You’re ready to take on a full kitchen remodel. You’ve browsed through magazines, watched a bunch of reality TV kitchen remodeling shows, searched popular websites, and pinned the design ideas you like best. Now you need to find a kitchen designer that can get inside your head and turn your vision into reality.
A kitchen designer helps you plan and work through every consideration that goes into creating, remodeling, or updating a kitchen including budget, layout, themes, textures, colors, materials, and the people who will do the construction work itself. Kitchens are pretty complicated and there are hundreds of decisions that have to be made when you’re doing a remodel. Planning involves not only how the room looks and feels, but also plumbing, electrical, gas lines, windows, entryways, exits, windows, islands, appliances, and flooring. The role of the designer is to help you make the best choices for what should be included in your design, what would be nice to have, and what is an absolute must-have. He or she will assist you in styling and narrowing down your options so you end up with a design that is visually appealing, functional, and doesn’t break the bank.
So how should you go about finding a kitchen designer? What questions should you ask them, and yourself, before making a final decision?
Getting a referral from family or friends who have recently completed a kitchen remodel is a good place to start. But don’t stop there. Ask your preferred designer if you can speak with recent clients that they have worked with. If they can give a few names rather quickly, it’s usually clear they are confident in their work and have met deadlines, budgets, and expectations in the past.
Also check online review sites like Google, Yelp, and Angi. These reviews aren’t hand-selected by your designer and, if there are enough of them, most representative of the level of satisfaction delivered to clients.
Do They Understand Your Vision?
Being as direct and specific as possible in describing your kitchen wants and needs leaves less risk of misunderstandings and errors.
An experienced kitchen designer will listen to you describe your vision for your new kitchen. They should ask a lot of questions about how and when you and your family use your kitchen, storage needs, cooking styles and preferences, and aesthetic desires. A good designer should be able to offer advice and guide you through the design process to achieve a final kitchen design that will guarantee satisfaction for both your wants, needs, and budget.
We always recommend being straightforward and as detailed as possible on aspects of your kitchen design. A designer is there to help you. Help them help you by being as upfront and specific. It leaves less room for interpretation and error.
Can They Work Within Your Budget?
A kitchen remodel will not be an inexpensive investment in your home. There are no set rules on what a kitchen will cost. Each aspect of your kitchen remodel, from your choice of cabinetry to the handles and knobs on the doors and drawers, adds anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars to the overall cost of your new kitchen. An experienced kitchen designer can work with almost any budget and can help guide you when tradeoff decisions are necessary.
Technical Knowledge and Attention to Detail is Critical
There are many quality kitchen designers who can utilize the most advanced design programs to construct a conceptual design that looks amazing. But do they have knowledge of building and construction? And, more specifically, do they have experience with your style home so they can anticipate any installation issues that could arise?
As mentioned previously, kitchens are complicated and an understanding of everything that goes into a properly functioning kitchen helps mitigate the risk of misfits and errors. A beautiful kitchen is ruined if the built-in dishwasher leaks or the beautiful corner cabinet you had custom-configured doesn’t fit flush with the corner where it’s installed. A designer with a good understanding of woodworking and construction can mitigate the risk of these types of errors from occurring. He or she can step in, as needed if issues arise and help you stick to your budget and agreed-upon timeframe for completion.
Not only does a kitchen designer need to communicate every aspect of the final kitchen design to you so there are no surprises, he or she also needs to be available to communicate that effectively with your construction contractor and sub-contractors. When everyone speaks and understands the same “construction language”, the risk of misinterpretation and error drops significantly, helping you keep to your original budget and timeline.
At JA Kitchen & Bath, we design functional and stylish kitchens that meet your needs, fit within your budget, and are a joy to live in. We deliver quality cabinetry and design services at affordable prices. Contact us today to learn more about our design and remodeling services.