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Understanding Remodeling Certifications

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Published in Remodeling

Digging through and understanding the fleet of interior remodeling certifications is a lot like looking through a list of all the 3-letter government agencies. When you’re looking for a designer, odds are they’ll have a handful of these designations listed after their name. Here’s what they mean.

Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD)

Requires at least 2 years of experience and 2 years of formal education, or 30 hours of training from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Certified Kitchen Designer and Certified Bath Designer (CKD/CBD)

Requires 7 years of kitchen/bathroom design expertise, 4 years of formal education or 60 hours of professional development from the NKBA.

Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer (CMKBD)

Requires 17 years of experience, both CKD and CBD certifications, and at least 100 hours of professional development through the NKBA.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional (LEED AP)

LEED—founded in the early 90s—is a green certification system for buildings. LEED accredited professionals have completed LEED-certified projects and complete continuing education through the US Green Building Council.

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS)

The CAPS certificate is give by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) to those who are experts at universal design in residential buildings. CAPS recipients have undergone training in technical skills, business management, customer care, and altering homes for aging in place.

Look at the Big Picture

When choosing a remodeling agency, don’t ignore all those strings of letters. Often these accreditations are fantastic proof that you’re working with a reliable contractor. Just make sure they can prove it!

The best way for a contractor to put their money where their mouth is, is to provide extensive testimonials from past clients that you can verify personally. The other side of the coin is simply finding a contractor who does work that feels right to you, and fits with your own vision.

But while certifications are only part of the picture, they’re certainly a BIG part.

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