After seeing the glowing reviews here and talking to the 2 references provided by BKDP, I thought this was the right firm for the kitchen reno I needed to do. WRONG!!! I would never use this firm for any reno of any kind. Five months after my initial meeting with Fardid elapsed before a final design was prepared. From day 1, they ignored my list of requirements, substituted different appliances in the design from the ones I had already purchased, eliminated counter, storage space, and walls willy-nilly from 1 iteration of their design to the next without me requesting it. They totally missed the mark when it came to creating a design that made the most use of space in my small kitchen, and had left lots of dead/inaccessible space -- with Ken just shrugging and implying that that was the best they could do. The junior designer either ignored or did not receive the feedback I provided to Ken. They seemed oblivious to possible electrical or structural restrictions, and even in the last "detailed" design had not included an item for plumbing hook up for the washer/dryer. They continued to include line items/costs for items I asked to be removed, and omitted another item that was stipulated as "must have" from Day 1. BKDP exhibited a lack of imagination in dealing with kitchen size limitations; I had to research and suggest options myself. But the real negatives about using this firm were: - They only utilize one cabinet manufacturer, Miralis, so if you don't like their cabinets, tough. - They have a bizarre policy regarding spec'd fixtures (sinks, faucets, lights) in that they charge OVER list price for them and, if you balk and want to buy them on your own, they will charge you a 20% penalty of the price you pay for them (they call it an administration expense). Case in point: a $148 (+ 20% penalty) sink available at Lowe's would be billed at $256 if they purchased it, another sink found online for $800 (+ 20% penalty) was going to be billed at $1300 if they sourced it. I asked around and none of the 4 or 5 kitchen design firms I contacted had such a punative policy. - The cost of their design phase is $2000 after taxes and only 50% is refunded back if you opt to go with their firm for the build portion. Most other firms charge < $1000 for the design and credit 100% of it during the build phase. - You are not allowed to take product samples home to see if they are a good fit for your lighting and decor. - In theory their final design should have detailed specifications for amount of tile, and which cabinet models are to be purchased. You are supposed to be able to take this to your own general contractor for completion, but their final design lacks this level of detail. - They are not NKBA-affiliated and are not Certified Kitchen Designers. It shows. They did no preliminary work to find out how I used my kitchen, what type of cooking/entertaining I did, what things about my current layout I liked/disliked. Responsivenss/Timeliness: 0 Listening ability: 0 Meeting customer requirements: 0 Attention to detail: 0 Cost effectiveness: 0 Professionalism: 01 of 1 people found this review helpful.
- Approximate cost of services:
- Any advice to offer fellow homeowners facing a similar project?
- Do yourself a favour. Use a Certified Kitchen Designer instead for your kitchen renovation.
- Company Response:
- Dear SP,<br /> <br /> Ken and I, along with the rest of our team, are deeply troubled by your review. What you conveyed in your review goes completely against our core principles as a boutique design firm. When Ken and I conceived of BKDP in 2005, our chief goals were to 1) create an exquisitely enjoyable design and renovation experience for our clients, and 2) ensure that they are completely satisfied with the final outcome of their project. Any feedback we receive from our clients is of the highest value to us, and we welcome them with appreciation, honesty and an open mind. We believe it is of highest importance to the growth of our company, as well as each of us as individuals, to reflect on how we can improve ourselves as designers, project managers, and persons in the most general sense.<br /> <br /> Before we address your concerns in detail, we need to express to you that we are troubled by the fact that we cannot identify you based on the initials you’ve used here, as they do not match up with any of our previous clients. <br /> <br /> We appreciate that you may have your reasons for not wanting to use your real initials, but we sincerely hope that you will contact us so that we can open up a two-way dialogue about any experiences you’ve had with our firm that are anything less than outstanding. Whenever any of our clients feel as though they are not our number one priority, we take it as a failure on our part.<br /> <br /> In the paragraphs below, I will try to clarify some of the notes that you have made in your review that are policy related or about our firm, in general, that we can comment on.<br /> <br /> In your review, you indicated that we <b>“…only utilize one cabinet manufacturer, Miralis.”</b> Our firm supplies cabinetry from several manufacturers, with our most popular being Miralis, Luxor, and Norcraft. We recommend which company to utilize for each project based on project goals, design style, required features, target budget, and so on.<br /> <br /> <b>“They have a bizarre policy regarding spec'd fixtures (sinks, faucets, lights) in that they charge OVER list price for them…. Case in point: a $148 (+ 20% penalty) sink available at Lowe's would be billed at $256 if they purchased it, another sink found online for $800 (+ 20% penalty) was going to be billed at $1300 if they sourced it.”</b> We try to specify products of highest quality for the budget to maintain integrity of our designs. Typically these fixtures are not available at big-box retail stores. From time to time, big-box retail stores may sell products that manufacturers specifically made for them which utilize similar design gestures but with cost-saving measures. For example, you can find Bosch dishwashers with plastic tubs for several hundred less than those sold at smaller retailers which utilize stainless steel tubs. However, they both look the same on the outside and the distinction may be the difference of one letter in the model number. Another example is the kitchen sink: Products from the same manufacturer can have stainless steel or gray plastic strainers; be manufactured from stainless steel of 20 gauge, vs. 18 gauge steel vs. 16, and so on. <br /> <br /> Additionally, all manufacturers provide designers and retailers with MSRP or List prices to serve as guidelines. Our firm typically provides retail clients with a discount of 10% or more off of list for plumbing fixtures (including special orders) depending on brand, although, it is sometimes possible to find similar products sold on discount websites or on clearance at higher discounts.