by Susan Mikula Campbell
Every time I get a few dollars ahead and think I will have a vacation someplace other than Veranda Beach, a silent alarm must go off at my house.
Don't let her leave, the furnace whispers to the sump pump. Something else breaks down and those dollars disappear.
I was standing in a hot shower dreaming of a sandy beach, when shampoo got in my eyes. Blindly, I reached out, and my hand went right through the tile wall, leaving a fist-sized hole.
Who ya gonna call? In my case, it was Kinetic Kitchen and Bath at 1655 Fashion Outlet Blvd. It turned out to be a great decision.
Kinetic is celebrating its 10 anniversary and is offering special sales this month. An anniversary party also is planned for hopefully warmer weather in April.
CEO Tina Battey, who has 26 years in the kitchen and bath business, owns the company, which received the 2013 Angie's List Super Service Award. Victor Battey serves as estimator and construction manager, and heading up the showroom with five designers is Mark Rivera.
"We do everything," said Vic Battey, explaining that since Kinetic shepherds small projects, like my shower, or complete bathroom/kitchen remodels right from design to product to installation, it maintains quality control. A third party survey showed that 94 percent of customers refer Kinetic to friends and family.
Tina Battey adds that once a job is totally complete, she sends out surveys to customers so that she and her staff "know what we can do better."
They've even published a consumer awareness guide for customers unsure of what to do that's titled "The 24-Hour Bathroom Makeover Miracle."
"I want customers to be as informed as possible. The only way to do that is to educate people up front and make sure they have enough information to make the decisions," Tina Battey said.
Because a crippled leg made climbing in an out of the tub potentially dangerous, I opted for removing the tub entirely and installing a Bath Planet shower instead of just a tub surround. This, despite my sister's warning that having a shower instead of a tub would negatively affect resale value (not true, according to Vic) and my best friend's warning that the shower surround her daughter installed felt unsturdy beneath her feet (I was shown the difference in thickness and quality of the Bath Planet product).
The one thing I didn't realize was how many more decisions are necessary for even a small project like mine, such as general color, trim finish, fixtures, wall style (plain flat or one of several "tile" designs), did I want storage niches, a seat, grab rails, or a shower door and what style and trim for that. I was glad to have help.
The service continued right through installation. When rotted wood was found behind the collapsed tiles, they made sure I was on hand to discuss options for repair. The installers also had me come in and stand in the new shower to be sure the grab rail was at the precise height to be of most use.
Kinetic continues to grow and expand. When it first opened, it was in a plaza by the Niagara Falls Airport. It has been in its current location for seven years. The move turned out to be fateful, now that Fashion Outlets of Niagara is building a new addition to its mall right next door.
The Batteys are expecting business to "explode" once that opens. Tina is already thinking about a new elevated sign. Vic, "a construction guy for over 35 years," might have to be pulled away from the mall site as the new building goes up. He also is excited about the prospect. After all, the new mall entrance will be within 300 feet of Kinetic, and in addition to the business footprint, he and Tina still own two acres of open land there.
Both say they enjoy what they do.
"It can get crazy hectic around here. It's the overall end result that makes it all worth it," Tina Battey said.
As for me, I may never get that beach vacation, unless it's under my new, adjustable, rainforest showerhead. The new Bath Planet shower looks so fresh and modern and is so easy to keep clean that the '60s-era light, mirror and cabinet combo above the sink appears more dated than ever. If nothing else major breaks down, that's my next "Money Pit" project ... and then, there's the kitchen, too...
Don't take my word for it. Visit Kinetic's website at www.kinetickitchens.com and find testimonials from other happy customers.