, AIA Northern Virginia, AIA Maryland, and AIA Potomac Valley—also provide information on finding and hiring architects.

Angie’s List
This consumer-networking Web site ranks home-improvement companies across the country. Area membership is $29 a year plus a $10 sign-up fee.

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
The Web site’s consumer pages have buying advice, contacts for all appliance brands, and safety guidelines.

Consumer Reports
A $5.95 monthly or $26 annual subscription to the Web site gets you access to reviews of appliances and other kitchen products.

Energy Star
The phone hotline and Web site give information on appliances and energy, such as how to lower your energy bill or get rid of mold and mildew. Rebates and special deals are offered through the program.

International Surface Fabricators Association
The Web site has information on the composition of all solid-surface countertops, such as Corian; also advice on cleaning and on finding a fabricator.

National Association of the Remodeling Industry
Online, click on “homeowners” for advice on choosing a contractor, tips, and a searchable database of contractors.

National Kitchen & Bath Association
This association certifies kitchen designers. Searchable database for designers plus articles, project photos, a remodeling guide, and tips on sticking to a budget.

Natural Stone Council
The Web site has lots of information on what stone works for what purposes.

Washington Consumers’ Checkbook
A $34 two-year subscription gives you access to Checkbook’s semiannual magazine, newsletters, and Web site, where local service firms are rated on price and quality, based on subscribers’ surveys, undercover shopping, and other research.

This list first appeared in October 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.