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Thousands of people have kitchen installations completed successfully. How do they do it? The answer is proper planning – know what you want, what you can afford and use a member of the Kitchen Specialist’s Association (KSA).
What is the KSA?
An important role of the KSA is protecting the rights of the consumer. Members provide the highest quality products by ensuring that the best materials are used within your price range. Consumers have peace of mind and certainty that outstanding service before, during and after installation is given. Whatever the requirement or budget, the KSA has a member capable of fulfilling the brief.
The KSA can only offer you, the consumer, assistance and protection if you choose to work with a KSA member.
As a non-profit organisation the KSA’s mission and vision is to create a professional and stable trading environment in which the industry can prosper and consumers can enjoy complete peace of mind. The KSA aims to be a national organization, representing the countries reputable kitchen manufacturers and associated product suppliers with the purpose of offering the public peace of mind. The KSA also works to facillitate solution driven resolutions between members and consumers in areas of dispute.
Why use a KSA member?
The KSA has a strict code of ethics to which all members subscribe. Membership is not easily awarded and member’s references are screened. Members must have been trading for a minimum of three years, have a stable credit history and be in good standing within the industry. All members must also agree to abide by any ruling handed down by the KSA or risk suspension or expulsion from the association.
It is an industry standard for kitchen companies to request a 50% deposit on signing of the contract, a further 40% on delivery of carcasses to site and the final 10% on completion of the work. The KSA holding account offers a safe place for disputed funds, deposits and final payments. It can be utilized at any time on the mutual agreement of both parties at no cost to the consumer. Application forms to utilize the account as well as information on how the account works can be downloaded off the KSA website.
In the unfortunate event of a dispute arising between yourself and a KSA member the incident can be reported to the KSA by downloading the dispute registration forms off the website. The KSA undertakes to assist with any legitimate complaint that falls within the kitchens installation and guarantee period. The KSA mediation service aims to provide a fair and equitable resolution to your problem.
As an industry body the KSA provide advice and guidance and are always happy to assist you with questions or concerns you may have as you embark on purchasing a new kitchen.
Visit our web site www.ksa.co.za
Additional contact details:
Tel : 082 787 8806
Fax: 086 551 6978
Tel:031 761 2034
Fax: 086 505 6296
Everything you need to know before starting a kitchen renovation
The majority of problems we see at the KSA (Kitchen Specialists Association) can often be traced back to client’s not being fully informed about what the process of installing a new kitchen involves. All too often client’s have misconceptions about the cost, time line, preparations and payment.
Before you even start talking to kitchen companies you need to have a good understanding of what you want and how much you are prepared to pay. Start by doing your homework as to what aesthetics you like and what would work with the rest of your home. There are a multitude of finishes out there and you need to have an idea of whether you are looking for modern clean lines, country or traditional styling. Assemble a few pictures from magazines to give the kitchen company some insight into your tastes and style.
The next step is to set a budget. Most people underestimate just how much a new kitchen costs. Bear in mind that it is recommended that 1/3 of the value of your home is invested in the kitchen and bathrooms. It is important to ensure your budget is realistic. The larger the kitchen the more it will cost. If you want to work with timber, granite, solid surfacing or engineered stone the cost will be higher than if you are looking at working with wrap, melamine and Formica.
The next step is to look at the basics that already exist in your kitchen and whether or not they need changing. Installing a new kitchen is a good time to look at upgrading your appliances, plumbing, electrics and lighting. If you appliances need an upgrade have an idea of what you want before approaching a kitchen company and have the necessary specifications of size and installation for them.
When looking to appoint a kitchen company we suggest you talk to three reputable companies. Look to protect yourself by ensuring the company you appoint is listed with an industry association like the KSA. This will mean that the necessary background checks have been done on the company and that should anything go wrong you have recourse through the industry association.
Ensure you give the kitchen company an idea of your budget and the aesthetics you are looking for. Most people are reluctant to give a budget in fear of the kitchen company fitting their quote to the budget. Without an idea of what you are prepared to spend the kitchen company can’t see if your budget will cover the style of kitchen you want. What they can do once they have your budget is to achieve the look you want with materials that will fit your budget. It can be a good idea to ask the company to do two quotes, one using the whole budget with all the bells and whistles and another more conservative coming in under budget. This way you can pick and choose those special extras you like from the expensive quote, add then to the conservative quote and end up with a happy medium.
Allow each kitchen company to do their own measurements and design. Don’t take one design from company to company. Each company will have their own interpretation of your needs, your space and your budget. With three different options you will be able to choose the company that has best understood you and your space. Most kitchen companies will charge you a fee for their drawings. This is usually refundable if you sign with them. It is standard in the kitchen industry to have a payment structure of 50% deposit, due on signing of the contract, 40% on delivery of the carcasses to site and the final 10% on completion.
It is your responsibility to ensure the old kitchen is removed before the kitchen company comes to site. Before your new installation begins you should ensure all structural, plumbing and electrical changes have been made. If gas or water lines need to be laid under the floor to reach an island unit this should also have been done.
A kitchen installation does not happen overnight and if you are having granite, timber, engineered stone or solid surface tops you should allow four weeks from the carcasses being delivered to site for the time line. It is important to note that should you, as the client, delay installation or make changes once the kitchen company are on site this will add to the four week time line as well as to the cost.
In conclusion protect yourself and your investment by working with an association registered company and have realistic expectations of cost and timeline.
KSA’s top 6 hints to ensure you stay sane during your kitchen installation
A lot of the complaints we receive from consumers are due to rising stress levels and breakdowns in communication between the parties. Don’t be fooled. Having a new kitchen installed is a stressful, long, untidy and inconvenient process and not everyone can afford to move into a hotel for the duration. Here are our top seven tips to help you keep your sanity during the process:
- Pack up your kitchen meticulously. Use clearly labelled boxes and buddle wrap. This will ensure that when you come to unpack you know where everything should go and damages are minimal. Remember not to pack away the basic essentials you will need while the kitchen is being installed.
- Set up a temporary kitchen in a convenient space where you will not be falling over yourselves. You are still going to need to cook and clean while you have no kitchen. Ensure it is somewhere where you can still operate your kettle, toaster, microwave and some sort of hot plate. You should also allow for the washing of dirty dishes. Camping wash stands can come in very useful.
- Ensure you site is ready for the kitchen company – all electrics and plumbing should be done, flooring complete and the old kitchen removed.
- Be prepared for at least four weeks without a kitchen.
- Avoid making changes once the installation has begun. This will end up increasing the length of time the kitchen company is on site. Remember every change you make goes to the back of the kitchen companies’ manufacturing queue and can add up to another week to your time line.
- We know it is tempting to watch the kitchen company once they are on the job but don’t. Kitchens are custom made and will need to be adapted on site to deal with unlevel floors and walls and unexpected issues that may arise on site. To you it may seem like they are ‘cutting up and changing’ your kitchen on site but the installers are trained to make these necessary adaptations once the good are out of the factory.
Judge your kitchen on the finished product. The kitchen company will ask you to snag the kitchen before they hand over to you. This is when you should be looking for anything you are not happy with not before. Remember that when dealing with a KSA member you get a one year guarantee from date of installation should anything go wrong after you have signed off the kitchen.
Areas of Expertise
The KSA can offer you, the consumer, assistance and protection.