Q: We’re doing a complete remodel of our kitchen and plan to do a lot of it ourselves, including the design. Since we’re not professionals, just handy people, can you give us some ideas that can help with the planning and design aspects?

A: It’s a good idea to work with a professional designer, or at least consult with one, to familiarize yourself with the latest kitchen trends and layouts. Many design centers and supply houses even have in-house consultants who can work with you.

With that said, I can offer you a couple of tips from my perspective as a plumber.

First, I’ve seen a lot of jobs held up because materials needed onsite were not available for installation. If you have any special-order or limited-stock fixtures, for example, I recommend making sure you have them at the job site before starting.

Also, to help with the decorating, some companies make suites of fixtures — including sinks, faucets and even kitchen lighting — that are designed to complement each other. These suite kits can really tie together the room’s design.

Ed Del Grande is a master plumber, contractor and author. Send questions to eadelg@cs.com.