Should you hire a Kitchen Designer?
Many of today’s homeowners are exponentially more financially savvy than their parents and grandparents were in the preceding generations. They know how best to spend their money and utilize their equity to get the most “bang” out of their house for the least amount of “buck.” Since kitchens and bathrooms are the “hot” items for any new or refurbished home in today’s market, smart homeowners are sinking more of their assets into these areas of their houses than other areas, both for their enjoyment and for the potential resale value that they can bring. And they are often using the equity in their home to pay for the renovations for these rooms. But what they are paying for isn’t just the materials and labor. Many homeowners are opting for professional designers to come in and give a professional eye to their home’s kitchens and bathrooms for their market expertise, designing eye, and objective tastes.
One designer does not fit all. So the first order of business is to interview several designers before you lift a color swatch or pick up the phone to call in the wrecking crew. Not only will designers vary widely in skill and talent, but they also vary just as widely in their areas of expertise. Be sure that the designer you choose knows your plans well, agrees with the direction you have in mind, and gives you plenty of constructive criticism along the way. After all, you aren’t hiring a designer simply to agree with your ideas, but you also aren’t hiring someone that has a totally different outlook for the best way to go with your kitchen, either.
Have your plan ready to go before you meet with designers. It’s best to have previously sat down and drawn out a rough sketch of what you had in mind and, more importantly, the reason you are redesigning your kitchen in the first place. The designer must have your goal in mind before starting out so that he or she can adjust the plan as necessary to meet your wants and to ensure the success of the project.
Once you have selected your designer and the project has begun, be sure that your designer works with all contractors effectively and doesn’t leave you to be the go-between all the time. The designer is not the project manager, but does have a role in coordinating labor efforts. On the flip side, do not let the designer take you out of the loop on any decision-making. You certainly don’t want any costly surprises in your kitchen because of a miscommunication between your kitchen designer and yourself.