Have a question, and looking for feedback from industry peers?
This month, K&BDN listens in on dialogue between industry
professionals, as excerpted from the KitchenBathPros.com‘
online Designer Discussion Forum.
I am having an issue with a corner sink. I have a very limited
amount of space to place a sink. My thought was to go with a corner
unit. The problem I’m having is that the corner sinks that I find
specify a 48″ corner sink base. This is way too big, in my
Does anyone know of a sink configuration that requires less space?
If I can’t solve the problem, I’ll have to go with an angle sink or
a false front. This is something that I was hoping to avoid.
The standard 25″x22″ single bowl corner sink can fit in a 36″
(diagonal) sink base, that is, 36″ off of each corner. Do you want
a double sink in the corner?
If you can do a 36″ angle corner cabinet, Franke has the Papillon,
a nice bowl and a half with a curved back that can also fit.
If your customer wants a double sink, I have found that they are
easily convinced to move into a large single bowl (Elkay’s 28″x22″
for instance). What is the goal for the sink usage, cleaning large
pans or using one side for a dish drainer?
Usually, those with a dishwasher want to be able to wash large pans
and cutting boards without hindrance, which is actually defeated
with a double bowl sink unless they go with gourmet sizing.
Also, be careful about the customer’s expectations of “additional
space” this will save, because it will make for a deep corner and
move the footprint into the working floor space.
Have you considered a custom sink? That might help you out. Search
online, and you’re sure to find what you need.
How to Specify Cabinet Hardware
I just finished installing new maple cabinets in our kitchen. I
thought picking the cabinets was the tough job, but the cabinet
hardware is even tougher. I would like to install knobs on the
cabinet doors and pulls on the draws. Is there a standard size for
cabinet pulls? The one I like is three inches (hole-to-hole). Would
these be too small for 24 and 30 inch drawers? The one I picked
doesn’t come in a four-inch version. Does anyone have any
Consider using two pulls on drawers that are 30″ or wider. Install
them off centered and it should work well for you. I hope this
I would say there is not a standard size for pulls. There are
thousands and thousands of pulls out there, so it’s better to have
your hardware on hand first, pick it out, and then drill according
to that particular hardware spec.
Ideas for Handling Career Burn Out
Although I am grateful to be employed, I feel overworked and under-
appreciated. I am so burnt out and exhausted. My plea for support
staff at work is falling on deaf ears.
What used to be fulfilling and rewarding as a career choice is
just wiping me out mentally. I am one of three designers working in
a busy retail cabinet, plumbing and remodeling showroom. We have
one part-time plumbing salesperson, receptionist, sales manager,
foreman, two supervisors, and several crew members and sub trades.
Roughly 95% of our cabinet sales include full installation
As a company, we have had tremendous success. We are a small
company suffering growing pains.
Personally, I have tripled my sales from the previous year.
However, my workload has become daunting. My day is full of
multi-tasking responsibilities. I am a salesperson, designer and
job estimator. Designers in our showroom bid the construction, so I
do my own in-home measures, I am the draftsperson, accounts
receivable and invoicing clerk, order processor, chief parts pick
up person, liaison between client and contractor, and plumbing
This is the most annoying part: Once the part-time plumbing
person has left for the day, and the receptionist is gone (she
leaves at 3:30 p.m.), I get the “pleasure” of having to sell
plumbing faucets and hardware to customers while answering phones
until 6 p.m. That means I have to work until 8 p.m. or later just
to catch up on my work that I couldn’t get done during business
I have always been one to bring work home with me, but now I’m
working on Sundays just to catch up. Lately, I’ve been thinking,
what for? Am I crazy? The more jobs I sell, the harder it is for me
to keep up. Now I am starting to kill leads, and bidding high to
get rid of some others.
Is this crazy, or what?
I don’t have a
creative bone left in my body. All my enthusiasm has been sucked
out of me. I no longer look forward to bidding new jobs; rather, I
dread the increased workload. I have six kitchen and bath jobs on
the construction board at the moment. I have three in the
programming phases of design, and 11 jobs to bid.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but the strain and long hours
don’t leave me much of a personal life. Is this all there is? Or am
I just working for a sweathouse?
You’re not alone. This has been a
great year for this business, but it’s leaving us all feeling as
The plumbers and electricians can’t get any new help and they
are looking for it. I would love to hire someone, but is this
growth sustainable? I can’t imagine that it is, so we are all
working hard and hoping to just get through it.
Just tell people that you are very busy and let them know when
you expect to get back to them. At least that way, your customers
aren’t getting upset and giving you a bad reputation. They will
know that when it’s their turn, you will give them the time they
need. If they go elsewhere, they will probably get the same reply
or worse service. At least they will know in the end that you dealt
fairly with them, and in the future they may come back.
It sure sounds to me like you’re
doing the work of more than one person. What do you want? Does the
venting here help enough, or do you want real change, i.e. your
If you’d like your life back, then do this:
1. It sounds as if you do not have a job description. Put together
a job description. Make a list of your job tasks you see as logical
to the job description.
2. Determine what salary is suitable to the job description.
3. Consider the other work you’re asked to do. Decide what has to
give in order for you to do this work cabinet sales, follow ups,
4. Combined with #3 above, consider what you want your hours to be.
Eight-hour days? Nine? Ten?
In other words, you have to take a good look at what you’re doing
and evaluate what you want to do and what you don’t want to do and
for what hours. That’s right it really is your call to decide how,
and under what conditions, you want to work.
5. Before you present this organized proposal to your employer,
evaluate your employment options elsewhere in case you rock the
boat too much. I don’t think you’d get fired, I think you’d get
6. I’d recommend doing a frank but pleasant sit down with your
employer. But it’s critical how you come across. Don’t give them
all demands you must make it a team effort and give them options to
choose from as to what they want you to do. It sounds like I’m
saying two different things, but I’m not. You must be prepared to
ask for one thing, but be prepared to negotiate elsewhere.
Prior to this negotiating, think about what you are willing and not
willing to do and for how much money and time. That’s the critical
part of any negotiation.
Don’t forget, this business has incredible detail to it. To
concentrate hard all day gets very tiring. Mistakes can be so
costly. Minor mistakes can bring such pain in so many ways. It’s a
very hard job. I never understand why I don’t hear complaints about
this part of it. The details are killers.
Also, get a hobby. I grow roses. It is such therapy to think of
something other than business. Growing roses is all about beauty
and fragrance. It’s good therapy. Find something to give you
balance in your life.
I got old and crotchety and tell
people to go away.
Seriously, you can tell people to go away, as long as you do it in
a nice way. I learned a long time ago that you can’t do it all, so
if the project looks rather boring, I politely tell the people it
could be up to three months before I could get to them, and perhaps
they would be better off going to (name a competitor). This is
especially rewarding when they look like a problem client.
In addition to the items listed
above for your meeting, you may want to review that list and have
some ideas for streamlining your activities and responsibilities.
Most times, there are areas or activities that could be updated or
changed in some way to make them more cost effective or time
Have your ideas jotted down. Don’t approach your employer without a
solution or action plan of some sort in place. Having this will
make it easier for your employer to help ease the pain. Good