Kitchens and baths are the most important, the most expensive and the most complicated rooms to remodel in a home. These rooms where families spend so much of their time merit attention because they have to be functional and pleasant. Remodeling an outdated kitchen or bathroom is not only a smart investment, but will also bring your family more comfort than most any other home improvement.
Q: Why hire an independent designer when my general contractor can draw plans?
A: People usually remodel once in a lifetime and when they are looking in the different options in appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, etc., they are overwhelmed by the number of choices they have to make.
Instead of leaving all the choices up to a contractor, the selections should be made with the client’s specific needs and budget in mind. An independent designer will sit down and discuss the family’s lifestyle, desires and priorities, often coming up with ideas the contractor or homeowner hadn’t considered.
Q: Should I call a designer before or after I choose a contractor?
A: Though you can do it either way, but it’s advisable to contact the designer first, go through all the decision making, then find the right contractor to fit the job.
Q: What are some of the things a designer does for me?
A: Every project is unique and the services provided should be tailored to the project. Complete working drawings are available, in addition to assistance in the selection of products and finishes, with written specifications for those choices. Personal attention to detail and involvement in the project from start to finish is also provided to assure a successful job. Having a specific plan, complete with detailed specification list of products to be used eliminates the problem of having three different contractors with three different concepts make bids which cannot be compared to each other.
Q: How does a designer charge for services?
A: The fee should reflect the size and complexity of the project. During the initial consultation, the scope of the project is discussed as is the amount of time it will take to complete the design process. Then the number of hours required are calculated, breaking it down into design time, drafting time and clerical time which are figured at different rates.
Then the client is told what the total cost will be and the payment schedule can be outlined in advance.
The homeowner can set aside their fears of remodeling and eliminate any surprises by using forethought and taking advantage of the professional experience of a designer specializing in kitchens and baths.