<br /> <br /> <b>“…if you balk and want to buy [fixtures] on your own, they will charge you a 20% penalty of the price you pay for them (they call it an administration expense).”</b> Our firm provides one-stop shop design/build services and this approach is different than that of the typical designer or contractor in the amount of service it provides. After the design process has been completed and we begin construction, our firm provides full-time coordination and project management services for the entire scope of work (unless otherwise agreed to). In providing this service, our firm administers orders (issuing work orders and purchase orders), managing contractors, backorders and deliveries, from time to time respecifying products that are going to potentially jeopardize the project, inspects materials ordered and delivered, meets with contractors to walk them through specific installations to maintain design integrity, problem solves and creates solutions if there are issues, and in the event of defective materials or products, will administer the warranty, and will oversee quality control including walkthroughs, establishing deficiency lists, and overseeing the completion of the deficiency punch-list. <br /> <br /> Unlike the typical designer or general contractor, we do not charge for project management and do not have a line item for ‘profit and overhead’ calculated on the project total. We have always been transparent with our clients, who utilize our build services, about where the funds come from that allow us to provide this service: the margin on products, which is the difference in our cost (wholesale) and retail (the going rate, which typically is list minus 10% or more depending on the product). In the event that our client is able to find a particular product they wish for us to utilize in their project from another vendor at a price that we cannot match, we provide the option for clients to purchase it elsewhere. For us to provide the listed services to integrate such product into the design/build process, a 20% project management fee is calculated to help subsidize costs of administration. This does not apply to all products. For example any product that does not require handling and administration is minimal, such as appliances and furnishings, for example, are not subject to a project management fee and we pass our ‘designer’s discount’ in whole to clients.<br /> <br /> <b>“I asked around and none of the 4 or 5 kitchen design firms I contacted had such a punative policy.”</b> This is due to the fact that most kitchen showrooms do not have as much involvement in the build. Firstly, most kitchen suppliers are mostly interested in selling cabinets. Most will have a list of recommended contractors that you can engage and work with directly without the involvement of the kitchen showroom or kitchen designer. We do acknowledge that there may be exceptions in the marketplace.<br /> <br /> In most cases, if you are supplying plumbing fixtures yourself, you simply hand the faucet you have purchased to the plumber on the day they are there to install. If there is a problem, they usually hand back the fixture and it is your responsibility to correct the problem. Most contractors will also bill you for a return visit if it is above and beyond the contracted service. <br /> <br /> Our approach is different and is based on the one-stop shop principal. If we are supplying a product or are in charge of the project management, if there are any problems, we take the steps to resolve the issue, obtain replacements, and reschedule our contractors as necessary. In such instances, if there are extra costs related to our contractors requiring to make a return visit, with the exception of few circumstances, we would cover the extra trip costs. Hence the project management fee. <br /> <br /> <b>“Most other [kitchen design] firms charge < $1000 for the design and credit 100% of it during the build phase.”</b> It is important to note that our firm is a one-stop design/build firm specializing in interior design, interior architecture, and project management. The service that is provided even at the basic level of our minimum retainer is far more extensive than most kitchen companies and in some cases, even interior designers. The value added services include a site visit and survey of the interior (detailed measurements are taken), CAD floor plans and elevations, detailed lighting and circuit plan including switches, receptacles, audio/visual integration, telephone and data where required, plumbing plans, HVAC plans (not for permit purposes), finish schedules, a detailed scope of work for contractors to follow including any specifics (example, size of tile grout spacing, whether baseboards are scribed or not, and much more), pricing breakdown from hand selected top tier licensed and specialized contractors who have proven themselves to be qualified to do high-quality work, with insurance and WSIB, a list of fixtures with model number and finish details, and a 3D rendering that is to scale and will accurately depict the final design. We also show you actual samples of the materials we propose to be used and should we not have a particular product in our sample library, we can call on one of our supplier reps to bring them over in time for our next meeting to save you time and the stress of driving from showroom to showroom.<br /> <br /> It is for these reasons that the retainer credit is 50% and the majority of established interior design firms do not offer a retainer credit at all. It should be noted that the majority of credible kitchen suppliers and showrooms charge retainers of $1500 - $2500 (or 10% of the estimated kitchen cost) without the value-added interior design services provided by BKDP.<br /> <br /> <b>“You are not allowed to take product samples home to see if they are a good fit for your lighting and decor.”</b> This is quite the contrary to our policy and intentions as designers. We have always encouraged our clients to sign out samples to see them in their homes as the lighting in our studio may differ from the lighting and colour of light in your home. You may also want to coordinate materials with preexisting items such as hardwood floors, furniture, rugs, and so on. If any of our team members did not permit you to sign out samples, it must have been due to a unique circumstance. I'm very interested to know what happened in your particular case so we can address the issue and ensure that it does not happen again.<br /> <br /> We hope that the above information helps clarify some of your concerns and we do sincerely hope that you contact us so that we can discuss your experience further.<br /> <br /> Thank you in advance for taking the time to read our lengthy response and we look forward to speaking with you.<br /> <br /> Best,<br /> <br /> Fardid Biglar