Do You Need a Designer for Your Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen designer Livewell
A kitchen remodel is a large undertaking and the team you hire is an important decision. One of the things I always tell my clients is that the planning phase is worth the investment. Contractors will often charge for design services and you may think that this is extra money that you could invest in materials and labor. Unfortunately a kitchen that is thrown together will have the opposite effect, because what you didn’t decide in the planning phase will nearly always end up costing more than you thought.

How bad do you need a designer?

4 reasons you need a designer on the kitchen team

  1. You generally need a permit for your kitchen remodel and they will ask you for plans. An excellent designer or architect knows how to get your plans approved.
  2. When you order cabinets they will need a layout for your kitchen. A great designer can provide a layout that allows the cabinet supplier to send cabinets that fit perfectly with your appliances. If you’re cabinets do not fit, this means delays, and extra costs.
  3. Plans help your contractor make sure that he doesn’t miss any labor or materials in the quote. Designers can also provide a precise material list to your contractor.
  4. Some forms of financing will ask for professional blueprints.

Should the designer work closely with the contractor?

The short answer is yes.

Ask your contractor what his design process is.

Your best option is to choose your contractor during the research process. Ask the contractor what their design process is. If the contractor says that they have a good working relationship with reputable designers, or they have an in house designer then you are on the right track. Remember that contractors are focused on building great teams and directing them. They often wear many hats. Even if they have a knack for design, they are likely juggling too many things at once to put together an excellent design.

Kitchen Designers Meeting

Which should I hire first?

Sometimes designers hire trusted contractors who they have experience working with. Often times it is the other way around. Either way, contractors should participate in the design process. If the designer works independently and then you hire a contractor after the fact, you run some risks. consider the following.

  1. No one wants to skimp on their kitchen, but we all want to get the most for our investment. If your designer doesn’t know the installation prices of the contractor, then their design may be so elaborate that your contractors price far exceeds your budget.
  2. A contractor is an expert in the installation process. One design could be extremely labor intensive to install while a small tweak to it will allow the same investment to go further. They can bounce ideas off of each other and likely you will get an even more impressive transformation.

The designer contractor duo:

The designer may call to move a wall and the contractor can help decide where the wall can be moved in accordance with structural engineering, budget and building factors. The designer may call for the perfect color and style of backsplash, while the contractor can give input on what size the tiles should be for a perfect layout.

Since I could go on all day about the benefits of having a kitchen designer on your team, I’ll leave you with these for today!

If this was useful to you, please share it with your friends! Contact us for help with your kitchen!