Tips on 'Breaking Out of the Box'
Baltimore, MD -

  • Lighting. "Lighting becomes a crucial element. You want to think about what it looks like at night, how it spreads across cabinetry. Think about general and task lighting, and the types of light bulbs, " says Block.
  • Varying cabinetry heights. "The way cabinetry is installed depends on the space, whether you have stock or custom, and what look you're trying to achieve. A lot can be done with cabinetry," Block notes.
  • Appliance location. "Don't just put them in standard spots. Make use of them. Think about how your customers will use them," says Block.
  • Islands. "Think about shapes and different heights," advises Block.
  • Accents. Use things like glass, tambour, mirrors and tiles to give the space visual impact, says Block. "Expand your visual boundaries."

1998 Performance Benchmarks Reveal Keys to Higher Profits
Hackettstown, NJ

  • While custom cabinets still represent the majority of sales for most kitchen and bath dealers, semi-custom appears to be gaining, particularly in the Midwest and among those dealers with smaller annual sales (less than $500,000).
  • These same dealers also feature moderately-sized showrooms, between 1,001 and 2,000 sq. ft. in size.
  • Dealers who sell predominantly custom and semi-custom cabinetry are much more likely to charge a design fee than dealers who sell predominately stock cabinetry.
  • Those selling mostly custom command the highest design fees - an average $957 compared to $7111 for semi-custom firms and $590 for stock firms. Dealers in the Northeast receive the highest design fees (an average of $1,084); the Midwest and the West receive an average of $809 and $816, respectively, while the South trails other regions considerably with an average of $634.
  • With the Year 2000 fast approaching, nearly all dealers use computers for word processing. Interestingly, high-profit firms are less likely than other firms to use computers for design or estimating, although an additional 17% of these businesses planned
    to start using the computers for estimating.
  • When it comes to financial management, high-profit firms are apparently somewhat more inclined than others to use computers, the study suggests.
    In addition, more firms are planning to use on-line services and CD-ROM product catalogs. About 38% of all reporting dealers said they used on-line services in 1997 - up from about 23% from the previous PAR study report. An additional 20% reported that they planned to get on-line in 1998.

Editor's Note: Kitchen & Bath Design News.

Remodeler: Building a Referral Base Builds Your Business
Baltimore, MD